Getting Started With Carin

As fifty creeps ever closer my body continues to change in ways I never expected, both emotionally and physically. My back rebels when I spend too much time in the garden. My patience is thin, but my belly is not. Sentimental commercials bring me to tears, while a dirty glass left near the sink brings on a 30-minute tirade to anyone within earshot. It’s not fun. As a woman in the throes of perimenopause with two children and several pounds to lose, I also experience stress incontinence. Experiencing leaks is a lousy part of getting older, but at least with a little work this one is correctable.

Treatments Options for Stress Incontinence

A quick Google search reveals more than a million results offering treatment options. These include Kegel exercises, devices to capture urine, electrical stimulation, hormonal creams to restore vaginal tissue, surgery, and, of course, the traditional thick pads to capture leaks. Most of these sites agree that stress incontinence is due to weak pelvic floor muscles brought on by childbirth, pregnancy, obesity, and menopause. However, there are a wide variety of methods and devices available to strengthen those muscles. Most include some form of vaginal cone that you can insert to strengthen the pelvic floor. I even found an egg made of jade that you insert for at least two hours three times a week. However, I’m a bit squeamish when it comes to inserting objects into my body, which is why Carin is the perfect solution.

What Makes Carin Different

Carin began in 2015 by creating washable protective underwear for women with mild incontinence, eliminating the need for thick pads. “We designed Carin to be a non-invasive solution,” says Julia Veldhuijzen van Zanten, the company’s creative lead and co-founder. “We wanted it to be a positive experience for women. The underwear doesn’t look like something you would find in a hospital. Rather it’s pretty and fits in with your daily life.” But they didn’t stop at just offering protection. They also offer women a solution to manage and, eventually, eliminate leaks. Included with the underwear is a sensor and app to monitor leaks and an exercise program designed to strengthen pelvic floor muscles. The whole process requires a commitment of only 10 minutes a day for four to six weeks. Within four weeks 80 percent of women noticed an improvement.

Ready to Begin

Now it’s time for me to begin. I have underwear, a sensor, and directions to get me started. First I unplug the sensor from the charger, attach it to the top front of the underwear, and load up the app to my phone. Technology and I don’t always get along so I was pleased to see how easy it all was to set up. The underwear is made from microfiber, the same used in sportswear so it dries quickly and feels comfortable. During the day I keep track of how much I drink and spend 10 minutes doing the exercises, usually after my regular workout.

Over the next four weeks I will follow the exercises on the app, log my liquid intake, and monitor my progress. The app sends gentle reminders just in case I forget. It’s also time to embrace a healthier lifestyle, maybe drop a few pounds in the process. I don’t like counting calories or following rigid diet plans. Instead I’ll follow the “Vegan Before 6” plan by Mark Bittman, a food writer for the New York Times. During the day I eat a plant-based diet – lots of steel-cut oats, smoothies, whole grain salads full of vegetables, soups, nuts, and fresh fruit. In the evening I can fix whatever I want for the whole family, adding cheese, fish, and, occasionally, chicken. The Internet is full of great recipes. I know it won’t be easy – I really like cookies – but it’s only 30 days. Anything is possible for 30 days, right? I can’t wait to share my progress at the end of March. If you’d like to join me, please let me know in the Comments section. I’d love the company. Have a great month!

If you would like to join me in becoming a test subject for Carin, please fill out the form available at here.

 

 

Understanding Incontinence

Knowledge is power when it comes to medical conditions. Urinary incontinence is no exception. Incontinence comes in many forms. From a few leaks post-pregnancy to a complete loss of bladder control. It’s important to remember that this condition is not a disease; rather it’s a symptom. It’s necessary to become familiar with the different forms so you know which treatment to seek. To get you started here is a brief summary of the five types of adult incontinence, according to the Mayo Clinic, along with possible treatment options.

Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence is the most common form of incontinence, affecting nearly 15 million women just in the United States. It occurs when physical activity, such as coughing, sneezing or lifting heavy objects, puts pressure on your bladder. The primary cause is due to weak pelvic floor muscles. Pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause are all contributing factors. This explains why more women are affected than men. Obesity and smoking are also risk factors.

Treatments: The good news is that it’s also the easiest to treat. People who lose weight and use exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles notice a remarkable improvement. Try the pelvic floor exercises on the Carin app. Following the Carin program for 10 minutes a day over a four to six week period will noticeably strengthen pelvic floor muscles, decreasing leaks even after the second week.

Urge Incontinence

You have urge incontinence when “you have a sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine,” according to the Mayo Clinic. It’s the “I always have to go” feeling that often wakes you up during the night. The cause could be something minor, such as an infection, or a sign that the bladder’s nerves are damaged by something more severe like diabetes or Parkinson’s disease. Risk factors for this condition are women who have had a C-section or other pelvic surgery, obesity, and those suffering from frequent urinary tract infections.

Treatments: Timed voiding and bladder training are two possible techniques to curb urge incontinence. With timed voiding you record the times that you urinate and when you leak urine on a chart. Eventually you can establish patterns and know when you should be going to the bathroom ahead of time. You can also train your bladder by planning to use the bathroom once an hour. Then you stretch it to once every 90 minutes and eventually stretch it so you can wait three to four hours between bathroom visits. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles and weight loss will also help with this type of incontinence.

Overflow Incontinence

If you experience a frequent dribble of urine even when you don’t have the urge to urinate, you may have overflow incontinence, which occurs when your bladder doesn’t completely empty.  Unlike stress and urge incontinence, overflow incontinence is more common in men than women. Usually an enlarged prostate is the cause, but it could also be due to nerve damage, a blockage of the urethra, medications, or weak bladder muscles.

Treatments: Treating this type of incontinence is difficult, but certain types of medication can relax the muscle at the base of the urethra, allowing urine to pass from the bladder. If medications do not help, it may be necessary to insert a catheter in the urethra that will allow the bladder to empty completely.

Functional Incontinence

This type occurs when you know that you need to go to the bathroom but may not be able to get there in time due to physical or mental limitations. It is more common in elderly people and is associated with conditions that affect the elderly such as dementia, arthritis, or even unwillingness to use the toilet due to depression or anxiety.

Treatments include those mentioned earlier – bladder training, pelvic floor exercises, and setting up a schedule for bathroom trips. There are ways to reduce accidents. Make sure you wear clothing that is easy to remove, and the path to the bathroom is uncluttered. Always know where the bathrooms are whenever you are outside your home and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Mixed Incontinence

As the name suggests this type is a mixture, usually a combination of stress and urge incontinence. The causes are also similar – childbirth, pregnancy, and damage to the nerves of the bladder due to surgeries or diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.

Treatments: Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles is key, but other methods such as bladder training and timed voiding can also help.

Most people feel uncomfortable talking about incontinence. They may be embarrassed or consider it just a normal part of aging. Nearly everyone on the planet will have some form of incontinence at some point during his or her life so there’s no need for embarrassment. You are not alone. Help is available, but it’s important to talk with your doctor to identify what type you have and plan a course of treatment together.

Two New Year’s Resolutions To Make If You Have This Problem

Two resolutions to make when you have this problem

This January 1st Rebecca began running again, the first step in fulfilling her new year’s resolution to drop 30 pounds. She took it slow, switching between walking and running every few minutes. The crisp air invigorated her and her new running shoes cushioned every step. Yet each time she started running she could feel herself leak a little urine. Her good mood vanished. She was only 42. How could this be happening to her now?

On the other side of the city Janine put her two young children down for a nap and returned to her friends sitting around the dining room table. Someone told a story that had Janine doubled over in laughter. Suddenly she felt something not so funny – she could feel herself leaking. She was so embarrassed she had to leave the room to change. Instead of seeking a solution, both women were too embarrassed by their condition so their leaks continued to be a problem.

 A Real Medical Condition

If you are, like Rebecca and Janine, one of the 200 million men and women worldwide with urinary incontinence, it is time to stop being embarrassed and do something about it. It is a real medical condition and there are treatments available to reduce the chances of leaks or eliminate them altogether. In fact, “80 percent of those affected by urinary incontinence can be cured or improved,” states the National Association for Continence (NAFC). Start this New Year with two resolutions that are easy to keep: Talk (to your doctor) about your incontinence and begin an exercise program to strengthen your pelvic floor.

Natasja Beks fit mother and business woman

Many women stop their exercise routine because of embarrassment for leaks. With Carin you feel protected and work on your pelvic floor at the same time.

Knowledge Defeats Embarrassment

There is a stigma that surrounds this condition. According to one study, people would rather admit to having depression or cancer than admit to having urinary incontinence. Why is it considered taboo? Many women associate it with “imperfection, vulnerability, and a loss of control, which are things that they find it hard to be open about in relation to themselves and their bodies, “ says Fiona Berkely, a UK film director who created a documentary about adult incontinence.

Women are ashamed so they feel the need to suffer in silence, considering it just a normal sign of aging. While it’s true that more than half of seniors are plagued by incontinence, growing older is just one of many risk factors. Other factors include childbirth, obesity, menopause, and high blood pressure.

Incontinence of any form takes a tremendous toll on people’s lives. In this study authors Amy Sinclair and Ian Ramsay found tremendous impacts on the lives of women. Some examples include a diminished sex life and poorer relationships due to a lack of intimacy, poor sleep quality, and a reluctance to visit new places and have new experiences.

On average, women wait 6.5 years from the first time they experience symptoms until they obtain a diagnosis, according to the NAFC. That is a waste of nearly seven years. That is time spent worrying about leaks and the location of the nearest bathroom, rather than living. As mentioned earlier, this condition is normal and should never be a source of shame. Talk to your doctor about possible treatments and in the meantime, strengthen your pelvic floor.

Studies found that only 10 minutes of pelvic floor exercises per day you make your pelvic floor strong again.

A Strong Pelvic Floor Helps

Younger women tend to suffer from stress incontinence, which is when you leak a bit when you laugh, sneeze, jog, or lift heavy objects. A weakening in the pelvic floor (the muscles and tissues that surround the opening of the bladder) causes this form of incontinence and it is normal. Several simple treatments are available, including those provided by Carin. Not only does Carin provide an app training program to strengthen your pelvic floor, but you can also view your progress via a sensor that you wear in the included underwear. After four weeks of following the program for just 10 minutes a day, 80 percent of women see progress.

The next time you are at the market take a look at the people around you, especially the women. It’s likely most of them also experience some form of incontinence. Remember – this is a normal, and, for most people, a treatable condition. So what are you waiting for? Make this the year to stop being ashamed by those little leaks. Instead, take control. Talk to your doctor, discover why you are leaking, and fix it. Finally, a resolution that’s easy to keep.

A Goodbye to Dieting Could Lead to a Goodbye to Bladder Leaks

Science proved that reduce weight significantly reduces leaks

Jennifer struggles with her weight and has since she was 12 years old. She suffers from
breathing problems and high blood pressure. She also leaks urine every time she sneezes, laughs or even walks up the stairs. Obesity is the second most common cause of urinary incontinence, and as her weight increases her UI gets harder to control.

Excess weight puts undue stress and pressure on pelvic floor muscles so she lines her underwear with thick pads and must always know the location of the nearest bathroom. There is a solution. People with incontinence who lost between 26 and 29 percent of their body weight noted a significant improvement in their bladder control, according to Healthcentral. The greater the weight loss the more improvement they saw. So why can’t she and others like her just lose some weight?

Jennifer grew up in a family obsessed with weight, and her mother stocked the kitchen with low-fat crackers, diet sodas, fat-free cookies and even low-fat butter. Jennifer rebelled by stuffing herself with junk food any chance she could get. Her weight went up and her concerned parents put her on a diet. Over the years she tried everything – pre-packaged meals, Atkins, South Beach, meal replacement shakes, counting fat grams, and counting calories. Her weight only went up. She began every diet full of hope, but invariably she would stray, feel like a failure, eat even more, and gain weight.

Now she’s in her 40s, heavier than ever and feeling miserable, guilt-ridden, and a disappointment to her parents, husband, and children. She’s not alone. Every year, according to the Boston Medical Center, 45 million Americans go on a diet and
spend $33 billion on weight-loss products. If there are so many options, why are we still getting fatter?

Stop dieting and start eating

In their book Intuitive Eating, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch provide the tools to do just that. They encourage readers to make peace with food and rediscover the pleasures of eating. Tribole, a registered dietitian, and Resch, a nutrition therapist, offer several principles to help readers normalize their relationship with food. Here are a few examples:

1. Reject the diet mentality

Tribole and Resch encourage readers to reject diets and “get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight.” For chronic dieters the idea of not following a diet is scary. But then you have to ask: “Have any of these diets worked for me?” Invariably the answer is no, so why not try something new.

2. Honor your hunger and feel your fullness

Trust your body to tell you when it’s hungry, and then eat something. If you wait too long, you increase the chances of overeating and making bad food choices. Then, once you do begin to eat, pause every once in awhile to check in with your body. Ask yourself does the food still taste good? Am I still hungry? How will I feel if I keep eating? If the answers are no, no, and overly full, it’s time to stop. This can be the hardest thing to do because most of us are programmed to eat everything on our plates, knowing we can’t eat again until the next scheduled meal, which leads to the next principle.

3. Make peace with food

“Give yourself unconditional permission to eat,” say Tribole and Resch. By denying yourself a specific type of food (chocolate or bread) you develop cravings that take on a life of their own and lead to binging. By allowing yourself to eat whatever you want, you take away that fear of deprivation. You end up eating a bite of chocolate rather than the whole candy bar because you know you can always have more.

Mindful exercise

4. Mindful exercise – feel the difference

“Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie-burning effect of exercise,” they say. Find what feels good for you, enjoy the movement, and focus on the benefits to your body. Pelvic floor exercises may not burn a lot of calories, but think of the benefits – improving bladder control, increasing sexual sensation, and improving your quality of life. What could be better than moving just because it feels good?

5. Honor your health with gentle nutrition

In his book Food Rules, Michael Pollen says, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” By food he means, “Eat only food that will eventually rot.” Wise words, but does this mean you can never eat potato chips again? No. Just make sure most of your food comes from sources you recognize. It’s all about balance and how the food makes you feel. Sometimes you’ll want a bean burrito with a side of nachos. Other days you’ll crave a spinach salad. It’s all about balance and trusting your body.

Jennifer recently gave away all her diet books. She cooks a variety of foods, emphasizing fruits and vegetables at every meal. She purchased a pair of underwear from Carin, follows the pelvic floor exercises on the accompanying app, and has noticed her posture is better and her leaks are fewer. She knows this way of eating is not a quick fix. It could take years and she may never reach her ideal weight. However, she feels better, eats a lot less, enjoys her food and her life more, and will reach the weight she was meant to be. That may not be a size 2, but it will be what’s right for her.

LifeSense Group’s femtech revolution ‘Carin’ receives $3 million boost

LifeSense Group’s femtech revolution ‘Carin’ receives $3 million boost

Empowering women all over the globe to take control of their own health

September 18th, 2017
Download pdf 

A recent investment of $3 million dollar further increases LifeSense Group’s impact in the market of women’s health technology. This latest sum, received from an established Danish entrepreneur, brings the company’s investment total to $5 million dollar since their idea was born in 2012. “Over the past few months, we have had several investment offers but this investor provides the perfect match for our company.” said Dr. Valer Pop, Founder and CEO of LifeSense Group. “He will support to scale and professionalize LifeSense Group, a key element in the company’s growth phase.” Read More

Sex, libido and menopause – How to reignite the spark

When a friend of mine began dating her husband, nearly 20 years ago, she couldn’t keep her hands off him. “I thought about him at work, while I was with friends, and even while I was grocery shopping,” she says. “Then, when we finally were together, it was all I could do to let him in the front door before I tore his clothes off.” This passion continued throughout the first years of their marriage. Read More

How to find the right underwear fit

We all know a new pair of shoes, a great haircut or a shiny top can make us feel like a million dollars. When you look good you tend to feel good. However, there is one aspect of self-care that tends to be overlooked – wearing the right underwear. In 2005, Oprah Winfrey hosted a “bra intervention,” claiming that 85 percent of women were wearing the wrong size bra.

If it fits and is clean, it’s all good. Right?

Read More

The six most common menopause symptoms you need to expect

menopause symptoms

Last week I woke early in the morning to make breakfast. It’s usually my favorite time of the day, especially when everyone else is still asleep. I can listen to my favorite 80s music on the radio while I whip up pancakes or cinnamon rolls. This particular morning the skies were cloudy and the house was cool and quiet. Then the teakettle whistled and this irrational anger began to flow through me. My thoughts turned dark. Why do they get to sleep in while I have to make everyone breakfast? When is it my time to relax? Then the sweating began. Within 20 seconds I was drenched. I ran outside to cool down. Sitting in the terrace, close to tears, I was unsure where all this was coming from. Read More

Urineverlies hoort er gewoon bij, toch?

Urineverlies. Je denkt dat alleen oude mensen dit hebben, maar niet de buurvrouw in de yoga-les. Maar de waarheid is dat jouw super flexibele buurvrouw of de gewichtsheffende body pump instructrice net zo geen een van de vier vrouwen is met urineverlies. Of jouw vriendin die een jaar geleden is bevallen van haar tweede kindje en nog steeds inlegkruisjes krijgt.

Kortom, hoe meer kinderen of hoe zwaarder de bevalling hoe groter de kans op urineverlies: het kan zelfs 1 van de 3 vrouwen overkomen. Het is een probleem dat veel van ons herkennen, maar niemand echt over praten. Och, het hoort er gewoon bij zal je vaak horen. Maar is dat ook echt zo?

Is het normaal?

Stress incontinentie is de medische term voor urineverlies. Het is een normaal verschijnsel bij vrouwen, vooral na het krijgen van kinderen. Als we ouder worden verslechteren de bekkenbodemspieren bij vrouwen. Zeker als zij een of meer bevallingen te hebben doorstaan.

De bekkenbodem heeft dan flink wat ondergaan en kunnen hun elasticiteit verliezen (denk aan een elastiekje waarvan de rek er na een tijdje uit is). Omdat we dit ‘onzichtbare’ deel van ons lichaam weinig aandacht geven kan het zijn dat op een bepaald moment in je leven problemen gaat opleveren. Bij het niezen voel je nattigheid en springen op de trampoline behoort nu echt tot het verleden…

Veel vrouwen krijgen te horen dat het er wel bij hoort en dat je gewoon een inlegkruisje moet dragen (waar je ook weer vervelende schimmels van krijgt). Urineverlies is normaal maar je hoeft hier niet jouw hele leven mee rond te lopen. De oplossing ligt voor de hand. Met Carin kan je de schade aan de bekkenbodem ongedaan maken. Langzamerhand krijg je weer controle over je lichaam en leven

Get hooked on Carin!

Carin is niet weer een ander fitness programma met onmogelijke resultaten dat ook nog eens heel veel tijd kost. Pff, daar hebben wij echt geen tijd voor! Maar zo moeilijk hoeft het niet te zijn. Testen met Carin hebben laten zien dat meer dan 70% van de gebruiksters binnen 4 – 6 weken geen last meer heeft van urineverlies. Hoe dan? Door slechts 10 minuten per dag te besteden aan oefeningen kan je dit onder controle krijgen. Weg met die inlegkruisjes!

De bekkenbodemoefeningen kan je trouwens heel gemakkelijk doen via de app die je download op jouw telefoon of tablet. De app laat ook zien of je het goed doet. Daarnaast kan er ook voor kiezen de data door te sturen naar de support desk van Carin. Zij geven jou dan advies.

Doordat je doelen bereikt en je fitter voelt, zal Carin ook snel deel worden van jouw dagelijkse leven. Eens dat je begint kan je niet meer stoppen!

Wil je meer weten? Stuur ons dan een mailtje of een PB en je krijgt snel een reactie terug!

De waarheid over de bekkenbodem: Carin vraagt het aan de expert dokter Bary Berghmans.

barry02De bekkenbodem: Veel vrouwen die zijn bevallen weten ervan. Maar wat is nou precies de rol van deze spiergroep en waarom moet je trainen? Wij zijn bij dokter Bary Berghmans van het Pelvic care Center (PcCM) van het Maastricht Universitair Medisch Centrum langs geweest. Hij is klinisch epidemioloog, bekkenfysiotherapeut en gezondheidswetenschapper. Wij hebben de bekkenbodemexpert gevraagd hoe het nou toch precies zit met die onzichtbare spiergroep. Wat blijkt? De bekkenbodem is mede verantwoordelijk voor een gelukkig leven! Lees dus gauw  meer. Read More

De do’s en dont’s bij een blaasontsteking

De meeste vrouwen kennen het: blaasontsteking. Het overkomt veel vrouwen maar ook wel eens mannen en kinderen. Cystitis, de medische term voor blaasontsteking, is de groei van bacteriën in de blaas dat waardoor je vaak moet plassen en een branderig gevoel geeft als je naar de wc gaat. Het overkomt veelvrouwen tijdens zwangerschap en is een van de hoofdredenen voor een vroegtijdige bevalling. Carmen van Zanten (homeopaat & verloskundige) geeft tips en uitleg. Read More