Urinary Stress/Urge
Incontinence

Urinary Stress/Urge Incontinence: Overview

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:
  • Stress – leakage only with increased pressure as in coughing or jumping
  • Urge – leakage due to an overpowering sensation of impending urination
  • Overflow – people with overflow incontinence do not feel the urge to urinate.  The bladder never empties normally and remains at least partially full; small amounts of urine are leaked on a nearly continuous basis.  Weak bladder muscles – caused by nerve damage from diabetes or other diseases – or a blocked urethra can be responsible.

Causes and Development

Overactive bladder is a common cause of incontinence, yielding uncontrolled contractions of the detrusor muscle during bladder filling.  These contractions may cause urge urinary incontinence, urgency and frequency.

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.

Signs and Symptoms

The term "overactive bladder" describes a wide range of symptoms that include urge urinary incontinence, urgency, and frequency.  Urge urinary incontinence is one of the most disturbing symptoms of overactive bladder and is characterized by a strong desire to void that is associated with an involuntary loss of urine.

Treatment and Prevention

Homeopathic treatment possibilities:
  • Causticum for stress incontinence associated with frequent urging and difficulty urinating.
  • Natrum muriaticum for stress incontinence associated with the menopausal symptoms of vaginal dryness, painful intercourse and a history of emotional grief.
  • Pareira for difficulty urinating due to prostate enlargement.
  • Sepia for stress incontinence with sudden urging, especially associated with vaginitis or prolapsed uterus.
  • Zincum for difficulty urinating while standing up (must sit to initiate flow), associated with prostate problems.

Stress/Urge Incontinence

Information On This Page

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Urinary Stress/Urge Incontinence:

Symptoms - Urinary

Risk factors for Urinary Stress/Urge Incontinence:

Hormones

Estrogens Low may increase risk of Urinary Stress/Urge IncontinenceEstrogens Low
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.

Nutrients

EFA Type 3 Requirement may increase risk of Urinary Stress/Urge IncontinenceEFA (Essential Fatty Acid) Type 3 Requirement
Flax seed oil at 1 Tablespoon per day is sometimes recommended because it can reduce inflammation contributing to an overactive bladder.

Symptoms - Reproductive - General

Urinary Stress/Urge Incontinence suggests the following may be present:

Nutrients

Urinary Stress/Urge Incontinence may suggest EFA Type 3 RequirementEFA (Essential Fatty Acid) Type 3 Requirement
Flax seed oil at 1 Tablespoon per day is sometimes recommended because it can reduce inflammation contributing to an overactive bladder.

Recommendations for Urinary Stress/Urge Incontinence:

Botanical

Cleavers may help with Urinary Stress/Urge IncontinenceCleavers
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.

Digestion

Bromelain may help with Urinary Stress/Urge IncontinenceBromelain
Bromelain at 400mg three times per day, separate from meals, may have an anti-inflammatory action in patients with an overactive bladder.

Lab Tests/Rule-Outs

Elimination Diet is highly recommended for Urinary Stress/Urge IncontinenceElimination Diet
An elimination diet can deal with both food allergens and food irritants which may be causing the irritable bladder.
Test for Food Allergies is highly recommended for Urinary Stress/Urge IncontinenceTest for Food Allergies
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.

Vitamins

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) may help with Urinary Stress/Urge IncontinenceVitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin C at 500mg, 2-3 times daily with meals may provide some anti-inflammatory support.

KEY

Weak or unproven link: may increase risk of; may suggest
Weak or unproven link:
may increase risk of; may suggest
Definite or direct link: is a sign or symptom of
Definite or direct link:
is a sign or symptom of
May be useful: may help with
May be useful:
may help with
Very useful: is highly recommended for
Very useful:
is highly recommended for