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Laugh Without Leaking

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It's an embarrassing problem that just keeps getting worse,'#157; stated Grisela, a 61-year-old patient. 'It's always something I worry about, especially when I laugh in public.

"It's an embarrassing problem that just keeps getting worse," stated Grisela, a 61-year-old patient. "It's always something I worry about, especially when I laugh in public." Grisela is not alone when it comes to the problem of urinary incontinence.

According to the Canadian Continence Foundation (continence-fdn.ca), one in four women, middle-aged or older, experience involuntary leakage of urine at some point in life, and the likelihood increases as women age. Conventional medicine offers adult diapers, drugs, or surgery. Holistic therapies are effective alternatives and should be tried before more invasive treatments.

The most common type of incontinence in women is known as stress urinary incontinence, which occurs when women lose urine during an activity such as exercising, laughing, or sneezing. Another type of incontinence, irritable bladder, is basically an overactive bladder that contracts involuntarily. Symptoms of incontinence may also be present in women with chronic urinary tract infections, many of whom are unaware they have an infection.

The first step in resolving incontinence is to work with a gynecologist to rule out any structural or medical causes and treat the underlying reason for incontinence.

Natural remedies and exercises can then work to tone the muscles controlling the bladder. Combined with a natural hormone-balancing program and healthy diet, they can help most women gain control of their urination.

Laugh Without Leaking Diet Connection

  • Reduce or avoid caffeine because it can cause the bladder to be more spastic. It also has a diuretic effect causing you to void more urine.
  • Avoid alcohol as it irritates the bladder and also has a diuretic effect.
  • Consult with a nutritionist or naturopathic doctor to see if aspartame or other food sensitivities could be causing your urinary problem.

Homeopathy to the Rescue

Take 30C potency twice daily for two weeks and then use as needed to maintain improvements:

  • Causticum is effective, especially with seniors, when the urinary muscles are weak and coughing or sneezing causes an urgency to urinate.
  • Nux vomica works with bladder problems characterized by spasms and brought on by stress.
  • Pulsatilla is useful when incontinence is the result of hormone imbalance as commonly seen with menopause. Sitting for periods of time worsens the problem. Women requiring this remedy are often very sensitive and tearful.
  • Sepia is also used when incontinence is caused by hormone imbalance, including uterine and bladder prolapses.

Herbal solution

  • Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is an excellent urinary tonic to reduce incontinence. Take 10 drops of tincture or 300 mg of capsule twice daily.

Strengthen the pelvic floor

  • Kegel exercises can strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor supporting the bladder and urethra. Squeeze the vaginal muscles as if to control urine flow for a count of 10. Release and repeat 10 times twice daily.

Hormone link

  • A natural vaginal estrogen (estriol) cream may improve incontinence if it results from extreme hormone deficiency that causes lax sphincter and pelvic floor muscles or vaginal dryness and thinning. Ask a holistic doctor to prescribe it for you.
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