Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Aging

Are you experiencing incontinence, difficulties with bathroom visits or pelvic pain? Well you may be one of the many who is displaying symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. PFD is a common occurrence amongst aging women but can sometimes affect men.

What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD) is the condition where the Pelvic Floor does not function as it should and includes prolapse of the bladder, rectum, bowel or uterus. This condition is often embarrassing and can leave many suffering from low self esteem and depression as a result. It is commonly undiagnosed and it is quite staggering to find that that an estimated one third of the population of women suffer from PFD, at some point! The likelihood of PFD occurring increases significantly amongst women as they age. Other contributing factors are diabetes, hernia, obesity and hormone imbalance.

Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

The most common symptoms of PFD include one or more of these:

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Frequent incontinence
  • Pain during urination
  • Rectal Pain
  • Pelvic Pressure
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Pain when sitting, walking or standing
  • Urgency to urinate then difficulties emptying the bladder

What can be done?

If you have any of the symptoms, it is essential that you seek medical guidance because it is a condition that does not necessarily need to be endured! If diagnosed early, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction can often be treated successfully using non surgical procedures. These options are available and provide excellent results:

Pelvic Floor Exercises and Rehabilitation

These exercises are incorporated to strengthen the muscles to perform more efficiently and effectively.

Medications:

With the guidance of a doctor, you may find that there is a variety or medications that can be administered to provide relief and a reduction in PFD

Education and Behavior Therapy:

Changes in lifestyle or behavior can have a dramatic effect in minimizing the occurrence of PFD.

– Managing a healthy weight. (This also reduces risk of Diabetes, which can also aggravate Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.)
– Controlled fluid intake
– Bladder training

Biofeedback:

This therapy is designed to retrain patients how to co-ordinate the abdominal muscles with the pelvic floor muscles. Biofeedback training successfully reduces the symptoms in 70% of cases.

Relaxation:

Relaxation is a powerful therapy when dealing with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, as stress is a major contributing factor in worsening PFD symptoms. Stress causes muscles to tighten, so take the time to do something you find relaxing. Yoga, meditation and Tai Chi are renowned for their ability to reduce stress and tension.

Surgery

If the symptoms are more severe or continue to occur over an extended period of time, more invasive and surgical procedures are an option and have high success rates. Pelvic Floor Reconstruction surgery, slings for incontinence and other options are available to reduce or eliminate the symptoms.

What Next?

If you suspect you may have Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, speak to your doctor to find out the best course of action to ensure you feel comfortable, happy and healthy no matter what your age!

Aging and Body Pains

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Do you wake up in the morning expecting to feel refreshed only to discover you’ve found yourself with a stiff and sore back or knee or hip? We’ll you’re not alone!

You may have found that in earlier years, such pain would be the direct result of a strenuous sports game or other vigorous activity but now seem to receive the same result from a short errand or light gardening.

As we age we are more prone to feeling aches and pains throughout the body. Sometimes these require medical attention. Severe inflammation of the joints, known as arthritis, is a very common condition that is experienced amongst the older population. This can cause tremendous pain but luckily there are many avenues for treatment and relief available, with the help of a doctor.

Most times, general aches and pains can be dealt with at home with fantastic results!

Prevention

Before I continue, it must be said, that prevention is better than cure! Sure, aging and aches are inevitable, however, these pains and stiffness can be greatly reduced if your body continues to stay physically active! I’m not talking about running a marathon but am referring to gentle walking or other non strenuous activities to keep your body flexible and therefore less prone to injury and pain!

Pain Relief

Stretching

Activities such as Pilates and Yoga are a wonderful and gentle exercise program that increases strength, tone and flexibility. With increased flexibility, comes reduced risk of injury! These exercises are also renowned for their stress relieving effects!

Massage Therapy

A good massage not only relaxes and relieves muscle pain but is also a highly effective stress reliever! Massage is ideal for dealing with chronic pain.

Products

A trip to your local chemist will provide you with a range of products that are readily available to ease the discomfort of body pain. Topical analgesic creams and muscle relaxants provide tremendous relief for cramps and aching joints. Many doctors recommend the use of anti-inflammatory medication to relieve severe muscle pain. However, this should be used with caution and with the guidance of a doctor due to its slight blood thinning effect.

Holistic Medication

With the increased awareness of chemical and medicinal side effects, more and more people are turning towards holistic alternatives and have found great results! Many people swear by nutritional supplements, TENS therapy and seek relief through Acupuncture and Chiropractors.

If you are concerned about unusual aches and pains, seek advice from your doctor.

My Take on Weight Loss Supplements and Weight Loss

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If you’ve decided to drop the extra pounds you’re carrying and lose weight for life, chances are you’ve probably done your fair share of internet surfing to find the easiest way to do it.  If easy is high on your priority list, no doubt you’ve checked out weight loss supplements.  And perhaps like millions of people each year, you probably loved the idea of the weight “simply melting off in no time, with hardly any effort.”

As the old saying goes, “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is” and as a personal trainer, I’m afraid to break it to you.  There is no magic pill (pardon the pun) when it comes to weight loss.

Sure, we’ve heard all about supplements like Hoodia and seen the dramatic (in my view, over dramatic!) before and after shots of devotees who apparently swear by the supplement.  But the thing is – like most products in the weight loss industry – supplements aren’t meant to work long term.

Here are the two big ones that many weight loss supplements claim:

  • You don’t have to worry about dieting:  This is rubbish that appeals to people who don’t want to control what they eat.  Fact is, you need to get your metabolism on side to get the weight off and keep it off.  To do that, you need to fuel your body up with the right foods at the right time.  This means cutting back on carbs, cutting out processed foods and consuming lots of fruit and veggies – in addition to healthy carbs, good fats and of course, lean proteins.  If you’re time poor or stressed about changing your dietary habits, you won’t like the sound of this – but it’s the only way!
  • You don’t have to do any exercise:  This is totally wrong!  No diet pill will help you to burn the calories needed to rid your body of excess fat and keep it off – none!  All a pill may do is elevate your heart rate somewhat, but that’s about it.  Frequent exercise will help you to burn the calories you need to lose weight and keep it off – and by regularly exercising, you’ll increase your energy levels, help your resting metabolism so it burns fat even when you’re resting and build muscle which also helps you to burn fat and keep weight off.  Pills don’t do this.

By changing your lifestyle to include a healthy diet and healthy dose of exercise, you’ll not only get the weight off – you’ll keep it off for life.

And trust me.  No pill will do this for you.  The weight loss supplement companies don’t care about you.  They simply want to make money and keep people overweight, so they can keep making money!

After saying all of this though, it’s totally fine for you to supplement your healthy diet with vitamin supplements if you’re finding yourself lacking a bit.  And yes, it’s okay for you to have a meal replacement shake every once in awhile – but only as part of a healthy and balanced diet.  The shakes recommend this anyway.

Remember, 30 days is all it takes to get you well and truly into the habit of healthy – so start today!