As we get older a number of embarrassing areas don't work as well as
they used to and we may feel uncomfortable talking about it.
BLADDER CONTROL was often a problem at acute polio and if this was the case it may also be weakening now - not that this isn't a common problem with non polios too.
Your GP can refer you to continence clinics, physios and urologists but you might like to try some simple measures first.
Medical conditions like infections, diabetes, stroke, heart problems, medications, depression, excess weight, prostate for men, previous childbirth and menopause for women and even difficulty walking or moving around can be causal factors.
Other factors can include alcohol, coffee, tea and cola which can act as diuretics. Artificial sweeteners can also increase symptoms. Along with foods that are spicy and acidic, carbonated drinks, citrus juices and fruits, tomatoes and tomato-based foods, chocolate, overeating and constipation can also aggravate bladder control. Restricting fluids can lead to concentrated urine that irritates the bladder and causes dehydration.
So try supplements that help with muscle control ie carnitine, magnesium, B6 and potassium. (signs of low potassium include being prone to urinary tract or other infections, hot flushes, swelling, heat draining energy, increased muscle weakness, palpitations (NB We can also get palpitations if potassium is too high - so ask GP for a blood test - needs to be in top half of normal).
PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES
As well as getting advice from a physio, try short spells on a mini trampoline (just move weight from one foot to the other - don't jump) or if you are not steady enough for that try sitting on an exercise ball and gently bouncing. Make sure you have something handy to steady you. Both of these will give you gentle all-over exercise (ie internal and external) for all your muscles without wearing you out.
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