Archive for April, 2015

Using Hormone Therapy To Reduce Recurrent UTIs in Women

April 13, 2015

Women often experience recurrent UTIs after menopause. The cause is often a result of reduced estrogen levels that is so common after menopause. This blog will discuss the use of topical estrogens to reduce the frequency to recurrent urinary tract infections.

Topical hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was associated with a lower incidence of urinary tract infections (UTIs) compared with both oral HRT or even no HRT.

UTIs are a frequent problem among postmenopausal women necessitating antimicrobial use, and resistance is increasing. Every year, 8–10% of postmenopausal women have 1 episode of a urinary tract infection; of these, 5% will have a recurrence in the next year.

Studies have demonstrated use of oral estrogens does not reduce the incidence of UTIs, but topical HRT reduced the number of UTIs in two small studies.

To determine whether a difference existed in incidence of UTIs in women 60–75 years of age, a study compared the number of UTIs per patient per year over 1 year in 3 groups of postmenopausal women: topical HRT, systemic HRT, and control (n=75 per group).
Women aged 60–75 years with a history of UTI (n=448) were identified from retrospective charts (2011–2013). Patients were excluded if they were taking antibiotics for UTI prophylaxis, treated with antibiotics for reasons other than UTI for 2 or more weeks, were on both topical and systemic HRT, or on chronic methenamine hippurate.
The number of UTIs per patient per year was significantly different among the 3 groups. There was a significant difference between topical HRT and systemic HRT, and topical HRT and control, but not systemic HRT and control. The control group had an average of 1.24 UTIs per patient per year, compared with 1.01 in the systemic group and 0.65 in the women who used topical estrogen replacement.

Bottom Line: Topical estrogens may be beneficial when other preferred agents cannot be utilized.

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Fido Finds Cancer-Dogs Used To Sniff Out Prostate Cancer

April 13, 2015

We have many high tech methods to detect cancer. We have blood tests, X-rays, CT scans, MRIs just to name a few. Now there’s a low tech means to detect prostate cancer using dogs. An Italian study showed a 93% reliability rate for detecting bladder and prostate cancer.

The latest research, by the Department of Urology at the Humanitas Clinical and Research Centre in Milan, involved two German shepherds sniffing the urine of 900 men – 360 with prostate cancer and 540 without.
Scientists found that dogs were accurate in 98.7% of cases.

They said the dogs are able to detect prostate cancer specific volatile organic compounds in the urine but said an important question remains of how a dog would find it in daily practice.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the US, with more than 250,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

Dogs can pick up a scent in a dilution of one to a thousand parts. There is no single test for prostate cancer, but the most commonly used are blood tests, a physical examination or a biopsy.

The research has been published in the Journal Of Urology, one of America’s most prestigious urologic publications.

Bottom Line: Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men and there are a myriad of tests to make the diagnosis. Perhaps in the near future we will be asking fido to help us out!

News To Know About Power Napping

April 11, 2015

My mother, St. Sara (the only Jewish saint!) had a habit of taking a 15-20 minute nap every afternoon and then she had a recharged battery and was able to be exuberant and energetic for 5-6 additional hours. Naps can be quite beneficial to most people who already sleep well at night.

Americans are a sleep-deprived nation. Naps can improve our overall daily functioning. This blog will discuss the benefits of afternoon napping.

Naps can be very beneficial for workplace performance. Short naps have been routinely demonstrated to reduce accidents and mistakes while also improving attention, concentration, performance and alertness. Naps also help boost your mood and ability to manage stress. Naps can be used proactively to gain energy for a late night out. They can even be used effectively to combat drowsy driving when a short snooze is taken just before getting behind the wheel or using heavy machinery.

Routine, planned naps are necessary for some people, while others find that taking an occasional nap when sleepy might be all that is needed. For example, patients with narcolepsy find that planned short naps are crucial to managing their sleepiness every day.

Although it seems simple to take a nap, there are a few tricks to optimize the benefits of a midday snooze. Here are a few tricks from Dr. Oz to getting in a great power nap.

  1. Short, 20-minute power naps are generally much better than longer ones since longer naps cause you to get into deeper stages of sleep, leading to an increased feeling of grogginess upon awakening. Longer naps can also interfere with nighttime sleep. Shorter naps are typically refreshing and can help increase alertness for a few hours.
  1. Make sure that your sleep environment is comfortable, quiet, dark and cool. If you are at home, try to nap only in your bed. If you aren’t at home, find a place where you can either lie down or recline. Block as much light as possible coming into the room (or get a light-blocking eye mask), and consider using a white noise machine, fan or silicone earplugs to block the noise around you.
  2. Power naps taken before 2 p.m. tend not to interfere as much with nighttime sleep, so earlier naps are better. If you find that you have trouble sleeping at night, avoid napping during the day.

Bottom Line: Getting enough sleep is important to our health and well being. Taking a short afternoon nap is an excellent to recharge our batteries just like my mother, St. Sara, was able to do for her whole life.

Bladder Symptoms-Stop Depending On Depends!

April 1, 2015

Millions of American women suffer from urinary bladder problems. Unfortunately, they suffer in silence as women feel too embarrassed to discuss their symptoms with their physicians. This article will discuss the common symptoms of bladder control and what can be done about it that doesn’t require a diaper or Depends.
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The involuntary leaking of urine is a distressing symptom which is associated with loss of confidence, self esteem, relationship difficulties and sometimes depression. Some women deal with the situation by avoiding socializing with family and friends, wearing dark clothes and frequently changing their clothing, using scents, sanitary pads and even diapers.
Bladder difficulties can affect all age groups, but are more common in middle age and older women. It is likely that as many as one in five women experience incontinence at some stage in their lives. Approximately 70 per cent of urinary incontinence sufferers tolerate the symptoms and those who seek medical help wait for an average of four years because of embarrassment, shame and stigma.

Talking about these symptoms is difficult but women do not need to feel reluctant about seeking help as so many women can be effectively treated without surgery.

The biggest risk factor for women is damage to the pelvic floor especially related to pregnancy and child birth. Other conditions include extreme sports, chronic coughing and heavy lifting. Contributing causes include obesity, smoking and drugs that affect the bladder or the muscle that holds urine inside the bladder.
There are two main types of incontinence: stress and urge. Urine loss in the stress type is preceded by increasing the pressure within the abdomen such as occurs with laughing, sneezing, or coughing. Women experiencing urge incontinence have a compelling urge to pass urine, which is impossible to control and causes leaking.

Treatment can start with measures, which do not involve medication, but can be followed by pharmacotherapy if the conservative measure are not effective.

Initially patients are advised to decrease the intake of caffeine and carbonated drinks, smoking and avoiding constipation.
Pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises, are the recommended first line treatment for stress, mixed and urgency incontinence and result in significant improvement in up to 80 per cent of cases. Bladder training and electrical stimulation are other effective ways of treating incontinence.

Bottom Line: Wearing a diaper to staying at home because of the loss of urine, is not acceptable to most women who suffer from incontinence. It doesn’t have to be that way. See your doctor and he\she can often find a solution that will make you dry, comfortable, and lead you to a healthy lifestyle.