Bladder Dysfunction


It was Christmastime and Target was as busy as ever. I had gotten everything I on my list, wrapping paper, tape, some presents. It was getting late and I was tired. I used to love shopping, but now it just takes it out of me, especially when the stores are busy. My husband said he would go get the car as he usually does and I wrapped up inside, getting a few last things, browsing for a few more minutes. Finally I got in line to check out. Obviously it was longer than normal during this time of year, but that usually doesn’t bother me, being a former Target employee, I know they handle the lines fairly well. I started chatting with the girl at the register when it was my turn. The usual conversation, about the crowds, if your shopping is done, etc.

Then, it happened. I didn’t notice it at first, it can be sneaky like that. But then I felt it, the warmth and urgency that I have felt so many times before.

I panicked.

Bladder Dysfunction in MS

Bladder dysfunction is one of the most commonly reported symptoms from MS patients, with up to 80% being affected. If an individuals system is working properly, urine will collect slowly in the bladder and cause it to expand. When enough fluid has accumulated nerves in the bladder will send signals to the spinal cord which will send signals to the brain that the bladder needs to be emptied. When the person is in the bathroom, the brain sends signals to the spinal cord which triggers the bladder and sphincter to open.

Dysfunction occurs when lesions are present and inhibit nerve signals from reaching their intended destination. With so many signals being sent in between the brain and the spinal cord multiple times, it’s no wonder bladder dysfunction is such a common problem! The specific dysfunction can happen for two reasons, the bladders spastic or the bladder isn’t emptying all the way because the sphincter is spastic.

Because of either cause, there can be many symptoms present including:

  • Urgency– The need to urinate may come on (very) quickly and suddenly
  • Hesitancy– The urge to urinate is present, but starting to urinate can take a long time or it’s difficult to keep it flowing.
  • Frequency– The urge to urinate happens much more often than usual, often times at night which can cause sleep disturbances (otherwise known as nocturia).
  • Incontinence– Either having a sudden urge to urinate and the flow starting immediately, or being unaware that there is leaking happening.

If bladder dysfunction continues without treatment, it can lead to severe symptoms and can lead to permanent damage to the urinary tract. This occurs when urine is left in the bladder and can lead to urinary tract infections, bladder infections, kidney infections or stones.  Also. these issues can also lead to emotional distress and avoidance of social situations or isolation.

Thankfully, there are many ways to treat bladder dysfunction with either lifestyle modifications, medications or procedures. Lifestyle modifications include both dietary and behavioral changes. Dietary changes include liming caffeine and alcohol (as these can be irritating to the bladder) as well as limiting fluids several hours before bed time if you struggle with waking up in the middle of the night.

Behavioral interventions include timing fluid intake as well as urinating on a regular schedule to help train the bladder. Other interventions include:

  • Pelvic floor physical therapy is also a great option. This targets muscles that are attached to the pelvic bone and sacrum that control bladder and bowel function. This method utilizes biofeedback, neuromuscular stimulation and home exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles which improves muscle control.
  • Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation is another alternative option. This is where a very small electrode is inserted into the ankle which transmits a signal to the sacral plexus. This treatment does for 30 minutes per week for 12 weeks has been shown to reduce urinary frequency, nighttime urination and incontinence.
  • Intermittent self-catheterization is sometimes recommended for individuals who have difficulty fully emptying the bladder. With this treatment, a small tube (catheter) is inserted into the urethra to empty the bladder, then removed.

There are many medications available to help control spasticity and to promote the flow of urine. Some include baclofen, oxybutynin and terazosin. If symptoms persist after these interventions are tried, there are surgical options available as well.

Dealing with bladder issues during day to day life can be tiring and isolating, but there are ways to plan ahead.

  • Plan frequent stops. I am unapologetic about having to stop every half an hour to go to the bathroom and you shouldn’t be either.
  • Use protection. Some days are worse than others and I can usually tell what kind of day it will be early in the morning. On the ‘bad’ days, I add a layer (or two) or protection to my undies. It has come in handy more than I’d like to admit. And, I always carry a few pads with me just in case I need to add some in the middle of the day.
  • Have a change of clothes handy. For the worst case scenario, have an extra pair of everything on hand. I’ve been stuck without this, and it’s not fun. Worried about what others might say? Just say you’re a klutz and spilled water/tea/kombucha on your pants and you have to change pronto!
  • Have support. This is one of the most embarrassing, demoralizing, isolating symptoms we can deal with. Having someone to talk to about it changes everything.
  • Stay hydrated! I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but my bladder symptoms really act up when I am dehydrated. Plus, being dehydrated can bring on a whole bunch of other symptoms and issues, not good!

I always tell my husband, if I could make one symptom magically disappear, this would be it. But I’ve found that through lifestyle changes and paying attention to my body,  I am more able to manage my bladder dysfunction. I know that around my cycle, when I am dehydrated and when I drink coffee, my bladder symptoms act up. So being extra prepared on some days, really helps me both mentally and practically.

Bladder dysfunction is no joke, and can cause a boat load of other issues if left untreated. But thankfully there are many ways we can manage the symptoms and not let it run and ruin our lives.

My panic quickly grew to terror. ‘This has never happened in public before, what do I do?’ I thought to myself. I didn’t feel like I could run away from all of my things to the bathroom, I felt trapped. I rushed through the transaction as fast as I could in a socially acceptable way, and then ran to the bathroom. The damage was done and I began to cry. I gave myself a few more moments of pity before running from the bathroom to my awaiting husband and car. He could tell by my speed and tears that something had happened. Immediately he began asking what was wrong, “Just drive” was all I could muster. Eventually I was able to calm down to gesture toward my pants and said

“yeah, that just happened”.

I’M ALISSA!

I help women who have also been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis make specific and personalized diet, lifestyle & subconscious changes so that they can begin to heal their body, reduce disease symptoms, and return to a life they love.hey there,

follow along on Instagram:

In case you needed to hear that today.

You’re not a failure.
You didn’t “fail” at healing.
Having MS is hard- do what’s best for you.

In case you needed to hear that today.

You’re not a failure.
You didn’t “fail” at healing.
Having MS is hard- do what’s best for you.
...

58 9
This is my challenge to you over the next week.

Take some time and think about this past year.

All you’re proud of, all you’ve accomplished. And if you have some things that don’t bring you joy, be proud of yourself for making it through in one piece and still being here.

Reflection is a great way to cultivate motivation to keep going..

You’re doing amazing.
You’ve done amazing.
Let’s keep going.
🧡❤️🧡

This is my challenge to you over the next week.

Take some time and think about this past year.

All you’re proud of, all you’ve accomplished. And if you have some things that don’t bring you joy, be proud of yourself for making it through in one piece and still being here.

Reflection is a great way to cultivate motivation to keep going..

You’re doing amazing.
You’ve done amazing.
Let’s keep going.
🧡❤️🧡
...

21 4
Comparison is the thief of joy.

Regardless of what you see others doing,
you’re right where you should be.

❤️🧡❤️

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Regardless of what you see others doing,
you’re right where you should be.

❤️🧡❤️
...

24 10
This took me completely by surprise, cause I usually roast myself after a simple mistake 🙈

But, I just didn’t? 🤷🏻‍♀️

Working on self improvement is weird.
Like I’m not even consciously working on how I talk to myself at the moment. 

Have I in the past? Sure. And it’s something I try to stay conscious of, but def have my moments where I fall into old patterns.

But this moment gave me hope.

What moments in your journey have given you hope lately?

This took me completely by surprise, cause I usually roast myself after a simple mistake 🙈

But, I just didn’t? 🤷🏻‍♀️

Working on self improvement is weird.
Like I’m not even consciously working on how I talk to myself at the moment.

Have I in the past? Sure. And it’s something I try to stay conscious of, but def have my moments where I fall into old patterns.

But this moment gave me hope.

What moments in your journey have given you hope lately?
...

55 2
Thank you for supporting my business this past year. 

Because in reality, you’re supporting me.

So thank you.
Scott thanks you too!

Thank you for supporting my business this past year.

Because in reality, you’re supporting me.

So thank you.
Scott thanks you too!
...

38 7
👉🏼Feeling stuck with your MS symptoms?
👉🏼Feeling like your body betrayed you and is working against you?
👉🏼Are you worried you’re stuck like this and will never get better?

I get it. At one point I did too.

Years ago I was experiencing “Aggressive MS” and I thought I’d never function the same.

I thought my days of moving how I wanted, or doing anything on a whim were over.

I couldn’t walk well, couldn’t feel my body correctly and I was SCARED.

But now?
I’m confident in the ways I’m helping myself.
I no longer have aggressive MS.
I can move how I want, when I want.

Because of the changes I’ve made over the years.

No, it’s not easy, but that’s where I come in!!

I’ve dedicated my life to helping those with MS realize that feeling better is possible and helping them get there.

My 2 courses and my membership are on sale this weekend for Black Friday,

want to start your own success story??

Comment SUCCESS below and I’ll send you the link!!

👉🏼Feeling stuck with your MS symptoms?
👉🏼Feeling like your body betrayed you and is working against you?
👉🏼Are you worried you’re stuck like this and will never get better?

I get it. At one point I did too.

Years ago I was experiencing “Aggressive MS” and I thought I’d never function the same.

I thought my days of moving how I wanted, or doing anything on a whim were over.

I couldn’t walk well, couldn’t feel my body correctly and I was SCARED.

But now?
I’m confident in the ways I’m helping myself.
I no longer have aggressive MS.
I can move how I want, when I want.

Because of the changes I’ve made over the years.

No, it’s not easy, but that’s where I come in!!

I’ve dedicated my life to helping those with MS realize that feeling better is possible and helping them get there.

My 2 courses and my membership are on sale this weekend for Black Friday,

want to start your own success story??

Comment SUCCESS below and I’ll send you the link!!
...

16 0
Grab your path to healing!!

These are the lowest prices for my courses like ever, and they won’t be back. (And they’ll prob be going up in the new year- planning some updates!!)

Comment HEALING below and I’ll send you a link, or check out my stories!!

Grab your path to healing!!

These are the lowest prices for my courses like ever, and they won’t be back. (And they’ll prob be going up in the new year- planning some updates!!)

Comment HEALING below and I’ll send you a link, or check out my stories!!
...

3 2
The first step to being successful with managing stress (& being successful with anything really) is:

Awareness of where you currently are.

You can’t change or manage what you’re not aware of.

You can only know yourself as deep as you’re awareness of yourself goes.

Try this:
Right now as you read this, pause for a sec.
Take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

Where were my thoughts?
Where is my breathing?
What am I saying to myself?

Get really honest here too (warning- it might be uncomfy)

What did you discover while checking in? Let me know in the comments!

-
-
If we haven’t met yet, Hi! 👋🏼👋🏼 I’m Alissa. I’m a Holistic Practitioner & Therapist specializing in MS. 
I use all the tools I’ve comprised over my 10+ year career (and 14+ years with MS) to help my clients with MS decrease their symptoms, improve their overall health and get back to living life on their terms, not MS’ terms.
Interested to hear how that might look for you? Comment 🧡 below or DM me and we’ll chat!

The first step to being successful with managing stress (& being successful with anything really) is:

Awareness of where you currently are.

You can’t change or manage what you’re not aware of.

You can only know yourself as deep as you’re awareness of yourself goes.

Try this:
Right now as you read this, pause for a sec.
Take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

Where were my thoughts?
Where is my breathing?
What am I saying to myself?

Get really honest here too (warning- it might be uncomfy)

What did you discover while checking in? Let me know in the comments!

-
-
If we haven’t met yet, Hi! 👋🏼👋🏼 I’m Alissa. I’m a Holistic Practitioner & Therapist specializing in MS.
I use all the tools I’ve comprised over my 10+ year career (and 14+ years with MS) to help my clients with MS decrease their symptoms, improve their overall health and get back to living life on their terms, not MS’ terms.
Interested to hear how that might look for you? Comment 🧡 below or DM me and we’ll chat!
...

14 1
Progress is absolutely not linear.

But, it’s still progress nonetheless.

I see you if you’re in a “dip” or feel like you’re going “backwards”

You’re really not, you’re right where you should be.

Keep going!!
🧡❤️🧡

Progress is absolutely not linear.

But, it’s still progress nonetheless.

I see you if you’re in a “dip” or feel like you’re going “backwards”

You’re really not, you’re right where you should be.

Keep going!!
🧡❤️🧡
...

22 1
Lol, all this got me was an MS diagnosis. 

This was me basically my whole life up until a few years ago.

My clients have all talked about situations like this too.

It’s no wonder why a lot of us have an autoimmune disease now. 

Please, speak your truth. Your body will thank you.

If we haven’t met yet, Hi! 👋🏼👋🏼 I’m Alissa.
I’m a Holistic Practitioner & Therapist specializing in MS.

I use all the tools I’ve comprised over my 10+ year career (and 14+ years with MS) to help my clients with MS decrease their symptoms, improve their overall health and get back to living life on their terms, not MS’ terms.

Interested to hear how that might look for you? Comment 🧡 below or DM me and we’ll chat!

Lol, all this got me was an MS diagnosis.

This was me basically my whole life up until a few years ago.

My clients have all talked about situations like this too.

It’s no wonder why a lot of us have an autoimmune disease now.

Please, speak your truth. Your body will thank you.

If we haven’t met yet, Hi! 👋🏼👋🏼 I’m Alissa.
I’m a Holistic Practitioner & Therapist specializing in MS.

I use all the tools I’ve comprised over my 10+ year career (and 14+ years with MS) to help my clients with MS decrease their symptoms, improve their overall health and get back to living life on their terms, not MS’ terms.

Interested to hear how that might look for you? Comment 🧡 below or DM me and we’ll chat!
...

90 4
This has been a TOUGH week friends.

Don’t lose yourself.

What else would you add to this list?
What helps you when life is super hard?

❤️❤️

This has been a TOUGH week friends.

Don’t lose yourself.

What else would you add to this list?
What helps you when life is super hard?

❤️❤️
...

20 2
I’ve been actively working on my nervous system for the past year or two.

That hasn’t meant that all my anxiety or depression magically vanished.

It just means that when I do find myself feeling like an anxious mess or a depressed puddle, I know how to attend to and care for myself.

Not in the goal of “fixing” per se, more honoring and accepting.

This is one of the ways I help my clients improve their MS symptoms, but attending to their nervous systems and improving their stress response and resilience.

I have so many ways to work with me.. from 1:1 support to my free community.. comment below “interested” and we’ll chat about what would be right for you!

I’ve been actively working on my nervous system for the past year or two.

That hasn’t meant that all my anxiety or depression magically vanished.

It just means that when I do find myself feeling like an anxious mess or a depressed puddle, I know how to attend to and care for myself.

Not in the goal of “fixing” per se, more honoring and accepting.

This is one of the ways I help my clients improve their MS symptoms, but attending to their nervous systems and improving their stress response and resilience.

I have so many ways to work with me.. from 1:1 support to my free community.. comment below “interested” and we’ll chat about what would be right for you!
...

18 2

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