July 13, 2021
By Christine Cheng, R.Ph. and Fred Cheng, R.Ph.
As pharmacists, we often field questions about what can be done about urinary incontinence or overactive bladder issues. People may not come right out and call it by these technical names; instead, we are asked about how to reduce the need to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or to reduce the feeling of always having to go to the bathroom, but only getting a dribble. We hear about patients who plan their day around where the available public bathrooms are and we field concerns about the costs of adult incontinence diapers. These concerns come not only from our senior patients but also those who care for elderly parents and sometimes from younger women who have been pregnant.
Of course, being pharmacists, we can discuss medication options which can provide some benefit to many patients. However, they also come with a host of adverse effects that many patients find intolerable. Because many of the medication options aim to relax the bladder muscle thus allowing greater storage of urine, they affect a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. The problem is that by affecting acetylcholine levels, we are potentially affecting a lot of other functions in the body. As a result, side affects from medications used to treat urinary incontinence and bladder storage issues include dry mouth, blurry vision, constipation and/or drowsiness…some of which are enough to cause the user to discontinue treatment.
A few years ago, we were happy to discover a natural health product called, “Sagapro”, which is a preparation of the Icelandic herb, Angelica archangelica. It works by relaxing the muscles in the bladder wall thereby allowing it to fill with a greater volume before the need to void is triggered. It can be used in both men and women and we have had good reports of its efficacy from both genders. At a dosage of just one capsule a day, benefits can be seen in a month or less.
Advanced OrthoMolecular Research (AOR) has brought another herbal combination to the market under the name “BLADDER MANAGER”. This product contains Urox®, a patented blend of Crateva magna, Equisetum arvense (horsetail), and Lindera aggreta that has been clinically shown to reduce both daytime and nighttime urinary frequency, improve urine flow and emptying of the bladder, and reduce the need for incontinence products (“adult diapers”). Results were seen in as little as 2 weeks with an easy to follow regimen of just 2 capsules a day.
If you or someone you care for is experiencing symptoms of overactive bladder or urinary incontinence, you must first speak with your physician for a proper assessment. Then, come to talk to your Integrative Pharmacists at Cloverdale Pharmasave (and our sister store in Steveston Village) to discuss what options might be available for you.
Christine and Fred Cheng are a passionate, charismatic sister-brother pharmacist team at their unique, family-operated Pharmasave stores in Cloverdale and Steveston, B.C. They specialize in natural remedies and compounding for both human and veterinarian use. Find them on Instagram and Facebook! Everything mentioned in their article is available InStore.
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