General Health

March is National Kidney Month

  • Kidney disease awareness

Approximately 30 million American adults have kidney disease, but most don’t even know it. To help spread awareness, we’d like to share the following article, courtesy of the Urology Care Foundation. March 1 marks the beginning of National Kidney Month, a time to raise awareness about your kidney health and generate support for those affected by such conditions as kidney stones, kidney infections and kidney disease. It’s also a time when the Urology Care Foundation, the nation’s leading nonprofit urological health foundation, encourages the public to make direct, positive and healthy changes in their lives to keep their kidneys healthy and happy. The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs that are about the size of a small fist and sit on each side of the spine, above the waist. Their primary job is to clean the blood and produce urine to rid the body of waste. They also help make red blood cells, maintain a balance of salt and other nutrients in your body, keep your bones healthy and help control your blood pressure. Your kidneys can become damaged with little to no warning. Kidney disease is known as the “silent epidemic” because if often shows no signs until it is more advanced. High blood pressure and diabetes are two leading causes of kidney disease. Other risk factors include heart disease, obesity, high cholesterol and a family history. Older adults, Hispanics, African-Americans and American Indians are at a higher risk for developing kidney disease. “Most people don’t realize how important the kidneys are to our well-being, which is why it’s important to look after them,” said Richard A. Memo, MD chair of the Urology Care Foundation. “If you are at risk for kidney disease, talk to your doctor about having your kidney function checked as this disease is one that can be prevented or slowed down if caught early.” A few simple ways to keep the kidney happy and healthy: Drinking plenty of water Not smoking Eating a healthy diet Keeping your weight in check Staying fit and active Monitoring and keeping regular control of your blood pressure and […]

Did you throw caution to the wind on Valentine’s Day?

  • STD on Valentine's Day

Did you throw caution to the wind on Valentine’s Day? A tongue-in-cheek question to bring up a serious discussion about sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs); i.e. the infections you get from another person through sexual contact. There are more than 20 known types of STDs/STIs and, each year, over 20 million people in the United States are infected. They are spread through fluids in the body, during vaginal, oral or anal sex; however, some STDs can be transmitted through infected blood, such as among people sharing infected drug needles, or a mother may infect her child during pregnancy, childbirth, or while nursing. The good news is that most STDs can be treated and cured; but, in many cases, there are no symptoms at all. When symptoms do occur, they can show up in a variety of ways… Men may experience the following symptoms: Burning or itching in the penis A drip (discharge) from the penis Pain around pelvis Sores, bumps or blisters on penis, anus, or mouth Burning and pain with urine or with bowel movements Having to go to the bathroom often Women may experience the following symptoms: Burning or itching in the vagina A discharge or odor from the vagina Pain around the pelvis Bleeding from the vagina that is not normal Pain deep inside during sex Sores, bumps or blisters in the vagina, anus, or mouth Burning and pain with urine or with bowel movements Having to go to the bathroom often The only way to avoid an STI/STD is to avoid sexual contact with an infected person. Other protections include: Always using a condom, and using it correctly, during sex Limiting sexual relations to only one, infection-free, long-term partner Limiting the number of sexual partners Using clean needles if you are injecting drugs If you have reason to believe you have an STI/STD, or think you may have been exposed to one, please call the Urology Group of Princeton to schedule an appointment. Most STIs/STDs can be completely cured with antibiotics; however, some are incurable but can be controlled […]

New Year’s Resolutions for Improved Bladder Health

  • Improve Bladder Health

Did your New Year’s resolutions include taking better care of your bladder? If not, you should reconsider; a well-functioning bladder is important for preventing painful ailments, such as urinary tract infections and kidney stones. Simple, daily habits can impact, for better or worse, the health of this vital organ. Here are a few simple resolutions you can set to take better care of your bladder… Drink Plenty of Water Drinking enough water helps minimize the risk of urinary tract infections. The flow of urine helps cleanse harmful bacteria from your system; whereas insufficient amounts of water in the urine can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. To ensure sure you are staying hydrated and drinking enough every day, strive for a “total water” intake, from all beverages and foods you consume, of 91 ounces for adult women and 125 ounces for men. Lose Weight Pressure on the abdomen, from excessive weight, makes obese individuals more prone to incontinence. Obesity is also linked to an increased risk of urinary tract infections. A healthy diet and regular exercise will help you shed pounds and feel great. Quit Smoking Smoking’s dangerous effects on the heart and lungs are well known; but this harmful habit is also linked to bladder, kidney, and prostate cancer. In addition, it’s also associated with erectile dysfunction in men, possibly because it affects the vascular system and impedes the proper circulation of blood throughout the body. For more information, or if you have questions or concerns about your kidneys or kidney stones, call the Urology Group of Princeton at 609.924.6487 to schedule an appointment. The board certified physician/surgeons at the Urology Group are experts trained to evaluate your symptoms, perform applicable tests, and develop the proper treatment plan.

Urology-Friendly Treats to Enjoy this Holiday Season

  • Holiday Strudel Recipe

We’ve got some great ideas for festive treats that are healthy and tasty! These recipes are perfect for this holiday season, but can also be enjoyed year-round. Whether you’re hosting or hitting the road to join the party, delight your friends and family with these great bladder-friendly recipes! The following four recipes are made with ingredients less likely to irritate a sensitive bladder. Consider trying these recipes if you struggle with symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis (IC) or Overactive Bladder (OAB). Caramel Popcorn This easy-to-follow recipe is a tasty and buttery sweet snack. It’s great to enjoy it while taking care of your bladder health. Ingredients 1 cup butter 1/2 cup corn syrup 2 cups brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 5 quarts popped popcorn Directions Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil while continuously stirring the mixture, then boil without stirring for five minutes. Turn off the burner and proceed to stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over the already popped popcorn that should be sitting in a large bowl; stir the combined contents to coat the popcorn. Place in large baking dishes and bake in the preheated oven; make sure to stir every 15 minutes for 1 hour. Remove from oven. Once it has fully cooled, you may begin breaking it into pieces. Serves about three people. Enjoy! Banana Almond Smoothie This recipe combines the great taste of bananas and almonds in a healthy smoothie. It’s a great treat for those with bladder issues such as IC or OAB. Ingredients 1 frozen peeled banana, broken into 3 – 4 chunks 1 cup almond milk 1 tablespoon almond butter Directions Combine all ingredients into your blender and puree until smooth. Enjoy! Candy Cane Cupcakes These treats are tempting and yummy to enjoy for the holiday season and beyond. These cupcakes provide a safe bet for those who have OAB and IC. Ingredients 1 box of white cake mix (roughly 18 oz.) […]

November is Bladder Health Awareness Month

  • Bladder Health awareness month - Urology services

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?

  • Kidney stone illustration

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 […]

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

  • Prostate cancer awareness

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.

Stay Hydrated this Summer!

  • Stay hydrated this summer

Maintaining good health includes making efforts to keep your kidneys healthy and avoid kidney stones. The kidneys are one of the most hard-working organ systems in your body; they act as a purification system for the blood; filtering out and excreting waste products, and maintaining healthy fluid and electrolyte balances. In addition, the kidneys produce hormones that regulate red blood cell production and blood pressure, and activate vitamin D which plays a key role in bone health. On average, your kidneys will filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood a day and produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine, composed of wastes and extra fluid. You can assist this process, and greatly reduce the risk of developing painful kidney stones, by consuming plenty of fluids. To that end, you have plenty of options to help you stay hydrated this summer, which include… Eat more “water-rich” fruits and vegetables like watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, peaches and cantaloupe. Other options include cucumbers, lettuce, zucchini, celery and tomatoes. Try iced coffee. You may be surprised to know that, not only does coffee count as part of your daily fluid intake, roughly 98 percent of a cup of coffee is water. Try iced tea. In general, tea has about half the amount of caffeine as coffee. Eat cold soups, preferably those that are broth-based. Choose coconut water over fruit juice. Coconut water generally has fewer calories and added sugars than fruit juice and is also a good source of potassium. Whip up a delicious fruit smoothie. Staying hydrated and consuming the recommended amounts of fluid each day will go a long way towards maintaining healthy kidneys and a healthier you. If you have questions or concerns about your kidneys or kidney stones, call the Urology Group of Princeton at 609.924.6487 or schedule an appointment online. The board certified physician/surgeons at the Urology Group are experts trained to evaluate your symptoms, perform applicable tests, and develop the proper treatment plan.