General Health

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.

May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month

May is Bladder Cancer Awareness month, highlighting the fourth most-common cancer in men. According to the American Cancer Society, over 62,000 cases of bladder cancer are reported in men, and over 18,000 in women, each year. The bladder’s main function is to store urine, manufactured by the kidneys, before it leaves the body. When you urinate, the muscles in the bladder contract, and urine is forced out of the bladder through a tube called the urethra. The wall of the bladder has several layers; most bladder cancers start in the innermost lining of the bladder, which is called the urothelium or transitional epithelium. As the cancer grows into or through the other layers in the bladder wall, it becomes more advanced and can be harder to treat. Researchers do not know exactly what causes most bladder cancers; but they have found some risk factors, which include: Smoking Smokers are at least 3 times as likely to get bladder cancer as nonsmokers. Workplace exposures Certain industrial chemicals have been linked with bladder cancer, such as benzidine and beta-naphthylamine, which are sometimes used in the dye industry. Industries carrying higher risks include makers of rubber, leather, textiles, and paint products, as well as printing companies. Workers with an increased risk of developing bladder cancer include painters, machinists, printers, hairdressers (probably because of heavy exposure to hair dyes), and truck drivers (likely because of exposure to diesel fumes). Certain medicines & herbal supplements According to FDA, use of the diabetes medicine pioglitazone (Actos) for more than one year may be linked with an increased risk of bladder cancer (this possible link is still an area of active research). Dietary supplements containing aristolochic acid (mainly in herbs from the Aristolochia family) have been linked with an increased risk of urothelial cancers, including bladder cancer. Arsenic in drinking water The chance of being exposed to arsenic in drinking water depends on where you live and whether you get your water from a well or from a public water system that meets the standards for low arsenic content. For most Americans, drinking water is not a […]

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of the urinary system. Although most UTIs involve the lower urinary tract, i.e. the bladder and the urethra, UTIs can also occur in the kidneys and ureters. Although UTIs occur in both women and men, women have a greater risk of developing this type of infection. Painful and annoying when the UTI is limited to the bladder, serious consequences can occur if the infection spreads to the kidneys. Urinary tract infections typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder. Although the urinary system is designed to keep out such microscopic invaders, these defenses sometimes fail. When that happens, bacteria may take hold and grow into a full-blown infection in the urinary tract. The most common UTIs occur mainly in women and affect the bladder and urethra. Infection of the bladder (cystitis) This type of UTI is usually caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), a type of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. However, sometimes other bacteria are responsible. Sexual intercourse may lead to cystitis, but it can develop without sexual activity as well. All women are at risk of cystitis because of their anatomy; specifically, the short distance from the urethra to the anus and the urethral opening to the bladder. Infection of the urethra (urethritis) This type of UTI can occur when gastrointestinal bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra. And, because the female urethra is close to the vagina, sexually transmitted infections, such as herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and mycoplasma, can cause urethritis. Urinary tract infections are typically treated with antibiotics; however, there are measures you can take to reduce your chances of getting a UTI in the first place, such as… Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Drinking water helps dilute your urine and ensures that you’ll urinate more frequently, which flushes bacteria from your urinary tract before an infection can begin. Drink cranberry juice. Studies are inconclusive that cranberry juice prevents UTIs, but it is likely not harmful and, again, will help flush […]