These symptoms constitute a disorder called metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is most commonly associated with heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A new study adds overactive bladder to the list.
"Ask your doctor about metabolic syndrome and overactive bladder."
Overactive bladder (OAB), or urge incontinence, is characterized by the strong, sudden need to urinate. It's caused by bladder muscles contracting inappropriately, creating a frequent urge to urinate regardless of how much urine is in the bladder.
Metabolic syndrome is diagnosed when a patient has three or more of the symptoms associated with it, including extra weight around the abdomen, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar level, and high cholesterol. These symptoms are all related to your metabolism, or how your body converts and uses food to fuel itself.
A team of Turkish researchers looked at the relationship between overactive bladder and metabolic syndrome. The two conditions share obesity as a common risk factor, and metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance have been related to prostate and lower urinary tract symptoms. This study aimed to establish their relevance to each other.
Drs. Hakki Uzun and Orhan Unal Zorba of Rize University surveyed only female patients – metabolic syndrome and OAB are both more common among women. Metabolic syndrome was diagnosed in 201 of 313 patients with OAB, or 64 percent. It was diagnosed in 73 of 208 patients without OAB, or 35 percent.
The group with OAB had significantly greater waist circumference and body mass index, along with lower levels of high-density lipoprotein and incidence of hypertension, compared to the women without OAB.
The researchers concluded that metabolic syndrome is associated with the origination of OAB symptoms. They recommend that women with metabolic syndrome treat their symptoms, in order to decrease their risk of OAB. The Mayo Clinic advises exercise, weight loss, healthy eating, and smoking cessation as potential treatments.
The study was published in the journal Urology in 2011.