Can Vitamin D help your urinary incontinence?

Not that any one of MY readers has issues with uncontrolled urine leakage, or god forbid fecal incontinence. I’ve only “heard” of such things.  Funny though, because 1 in 4 women suffer from some kind of pelvic floor dysfunction like overactive bladder (the “key in the door” loss of bladder control), stress incontinence (cough, laugh, jump, sneeze urine loss) and fecal incontinence (unintentional loss of stool — versus the intentional loss of stool which is still not sexy).  So the numbers are kind of high. Yet not a lot of women admit to it.

For those that are interested, a pretty cool study came out that suggests that vitamin D deficiency can lead to pelvic floor issues like bladder and rectal leakage.  The study showed that in older women, the risk of urinary incontinence was 45% lower among women with normal vitamin D levels compared to those with low vitamin D levels.   “Higher vitamin D levels were associated with a decreased risk of any pelvic floor disorder in all women,” says researcher Samuel Badalian, MD, PhD, of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y.  The results suggest that treatment of vitamin D deficiency in women could improve rates and severity of all-type incontinence.  So what is there to lose? NADA (that’s “nothing” in Spanish, because, we here at redefining health are VERY international). 

I recommend getting your vitamin D levels checked to see how much daily vitamin D you need.  

Aim for a serum level in the optimal range, say 50 to 70.  So if you are starting out at a level of 35 or less, start taking between 5 and 10,000 IU of Vitamin D3 with Vitamin K2 (1mg daily) and then recheck levels in 3 months.   Give it a whirl. If you are spared even 1 pair of underwear from being washed prematurely…’ve done yourself a solid.

Does Magnesium Treat Depression?

Well, obviously, that wouldn’t be the title of my tip were it no so….But here’s the scoop. 

A study was performed on 126 adults diagnosed with mild to moderate symptoms of depression according to the PHQ-9 questionnaire used to help score depression severity.  The intervention was 6 weeks of treatment with 250 mg of elemental magnesium a day compared to the group receiving no magnesium treatment.  

The study results found that:

  • The magnesium group showed statistically significant improvements in the PHQ-9 scores as well as their generalized anxiety disorder scores.
  • Benefits occurred within 2 weeks of the intervention
  • 83% of participants consistently took the pills
  • 61% of participants reported they would take the magnesium in the future.  
  • These beneficial effects were observed regardless of age, gender, baseline severity of depression or use of anti-depressant treatments. 

What’s the take home message?

  • Given how low risk and how likely effective magnesium is as a helpful additional tool for depression and anxiety, taking 200 to 400mg daily of a bioavailable magnesium would be a nice thing to add to your regimen.  
  • I always recommend taking magnesium at bedtime as it can help with relaxation and sleep. 
  • Don’t change any current medications used to treat depression or anxiety without discussing it with your doctor.  
  • Check out my previous posts on magnesium for more info.

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