In checking your list of New Year’s resolutions you see one item you don’t mind advertising to your friends and family and one item that you definitely will not. The first is losing weight -- hop on the bandwagon -- and the second is getting better bladder control. Urinary leakage in women, as common as it is, tends to be a hush-hush topic.
But little did you know, those two resolutions -- weight loss and bladder control -- are possibly connected. Achieve the first resolution in the new year and you might very well take care of the second one.
Of course, there are a number of health benefits to weight loss, and now reducing urinary incontinence can be added to the list, said the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The good news is based on a NIDDK-funded study called PRIDE, or Program to Reduce Incontinence by Diet and Exercise.
Encompassing 338 obese and overweight women in Birmingham, Alabama, and Providence, Rhode Island, the clinical trial started with participants who leaked urine at least 10 times per week.
The women were randomly assigned to either an intensive six-month weight-loss program of diet, exercise and behavior modification or to a group that received information about diet and exercise but no training to help them change habits, the NIDDK reported.
Women in the intensive weight-loss group lost an average of 8 percent of their body weight (about 17 pounds) and reduced weekly urinary incontinence episodes by 47 percent. In contrast, women in the information-only group lost an average of 1.6 percent of their weight (about 3 pounds) and had 28 percent fewer urinary incontinence episodes.
In addition, those in the weight-loss group reported feeling happier about the change in their incontinence, compared with the information-only group.
“Clearly, weight loss can have a significant, positive impact on urinary incontinence, a finding that may help motivate weight loss,” said NIDDK director Griffin P. Rodgers.