1. It reduces Urinary Incontinence:
Urinary incontinence affects more than 13 million women in the United States. It has a significant adverse effect on quality of life. Being overweight is a very strong risk factor for urinary incontinence. Excessive pressure placed on the ligaments, muscles, and connective tissue responsible for bladder control leads to urine leakage in patients who are overweight. Many studies have confirmed that weight loss reduces the frequency of urinary incontinence helping with bladder control. In fact, weight loss of 5-10% results in a 40% improvement in bladder control. Additionally, patients who undergo surgery for bladder control issues have more successful outcomes, compared to patients who are overweight.
2. It reduces Sleep Apnea:
It is a well-established fact that overweight and obese patients have higher rates of sleep apnea due to increased fat deposits in the upper airway. This leads to narrowing of the airways and issues like sleep apnea. Significant sleep apnea is present in 40% of obese patients. But how do you ask is sleep apnea related to bladder control? People with untreated sleep apnea produce a much larger volume of urine at nighttime due to stimulation of the kidneys. This results in excessive nighttime urination, or a problem called nocturia. Therefore, if you are overweight and or have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, losing weight will improve your sleep apnea and your excessive nighttime urination.
3. It reduces High Blood Pressure:
It is estimated that roughly one in three American adults have high blood pressure. Medications are one of the most common first-line interventions used to treat high blood pressure. Medications work by stimulating the kidneys to make urine to help reduce your blood pressure. A common side effect of medicines used to treat high blood pressure is frequent urination. Since blood pressure rises with body weight, losing weight is one of the best ways to reduce your blood pressure and diminishing the need for medications that cause urinary frequency and indirectly helping with bladder control.
4. It reduces Type II Diabetes:
According to the CDC more than 34 million Americans have diabetes with 90-95% of them having type 2 diabetes. One of the earliest symptoms of diabetes is excessive thirst and frequent urination. In patients with diabetes, the kidneys work extra hard to eliminate excess sugar from the blood. In doing so large amounts fluids and sugar are also pulled out of your tissue and are eliminated in the urine, causing frequency of urination. It is a well-established fact that if you are overweight with type 2 diabetes, losing weight will help you lower your blood sugar thereby reducing the frequent need to urinate.
5. It reduces Arthritis:
More than 58 million adults have arthritis, and among these patients 39 million are overweight or obese. Arthritis leads to issues with mobility, which is the source of a problem called functional incontinence. Functional incontinence is where a disability like arthritis makes it hard for you to reach the toilet in time for you to urinate. The amount of urine that our bladder holds decreases as we age so people who are older need to urinate more often. Arthritis limits the ease of this simple activity. Weight loss reduces pain and improves function in patients with arthritis allowing you to make it quickly and safely to the bathroom when you need to urinate.
I am board certified in Obsetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS). I currently serve as the Medical Director of Female Pelvic Medicine for the Crozer Health Medical Group in the greater Philadelphia area. I obtained my residency training in OBGYN at the Los Angeles County+ University of Southern California Medical Center and fellowship training in FPMRS at Johns Hopkins. I am passionate about the field of Women’s Health and the treatment of pelvic floor disorders like urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.