A diet for your pelvic floor: the do's and don'ts
It's no secret that diets are a prominent part of modern culture. Whether it's going on a juice cleanse or cutting out carbs, women around the world are jumping on board when it comes to diet trends.
dr. Connell has seen and heard it all during her years of experience in women-centered medicine. However, it seems that even with the many diet variations out there, women are still missing the mark and dieting for the wrong reasons. According to Dr. Connwell is the most important diet a woman can stick to, one that will benefit her body, especially her pelvic floor.
Maybe it's finally time. Everything can come loose if you neglect your pelvic floor. For this reason, Connell challenges all ladies to be aware of the foods and drinks they consume.
A woman's pelvic floor is the group of muscles that extend all the way from the tailbone to the pelvic bone. These muscles help hold and hold the bladder, uterus, rectum, and urethra in place. If this group of muscles cannot function properly, women may face pelvic floor disorders such as incontinence and prolapse. A strong and healthy pelvic floor is essential for a woman's daily functioning.
There are many ways women can make sure they keep their pelvic floor strong. The most well-known technique is Kegel training, but a woman's diet also plays a big role.
Here are the guidelines for a pelvic floor-friendly diet.
Like most things in life, anything too much is bad. The following foods do not necessarily have to be completely eliminated from your diet, but are best consumed in moderation. Connell recommends limiting intake of these items as they can lead to digestive problems that can cause overuse of the bladder. When a woman's bladder, or part of the pelvic floor, is overactive, it can become overloaded and weaken the entire muscle group.
- Caffeinated drinks (coffee and tea) are a diuretic and bladder irritant, meaning they cause the kidneys to produce more urine than normal. This causes overuse and tenderness in the bladder.
- Carbonated drinks (soft drinks — yes, even diet soda) can trigger symptoms of an overactive bladder, as bubbles tickle and irritate the bladder. They also usually contain caffeine and artificial sweeteners, which on their own cause bladder irritation.
- Highly acidic fruits and vegetables (tomato, cranberry, orange) can irritate the bladder mucosa due to their high acidity.
- Spicy foods can cause your bladder to burn for the same reason that your mouth burns. This can cause irritation of the bladder mucosa.
- Artificial sugars and sweeteners (Splenda) worsen overactive bladder symptoms for the same reasons as carbonated drinks.
- Alcohol is a diuretic and a bladder irritant. When a person consumes alcohol, that fluid also speeds up the rate at which the kidneys collect water and causes the bladder to empty more often. Not a good combination.
Remember, we're not talking abstinence - you can still have a cup of coffee and orange juice. But limit your cups, go to decaf, skip the coffee some mornings.
The pelvic floor dream team
These particular foods are excellent sources of natural digestion. This also benefits overall pelvic floor strength, for the simple reason that they do not cause bladder irritation in the same way as the above foods. Now don't get yourself carried away - Connell would never advise anyone to consume only these foods and drinks. But she does recommend that women make sure these items are included in their daily diet.
- Pure water (not artificially flavored or carbonated) hydrates the body and removes toxins, keeping digestion and all other bodily functions running smoothly.
- Low-acid fruits and vegetables (apricots, melons, bananas, carrots) provide the body with important nutrients without irritating the pelvic floor as some acidic alternatives do.
- Omega-3 fatty acids (from fish) naturally reduce inflammation, helping to reduce any irritations that may arise from other foods or drinks.
- Herbal/decaffeinated teas provide natural nourishment and hydration without causing the problems that caffeine or unnaturally sweetened drinks cause.
The moral of the story is to have a balanced diet, filled with many important nutrients that all women should consume anyway. On the other hand, I realize that a pick-me-up in the afternoon is sometimes necessary. In that case I would say, enjoy an occasional (soft) drink.