Bengaluru: Fluid and diet management is key to regaining control over your bladder if you’re struggling with urinary incontinence, which is one’s loss of control over bladder.
It is normally seen among elderly women and men who have weak muscle support (sphincter). Reducing liquid consumption, losing weight or increasing physical activity can ease the problem. Bladder and urethra problems too contribute to incontinence, said experts.
“Around 15 million people, especially 33% older women and 20% older men, suffer from urinary incontinence in the country. Risk factors, such as neurologic injury, can lead to the condition. The prevalence among the older population is high due to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes and anxiety. These diseases can weaken the bladder nerves and muscles, which, in turn, lead to incontinence. This can further cause mental trauma, leading to physical inactivity, emotional stress and social isolation,” said Dr Sriharsha Ajjur, Consultant Urologist and Andrologist, Apollo Hospitals, Jayanagar.
According to the National Association for Continence, one in five individuals over the age of 40 suffers from overactive bladder or urgency or frequency symptoms.
Dr Prashanth M. Kulkarni, Consultant-Urology and Robotic Surgery, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Centre, Bommasandra, said, “Lifestyle modification and reduced water consumption plays an important role in the prevention of incontinence. Treatment usually involves conservative, medical and surgical approach. Continence can be achieved through weight reduction and regular exercises and in extreme cases, through medical intervention.”
Dr Ajjur said, “Urge incontinence (also called overactive bladder) occurs when your brain and bladder don’t work together properly to tell your body when to hold and release urine. The brain may send signals to the bladder telling it to empty without warning or the muscles can be too active and contract frequently before the bladder is full.”
He said the major symptom is a sudden, strong urge to urinate that you cannot control. Urge incontinence is common among men with prostate problems such as BPH (benign prostate enlargement) and it can also be a temporary side-effect of prostate cancer treatment. A new study also suggests that urinary incontinence occurs in nearly 1 in 2 women aged 45 years and above.
Dr Manohar T., Consultant, Urology, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur, said in Indian women because of high birth rate the pelvic floor becomes weak. “The worst thing is that women are shy and don’t discuss such issues even with their husband. Nutritious food plays a vital role. Girls need to be get married at the right age, because early marriages lead to many muscle issues,” he added.
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