Dear Dr. Oz,
You always tackle tough topics for your audience, and for that I am grateful. You have opened the door for conversations between women’s health practitioners like myself and women within our communities. I have written in the past to comment and add suggestions on show topics, in hopes of contributing our most up to date rehabilitative approaches to the conversation for issues such as pelvic organ prolapse and diastasis recti.
Today I wanted to add to the suggestions you made for women who are experiencing the need to “pee all the time”, seen here: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/secret-reason-you-constantly-have-pee . Big kudos to your audience assistant, Patricia, for being willing to discuss her need to pee all the time on national TV. So many women will benefit from her openness.
You demonstrated via ultrasound that Patricia was retaining a lot of urine. Urinary retention is a clear reason for her constant need to use the restroom. But there is much she can do to address that level of retention beyond adding flax to her diet.
First, to facilitate getting all that urine out, she can address her potty posture. By changing her position on the potty she can encourage a more complete emptying of her bladder each time she goes. Specifically Patricia, and all women,should sit “like a dude” while on the potty- legs separated, pants at your ankles, upper body forward with arms resting on your thighs. In other words, sit as if holding a magazine. In addition, relax and plan to be there for awhile, this will help encourage complete emptying of the bladder each trip.
Second, women, such as Patricia, tend to reduce their fluid intake to theoretically reduce their need to pee. Less in, means less out, or so they think. Unfortunately this concentrates the urine, and makes it more irritating. Irritating, concentrated urine screams for attention and usually gets it with frequent, unproductive trips to the potty. So a look at Patricia’s fluid intake and counseling her, though counterintuitive, to adequately hydrate her system and dilute her urine, is a very important piece of the puzzle.
Third, often women are unaware that things they are eating are irritating to the urinary track. Processed foods, carbonated beverages, sugar, chocolate, citrus, tomatoes and alcohol are some of the no-no’s with a urinary issue. Caffeine is a big problem as well since it is a diuretic and will ultimately contribute to dehydration of the system and concentrate the urine. A look at diet, and making some simple changes could also have a big impact for Patirica, in addition to adding flax as you suggested. Here is a great resource for additional food and drink that can irritate the bladder.
Thanks again for opening the door for discussions by exploring tough to talk about topics on your show.
All the best,
Julie Wiebe, PT