It’s a serious (and common) problem.
Australia may be known internationally for its healthy, outdoorsy lifestyle, but in reality we are facing an epidemic that undermines that image: obesity. In 2014, The Lancet reported that a whopping 63 per cent of Australians are overweight or obese.
With the majority of the population struggling with weight issues, the flow-on effect to other health conditions creates a minefield of health issues that our communities have to contend with. Most of those more commonly associated links to obesity are obvious, such as infertility and heart conditions, but there is one common condition that is directly impacted by obesity that many people don’t even know about.
That condition is light bladder leakage, or LBL, which impacts around one in three Australian women. So if you have this issue, you are not alone – even celebrities like Kris Jenner struggle with it.
LBL is associated with weak pelvic floor muscles and can lead to some uncomfortable and awkward moments for sufferers. It is commonly experienced by women, particularly during pregnancy and after childbirth (which is the cause of 83 per cent of LBL for women).
But the thing is that LBL affects women of all ages and stages. To avoid addressing or admitting to the issue, many women experiencing LBL simply alter their lifestyle to avoid activities that trigger the condition rather than manage it effectively. They give up everything from situations where there may be spontaneous laughing, to vigorous exercise and activities that require bending, jumping or other sudden movements.
What many people don’t realise is the link between LBL and obesity. Research clearly shows that carrying excess weight exacerbates LBL. Even a five unit increase in your BMI can contribute as much as 60 – 100 per cent increase in bladder leakage issues.