Thanks to a new wave of popularity in holistic and natural lifestyles for health, it is comforting to know that options exist for your bladder health, too. This is especially exciting news if you are one of the millions of women across the nation who experience occasional bladder leakage or urgency, or wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.‡‡‡
Occasional bladder urgency can often interrupt quality time with family, friends or even work. Bladder control is an important part of your health that is often taken for granted until it has weakened. Luckily, there are drug-free solutions to help you regain control so you can stay healthy, happy and strong without putting anything unwanted into your body.
THE FITNESS SOLUTION
Your first option is to get fit, inside and out! Excess weight can put pressure on the bladder, exaggerating bladder control issues. Exercising daily, whether it’s simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator or a morning jog, can help manage extra weight. There are a number of easy at-home and on-the-go exercises you can do as well. Find one that’s easy and convenient for you and start relieving some pressure from your bladder!
You can also exercise your insides to help maintain bladder muscle support. The bladder sits on 16 muscles known as the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor plays a key role in maintaining bladder control. Like any muscle, the pelvic floor needs to be exercised to stay strong and malleable. This is especially the case as women age and these muscles weaken. It is when these muscles start to weaken that you may start to feel bladder control issues.1
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to exercise this muscle. Kegels are a popular option as they can be done anywhere and at any time, and they’re easy! First, relax. Then, take a deep breath and find the muscle that you use to stop the flow of urine when you go. Once you find it, squeeze it for 5–10 seconds and release. Do this for 10 repetitions and there you have it. You’ve successfully worked out your pelvic floor!
THE HEALTHY DIET SOLUTION
Eating healthy for wellness is not a revolutionary idea. A healthy diet is a key component to maintaining an overall balanced and healthy life. It is, however, a surprise to some when they find out certain foods and lifestyle habits can have a negative effect on bladder heath. Simple changes in what you put in your body can help improve bladder control.
Let’s start with chocolate. Whether dark or milk, it’s time to reduce, if not eliminate, chocolate consumption. Chocolate contains caffeine, which is a bladder-stimulant that increases your urge to go to the bathroom.2 As bitter or milky as it may sound, this sweet treat works to increase your bladder control issues. In order to reduce the urge to go, sadly, chocolate is a no-go.
Like chocolate, sodas almost always contain high levels of caffeine. In addition to the caffeine, they are full of artificial sweeteners and carbonation, a combination that does not mix well with your bladder control symptoms. Cutting down on this sweet, carbonated beverage may help to improve bladder control issues.
On the plus side, bring on the natural foods! Try incorporating dark, leafy greens into your meals, maybe in a lunch wrap or salad. Fiber rich foods like whole-grain bread, brown rice, oatmeal, beans and apples, are also excellent nutritional sources to help you build up your pelvic floor strength. Surprising as it may sound, drinking plenty of fluids is also important for your bladder health! Make sure to drink 6–8 glasses of water each day and remember to go when you need to; don’t hold it in!
THE NATURALLY-SOURCED SUPPLEMENT SOLUTION
Finally, when you want extra support, there are great supplements available. For a naturally-sourced option, try AZO’s line of bladder control products. Whether it’s AZO Bladder Control® with Go-Less® or AZO Bladder Control® & Weight Management, both contain naturally-sourced ingredients to help support pelvic floor muscle strength, and safely help reduce occasional bladder leakage and urgency.
Ingredients include pumpkin seed extract—to help support bladder control by toning and maintaining the muscles of the bladder—as well as soy germ extract, that helps support healthy control by sustaining the bladder muscle and pelvic floor. AZO Bladder Control® & Weight Management also contains clinically studied Synetrim® CQ to safely help manage weight.
1 The Pelvic Floor http://www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au/pages/the-pelvic-floor.html
2 Does Dark Chocolate Irritate the Prostate or Bladder? http://www.livestrong.com/article/550045-does-dark-chocolate-irritate-the-prostate-or-bladder/