This month serves as a reminder to get the facts about common bladder health problems and to take an active role in your health. Key Bladder Facts The bladder is a hollow, balloon-shaped organ, and is made mostly of muscle. On average, the bladder holds about 16 ounces of urine. Urine is produced in the kidneys. It flows through tubes called ureters into the bladder. It’s normal to go to the bathroom 4 to 8 times a day and no more than twice a night. Women have shorter urethras than men. Women are more likely to get a bladder infection as bacteria from outside the body can get into the urinary system easier. The bladder muscle helps you urinate by squeezing to force the urine out. Bladder-Related Health Issues Interstitial Cystitis (aka Bladder Pain Syndrome), a feeling of pain and pressure in the bladder area. Neurogenic Bladder refers to a number of urinary conditions in people who lack bladder control due to a brain, spinal cord or nerve problem. Urinary Tract Infections occur when bacteria gets into your urine and travels up to your bladder. Bladder Cancer is the 5th most common cancer in the United States. Urinary incontinence is leaking of urine that you can’t control. Overactive bladder (OAB) is a common condition, affecting millions of Americans; the most common symptom of OAB is a sudden urge to urinate that you can’t control. Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is when urine leaks out with sudden pressure on the bladder and urethra (such as from sneezing, laughing, or coughing), causing the sphincter muscles to open briefly. Bedwetting, aka nocturnal enuresis, is uncontrolled urination while you are asleep. Nocturia, or nocturnal polyuria, is the medical term for excessive urination at night. Tips for keeping your bladder health at optimal levels Drink plenty of water. Strive to drink 6 to 8 cups of water each day. Cut down on the amount of caffeine and alcohol you drink – these may upset your bladder. Limit your intake of coffee, tea or cola as these can heighten bladder activity and lead to leakage. Women should […]
What are Kidney Stones? Urine contains many dissolved minerals and salts. When your urine has high levels of these minerals and salts, you can form stones. Kidney stones can start small but can grow larger in size, even filling the inner hollow structures of the kidney. Some stones stay in the kidney, and do not cause any problems. Sometimes, the kidney stone can travel down the ureter, the tube between the kidney and the bladder. If the stone reaches the bladder, it can be passed out of the body in urine. If the stone becomes lodged in the ureter, it blocks the urine flow from that kidney and causes pain. What are the Signs of Kidney Stones? Stones in the kidney often do not cause any signs and can go undiagnosed. When a stone leaves the kidney, it travels to the bladder through the ureter. Often the stone can become lodged in the ureter. When the stone blocks the flow of urine out of the kidney, it can cause the kidney to swell (hydronephrosis), often causing a lot of pain. Common symptoms of kidney stones are: A sharp, cramping pain in the back and side, often moving to the lower abdomen or groin. Some women say the pain is worse than childbirth labor pains. The pain often starts suddenly and comes in waves. It can come and go as the body tries to get rid of the stone. A feeling of intense need to urinate. Urinating more often or a burning feeling during urination. Urine that is dark or red due to blood. Sometimes urine has only small amounts of red blood cells that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Nausea and vomiting. For men, you may feel pain at the tip of the penis. What Causes Kidney Stones? Low Urine Volume – Low urine volume may come from dehydration from hard exercise, working or living in a hot place, or not drinking enough fluids. When urine volume is low, urine is concentrated and dark in color. Increasing fluid intake will dilute the salts in your urine. By doing […]
Men, take care of yourself the way you take care of your car… Preventive maintenance is key! Prostate cancer, if caught early, is 99 percent curable. Because September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, there’s a campaign to raise awareness called the Pushup Challenge. You may not realize it, due to all the media attention focused on breast cancer, but prostate cancer occurs just as frequently as breast cancer. In fact, it’s the second most common cause of cancer death in men. What can you do? First and foremost, get a checkup once a year, every year. Early detection is easier than you think, consisting of a simple blood test (PSA) and/or a digital rectal exam (DRE). From a prevention standpoint, there are a few easy lifestyle habits that can help prevent prostate cancer… In a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, men who ate more than two servings of tomato sauce a week had a lower risk of prostate cancer than those who ate less than a serving per month. It is thought that certain compounds in the cooked tomatoes may shield DNA strands from breakage. Recent Finnish research finds that consuming more than 3 alcoholic drinks per week results in a higher risk of prostate cancer than for individuals consuming 3 or less. As the body metabolizes alcohol, it creates carcinogenic molecules, which are only okay in moderation. You really shouldn’t need another reason to quit smoking but… research indicates that smokers are more likely to die of prostate cancer than those that have never smoked. One possible factor is that carcinogens from tobacco smoke may promote the creation of tumors. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that men eating the most legumes (roughly 6 ounces/week) had half the prostate cancer risk of those consuming less. As the body digests the fiber in beans, it decreases inflammation, which may play a role in the development of tumors. For more information about prostate cancer, including detection, symptoms, and treatment options, call us, at 609.924.6487 to schedule an appointment.