Over 13 million American men and women of all ages suffer from incontinence, causing them to leak urine. Urinary incontinence is not a disease, but instead a sign that a problem exists in the urinary tract; it is the result of a variety of anatomic, physiologic, and/or pathologic factors. It is considered an important condition to treat, because it can lead to social isolation, low self-esteem, depression and dependence. There are three major types of incontinence:
From a holistic standpoint, most bladder control problems that are not the direct result of neurological damage, poor muscle tone or hormone deficiencies are usually the result of irritability within the bladder or urethral tissues caused by chronic inflammation and/or food allergies.
The cause of urinary stress incontinence in women is usually pelvic relaxation resulting from childbirth and the aging process. These changes become more pronounced following menopause as estrogen deficiency allows atrophy of the genitourinary tissues.
Cleavers may provide some benefit as a traditional urinary tonic for an overactive bladder along with other herbal candidates such as marshmallow root, buchu, corn silk, horsetail or usnea lichen.
Bromelain at 400mg three times per day, separate from meals, may have an anti-inflammatory action in patients with an overactive bladder.
An elimination diet can deal with both food allergens and food irritants which may be causing the irritable bladder.
Naturopathic physicians and holistic medical doctors report countless success stories of treating this uncomfortable condition with changes in the diet that eliminate sensitive and/or inflammatory foods.