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Artikel: Can Being Overweight Cause Incontinence

Can Being Overweight Cause Incontinence - Novamed (Europe) ltd

Can Being Overweight Cause Incontinence

More than half of the world’s population is overweight, and it is estimated that by 2030, more people will die of the obesity-related disease than malnutrition. But what does this mean for our bladders?

Scientists have long noticed a connection between obesity and urinary incontinence (UI), defined as any leakage of urine that is unintentional or uncontrolled. They found that women with higher BMIs had more UI episodes than those with lower body weights, but they weren’t sure if the two were related. A new study shows that they are indeed linked; it may even be caused by weight gain itself.

Weight is a controllable risk factor for UI.

In the study, women who gained much weight over time were more likely to have UI. In addition, their chances of having UI increased by 30 per cent for each 5 kg increase in weight. Researchers from Kaiser Permanente in California studied data from 188,955 women with no history of incontinence or bowel issues. All had annual checkups for several years and were asked about their current weight, BMI and urinary incontinence symptoms.

About 1 in 10 women were underweight, and more than half were overweight. The study shows that weight gain increases both the risk of UI and the frequency of episodes.

“We found that although the proportion of women who had UI was similar in different BMI categories, the risk of incontinence varied according to body weight,” said lead author Dr Allison Green-Lilyquist. “Obese women who gained significant amounts of weight over time had significantly higher risks for incontinence than their normal-weight counterparts.”

This is the first study to find a relationship between weight and UI. However, previous research has shown that obesity increases the risk of many other ailments such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. One in four women in Western countries is now obese. The CDC expects that by 2030 more people will die from obesity-related diseases than malnutrition.

A whole lot of shame is associated with incontinence.

People who are overweight or obese tend to be reluctant to tell their doctors about their incontinence symptoms, even though it’s known that weight is a controllable risk factor for UI. Women with UI often suffer from feelings of embarrassment and shame and do not seek help. They might even suffer in silence if they are postmenopausal, typically when women have their first episodes of UI, possibly due to changes in hormones.

“More than 70 per cent of women with UI do not seek treatment, highlighting the importance of identifying modifiable risk factors that can help prevent and manage UI,” says Green-Lilyquist.

It gets worse before it gets better – increased symptoms with increased weight gain.

But it may also turn out that getting back in shape can decrease incontinence. Researchers at The University of Michigan found that bariatric surgery can reduce UI symptoms in the following year. This was true even for patients who were not obese before having surgery.

What you can do to help yourself while losing weight:

* Every time you feel incontinence symptoms, stop and wait until they go away before going on with your day. Don’t just ignore them or try to ‘get through it.’ It would help if you investigated why this happens.
* Before going to bed, be sure to empty your bladder. This will ensure that you don’t have any problems while you sleep.

* Every time you go to the bathroom, use a footstool to ensure that you can get up with ease afterwards.

* Try different products that can help absorb wetness and keep you more comfortable during the day, like panty liners (instead of pads) or specially designed underwear that helps keep your bladder safe from leaks.

We hope this study encourages women with UI and their doctors to seriously consider weight loss as a treatment for incontinence so they can regain control of their bladder and their daily lives.

SUMMARY OF THE ARTICLE: Being overweight can cause incontinence. When you are overweight, the extra weight puts pressure on the bladder and causes it to be less safe from urine leakage than the average weight. This is a serious issue because, with time, you will have more chances of getting UI or urinary incontinence.

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