There are 3 questions I am often asked about the pelvic floor:
- What foods are good for the pelvic floor?
- What supplements help the pelvic floor?
- How do you keep your pelvic floor healthy?
Regardless of if you are in pain or you want to improve the state of your pelvic floor, nutrition is one of the 3 components involved in both disease and health. Lack of it contributes to disease, and an sufficient amount of it, keeps the area healthy.
The beginning of this blog will give you a list of foods and supplements to take and to avoid but you ought to understand that it is a big mistake to think of the pelvic floor as only your bladder and related to incontinence. Pelvic floor muscles are the muscles that line the pelvis and hold the structures above (bladder, intestine, uterus, and ovaries/prostate). The muscles of the pelvic floor play a role in both urination and defecation and while you may not have any issues with either of those bodily functions, you may still have a weakness or over contraction of the muscles of the pelvic floor.
Best Nutrition for Pelvic Floor
Pelvic floor muscles are similar to all other musculoskeletal muscles which means all the following recommendations are true to all other muscles in this system. Generally speaking, your skeletal muscles are different from smooth muscles in that they are voluntarily controllable.
Foods to eat:
- Water, which will help flush the toxins, is not only a great way to practice the muscles of the bladder but also the presence of toxins in the muscles lead to muscle tension and knots and yes, you can have knots in the muscles of the pelvic floor.
- Bananas (which contain magnesium)
- Potatoes providing magnesium
- Whole grains providing magnesium
- Nuts providing magnesium
- Oily fish, which are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids. I strongly suggest only getting wild Alaskan fish to limit the amount of mercury that is found otherwise.
- Avocados which contain Vitamin C, E, K, and B6 as well as Omega 3 fatty acids
- Eggs with a great source of protein
- Red bell pepper, which contains more vitamin C than Citrus!!
Supplements to Take
- Vitamin D: see the video below to understand what to look for and how to monitor your own Vitamin D levels
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
Foods to Avoid
The following foods are irritants to the bladder and not helpful if you suffer from incontinence.
- Caffeinated drinks
- Carbonated drinks
- Orange juice
- Artificial Sweetner
- Spicy food
What is Missing in the Treatment of Pelvic Floor?
Most people know they have an issue with their pelvic floor either because their incontinence is bad (noticed I said bad, because if it is not that bad, they don’t do anything about it and think that it is a part of life especially if they have gone through pregnancy) or if they have visited a gynecologist or a urologist who told them they needed to see a pelvic floor therapist.
Also, most people think the only manual therapy for the pelvic floor is done by a physical therapist which is not the case. I strongly suggest you read my blog that explores your options and you can decide what is best for you.
While most pelvic floor therapists (PT or not) focus primarily on the internal manual treatment with or without biofeedback machines and tools, you ought to know that this is a partial treatment for pelvic floor issues. You cannot treat a problem-ed pelvic floor without treating the rest of what this weakness is a part of- pelvic floor dysfunction. Weak or spastic pelvic floor muscles is a ‘chapter’ of the “book” titled: Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, and that is what gets missed the most. You can’t expect a full solution with a partial treatment and internal work on the pelvic floor muscles is a partial approach to the problem.
Take less than 5 minutes to watch this video that explains it briefly but explore my other blogs related to pelvic floor dysfunction. If you have any questions or need help with your pelvic floor dysfunction, contact me.