The Pelvic Floor and Digestive Health
There's a myriad of reasons you might be experiencing bloating. It could be the aftermath of indulging in pizza with your kids or savoring a beer during a game. Sometimes, it's tied to longstanding medical issues like celiac disease, general gluten intolerance, or IBS. But there's one underlying cause often overlooked: poor pelvic floor health.
Recent narratives, including a story by the New York Times, highlight a connection between significant constipation, a common symptom of pelvic floor dysfunction, and bloating. This relationship is complex, often involving various factors like digestive tract health, bacterial overgrowth, and even stress levels.
According to the story, “Infrequent stool, straining or feeling like you haven’t ever quite “fully emptied can also contribute to bloating. These symptoms may result from improper coordination of the pelvic floor, which can be improved with specialized physical therapy.”
In some ways, it’s a chicken or the egg situation. Are you constipated because you have a weak pelvic floor? Or does constipation lead to poor pelvic floor health? Beth Israel Medical Center argues the latter. According to its study on constipation, “pelvic floor muscle strength is important for both bowel and bladder control. Chronic straining from constipation can lead to weakening of the pelvic floor muscles, excessive stress on pelvic organs and nerves, as well as bladder dysfunction and recurring accidental bowel leakage.”
What’s more, the Mayo Clinic states that as many as 50 percent of people with chronic constipation have pelvic floor dysfunction, meaning impaired coordination of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles during evacuation. It reports that “straining, hard or thin stools, and a feeling of incomplete elimination are common signs....but because constipation can overlap with PFD, some patients may also present with other signs and symptoms, such as long time between bowel movements and abdominal pain.”
The story sheds light on symptoms like infrequent stool and the sensation of incomplete evacuation contributing to bloating. Such issues might stem from inadequate coordination of the pelvic floor muscles, which, interestingly, can be improved through specialized physical therapy. This revelation underscores the importance of a thorough physical examination for anyone experiencing a range of symptoms, from common symptoms like abdominal girth changes, pelvic pain, to more severe ones like weight loss or acid reflux.
The Pelvic Floor and Digestive Health
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Bloating:
- Recent Insights: A New York Times story highlights the link between chronic constipation and pelvic floor dysfunction, suggesting that poor coordination of pelvic floor muscles can contribute to bloating.
- Symptoms and Signs: Infrequent stool, straining, and a feeling of incomplete evacuation are common symptoms pointing to potential pelvic floor issues.
The Impact of Chronic Straining
Beth Israel Medical Center's research adds depth to this understanding, suggesting that chronic straining due to constipation can weaken the pelvic floor muscles. This weakening leads to excessive stress on pelvic organs and nerves, potentially causing bladder dysfunction and recurring accidental bowel leakage. Furthermore, the Mayo Clinic reports that up to 50 percent of individuals with chronic constipation exhibit signs of pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD), marked by impaired coordination of pelvic floor and abdominal muscles during bowel movements.
Weakening of Pelvic Floor Muscles
- Research Findings: Studies indicate that consistent straining due to conditions like chronic constipation can lead to weakened pelvic floor muscles.
- Complications: This weakening can cause excessive stress on pelvic organs, leading to bladder dysfunction and accidental bowel leakage.
The Role of Bacterial Overgrowth in Digestive Health
While discussing the pelvic floor's influence on bloating and constipation, it's important to consider the role of bacterial overgrowth in the digestive tract. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition where excessive bacteria in the small intestine lead to symptoms like bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. This condition can exacerbate symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction.
- Interconnected Impact: SIBO can increase abdominal pressure, which in turn puts additional strain on an already weakened pelvic floor. This cycle of dysfunction and increased symptoms can create a challenging environment for both bowel and bladder control.
- Addressing SIBO: Managing bacterial overgrowth is crucial in alleviating pelvic floor stress. This includes dietary changes, possibly antibiotics or probiotics, and integrating pelvic floor strengthening exercises like those offered by INNOVO.
- Comprehensive Approach: To effectively manage pelvic floor health, it's essential to consider and address conditions like SIBO. A holistic approach that includes dietary management, medical intervention, and pelvic floor rehabilitation can offer significant relief and improvement in overall pelvic and digestive health.
Pelvic Floor Retraining: A Solution
To address these challenges, intensive pelvic floor retraining is often recommended. This approach is vital for those with idiopathic or functional constipation, as it targets the root cause: pelvic floor muscle strength. This strength is crucial not just for bowel and bladder control but also for overall pelvic health, including reducing the risk of pelvic organ prolapse and alleviating pelvic pain and other common symptoms like abdominal pain.
Addressing Constipation and Pelvic Health:
- Mayo Clinic's Approach: Intensive pelvic floor retraining is recommended for individuals showing signs of pelvic floor dysfunction.
- Benefits: This training is crucial for improving bowel and bladder control and reducing risks associated with pelvic organ prolapse and pelvic pain.
INNOVO: A Revolutionary Approach
Strengthening from the Core:
- Multipath™ Technology: INNOVO utilizes unique technology to rebuild pelvic floor muscles effectively within 12 weeks.
- Comprehensive Benefits: Regular use of INNOVO can lead to significant improvements in various pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms, including those related to bowel disorders.
A Holistic Perspective
INNOVO steps in here as a groundbreaking solution. As the first FDA-cleared, non-invasive technology, INNOVO strengthens the pelvic floor from the core. Our proprietary Multipath™ technology rebuilds the muscles responsible for robust pelvic floor health in just 12 weeks. With consistent use, INNOVO users can experience a marked improvement in pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms, including those related to bowel disorders.
By fortifying pelvic floor muscles and addressing pelvic floor dysfunction, INNOVO not only lessens the likelihood of constipation and bloating but also contributes positively to the gut-brain interaction. This holistic approach offers a promising pathway to managing a spectrum of symptoms associated with PFD, including abdominal pain and chronic constipation.
Understanding and addressing pelvic floor health is more than just a measure for urinary incontinence; it's a critical component in managing a range of health issues, from digestive tract disorders to stress-induced conditions. With technologies like INNOVO and informed physical therapy interventions, there's newfound hope for those seeking relief from these interconnected health challenges.