That little front belly. The stomach pooch. It can be annoying and make you question your self-confidence. Generally, belly pooch results from excess abdominal fat or from bloating in the intestines and results in nothing more than some stomach discomfort or a couple stomach rolls (which, as “bad” as you may think they look, are harmless). However, belly pooch may be a sign of a weak pelvic floor as well. As the abdomen is located just above the pelvic floor muscles, it should come as no surprise that belly pooch and urinary incontinence may have a connection. Here’s how:
Excess fat can build up near the abdominal muscles. Naturally, that excess fat puts a lot of pressure on the organs below it; in fact, abdominal pressure powerfully correlates to body mass index (BMI). When the pelvic floor and bladder muscles are pressed upon like that, they cannot properly coordinate certain functions because the nerve signals have a difficult time communicating at the proper time.
Once your pelvic floor starts to weaken, the bladder, uterus and visceral organs start to shift from their natural position. This could mean that your pelvic floor is not supporting as it should. Sit-ups and crunches may not be what you should be doing during your workouts. Why? Your weakened pelvic floor could be too weak to support all of the movement you’re doing.
Diabetes may also play a role. When there is a high amount glucose (sugar) in your blood, your body attempts to get rid of it the only way it knows how: urination, and a lot of it. Adult-onset diabetes (type 2) is often caused by obesity, so it can make your urinary incontinence worse.
The good news is that the belly pooch can be managed with relative ease. Simply increasing your level of physical activity (particularly cardio exercises) can work wonders if you’ve gained a little weight, whereas bloating is usually temporary or the result of an easily-treatable condition such as constipation. Sadly, this may not solve the problem entirely; urinary incontinence can be caused by numerous different factors, most of which are not as easily treated. Thankfully we have the Yarlap® to add to your 30 minute daily walks. So, if you’re still leaking urine after suffering through some cardio sessions (or, like us, you would rather watch paint dry than exercise), pop in a Yarlap® instead. Viola!