Many people think incontinence is just an ageing problem. But, it is an actual health condition that is manageable, if not treatable. Incontinence is, basically, an involuntary release of urine or faeces, due to lack of bladder or bowel control. In many cases, it is just a temporary problem and can be treated simply by treating the root cause. However, if it is not treatable, the only option left for the patient is to manage it with utmost care, else it can not only get exhausting but can also lead to depression and stress. Other than type-2 diabetes, pregnancy, childbirth, Alzheimer’s disease, and prostate surgery, obesity or weight gain can also lead to incontinence.
Basically, one suffers from obesity when they have a BMI of 30 or more. Due to poor food choices, irresponsible eating habits, and lack of physical activity, many people tend to gain weight uncontrollably. Besides, there are certain health issues that can also lead to weight gain, such as osteoarthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, and gallbladder disease. So, obesity is not just a result of overeating, which makes it much more problematic than it seems.
In an obese person, the fat around the abdominal area starts to put a strain on the bladder or urethra, which might also lead to stretching of the pelvic floor muscles. This not only weakens the muscles, but also leads to chronic pain in the bladder, thereby affecting one’s bladder control, resulting in urinary incontinence. Not just urinary incontinence, passing wind unexpectedly is also an issue related to obesity or weight gain.
Stress urinary incontinence occurs when the bladder is subjected to pressure due to an extreme physical movement or activity, for e.g. sneezing, laughing, or heavy lifting. If someone starts having incontinence episodes on a regular basis, it is important to consult the doctor to determine the root cause. This will not only help them know if it is treatable, but also understand how to manage it perfectly well. Incontinence due to weight gain can be managed with adult diapers, kegel exercises, void training, and bladder training. For patients who suffer from restricted mobility due to uncontrollable weight gain, tape adult diapers are an ideal way to manage incontinence as they are easy to wear as well as to take off. In addition, there are certain measures that someone suffering from incontinence due to obesity can take in order to minimize its impact, like eating the right foods, no overeating, and exercising regularly, especially running.
There is a social stigma associated with incontinence. And, obesity is already linked to body shaming. So, many obese people suffering from incontinence tend to be affected by the accompanying embarrassment, which in turn, makes it difficult for them to talk freely about their incontinence issues. Going through incontinence and obesity in a space where the patient does not have anyone to talk to with no fear of being judged, can be a challenge and can have psychological effects, like depression and isolation. Hence, it is important that their caretakers and family members are not only caring enough to help them fight it, but also considerate enough to encourage them to be vocal about it.