When I first started my cholesterol lowering diet, I didn't realize there would be positive results other than lower cholesterol. One of the most important results to me is that my bladder control problem totally went away. I had spent quite a few years buying pads and hiding them under a box of cereal in my shopping cart. Let's face it, that is embarrassing. I felt like that lady in the commercials wandering around holding hands with her bladder looking for a bathroom. I could feel everyone looking at me, but they probably weren't.
There are quite a few factors that affect bladder control. I believe there are three main problems which are totally in our control. First, weight. I lost 30 pounds. This must have taken pressure off of my bladder. When bodies carry extra weight, all of the internal organs have to be squeezed and stressed. How can anything function properly when smashed into everything else. Hmmm, not a pretty picture.
It would be like being in a telephone booth (I know, What's that?) with twenty people, and then trying to dial. Very difficult to get the correct number.
The second reason my bladder stopped leaking is probably due partly to exercise. I began to ride my recumbent bicycle and to go to the gym when possible. There are two machines at the gym that I believe helped tremendously and they are so easy to use. You use your knees on one to push weight out. On the other, you push weight in with your knees or upper leg. I believe any exercise you do can only help.
Kegels also work. If you faithfully do the kegel exercise, you can improve length of time between bathroom visits and will have fewer "accidents". .
The Mayo Clinic lists the steps to doing kegel exercise properly. They are:
1. "In order to isolate the correct muscle to exercise, stop urinating while in progress. The muscle you use to stop, is the one you want to exercise.
2. Then lie on your back on the floor and tighten that muscle. Hold for five seconds, then release for five seconds five times a day. Do this five seconds in the beginning, then graduallywork up to ten seconds.
3. Make sure you are only flexing the muscles you isolated, and not those in your abdomen.
4. Do ten repetitions 3 times a day."
Kegels do not have to be done while you are on the floor. You can do them while sitting at your desk or driving down the road.
Do not do kegel exercises while urinating once you have located the area you want to exercise as this can actually weaken those muscles. Kegel exercises work, so do them daily.
Feel free to sneeze.
Another major factor in bladder control is what you drink. Cokes and coffee seem to be hard on your kidneys and bladder. When I begin to drink cokes, I begin to have problems. Anything with sugar and carbonation is not helpful.The best drink to keep your organs healthy appears to be water or water with lemon or other fruit. Natural cranberry juice with no sugar added is excellent. Pure cranberry juice mixed with water is said to be helpful in keeping your body working properly.
Years ago I had cancer. The doctor told me to not drink anything with carbonation--not soft drinks and not fizzy tablets dropped into water. He didn't say why, but I think he was pointing me on the way to health. I have been addicted to soft drinks off and on over the years. It is a difficult habit to kick, but it is worth the trouble.
A doctor once told me that if I didn't want my kids eating or drinking something I shouldn't bring it home. That goes for myself now. Even if Uncle Henry loves cokes, I don't have to bring them home when he visits.He might drink something else if it is all I have.
If you simply have to have a soft drink (occasionally, of course) drink root beer or clear drinks like 7up or sprite. they are easier on your kidneys than other soft drinks
So, the same plan that lowers cholesterol improves bladder function--who knew.
A good article about urinary incontinence is found on the everyday health site.
If exercise doesn't help to strengthen pelvic muscles, sometimes doctors recommend surgery. It may be a longer term fix than medication, but it may be important to get more than one opinion before resorting to surgery.
There are many medicines used for solving bladder leakage problems. Talk to your doctor about using exercise and diet as an alternative to medication or surgery. The only side affect known for a good diet and exercise is greater health. If the exercises and diet don't work, then there is the alternative of medication or surgery.
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