Many times when I present seminars for healthcare professionals they are impressed with the holistic approach and programme I have developed. However, they always tell me to take the focus away from the diet and just focus on the pelvic floor. This is impossible because the proximity of the intestines and colon to the pelvic floor. Digestive health and transit (elimination) times directly “load” the connective tissue and fascia that holds the floor up. If it’s in your gut its on your pelvic floor.
The body is fed by nutrients and obviously we acquire these from our diet. If the diet is good and transit times are optimal (30 – 1hr after each meal) then the colon, which can weigh up to 2-4lbs – is a natural load the pelvic floor is not overly stressed by, since a healthy transit means it moves through quite quickly. However, most peoples diets today are pretty poor and thus there transit time maybe 1-4 days, thus the increased weight of the colon can be as much as 6-8lbs! This is over ½ stone. And this weight is sitting directly on top of the pelvic floor since the bowel is one of the organs that lives there. This extra load, places undue stress on the fascia that is not meant to be so ‘elastic’ it sags, rather than holds up.
The following vitamins and minerals play a vital role in the health of the fascia and connective tissue that support the vagina, pelvic floor muscles and reproductive organs as well as the pelvis that ‘houses’ them:
Is your bladders must have vitamin. This fat-soluble vitamin improves immune function, which may help lower risk of bladder infections (cancer) and interstitial cystitis. It also aids in the healing process: repairs bladder damage, supports bladder health, decreases bladder inflammation as well as alleviates urine leaks whilst assisting in strengthening pelvic floor muscles.
Vitamin B 12
Another bladder friend is a water-soluble vitamin that is believed to improve central nervous system function (function that controls muscle activation). It helps relieve bladder pressure and may help alleviate mild bladder leaks (LBL Light Bladder Leaks as it is termed in the USA).
Helps build collagen; helping to retain the elasticity of the urinary tract to prevent stress incontinence which is useful for preventing vaginal dryness (something that happens more through the menopause). May also help relieve bladder inflammation and pressure.
Higher levels of Vitamin D are associated with a decreased risk of pelvic floor disorders in women. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20308841 (Conclusion from Abstract paper on the relationship between Vitamin D deficiency and pelvic floor disorders, one of many articles linking pelvic floor weakness and this vitamin).
Hydrates the vaginal membranes and is also effective in the treatment of vaginal thinning (again more noticeable in menopause).
Plays a major role in the efficiency of muscle and blood vessel contractions. The ability to contract the muscles of the anal and urethra sphincters are paramount to maintaining continence and adequate contraction of pelvic floor muscles counteract intra-abdominal pressure, which is key to maintaining organ support. Calcium is also needed for the strength and integrity of the pelvic bones.
Provides immune support, which is crucial for the health of the cervix and bowel (two areas affected by cancer). It is also thought to help revive vaginal tissue (menopause, pregnancy, stress can cause deficiencies).
Allievates PMS and menstrual cramping and plays an important role in fertility; allieviating premature contractions, preeclampsia, as well as eclampsia during pregnancy. It plays a role in alleviating morning sickness, pregnancy-induced hypertension. It is given to mothers to help decrease the risk of cerebral palsy and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Combined with Vitamin D it helps in the absorption of calcium intake, improving bone density. http://bodyunburdened.com/magnesium-deficiency-and-health-benefits/
If you are unsure what foods your should be eating to optimise your pelvic floor health please send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to send out a PDF for you.
Stay healthy, stay blessed.