Although they can admittedly be a bit embarrassing, urinary problems are actually quite common and nothing to be ashamed of!
Millions of people in the US report at least occasionally dealing with urinary symptoms including incontinence, urgency, dribbling and leaking, so if urinary problems have you “running,” you’re certainly not alone.
Let’s look at the most common urinary problems, what may be causing them, and how you can get safe, natural relief.
The most common urinary problems
Here are the types of urinary issues that most people face:
1- Urgency: This is when someone can’t hold their urine long enough to get to a bathroom and/or feels the need to go RIGHT NOW.
2- Stress incontinence: This occurs when you leak small amounts of urine when you cough, sneeze or exercise.
3- Functional incontinence: This is when someone may have normal bladder control, but their mobility is limited due to a physical impairment and they can’t always get to a bathroom quickly enough.
4- Nighttime urination: Although most of us have had to use the bathroom during the night at one time or another, regular nighttime urination can impact the quality of sleep and ultimately weaken your immune system function.
5- Dribbling after urination and/or slow urine flow: Although not dangerous, these can be very annoying.
Why oh why do I have urine problems?
There are a number of underlying reasons behind the various types of urine woes.
Urgency is the result of involuntary contraction of the bladder muscles more frequently than normal. Although one clear-cut cause has not been established, it has been associated with certain drug side effects, uncontrolled diabetes, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), nerve damage, repeated UTIs, bladder cancer, and in men, prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH).
Stress incontinence usually occurs when a woman’s pelvic muscles are weakened by childbirth, menopause or abdominal surgery. Yours truly experienced this when I started my karate training back in 2004. Although I had been a runner for several years prior to that with no problems, I found out the hard way that having 2 children (one of which was delivered breech) had affected the muscles around my bladder when I did jumping jacks at the dojo for the first time!
Functional incontinence is commonly seen with conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, arthritis, stroke, injuries that affect mobility, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Nighttime urination, dribbling and slow urine flow are all associated with BPH in men, plus drinking beverages too close to bedtime may trigger a middle of the night visit to the throne.
Ways you can help plug the leak and slow the flow
If you suffer from urinary issues, first and foremost, see a doctor to rule out an underlying condition that might require medical attention.
In addition, there are natural ways you can help ease urinary problems, depending on what factors may be involved.
Here are some measures you can try:
Kegel exercises. These involve squeezing and releasing the muscles in your vaginal area to help strengthen the muscles surrounding your bladder. Hold the tension for a count of 10, then release. Aim to do 20 Kegel exercises, 3 times a day. This is how I was able to eventually do jumping jacks successfully with no problems!
Note that men can do Kegels too! It's similar to trying to stop urinating in the middle of your flow. This can help to strengthen the muscles that help you hold in and control the flow of your urine.
Lose weight. Excess weight, especially in the belly area, can put additional pressure on your bladder. If you need help losing weight and have tried one diet after another to no avail, then check out my latest book, Want to Lose Weight? Stop Dieting!
As its name suggests, Want to Lose Weight? Stop Dieting! is not a diet but a smart approach to taking off weight using my REAL weight loss formula—Eating delicious real foods, supporting sound digestion, finding the exercise activity that’s right for you, and eliminating outside factors that are limiting or sabotaging your weight loss success!
Acupuncture. Acupuncture may help reduce incontinence by strengthening the urinary system as well as correcting imbalance in the kidneys.
Chiropractic adjustments. Research has shown that chiropractic treatment provided virtually the same therapeutic effect as Kegels in women with urinary tract issues.
Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar can help fight bladder infections, plus many people have sworn by it for weight loss. Add 1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of water twice a day. Be sure to look for organic varieties that contain “the mother.”
Or if you’re daring and don’t mind a little spice, you can also try an apple cider vinegar tonic called “Fire Cider.” It’s great for supporting a healthy gut microbiome too.
Avoid douches and feminine deodorants. These can be irritating to your bladder.
Limit caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic that can contribute to bladder irritation and stimulate muscle contractions, which can both cause incontinence.
Get enough vitamin D. Studies have shown that women who had higher levels of vitamin D in their blood had a lower risk of developing urinary incontinence problems. To make sure you heave healthful levels of this essential nutrient, try to get in the sun unprotected for about 20 minutes each day and supplement with a top-quality formula like Optimum DK Formula with FruiteX-B.
Yoga. Yoga can help to tighten up the muscles that control the urethral sphincter and provide similar benefits to performing Kegel exercises.
Avoid drinking fluids for at least 3 hours prior to bedtime. This will help curb nighttime urination.
Saw palmetto for BPH. If you have BPH, be very leery about trying drugs like Flomax, as they can cause (dangerous) fainting episodes and can even increase your risk of prostate cancer! A much safer approach is to try saw palmetto supplements. Saw palmetto can result in higher testosterone levels and even decrease your risk of prostate cancer!
Do what you need to do to make your urinary woes a thing of the past for you!
To your health,