Weight Loss May Decrease Urinary Incontinence
Apr 10, 2011 09:09PM
By Deepti Sadhwani, M.D.
Urinary Stress Incontinence is the most common type of incontinence and mostly affects women, especially after pregnancy and birth. It results from weakness of the urethra (the tube connecting the bladder to the outside of the body) and pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support the bladder and regulate opening and closing of the bladder when passing urine.
Morbid Obesity is a well-documented risk factor for Urinary Stress Incontinence (leakage of small amounts of urine during physical movement such a coughing, sneezing and exercising), Urges Incontinence (leakage of large amounts of urine at unexpected times), and involuntary urine loss among women. Abdominal pressure caused by excessive body fat or obesity, especially when combined with relaxation of the pelvic muscles (e.g., after pregnancy), may cause the valve on the urinary bladder to be weakened, leading to involuntary leakage of urine.
Some clinical studies demonstrate significant decreases in Urinary Stress Incontinence in small study-groups of women experiencing weight loss. For example, in a study of 138 morbidly obese patients who lost 50 percent or more of their excess body weight, the incidence of Stress Incontinence fell from about 60 percent to 10 percent.
The greater the abdominal pressure on the bladder area, the greater the risk of Urinary Stress Incontinence. Thus patients with very high body mass index (BMI) who suffer from morbid obesity (BMI 40+) or malignant obesity (BMI 50+) are at greatest risk.
Losing extra pounds, especially in the abdomen, can relieve pressure on the bladder and pelvic floor muscles.
Weight loss is a journey that first begins with education and an understanding of the importance of nutrition and proper diet. The order in which you eat your proteins, carbohydrates and fats is essential to regulate your weight and to prevent disease and silent inflammation. In addition, supplementing your diet with vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids is an important step in maintaining your health.
Deepti Sadhwani, M.D. is located at Quality Health Care & Weight Loss Center in Sebastian. She specializes in fighting obesity, aging and helping people reduce and eliminate the need for medication. For more information call Dr. Sadhwani at 772-581-2373.