At some point of time, everyone of us is affected by the problem of answering nature’s call more often than usual. But there is a segment of the population whose quality of life is significantly affected by this.
Frequent urination, doctors say, tends to become a cause of isolation and embarrassment for many, is a medical condition that requires treatment to avoid any future implications. Medically termed Urinary Incontinence(UI), it is a very commonly noticed problem. Dr Sanjay Sinha, consultant urologist and transplant surgeon at Apollo hospital in the city, says that lack of awareness about its implications is a bigger threat as the condition can even cause loss of life.
Urinary Incontinence, is usually caused due to either over active detrusor muscles which control the bladder or due to Stress Incontinence which means the pelvic floor muscles are too weak to prevent urination. The symptoms of this problem depend on the type of condition one has and sometimes can be a mix of both conditions. Over Active Bladder(OAB) is the most commonly found Urinary Incontinence. “It is found in around 16 per cent of the population, mostly in women. The prevalence and severity increases with age,” he says. The second kind of UI, Neurogenic Bladder, is not so prevalent but is potentially much more severe.
“It’s often seen in children and is usually related to nervous disorders. When poorly managed, it can lead to kidney failure and loss of life,” he adds pointing out that Stress Urinary Incontinence is a common problem around 30-40% of middle-aged women
“On an average, we see about 5 patients every day with detrusor overactivity or overactive bladder. On some occasions, they even see up to 10-12 patients in a day and about half of these are neurogenic in origin,” shares Dr Sinha. UI patients are treated with lifestyle modifications and medication. An injection of Botulinum toxin type A can offer relief for up to 12 months and provide help to the person suffering from the debilitating ailment. Botulinum injection is primarily indicated in patients who don’t respond to medication, can’t tolerate its side-effects and is used for treating the symptoms of urinary incontinence in certain neurological conditions.
In fact, the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI), the nodal agency for approving the use of a medical drugs in India, has recently permitted the use of Botulinum Toxin Type A. An alternative treatment in some of these patients is surgery for the bladder termed ‘augmentation cystoplasty’.
He also clarifies the general misconception that excess intake of fluid is good for health. “If your body is able to produce 1.5 litr urine in 24 hours in six to eight turns, that should take care of all body requirements. Intake of fluids will differ in different individuals, but excess fluids do no good.”