Are you someone who is suffering from a pelvic floor dysfunction, and you’ve had enough? According to a study, around 25% of women in the U.S suffer from pelvic floor disorders, which consist of urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse. While we understand your frustration, we would also like to tell you that your diet plays a huge role in strengthening the pelvic floor. No doubt, a visit to the doctor is just as important to know the underlying cause of the problem; however, exercising and diet play a significant part in the prevention and recovery process.
So the question arises, what exactly should we include in our pelvic floor diet to strengthen the muscles down there? Here is a list of do’s and don’ts for your diet plan:
You must be aware that water cures most of our health problems, and a reduced intake of water causes the majority of the problems in our bodies. Most of our diet ideas revolve around solids sidelining liquids altogether. When we refer to fluids, we solely mean water. Water without any flavoring or gas is best for hydration and flushing out toxins from the body. It also helps with digestion and transport nutrients from one area of the body to another, helping all bodily functions run smoothly.
A healthy bladder should give you the urge to go to the bathroom once every two to three hours, which is great for your health.
Herbal teas and caffeine-free teas are other forms of fluid that indirectly help strengthen the pelvic floor. These teas offer natural nutrition to the body while hydrating it simultaneously, unlike caffeinated drinks and unnaturally sweetened drinks that dehydrate the body. These teas include chamomile, nettle, skullcap, peppermint, passionfruit, lavender, willow, and valerian.
Anti-Inflammatory Herbs and Spices
Spices add flavor to your dishes and let you indulge in them. While some can irritate the body, green herbs such as rosemary, basil, parsley, cilantro, oregano, sage, dill, and thyme have healing properties.
Low Acidic Produce
Fiber that comes from vegetables and fruits is beneficial for several reasons, one of which is a smooth excreting experience. The fiber helps your faeces’ consistency be soft, allowing it to slide right out of your anus instead of being pushed out. Low acidic foods and alkaline foods do not irritate the pelvic floor muscles like high acidic ones such as citrus fruits, winter squashes and tomatoes. The foods that help are:
FRUITS – Cherries, Apples, Avocados, Mangos, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Grapes, Kiwi, Bananas, and Blueberries.
VEGETABLES – Zucchini, Broccoli, Green beans, Green peas, Cabbage, Leeks, Potatoes, Sweet potatoes, Pumpkin, Artichokes, Cucumbers, Mushrooms, Cauliflower, Celery, Carrot, and Kale.
This is a flavonoid antioxidant that aids in reducing inflammation by regulating the cytokines. These foods include broccoli, apples and grapes; all work as double agents for fiber and quercetin; others are onions and peppers.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These fatty acids in fish have inflammatory properties that help reduce irritations caused by other foods or drinks. Other than fish, there are other foods for pelvic muscles that you may take, such as flax seeds, tuna, anchovies, chia seeds, and omega-3 fish oil, and Atlantic mackerel.
Acidic foods mess with our bladder and everything it passes through, especially when dealing with pelvic floor dysfunctions. These acids in the diet cause irritation to the bladder lining and also make the urine too acidic. Every person has a different threshold for tolerating spices. Therefore, there is no one formula for all. For females suffering from interstitial cystitis, all spicy food must be avoided. Foods to avoid are processed and frozen products, bread, rice, walnuts, oats, deli meats, milk, peanuts, to name a few.
Some might argue, “but coffee or tea helps me poop” caffeine is known to dehydrate the body. While it might temporarily facilitate your pooping experience, it will cause more harm to the other parts. It makes you urinate more often, hence irritating the kidney, bladder, and urethra. If you suffer from a pelvic floor dysfunction, gradually reduce or eliminate your caffeine intake to give your bladder a break.
Carbonated Drinks and Alcohol
As much as we encourage having healthy fluids, having carbonated drinks is toxic for your pelvic floor diet. The gases in these drinks tend to over-activate the bladder causing us to run to the bathroom more than usual and irritating. Regardless of having trouble with your bladder or not, reducing the intake of such drinks can better the pelvic floor’s health.
Not only carbonated drinks but alcohol plays a part in making your urine more acidic and causes irritation to the bladder. Not only that, alcohol in general causes severe inflammation and hinders the natural process of detoxification.
Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
Sugar and artificial sweeteners cause inflammation in the body. Who knew that? As much as most people enjoy their drinks and desserts super sweet, we must stop it as this is causing harm to our bodies in numerous ways. Not only is it bad for our pelvic floor health, but artificial sweeteners and sugar in all forms also worsen the symptoms of our overactive bladder.
While most of these food choices might not cure the pelvic floor dysfunction for you, they will surely help reduce the discomfort caused by the problem within. Make healthier diet choices to live a more accessible and happier life.
Facing A Bladder Issue?
Contact our Dr. Peter M. Lotze and his team, to know more about your condition and how you can help make it better. Feel free to leave us a message.