How to Protect Your Bladder Health from Chronic Stress

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If you are experiencing continuous episodes of stress, your body ends up suffering more than you realize. Over time, several organs and systems start to fail and your body’s ability to function becomes severely compromised. In fact, even your bladder health is significantly affected, along with your body’s natural ability to detoxify hazardous substances that you are exposed to on a regular basis.

Stress: How it Affects Your Adrenals and Detox Response
By nature, your body is designed to address any stress that comes its way. For this, it relies on what is known as the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response system. The NEM stress response system is comprised of several interlinked organs and systems in the body. When the stress occurs, they all act accordingly to help the body deal with stress and recover afterward.

Among the organs involved in the NEM stress response are your adrenal glands. They are responsible for releasing stress hormones including cortisol, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and glucagon. Among these, cortisol is the one that serves as the body’s primary stress hormone.

During times of stress, the increased level of cortisol in your body can also significantly affect your liver function. In fact, it has been found that having elevated levels of plasma cortisol can inhibit non-hepatic glucose utilization while also increasing one’s insulin levels. In addition, a study conducted by the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee found that increased levels of cortisol can lead to an increased hepatic gluconeogenesis in vivo. This is primarily through the enhanced substrate delivery to the body’s liver.

At the same time, when cortisol levels in the body remain elevated for a long time, it can lead to high blood sugar levels and the development of fatty liver. This was noted by a research done by the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres in 2008.

When your liver function is compromised, so is the detoxification response of your NEM system. The liver plays a primary role when it comes to clearing the body of any biotoxins, toxic-by products, and metabolites. Once the health of the liver becomes compromised, it is no longer able to properly cleanse the body. Toxins then begin to build up in your system.

This can put further stress on your body and even cause your adrenal glands to become further overworked as a result. With this new demand for stress hormones, the adrenals are no longer able to keep up. This puts the body in a state of hormonal imbalance, which can trigger Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS).

Unfortunately, problems affecting your body’s detoxification response are further complicated when adrenal fatigue also disrupts your urinary bladder function and compromises your bladder health significantly.

The bladder is involved in expelling many of the toxins in the body in the form of urine. For example, a study published in the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology in 2011 found concentrations of bioaccumulated toxic elements in its tested urine samples. Another study conducted by the University of Alberta and the ALS Laboratory Group also found concentrations of the chemical contaminant bisphenol A (BPA) in urine.

 How to Protect Your Bladder Health from Chronic Stress

These toxins are why it is so important to take care of your detoxification response, so they do not collect to dangerous levels in your bladder.

Adrenal Fatigue and Your Bladder Health
Once your body is in a state of adrenal fatigue, your bladder health can become affected. This is because adrenal exhaustion can severely affect your adrenals’ ability to produce optimal levels of aldosterone.

Aldosterone is a steroid hormone that functions to regulate your body’s levels of sodium, potassium, and hormones made in the brain. As such, it also plays a critical role in the conservation of sodium in your body, since water follows aldosterone. In fact, the higher your aldosterone levels, the higher your sodium levels and water load.

In the case of adrenal fatigue, your adrenal glands are often no longer capable of retaining aldosterone at optimal levels. As a result, your body will also be less capable of retaining sodium and water. This can lead to a drop in your blood pressure. It can also result, in severe cases, in a significant loss of sodium in the body as well as dehydration. You may also experience lethargy and extreme fatigue, to the point that your body may go into shock.

At the same time, it is also worth noting that in times of stress, the release of stress hormones can affect your body’s urination. In the short-term, the release of the stress hormone epinephrine can lead to an increase in your urine flow. During the early stages of adrenal fatigue, such increased levels can also cause lower levels of anti-diuretic hormones in the body, further increasing urine flow. As your body enters more advanced stages of adrenal fatigue, the adrenal glands can become weakened to the point that they are no longer able to produce enough aldosterone. This will also trigger an increase in the body’s urination and result in dehydration if one’s fluids are not replaced frequently.

Meanwhile, it is also worth noting that some people who suffer from adrenal fatigue may also experience a condition known as interstitial cystitis (IC), or bladder pain syndrome. Symptoms of the condition include frequent urination and urinary urgency.

How to Promote Good Bladder Health to Support Your Detox Circuit
As you may have realized, there is a critical link between stress and your body’s ability to detox itself of toxins that have built up in your system. However, when you are already dealing with adrenal fatigue, your body’s ability to detoxify may already be compromised. Therefore, you need to take proactive steps to promote better bladder health so that your detox system can start to function better.

You may also want to keep in mind though, that some remedies to improve bladder health may leave you weak or cause some unwanted side effects. This is why it is advisable to go over all your options with your physician or functional medicine doctor before you start any new plan of care.

That said, here are some possible ways to improve your bladder health so that your body is able to detoxify itself of unwanted toxins better, especially when you are under continual stress:

Go on a liver flush.
When your liver is already quite congested, it can take a toll on your ability to control your emotions. This is why severe mood swings are a common manifestation of adrenal fatigue. Working to cleanse your liver is a good way to promote better hormone regulation in your body, thereby relieving adrenal fatigue.

What’s great about the liver flush is that it can be done right at home. You can choose to undergo the cleanse overnight or over a weekend. A proper cleanse can be done using just a few ingredients such as olive oil, three pieces of grapefruit, organic apple juice, and Epsom salt. Other liver cleanse systems suggest using apple cider vinegar, distilled water, Epsom salts, and olive oil.

However, there are dangers to doing a liver cleanse, and many in advanced stages of AFS are unable to tolerate liver cleanses. This is especially important to discuss with your physician so you can develop appropriate liver flush instructions for your condition. It may also take around six to eight flushes to be able to fully cleanse your gallbladder and liver. You may expect some improvement in your health after undergoing three to four flushes.

Drink lots of fluids.
Drinking lots of fluids, particularly water, can go a long way towards flushing out any bacteria or toxins in your urinary tract. This helps lower your risk of developing bladder infections.

Likewise, staying properly hydrated is critical if you are dealing with adrenal fatigue. This is because, during the advanced stages of adrenal fatigue, you may find yourself easily dehydrated. Drinking more water can help you avoid this.

Have some cranberries.
Cranberries have been known to protect your bladder from infection. According to Cleveland Clinic urologist Courtenay Moore, this is because cranberries contain an active ingredient known as A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs). PACs are highly capable of preventing any bacteria, particularly E. coli, from adhering to the bladder wall.

Today, there are various brands of cranberry juice and cranberry health supplements available on the market. However, most of them do not contain enough PACs to help improve bladder health. Hence, it may be best to simply consume fresh cranberries.

Be more mindful of what you eat.
Especially when you are already suffering from adrenal fatigue, your bladder becomes susceptible to a host of problems. When the body is under severe and continuous stress, there is an increase in the release of various stress hormones in the adrenal glands. These, in turn, can affect your urine flow and even trigger symptoms such as frequent urination. When nothing is done to address adrenal fatigue, it is also possible for you to develop bladder pain syndrome, which can result in significant discomfort.

To best avoid experiencing these, it helps to be more conscious about the type of foods that you put into your body. For instance, avoid foods that can worsen any of your bladder problems. These include spicy foods, carbonated beverages, artificial sweeteners, sugar, citrus fruits, citrus juices, milk, milk products, and alcohol.

Instead, consume more grains, legumes, vegetables, and non-citrus fruits. The idea is to eat more foods that are rich in fiber. This can help alleviate any bladder problems you might have.

Do some kegel exercises.
Engaging in some kegel exercises regularly can go a long way toward helping you have better control of your bladder. Keep in mind that having weak control of bladder muscles can lead to urine leakage. Hence, strengthening them can help you deal with any bladder control issues you are suffering from.

To learn to properly do kegel exercises, it may best to see your physician. This way, you can be instructed properly, and you can be sure that you are doing your kegel exercises the right way.

Any of these remedies could begin to help relieve your detoxification system and improve the overall health of your bladder. At the same time, it is also a good idea to try to avoid stress in your life as much as possible. This way, your adrenals don’t get overworked further and you don’t have to suffer from further hormonal imbalances. Taking care of your bladder health is a great way to start to recover from adrenal fatigue and improve your quality of life.