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Bladder weakness

General characteristics

General characteristics

The term bladder weakness refers to a reduced ability to 'hold' urine in the bladder. This can result in slight or more extreme urinary incontinence where urine leaks from the bladder whilst running, sneezing, laughing etc or without the aggravation of any physical trigger.
This common condition can effect both men and women and can have various causes such as pelvic floor muscle weakness, over or under active nerves controlling the bladder, infections such as cystitis, prostate problems, diabetes, excess weight, menopause, HRT, chronic constipation and certain medications.
Try to identify the likely cause of the bladder weakness then treatment can be targeted more specifically and result in more complete healing. For example if the cause is an enlarged prostate then follow the advice for that, if cystitis is the cause then treat the infection, boost immunity and improve kidney vitality etc.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Make sure you are drinking enough fluids daily as dehydration can lead to infection in the urinary passages and result in bladder weakness.

Wheat, dairy products, alcohol, sugar and fatty foods can also aggravate.

Use foods that are high in calcium and magnesium like leafy greens, tahini, cottage cheese to contribute to muscle and nerve strength.

Eating tofu and other soy based foods has a beneficial effect on the whole urinary system.

Barley is excellent for the kidneys and bladder and provides them with useful nutrients. Make barley water using a tablespoon of barley and a pint of water. Simmer for 20 minutes or so, strain and drink throughout the day with a little cinnamon or lemon juice to taste.

Avoid drinking stimulating caffeine filled drinks like tea, coffee and cola.

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

You will only need to try 1 formula at a time. All these formulas use herbs that are diuretic which means they promote the flow of urine. This seems like a paradox for bladder weakness and incontinence but the herbs gently encourage the correct functioning in the bladder tissues either by tightening the muscles giving greater conscious control over the bladder or by soothing irritation in cases of stones or infection.

The following formula is based on an old Dr Christopher recipe aimed at toning and strengthening the bladder walls and its nerve and muscle supply and consists of these tinctures....6 parts parsley root, 3 parts rehmannia, 2 parts black cohosh, 2 parts marshmallow root,, 2 parts gravel root, 2 parts uva ursi (bearberry) and half a part of ginger. Take 1 teaspoon (5ml) in water 3 times daily and one last dose at night if wetting the bed or waking to wee in the night is common. Use half this dose for under 12's and 20 drops twice daily for 3-8 year olds.

You could instead try the urinary astringents such as american cranesbill, horsetail, uva ursi, agrimony and yarrow which will help tighten the tissues and muscles of the bladder and urinary tract and give greater bladder control. Use equal parts as a tea or tincture mix and take 5 ml 3 times daily.
A good all round tonic formula for the kidneys and bladder consists of the following herbs buchu, uva ursi, parsley root, cleavers, juniper berries, marshmallow root (equal parts) with a pinch of ginger. Make this as a tea using 1 ounce of the mix and add 1 pint of boiling water. Stand for 20 minutes and drink half a cupful 4 times a day.
Nervous system herbs such as st johns wort, gotu kola and skullcap can be useful in cases of irritable or nervous bladder.
Antispasmodic herbs such as crampbark and chamomile can help ease the symptoms of an overactive or irritated bladder.

Natural healing

Natural healing

The urethra, the tube coming from the bladder has an opening to the outside and as such is prone to infection so keep everything clean by using a few drops of lavender essential oil for example in your daily washing water or bath.

'Kegel' or 'pelvic floor exercises' strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and help improve bladder control. The muscle group strengthened is the pubococcygeus muscle group. These muscles relax under your command, to control the opening and closing of your urethral sphincter, they are the muscles that give you urinary control. After childbirth or with increased age they can become weaker. Practicing these exercises regularly will improve bladder control considerably.

The first step is to properly identify the muscle group to be exercised.

  1. As you begin urinating, try to stop the flow of urine without tensing the muscles of your legs. It is very important not to use these other muscles, because only the pelvic floor muscles help with bladder control.
  2. When you are able to slow or stop the stream of urine you have located the correct muscles. Feel the sensation of the muscles pulling inward and upward.

If you squeeze the rectal area as if not to pass wind, you will be using the correct muscles.

Practice these regularly, as often as you can, at least several times daily.

  • Set 1: tighten and relax the sphincter muscle as rapidly as you can.
  • Set 2: contract the sphincter muscle and hold to a count of 3 (gradually work at increasing the count to 10). Make sure you relax completely between contractions.
Positive results can usually be seen within a few weeks of daily practice.

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