Urinary incontinence (UI) is any involuntary leakage of urine. It is a common and distressing problem, and often treatable.
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI), is caused by weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. It is the loss of small amounts of urine associated with coughing, laughing, sneezing, exercising or other movements that increase intra-abdominal pressure and thus increase pressure on the bladder.
In women, low estrogen levels may lead to lower muscular pressure around the urethra (the tube draining urine from the bladder), as well as a shorter urethral length, increasing the risk of leakage.
Stress incontinence is treatable.
Urge incontinence is involuntary loss of urine occurring for no apparent reason while suddenly feeling the need or urge to urinate. The most common cause of urge incontinence is involuntary bladder spasm. This can occur from many causes including:
- Hidden bladder infections or vaginitis (in women)
- Nerve problems such as stroke, MS, or Parkinson's
- Spasm of the muscle attached to the top of the pubic bone
For incontinence, a urologist will do the best evaluation, but consider doing the treatments discussed under the "Treatments" section first to see if they work (allow 2-3 months) so you don't get pushed into unnecessary surgery or medications.
This is when you can't physically make it to the bathroom in time due to limited mobility.
Zinc and vitamin A
Optimize zinc intake (15-25 mg a day) and vitamin A (2,000-5,000 units a day).
Take amino acids such as alanine, glycine and glutamic acid (1,000-2,000 mg a day).
All of the above are present in high dose in a good multi-nutrient powder.
Saw palmetto 160 mg twice a day can be as effective, or more so, than medications after 6 weeks.
Walking 2-3 hours a week was associated with a 25% decreased risk of BPH.
Proscar, Hytrin, and Flomax
Proscar, Hytrin, and Flomax are 3 common ones. Though not necessarily more effective than the natural remedies, they may work more quickly and may be combined with the natural therapies.
For more info, see Testosterone Deficiency.