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Cascades

There are four pillars on which wellbeing is built. In the 15 months since my accident, I've really come to understand this intimately. I’ve experienced these four pillars not working, juxtaposed with them working beautifully. I've had to rebuild each one of the pillars up from ground zero and painstakingly get them back to supporting my body’s function, optimally. So if yours aren’t functioning, don’t despair, I can testify to the assurance that there are ways to get them working again, but not if you avoid thinking about it or ignore the fact that you have a problem.


The four pillars include:

  • Sleep

  • Gut health, digestion and elimination of waste

  • Fluid balance and elimination of excess water

  • Breathing for life

There is no order of importance! As pillars, they are all equally crucial.


In the next few weeks, let’s unpack each one and what to do when it doesn’t function properly, because I know that you will never have the vitality and energy you deserve if even one of these is not working for you. As we progress through the second quarter of this year, getting these four pillars to function at their best needs to be your priority! Whatever your other health goals, I’m hoping that I can persuade you to bring this to the front of the queue for attention. I say this from experience. You can't get fit if you aren’t sleeping, digesting and eliminating, and breathing. You can't lose weight either. You can't focus if you aren’t sleeping, in great fluid balance or in a good state of gut health. You can't enjoy better sex and a healthier libido if you aren’t sleeping or don’t have great gut health. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. These 4 pillars are the place to start - every time a coconut!


Let’s start with fluid balance today.


When my accident happened, one of my injuries was a damaged bladder and as a result I got to test out life with a dysfunctional bladder. NOT FUN! Luckily for me, I work in the “rehabilitation-of-these-problems-industry” and was able to navigate my way slowly back to health. But what about you? Are you struggling and just sucking it up? Do you need to get your bladder issues investigated? Research shows that 16,5% of people suffer from an overactive bladder. Meaning that they have nocturia and go to the bathroom more than once a night and/or have frequency during the day which is often associated with urgency and maybe even some form of incontinence. Less common, but equally devastating is urinary retention. Acute retention is a medical emergency, but chronic urinary retention is also dangerous and needs intervention. Very common and very devastating is any type of incontinence, either stress, urgency or other. Many men and women suffer from leaking of urine when they do something strenuous or cough, and even total loss of control of their bladder if they can't get to the toilet in time, cough, sneeze or lift.


Often, people are too embarrassed to get help and so they just suffer alone, often limiting their lives and activities significantly to cope. Maybe they isolate themselves and withdraw from society to keep their “dreadful, shameful secret” from being discovered. This is an appalling tragedy. It affects old and young, men and women alike (it is more common in the elderly and in people with female anatomy or in males after prostatectomy, but it affects many people who don’t fall into one of these categories too).


When you can't drink liquids freely, because you can't trust your bladder to hold the urine that your kidneys make as part of keeping you in healthy fluid balance, you can't thrive. When you can't urinate and have to spend ages sitting on the toilet trying to relax and release the urine that is sitting in your full bladder, or you live in constant fear that you will leak urine, your wellbeing is massively impacted! When you have to wake up several times a night to urinate, you can't get quality sleep and you will suffer the effects of that as well as the effects of your bladder problem.


There are treatments that help and one of them is pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation. This DOESN’T mean doing Kegel exercises 24:7! It means getting a proper assessment done with a women’s health trained physiotherapist as well as a urologist or urogynaecologist and finding what the actual problem is so you can undergo directed treatment and get better. Even if you or someone you know has had a prostatectomy, there is help at hand. Incontinence does not have to be a permanent feature of your life. If you are getting up to urinate during the night, you need to get this checked out! It may be as simple as reducing your fluid intake after 5pm or it may require pelvic floor rehabilitation or lower back treatment. Most of these conditions will get steadily worse as you age, so now is the time to investigate them.


Having experienced getting up 5-6 times a night myself, I can testify that wellbeing is badly affected by nocturia. Having experienced thinking of not drinking as a strategy to manage frequency, I know that you can't respond appropriately to your body and brain’s fluid needs when you are trying not to drink! You need 2-2.5 Liters of fluid a day, not more and definitely not less to function well. Please, by the way don’t think that drinking gallons of water all day is good for you. It’s a sweet spot opportunity... enough, but not too much is the right amount.


Call us for help if you are struggling! If we can't help, we have a whole team of specialists to whom we can refer you.


Next week we will talk about breathing. Even if you think breathing isn’t a problem for you, open your newsletter and read it, because breath underpins health in every way - as we will explore next week. It’s super important!


I wish you energy and vitality!


Much love,


Sue

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