Ask Megan Sheppard: 'I find myself getting up to go to the loo two or three times a night'

Ask Megan Sheppard: 'I find myself getting up to go to the loo two or three times a night'

I find myself getting up to go to the loo two or three times a night.

Investigations have shown my bladder muscle is working fine but that the nerves are on high alert after my bladder has emptied and it may make me feel like I need to go to the bathroom.

I’ve had numerous UTIs and suffer from cystitis and thrush also. I’m currently trying to cut down on sugar and have completely stopped drinking coffee and greatly reduced my tea intake.

I drink peppermint and liquorice tea, about two or three cups a day. Have you any advice?

Cutting back on sugar or, even better, eliminating processed and refined sugars completely from your diet will make a significant difference. 

This will not only help with your overactive bladder issues, but will also go a long way to preventing a repeat bout of cystitis or thrush.

Processed foods boost bacterial growth, particularly if they are high in sugar. 

A diet that is high in both processed fats and sugars will often be an underlying cause of candida imbalance, so your dietary changes will certainly be helping to rebalance your internal flora.

Bladder troubles and urinary tract infections are far more common in women due to the fact that the urethra is significantly shorter in females than in males. 

It sounds as if you have overactive bladder symptoms of urgency and frequency, which can occur for a number of different reasons.

Nerve related illnesses are a common cause of overactive bladder, but a history of repeat bladder infections can also lead to involuntary bladder contractions and a sense of urinary urgency. 

Bladder stones or growths can also contribute, along with incomplete bladder emptying (which can also be due to pelvic organ prolapse or constipation).

Removing caffeinated beverages and switching to herbal alternatives will help give your bladder some rest. 

You might like to make your own blend using bladder and kidney supportive herbals such as juniper berries, uva ursi leaf, and marshmallow root.

One of my favourite remedies for bladder health is D-mannose. 

It works by binding to the bacteria responsible for bladder and urinary tract infections, so that it can be flushed out when you urinate, but is also a useful supplement for restoring urinary tract health and bladder function in general.

Ask Megan Sheppard: 'I find myself getting up to go to the loo two or three times a night'

My 10-year-old son has developed hay fever for the first time this summer. He has all the classic symptoms: itchy red swollen eyes, tiredness, blocked nose, sore sinuses.

We’ve tried antihistamines and nasal sprays, Vaseline in the nose, diffusers in the bedroom.

Nothing gives any significant relief. He accidentally got stung with nettles last night and for the first time in weeks, his face swelling disappeared and his nose was much clearer. 

It was back to normal this morning though. Do you think there’s anything in the old wives’ tale about nettles and hay fever?

I do indeed think that there is value in using nettle to treat hay fever, along with urticaria/hives, and a number of other allergic conditions. 

Nettle is most beneficial for allergic conditions when you take it as an internal remedy.

You can easily make your own using fresh nettle leaves. Simply add around 30g of fresh finely chopped nettle leaf to 100ml of 35-40% alcohol vodka and infuse it in a clean jar or bottle for two weeks in a cool dark cupboard. 

Strain the tincture through muslin cloth into a bottle and give your son one teaspoon daily diluted in water or fruit juice.

Ask Megan Sheppard: 'I find myself getting up to go to the loo two or three times a night'

For a syrup, you will need to first make a strong infusion by infusing 30g of fresh nettle leaf in two cups (500ml) of boiling water. 

Steep for 15 minutes and then strain the liquid into a double boiler (or bowl over a pot of water) containing 500g of honey then heat for around an hour until the mixture is of syrup consistency. Bottle, and store in the fridge.

Local, raw, and unprocessed honey is also thought to be a factor in helping to treat hay fever where pollens are indicated. 

Your son will need to take one teaspoon of the nettle syrup twice daily.

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