Lower urinary tract symptom severity is linked to metabolic syndrome. Weight loss surgery may aid in lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Lower urinary tract symptoms include urinary frequency and urgency, bladder leakage, the need to urinate at night, and incomplete bladder emptying and are often associated with obesity in both men and women. Metabolic syndrome encompasses a slew of risk factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and other complications. These include hypertension, high cholesterol, high blood glucose levels, and abdominal obesity.
For the study, the researchers analyzed data from 4,666 male patients over the age of 55. Metabolic syndrome was reported in 51.5 percent and 47 percent were treated for lower urinary tract symptoms. The researchers found a significant link between metabolic syndrome and lower urinary tract symptoms.
The researchers found that the risk of being treated for lower urinary tract symptoms increased as the number of metabolic syndrome components increased. The authors concluded, “The prevention of such modifiable factors by the promotion of dietary changes and regular physical activity practice may be of great interest for public health.”
In an alternative study, researchers from New Zealand observed the effects of weight loss surgery on lower urinary tract symptoms. The study looked at 72 patients who underwent bariatric surgery. Patients experienced significant weight loss along with a great reduction of lower urinary tract symptoms.
Coauthor of the study Richard Stubbs explained, “Interestingly, in our study, improvements in lower urinary tract symptoms were generally seen soon after surgery, and they did not seem to be related to the time course or degree of weight loss. Rather, there is an indication that the improvement in the urinary symptoms is linked to improvements in insulin resistance, which are now known to occur almost immediately following bariatric surgery.”
Senior author Andrew Kennedy-Smith concluded, “What has been a surprise and what is potentially so important is that so many problems, including issues related to urinary function, improve so quickly after bariatric surgery, even before great weight loss has occurred. The relationship we have found between these symptoms and insulin resistance is of considerable potential importance. This finding calls into question our fundamental understanding of why these problems arise, and therefore how they might best be treated.”
Your doctor will try to uncover any underlying cause of your lower urinary tract symptoms. Diagnostic methods may include examining the prostate, looking for any neurological condition, and running other tests to confirm a diagnosis of diabetes or other chronic health condition that could contribute to LUTS.
LUTS is diagnosed through urinalysis, digital rectal examination, voiding or bladder diary, prostate specific antigen test, ultrasound, and cystoscopy.
Treatment for LUTS is generally targeting the cause. This could be treating a urinary tract infection, addressing the problem of an enlarged prostate, etc. Combination therapies may be most successful in treating LUTS. If medical treatment is unsuccessful, your doctor may recommend surgery.
If symptoms are not bothersome or complicated, then your doctor may just monitor you and ask you to report any changes you notice. You will be asked to moderate your fluid intake (too much fluid can aggravate your symptoms) and reduce your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and sweeteners, as these can worsen infections.
Other lifestyle changes include supervised bladder training and supervised pelvic floor muscle exercises.
Speak to your doctor about appropriate treatment options for your lower urinary tract symptoms in order to get the most relief and improve your quality of life.