You take a multivitamin and maybe calcium or Vitamin D for your bones – but do you take anything for incontinence? Is that even possible?
If you are trying to live a more natural lifestyle, you are probably familiar with various vitamins and supplements. Millions of Americans take vitamins and supplements, from Vitamin C to ward off colds in the winter to melatonin to help them sleep. However, it is important to note that almost all vitamins and supplements are not tested or approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA states, “According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), a doctor may recommend that you take them for certain health problems, if you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.” The FDA continues, “The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advises that nutrient needs be met primarily through consuming foods, with supplementation suggested for certain sensitive populations.”
The FDA’s main gripe with over-the-counter vitamins and supplements is that many of them can interact with other medications including prescription medication. It can also be harmful to take many of the same supplement. Many people do get enough vitamins through a healthy diet, and certainly that is whatâ€™s recommended. But for targeting specific conditions or areas, there are vitamins and supplements available. It is vital, though, to speak with your physician before starting a vitamin regimen. You need to ensure that nothing will interact with your current medications.
Supplements for Incontinence and Overactive Bladder
Recent studies found that women over the age of 20 with normal vitamin D ranges were much less likely to suffer from a pelvic floor disorder, like incontinence. If you suffer from a pelvic floor disorder it may be time to check your vitamin D levels through a simple blood test.
This is a Japanese blend of different herbs. It is actually one of the most-studied herbs used in treatment for overactive bladder syndrome. A study found that, “Gosha-jinki-gan could be a safe and effective potential therapeutic alternative in females with overactive bladder.” Another study said that its results “suggest that Gosha-jinki-gan inhibits bladder activity by maintaining the balance of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems at a low level.” This herb helps control overactive bladder symptoms by helping balance the nervous system transmission from the brain telling the bladder it has to go so often.
Buchu extract, or Barosma betulina, is a shrub native to South Africa. The dried leaves and supplements made from them have been used to treat urinary tract infections. It is thought that Buchu helps to promote urine flow, and overall health of the urinary tract. According to an article in Reviews in Urology, no clinical trials have been done regarding Buchu and overactive bladder.
Cornsilk is the fibers at the top of an ear of corn. In supplement or tea form, cornsilk has been used to treat bladder infections and prostate inflammation. It is thought to soothe the urinary tract, and was even used by the ancient Incas. There are no clinical studies on the effect of cornsilk and urinary incontinence or irritation.
Saw palmetto is a palm that grows in the southern United States. Its berries were used by Native Americans for their medicinal properties. Saw palmetto supplements are used to treat benign prostate hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) in men. This condition can lead to excessive urination, or only partial emptying of the bladder. Saw palmetto has been studied – a large analysis of multiple studies concluded that saw palmetto produced a similar benefit to finasteride, a drug for enlarged prostate, and was better-tolerated. Saw palmetto may also boost the quality of life for men with enlarged prostate.
Magnesium is important for proper muscle and nerve function. Some doctors believe better magnesium levels can reduce bladder spasms, a common cause of incontinence. Magnesium levels can be checked through a blood test at your next doctor’s visit.
This mushroom has been used in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. Recently, a Japanese study showed that ganoderma lucidum helped people with urge incontinence after eight weeks of use. Why? The mushroom lowers the hormone levels associated with prostate growth, a lead cause of overflow incontinence in men.
Urinary Incontinence in Middle Tennessee
If you are suffering from urinary incontinence, overactive bladder syndrome, or enlarged prostate, it may be worth it to try natural supplements. Of course, you need to consult your physician before starting vitamins or supplements, to ensure they will not react with your medications or have any adverse effects. If you live around Nashville, Tennessee our team of expert physicians would love to help. Contact our discreet, dedicated Medical Concierge by phone or private message today.
Take our Urinary Incontinence Self-Assessment