Ok, so as we all get older it is not unusual to experience frequent urination. Now I know why (when I was a child), my grandmother needed to find a bathroom the minute we arrived anywhere! It can really inconvenience your life!
Aging definitely tops the list of frequent urination and it affects both men and women. According to the Cleveland Clinic over 17 million people in the United States suffer from overactive bladder. One out of six of these patients are over 40 years old.
A low grade urinary tract infection (UTI) is also a common cause of frequent urination, particularly for women. Treating UTI’s with antibiotics actually increases the risk of worsening symptoms over time.
Other causes include diabetes, frequent antibiotic use, hormone balance, constipation, illness that affect muscles, nerves, and tissues such as Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, dehydration, Cancer and Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.
For women who still have a uterus intact, gravity works against them as the muscles holding the uterus weaken and the weight of it presses on the bladder, and combine this with weak pelvic muscles you end up feeling like you have to go regularly.
For men as the prostate enlarges or if the urethra narrows, pressure and emptying the bladder fully is problematic.
Obviously there are numerous considerations when trying to rectify bladder control.
Here are a few tips to help get you started:
- Caffeine, wheat products, nicotine, and alcohol irritate the bladder walls and can worsen symptoms, so eliminate them as much as possible. Drink enough water.
- The mind can also influence the urgency to urinate. Just thinking about it, or listening to running water stimulates nerves and muscles in the urethra. Acupuncture and Hypnosis can have a positive influence to get control of the mind- bladder connection. At the very least, when you feel the urge, think the urge away!
- Practice Pelvic muscle exercises and Kegel exercises (contract the urethra muscles throughout the day and stop urine flow several times when urinating.)
Supplements that can be helpful:
(Make sure to take for at least 2 months to see a noticeable difference) :
Butterbur (Solaray) decreases the feeling you have to go (good for men & women). In one study, 24 women were given butterbur for 8 weeks. After three weeks, 17 women reported a significant reduction of the frequency of urination. Before they began taking butterbur, urination intervals were 30 to 90 minutes, while three weeks later the intervals of 17 of the women were between 90 and 150 minutes. Take 2 caps 2 x day morning & night.
Uri-Active (Lifetime Vitamins) contains cranberry, d-mannose & astragalus to decrease infection, dandelion & buchu to strengthen bladder muscles and to empty bladder better. Take 1 cap 2x day morning and afternoon.
Men should also take Stinging Nettle and a prostate formula such as Comprehensive Prostate (Doctor’s Best) if an enlarged prostate is a contributing factor.
By the way, the reason I put specific product brand names and the company who makes them is because we have been using them in our practice with our patients and have gotten consistent good results. Unfortunately not all products are of equal quality and if you are going to bother taking something you want it to work!
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If you need more help call our office Tree of Life Wellness Center 508-336-4242.
Jane Jansen Naturopath