When I first had interstitial cystitis (IC), I started looking at diet and lifestyle changes that might help me get better. Exercise is generally considered to be health promoting, so I decided to include it in my routine. I knew quite a few people who were jogging regularly and decided to give it a go myself, since it required no special equipment or gym membership.
However, each time I did go for a run I would get a massive flare of my IC symptoms, as well as the urge to run to the toilet.
I eventually abandoned jogging (mainly because I was chronically fatigued and couldn’t do much at all). I only recently came across an explanation as to why jogging may not be so great for the bladder and I thought I’d share it with you!
If you suffer from incontinence there is a chance that you have a prolapsed bladder. This is also known as a dropped bladder, cystocele or a bladder hernia.
This can (and should be) diagnosed by your doctor but there is also an easy way to check for it at home.
When speaking about urinary tract infections, we usually speak about bacterial infections. Fungi (a.k.a yeasts or mold) are different organisms from bacteria and they can cause infections such as thrush in some parts of the body. Fungal infections in the vagina for example are a well-known condition. But can there also be fungal infections in the urinary tract?
Yoga is a type of mental and physical exercise that has been used in traditional Indian medicine since ancient times.
In recent years it has become more and more popular as a form of exercise and relaxation technique in the Western world.
Its use as a therapeutic intervention to accompany other forms of medicine has also grown in the West.
Today I would like to take a look at how yoga can be used as a therapy for chronic urologic conditions such as interstitial cystitis and chronic UTIs and chronic illness in general.
Last week I had a look at how hormones affect the urinary tract. Changes in the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone and even the ‘male’ hormone testosterone appear to affect urinary tract symptoms.
Oral contraception affects hormone levels in the body and may therefore also affect urinary tract symptoms.
Other contraception may not affect hormones but may have an impact on the urinary tract in other ways.
Today I would like to take a look at what we know about different forms of contraception and bladder health.
Today I’d like to take a closer look at the role of hormones on bladder health. Hormones have been known for a while to play a role in lower urinary tract symptoms such as UTIs, interstitial cystitis and stress incontinence. Hormones may be the reason why women generally seem to be more prone to bladder problems than men and also why some symptoms may get worse at certain times of the month.
We typically associate incontinence with a lack of muscle tone of the pelvic floor or sometimes with bacterial infection. But what if the bladder microbiota and urinary incontinence are linked?
I have explored the role of the urinary microbiota in previous posts (here and here) and how an imbalance in microbes known as ‘dysbiosis’ can play a role in different bladder conditions. One of them is urgency incontinence.
It sounds weird but there is evidence suggesting that even incontinence can be related to the microbes living in our bladder.
This applies specifically to urgency urinary incontinence.
In last week’s post I talked about the urinary microbiota – the bacterial communities that have recently been discovered to be present in the urinary tract.
We know now that microbes that live in and on our bodies play a crucial role in health and illness. There are friendly and pathogenic microbes (bacteria, fungi etc.) plus opportunistic microbes that can become pathogenic when left unchecked.
When the delicate balance of good vs bad microbes is disturbed we become prone to an array of health conditions and infections. This is called a ‘dysbiosis’.
What is Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the unintentional passing of urine or leaking of urine. It is a common problem, especially among women, and it is estimated that between 3 and 6 million people in the UK alone are sufferers. Severe incontinence increases with age.
23% of women affected by the problem put off seeking help because of embarrassment.
Urinary incontinence is a symptom rather than a condition.
What is Overactive Bladder (OAB)?
Overactive bladder (OAB) is not a condition as such but rather a group of urinary symptoms defined by a problem with bladder storage where the bladder muscle (detrusor) contracts too often or spontaneously and involuntarily. It often includes, and is therefore closely related to, incontinence.
There is a reported incidence of OAB ranging between 12-17% in Europe alone and a suggested 1 in 6 people is suffering from symptoms in the UK. The incidence of OAB increases with age but should not be accepted as a normal part of the ageing process.