I just got back from 10 days in beautiful Alberta, Canada. I spent time with some pretty amazing people while I was there. One was my dear friend Jennifer Hough
. She's a nutritionist, author, and creator of "Get Out of Your Own Way
" specializing in people living in ease and flow. While we were chatting over a cup of tea, I discovered that she spoke at the International Incontinence Symposium in Toronto. I immediately asked her for an interview. Stress and embarrassment became the focus of our conversation because of the toll it takes on those of us who experience LBL. "Stress is not just in your head," Jennifer said, "It causes a pH imbalance in the body that causes the fluid in your body to shift in alkalinity. When it shifts, it actually aggravates your bladder." What can be done to release the stress? "Stress happens when you predict a future that hasn't happened yet, and you act like its real right now," said Jennifer. If you find yourself worrying about what might happen the next time you leak, it helps ask yourself questions that will make your logical mind come back to the present moment where you're not experiencing the leaks. Jennifer suggests getting a stack of sticky notes, and writing three questions on them. Make eight sets, and post them all over your house, in your car, or anywhere you tend to worry. The first question is this: "Is the thing that I'm most afraid of (LBL) happening right now?"
If you're afraid that you'll die of embarrassment or be incredibly judged by someone, ask yourself, "Is it happening right now?" The answer is going to be "no." Then you can breath and your mind can calm enough to ask the other questions. The next question is: "Is it possible to feel at peace right now (with or without LBL)?"
The answer is always yes. Of course you can. Even if you're leaking right now, it's possible to be at peace. The third question is: "What can I do right now?"
If you experience LBL, you can either suffer about it or do something about it. Instead of suffering, do something. Most women who experience LBL have all sorts of coping strategies in place or resources (like this blog) to find new ideas, and reach out for support. Jennifer also offered a nutritional strategy to support your nervous system and adrenals from stress so that it doesn't affect you so much. She suggests you take a stress B complex multivitamin. "Take two at breakfast and two at lunch," said Jennifer, "People start calling it their happy pill because it expands your ability to cope with stress, so that your pH stays more neutral longer. You're less reactive because you have the nutrients in your body necessary to cope with stress, so you're not scrambling." The more I start the conversation about light bladder leakage, the more useful ideas I discover. Jennifer's suggestions are simple and easy to apply. What strategies do you have in place for managing LBL?
-- Edited by MarilynSuttle at Aug 23, 2012 1:16 PM PDT