Leaking urine has nothing to do with excess water intake, cold —Expert

A urologist, Dr Augustine Takure, has asked Nigerians that leak urine involuntarily to seek medical help promptly and not explain it away, thinking it was because they took too much water or tea, or as a result of exposure to cold.

Dr Takure, who spoke at the Basic Certificate Course in Geriatric Medicine by the Chief Tony Anenih Geriatric Centre (CTAGC), University College Hospital UCH), Ibadan, said involuntary leakage of urine is a common symptom of urinary incontinence that tends to occur more as individuals get old.

According to him, although the causes of urine leakage may vary based on gender and age, it is a problem that three in every 10 individuals between 40 and 60 years will experience and this tends to increase to four out of every 10 after 80 years.

He declared that much as involuntary leakage of urine could be a complication from undergoing spine surgery, each case of leaking urine needs to be assessed to know its exact cause before the appropriate treatment is proffered.

The expert added, “About 63 per cent of men with benign prostate enlargement may have urine incontinence. For instance, if urine leaks out due to physical strain from, say a person jumping, coughing, or laughing, it may be stress incontinence. When a strong urge to urinate is felt even when the bladder isn’t full, the incontinence might be related to overactive bladder and sometimes called urge incontinence.

“If your bladder never completely empties, urine leakage may be experienced, with or without feeling a need to go. Also, overflow incontinence could occur when something blocks urine from flowing normally out of the bladder, as in the case of prostate enlargement that somewhat closes off the urethra.”

Earlier, CTAGC’s director, Dr Olufemi Olowookere stated that increasing number of older persons had necessitated training of more health experts that are capable adequately care for the age group.

He declared that the geriatric medicine course that had participants from across the country had trained since its inception over 170 doctors, with about 65 per cent of them as consultants in various fields of medicine.

Dr Olowokere said since March 2020, the hospital had commenced telemedicine to cater for the health needs of older persons while ensuring that they do not get exposed to COVID-19 in doing so.

He urged older persons to avoid self-medication because of COVID-19 but rather communicate their problems through telephones or “health in the box” programme established by the Federal Government with their overseeing physician.

Dr Olowookere declared that older persons that self-medicate risked a higher chance of side effects and danger because often there are more than three medical conditions they may have to take medications to manage at a time.

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