Common Urinary Issues

Posted on

Mar 05, 2012


Florida - Southwest

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Q: What causes kidney stones?
A: Kidney stones are a painful condition whereby stones form in the kidney and pass through the ureter into the bladder. Usually the pain associated with kidney stones is caused by the passage of the stone into the bladder. Surprisingly, most patients experience few symptoms when the stone leaves the bladder. There are multiple causes for kidney stones. Most of the time though, there is no definable cause. The best prevention for kidney stones is to drink plenty of fluids, at least 6-8 glasses of water a day. Depending on the composition of the stone, certain medications are useful in preventing kidney stones.
Q: Why do I keep getting urinary tract infections?
A: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria that grow in any part of the urinary tract. The bladder is the most common site for a UTI. Frequent UTIs, 3 or more per year, are divided into persistent (one bacteria that doesn't resolve with treatment) or recurrent (a separate infection, with the same or different bacteria, that has a period of resolution between infections).
Causes for frequent UTIs include poor hygiene techniques, hormonal changes such as menopause, incontinence, kidney stones and intercourse to name a few. Some serious diseases, including bladder cancer, may mimic a urinary tract infection and should be ruled out by a qualified urologist before starting treatment for frequent UTIs.
Q: I've started to leak urine. Is this a normal part of aging?
A: No, it is not a normal part of ageing but unfortunately may become more common as women age. Over 40 million women in the United States are believed to have some type of urinary leakage. There are two main types of leakage. Urge urinary incontinence which is when you have to rush to the bathroom and don't make it in time and stress urinary incontinence which occurs with physical activity, cough or sneeze. It is most common in my practice to see women with a component of both which is a bit more complex to treat. The most important thing to know is that these conditions can be successfully treated and can vastly improve a persons quality of life.
Q: My doctor told me I have an enlarged prostate, but I have no difficulty urinating. In fact, I urinate too often. I have good flow and sometimes I have difficulty making it to the bathroom. If my prostate was enlarged wouldn't it be difficult to urinate?
A: Symptoms of an enlarged prostate (BPH) can be frequent and urgent urination rather than difficulty urinating. As the prostate grows and begins to obstruct the bladder, the bladder muscles become thicker, and the bladder begins to contract more often and unexpectedly. A careful urology evaluation can determine if these symptoms are due to enlarged prostate, cancer or a bladder or kidney problem.
Jonathan Jay, M.D. , Board Certified Urologist Specialists in Urology 239-434-6300

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Drinking Enough Fluids Isnt Just for the Summer!

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Managing Urinary Incontinence

For more information on the author Comfort Keepers Fort Myers, CLICK HERE.Urinary incontinence is an issue that more than half of seniors deal with, and it can affect a seniors health, social connections, and self-esteem. Managing incontinence is critical for seniors that want to maintain their independence and quality of life while remaining in their home.*New guidelines released in 2018 recommend that women be screened for issues that cause incontinence on a yearly basis.While incontinence is a highly prevalent issue, its important to remember that incontinence is treatable, and a physician can make recommendations based on the type of incontinence they diagnose.Why Does Incontinence Happen?During urination, muscles in the bladder tighten to move urine into a tube called the urethra, while the muscles around the urethra relax and let the urine pass out of the body. When the muscles in and around the bladder don't work properly, urine can leak. Incontinence can occur for short periods of time due to urinary tract infections, constipation, or as a side effect of a medication.How is Incontinence Diagnosed and Treated?Depending on the severity of the problem, a doctor may recommend any or all of the following:A urinalysis to rule out infection or blood in the urineBlood tests to check on kidney function, calcium and glucose levelsA complete physical exam and thorough discussion of ones medical historyMedicine that calms muscles and nerves to treat an overactive bladder.Exercises to strengthen the pelvic musclesIf other treatments fail, surgery may be suggested to improve bladder control.How Can Incontinence be Managed at Home?There are a few lifestyle changes that can help manage incontinence:Pelvic muscle exercises: Working the muscles that can stop urination can have a positive effect in reducing incontinence.Timed bathroom breaks: Going to the restroom on a schedule can help those with urge and overflow incontinence.Fluid and diet management: Avoid food and drinks that irritate the bladder. Its important for seniors to discuss their diet and fluid intake with the doctor before making any changes.Behavioral changes: There are some habits that can make incontinence worse. These include smoking, drinking alcohol, lifting objects that are too heavy and consuming caffeine, among others.Comfort Keepers Can HelpIf your loved one has specific care needs related to a health issue, like incontinence, we can help. Our caregivers can provide transportation to appointments, medication reminders, support for physician-recommended diet and exercise programs, and help monitor physical changes and symptoms. And, we strive to elevate the human spirit through quality, compassionate, joyful care.To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today.