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.
Dosage: 2 tablets with warm water, twice daily or as prescribed by the physician.
- 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 moist 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
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