What is Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is a symptom of many diseases, not a disease. This is a condition in which urine leaks out involuntarily. This means the patient urinates even when he does not want to. This may be due to daily habits, underlying medical conditions or some physical problems. This discomfort becomes common in many people with aging. It is found more in women than men and many a times the patient suffers from inferiority complex due to this disease.
Types of Urinary Incontinence:
1. Stress Incontinence
Urine leakage occurs while coughing, laughing, sneezing, bending or lifting heavy weight. In women cause for this is weakening of Pelvic floor muscles and Urethral Sphincter due to frequent pregnancies, childbirth, menopause, obesity etc whereas Prostate cancer or surgery is the main reason for this in men.
2. Urge Incontinence
In this, the patient is not able to control the bladder when the urge to urinate is produced and the urine leaks before going to the bathroom. This is due to the forceful involuntary contractions of bladder that causes the pressure inside the bladder to exceed the urethral Sphincter. This condition arises due to various neuro degenerative and neuropathy problems such as Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, spinal cord disease, multiple sclerosis, bladder stones, enlargement of prostate gland and urinary infections etc.
3. Overflow Incontinence
In this problem, patient bladder muscles become hypotonic so that even if the bladder is full, muscles does not contract. As a result, increased pressure in the bladder leads to leakage of urine. This problem is caused by chronic urinary retention due to neglection as in case of bladder stones or prostate enlargement and also in diseases like Spinal cord problem, Parkinson’s disease and Diabetes where the nerves that supplies to bladder becomes insensitive. This problem is relatively more common in men.
4. Temporary Incontinence
Certain types of food and beverages such as coffee, alcohol, carbonated drinks, chocolates, citrus fruits and medicines that reduces blood pressure and causes muscle relaxation either increases the urine production or contracts the bladder temporarily causing urinary incontinence. This type is not a symptom of a disease but is a result of normal body reaction.
Treatments for “urinary incontinency”
There is no effective medicine yet available in the modern science for urinary incontinence. Therefore, to avoid this problem, few things should always be kept in mind and followed.
1. One should always try to control body weight.
2. Pelvic floor strengthening exercise should be done regularly with increasing age. They are also called Kegel exercises and are very effective in urinary incontinence.
3. Avoid eating foods that stimulate the bladder.
4. Fibres should be taken in the diet to avoid constipation.
5.The diseases causing urinary incontinence should be properly treated.
Few behavioral techniques are also used to reduce effects of urinary incontinence which include s Bladder training, Double voiding, Scheduled toilet tips, Fluid management etc. But all these techniques fail to cure the root cause of the problem.
From the Ayurvedic perspective, urinary incontinence is a Vata predominant disorder in which vitiated action of Apana Vayu is clearly visible. Among all types of urinary incontinence, Uttar Basti is a very effective and safe ayurvedic panchakarma method which strikes the root cause of this problem. Along with this, medicine to nourish muscle tissue and which works on nerves is also desired.
In “Stress Incontinence”, use of Bala and Sahachar oil in form of Uttar Basti is very effective. Powder form of ashwagandha, bala, arjuna, abhrak and yashad bhasma to nourish mansa dhatu or muscular tissue is equally important. Intake of Chandraprabha Vati is also desired for overall health of urinary tract and rasayan action. In the event of obesity or other disease, treatment of that disease is also necessary. In addition, wholesome diet and kegel exercises also helps a lot to strengthen pelvic muscles and thereby treating urinary incontinence.
In “Urge Incontinence”, intake of above advocated uttar basti, use of Dhatura preparations such as Kanakasava to pacify nerves and muscles of bladder and intake of Chandraprabha Vati forms the mainstay of treatment.
In “Overflow Incontinence” use of uttara basti, Chandraprabha Vati and Kuchla(Nux vomica) preparations such as vishtinduk vati for stimulation of nerves and spinal cord are drugs of choice.
In all types of urinary incontinence caused due to effect of other diseases, treatment of that disease is also absolutely necessary, otherwise the expected benefit will not be achieved. Also, the duration of the therapy should be continued for few months.
Urinary incontinence can be successfully and effectively controlled by applying Ayurvedic principles and Panchakarma method. Sparsh Ayurveda, Indore has expertise in treating urinary incontinence through natural pathy.