In multiple sclerosis (MS), urinary tract infection symptoms are seen in more than half of patients, according to research. The study found that nearly 70 percent of multiple sclerosis patients had urinary tract problems, adding to their disability.
The researchers from Beijing enrolled 126 multiple sclerosis patients into the study. The researchers found 67.5 percent had lower urinary tract symptoms, with the most common form being urinary urgency.
Urological symptoms were associated with the severity of the disease. The researchers looked at whether the treatment for multiple sclerosis would lessen urinary tract symptoms and found that some patients did find relief for urinary tract symptoms while being treated for multiple sclerosis. Urinary tract symptoms were treated with both anticholinergic drugs and intermittent catheterization.
It’s too early to draw conclusions on whether or not treating multiple sclerosis can improve urinary symptoms. Additional research is required to confirm findings.
Bladder problems in multiple sclerosis
Bladder problems are quite common in multiple sclerosis, with urinary tract infections (UTIs) being the most frequent one. At the same time, not all MS patients will experience this sort of health issues, and doctors are still unsure as to why some patients develop bladder problems while others do not.
Here is an outline of the most common bladder problems experienced in multiple sclerosis.
Problems with storage: MS patients may experience a frequent need to urinate even with the smallest amount of liquid in the bladder. This is because their nerve pathways are interrupted in the spinal cord, which sends false signals to the brain. If the problem is severe enough, it may lead to urinary incontinence.
Problems with emptying: If there are problems with the bladder muscles, urine flow may be interrupted, urine flow may be poor, or the bladder may not empty completely. If you go to urinate, finish, but then return a few moments later, this could be a sign that your bladder isn’t fully emptying itself.
Urinary tract infections (UTI): A UTI is commonly caused when bacteria enter the urinary tract. Symptoms can be similar with other MS-associated bladder problems, including increased frequency and trouble emptying. You may also notice foul-smelling or cloudy urine, and a burning sensation when urinating. A UTI is treated with antibiotics, but if it is a common occurrence speak to your doctor about reducing your risk, as frequent UTIs can damage the urinary tract and bladder over time.
If you are living with multiple sclerosis and are experiencing bladder problems, speak to your doctor about what can be done.