Urinary incontinence is a condition where there is involuntary leakage of urine before one actually passes. It may be temporary or permanent depending upon the cause.
Urinary incontinence may occur due to:
- Bladder or urinary tract infection.
- Neurological disorders, disc compression/slipped disc, impaired mobility (leg or hip fracture), and any injury to spinal cord.
- Weak abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscles.
- Mental stress, fear, anxiety, etc.
- Severe constipation.
- Alcohol abuse and intake of more caffeinated drinks.
- Prostate enlargement in elderly males.
- Pregnancy, after delivery and after menopause in females.
- Being obese.
- After surgery like hysterectomy/spinal surgeries.
- Suppression of urine and faeces.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
- Stress incontinence – On physical exertion like coughing/sneezing/lifting heavy weight, you may notice leakage of small amount of urine.
- Urge incontinence – You are unable to withhold the urine after getting urge for urination. There may be sudden leakage of large quantity of urine, before you visit the toilet or during sleep.
- Overflow or overactive bladder incontinence – You may feel frequent urge for urination/ constant dribbling of urine.
- Functional incontinence – Physical disability or mental impairment affects the physical movements/coordination and makes you unable to reach the toilet in time.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Urinary Incontinence
According to Ayurveda, urinary incontinence is primarily a Vata disorder. In specific , it is vaigunya of apana vata (abnormality in the normal functioning of vata located in the bladder, groins, reproductive organs).
In this case the following remedies would be beneficial:
- Consume fennel seeds/ drink water boiled with fennel seeds.
- Dry jamun seed powder can be taken twice daily.
- A cotton bandage dipped in dhanwantaram oil can be placed over the lower abdomen for 20-30 minutes daily.This normalises the flow of vata thus curing the incontinence.
- Avagaha sveda (sitz bath) with vatahara kashaya like dashamoola kashayam/ dhanwantaram kashayam/dhanyamla.
- De-seed and crush one gooseberry into paste, add a pinch of turmeric powder and 1 tsp of honey, mix well and have this mixture daily morning.
- Regular consumption of 12-15 raisins and walnuts would be beneficial.
- Half tsp of cinnamon powder mixed with some sugar can be tried daily.
- Give a small glass of cranberry juice to the patient,1 hour before bedtime.
Recommended Ayurvedic Formulations for Urinary Incontinence:
- Sukumaram kashayam
- Dhanwantaram kashayam
- Chandraprabha vati
- Aswagandha churna 3-4 grams with ghee, twice daily, before food.
- Used in the Ayurvedic treatment of urinary tract infection, urinary calculus and difficulty n micturition.
- Relieves constipation, bloating and abdominal colic.
- Treats Diabetes
- Improves strength, natural aphrodisiac and anti ageing medicine.
- Also treats abnormalities of the respiratory tract, seminal and gynaecological problems.
- Balances the three dosas.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking. Minimise the intake of caffeinated drinks.
- Avoid exposure to chilly weather and cold winds.
- Physical exertions, excessive workouts, etc., should be reduced.
- Psychological factors like anxiety, fear, worry can aggravate the condition. Manage your emotional status through yoga, meditation and pranayama.
- Fresh, hot and nutritious food should be taken.
- Keep your skin dry and use creams to protect your skin from urine.
- Use clean and dry cloth to keep yourself dry and avoid repeated washing/douching, as it may irritate your skin more.
- At nighttime keep your way to the toilet clear, illuminated and away from obstructions or try using a bedpan.
- Avoid alcohol, artificial sweeteners, chocolates
- Cut on caffeine
- Limit the intake of spicy food
- Avoid acidic/sour fruits
- Do not take carbonated drinks
- Induge on nuts, beans and legumes, whole grains,black beans, split peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, and pinto beans.
- Intake of food rich in fiber content
- Intake of sweet fruits helps : sweet pears, apples, sweet potatoes, melons helps one solving this condition.
- Kegels exercises should be done daily to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
- Pelvic floor ball squeeze
- Elevator lunge
- Pelvic floor activators
- C curve abdominal contraction
Yoga for urinary incontinence:
- Surya namaskara
- Moola bandha