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National MS Society Supports Bladder Health Awareness Month

November 11, 2016

UPDATE: On November 21, 2016 the U.S. Senate passed Senate Resolution 604 to designate November "National Bladder Health Month." House Resolution 703 has been introduced but has not yet passed.

WASHINGTON, DC, November 8, 2016 – Along with the American Urological Association and the Urology Care Foundation and as a part of the Bladder Health Alliance, the Society applauds Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY-16) for introducing resolutions that support the designation of November 2016 as “National Bladder Health Month” in the United States (S. Res. 604, H. Res. 703). 

Normal bladder function is important for overall health and proper kidney function. Millions of Americans suffer from a variety of bladder health conditions, including urinary incontinence, overactive and underactive bladder, interstitial cystitis, urinary tract infections, nocturia, bladder cancer, urotrauma and neurogenic bladder. These diseases impact health and quality of life, and result in significant health costs (estimated to be more than $70 billion per year). Medical and behavioral research to better understand and maintain bladder health and to treat bladder conditions is critically needed yet is underfunded compared to other health research.

The most common effects on people with MS who experience improper bladder function include the inability to delay urination once the urge to urinate has been felt, the need to urinate in spite of having urinated recently, the need to urinate during the night, and the inability to control the time and place of urination. All these effects make it difficult for people living with MS to carry out their daily activities - at home and at work - with confidence. 

“Tens of thousands of people from Illinois, struggle with the impacts of poor bladder health,” said Senator Kirk. "These conditions have been linked to a number of side effects like depression, decreased physical activity and hospitalizations, particularly women and veterans. It is vitally important that we discuss these serious conditions with great openness and transparency. I also hope we will continue to invest in the research needed to better understand and treat the various bladder ailments that exist today."

The Society encourages Congress to pass these resolutions designating November as National Bladder Health month to bring awareness to the challenges people face and improve treatment.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


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