Urinary incontinence is a common condition that affects the bladder. This condition is characterized by the loss of bladder control, causing urine to leak whenever a patient sneezes or coughs. Patients suffering from urinary incontinence also experience a strong and sudden urge to urinate but they do not make it to the toilet in time and eventually, they soil themselves.
What most people don’t know is that urinary incontinence is not a disease. It’s a symptom of an underlying condition. Urinary incontinence may be an embarrassing problem but as long as you know your triggers, it is possible to treat it. This is the reason why a complete evaluation is important if you or a loved one suffer from this problem.
Symptoms and Causes of Urinary Incontinence
While minor urine leaks are quite common, losing small to moderate amount of urine isn’t. Usually, the loss of bladder control is caused by stress. The added pressure on the bladder by coughing, laughing, sneezing or exercising leads to minor leaks. In some cases, lifting a heavy load could also trigger urinary incontinence.
However, certain types of infections, minor conditions, and disorders could trigger the loss of bladder control. Diabetes, infections, and neurologic disorders often cause urinary incontinence. Usually, people suffering from these conditions feel an intense and uncontrollable urge to urinate followed quickly by an involuntary loss of urine. Mental and physical impairments, such as severe arthritis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer’s disease, spinal injury, brain tumor, etc., could also cause urinary incontinence.
Peeing while in a hurry may also lead to minor urine leaks. Since you are in a hurry, the bladder isn’t given much time to empty itself completely hence, urine dribbles uncontrollably. It’s not unusual for some patients to suffer from different types of urinary incontinence.
The fact is, certain medications and beverages increase the volume of urine and stimulate the emptying of the bladder, which eventually leads to urine leaks. If you have a weak bladder control, to begin with, avoid foods and drinks with a mild diuretic effect such as:
- Carbonated drinks and sparkling water
- Artificial sweeteners
Spicy foods, chili peppers, citrus fruits, and sugar-laden foods and drinks could also worsen urinary incontinence.
Sedatives, muscle relaxants, large doses of vitamin C, and blood pressure medications could also trigger this problem. Constipation, hysterectomy, urinary tract infection, pregnancy, childbirth, aging, and menopause could also weaken bladder control in women, leading to temporary or permanent urinary incontinence. In men, an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer could cause stress incontinence or urge incontinence.
While you can always take prescription medications to resolve an embarrassing problem such as urinary incontinence, you can also opt for natural remedies to reduce and resolve urinary issues. One such remedy is pumpkin seed oil.
How Pumpkin Seed Extract Treat Urinary Incontinence
Pumpkin seed extract is comprised of oil and water-soluble compounds. Although the oil soluble nutrients found in pumpkin seed oil alleviate some urinary issues, the water-soluble nutrients exhibit the most impressive symptomatic effects on bladder health. Since these nutrients are water-soluble, they are easily absorbed into the bloodstream, accelerating the positive effects of pumpkin seed extract.
Binds with Androgen Receptors
Research shows that water-soluble compounds found in pumpkin seeds bind to the pelvic cells’ androgen receptors. The process helps strengthen the bladder wall, restoring bladder control among people suffering from urinary incontinence.
Promotes Pelvic Muscle Growth
The same water-soluble compounds that bind with androgen receptors ease urinary symptoms by inhibiting the release of the aromatase enzyme. This enzyme affects the pelvic floor muscle’s ability to grow more muscle tissues. The suppression of the aromatase enzyme allows the body to grow more muscle tissues that reduce urine leaks. In addition, nutrients from pumpkin seeds aid in the production of testosterone, which also helps grow more urinary tract muscles.
Restores Muscle Control
Taking pumpkin seed extract helps in the production of nitric oxide in the body. This compound relaxes the muscles and arteries to allow better urinary control. If the body is not getting enough nitric oxide, the bladder tends to become hyperactive, which may lead to frequent urination and urine leaks. When the body is getting enough nitric oxide, the bladder wall relaxes, allowing urination when the organ is full.
Soothes Prostate Inflammation
An enlarged prostate is one of the most common causes of urinary issues in men, particularly seniors 60 years old and above. Taking supplements fortified with pumpkin seed extract may decrease inflammation thanks to its omega-3 fatty acid content. That said, taking such supplements won’t magically shrink an enlarged prostate’s size but it will definitely improve urinary flow.
What Science Has to Say About Pumpkin Seed Oil Extract
One of the most effective treatments for an overactive bladder is pumpkin seed oil. This is a well-documented fact. Pumpkin seed extract has the ability to restore or improve bladder function, particularly in aging men afflicted with serious conditions that cause urinary disorders such as benign prostatic hyperplasia and enlarged prostate.
Studies show that pumpkin seed extract is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, a beneficial oil that cuts inflammation. Since this condition may be aggravated by inflammation, taking supplements enriched with pumpkin seed extract could restore normal bladder function. In addition, pumpkin seed oil is proven effective in reducing the symptoms of an overactive bladder.
A Japanese study found that pumpkin seeds reduce incontinence among participants in a clinical trial. The participants took 5 supplement tablets twice per day for 2 weeks and then 3 tablets for the next five days. Results show that patients who took the supplements experienced improvements (decreases in the number of daytime and nighttime urinations) compared to other participants who did not take the supplements.
Taking pumpkin seed supplements may provide significant relief caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH among aging men. In a study that included 53 aging men afflicted with urinary problems or an enlarged prostate, those who took supplements enriched with pumpkin seed extract experienced a 40% reduction of nighttime urinary frequency compared to participants who only took a placebo.
A scientific trial that involves 39 incontinent females ages 55 to 79 years saw a 39% improvement in nighttime urinations after taking water-soluble pumpkin seed and soy isoflavone extracts. The participants took a specified amount of water-soluble pumpkin seed and soy isoflavone extracts for 6 weeks. According to the participants, the effects of the extracts reduced daytime and nighttime urinations and number of incontinent episodes significantly.
If you or a loved one suffers from this embarrassing problem, anytime is a good time to take care of your health. Avoid drinking a lot of water an hour before you sleep so your nighttime rest won’t be disrupted. Taking dietary supplements enriched with pumpkin seed extract is a safe and all-natural approach to restoring urinary control. Of course, always consult your physician first before taking any type of health supplements. Apart from taking the right supplements, you can prevent involuntary loss of urine by maintaining a healthy weight, practicing pelvic floor exercises, and eating fiber-rich foods.