Archive for the ‘urinary urgency’ Category

UTIs-Natural Solutions For Prevention

September 6, 2016

UTIs affect millions of men and women impacting their quality of life and may even affect their kidneys. Fortunately, most of these infections are uncomfortable with symptoms of burning on urination, frequency of urination, and back and pelvic pain. This article will discuss the usefulness of cranberry juice which may serve as an effective treatment to prevent recurrent UTIs.

A recent study reported in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aug. 2015 showed that cranberry pills (two capsules twice daily, equivalent to two 8-ounce servings of cranberry juice daily) cut the rate of UTIs in half.

Also there is supplement, D-mannose, can also help to reduce recurrent UTIs. Another study found good results from a combination of cranberry and d-mannose.

D-mannose is filtered through your kidneys and concentrated in your bladder and coats the bacteria causing the infections and renders them unable to stay in your urinary tract.

More than 90 percent of all UTIs are caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is normally found in your intestinal tract. Problems only arise when this ordinary bacterium is present in high numbers in places where it shouldn’t be—like your urinary system.

Although antibiotics are an effective means of eradicating bacteria within the urinary tract, antibiotics need to be used with caution. Antibiotics are not selective and they kill the pathogenic bacteria in the urinary tract but also kill the good bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, the bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics and with the removal of bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract there is a risk of other infections such as vaginal infections, fungal infections and side effects like diarrhea.

Bottom Line: UTIs are so very common and affect millions of American men and women. Cranberry juice and D-mannose may be a solution to preventing recurrent infections. If you have any questions about recurrent UTIs, speak to your physician.

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Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Women

September 4, 2016

Perhaps one of the most common infections in all women and young girls are UTIs.  Nearly 50% of all women will experience a UTI during their lifetime.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common in the U.S. In fact, UTIs are the second most common type of infection in the body and are the reason for more than 8 million visits to the doctor each year. About 50% of all women will develop at UTI during their lifetime.

Most UTIs involve the bladder (cystitis) are not serious, but some can lead to serious problems like kidney infections. The most common care or treatment for a UTI is antibiotics. Signs of a UTI involve pain or burning when you pass urine, urine that looks cloudy or smells bad, pressure in your lower abdomen, and an urge to go to the bathroom often. You can get a UTI at any age, but there are peak times in life when they are more common.

Many women report UTIs following sexual activity. Another peak time for UTIs in women is after menopause. This is because of lower vaginal estrogen levels. Lower estrogen levels make it easier for bacteria to grow. A woman’s urethra or the tube from the bladder to the outside of the body is very short, about two inches in length compared to man’s urethra which is 8-10 inches long. This short length makes it easy for bacteria to enter a woman’s bladder. The opening of a woman’s urethra is near the rectum and vagina which happen to be two common places where bacteria dwell.

Prevention of UTIs in women may be as simple as instructing women to wipe from front to back following urination and bowel movements. This helps cut the chance of spreading bacteria from the anus to the urethra.

For women who notice more UTIs after sexual activity, I will often recommend that women take a low dose antibiotic shortly before or right after sexual activity.

Bottom Line: UTIs are common in women.  Most of these infections are not serious and can be treated with a short course of antibiotics.  For women with chronic or repeated infections, low dose antibiotics may be helpful.

Urinary Incontinence: Gotta Go, Gotta Go Right Now!

November 28, 2015

Urinary incontinence affects millions of Americans and causes havoc with their lives.  It I a source of embarrassment, shame and often depression.  Other medical consequences of incontinence include skin irritation, urinary tract infections, and pelvic pain.  This blog will discuss treatment options including medications and non-medical solutions.

Urinary incontinence means that the person suffering from it starts losing his/her control over the bladder. This leads to several kinds of problems of the urinary system including sudden urination, slow but steady leakage of urine, or dripping of urine when one undertakes a physically stressful exercise like lifting weight.  Those who have incontinence often lose urine with coughing, laughing, or sneezing.

Although this is a common medical problem, many suffers continue to suffer in silence, living a secluded and reclusive life.

While these causes cannot be controlled, it is important to take note of and control factors that can worsen the condition:

Medication

If you have a problem of urinary incontinence and the symptoms have gone from bad to worse, you need to check with your doctor about the medication or drugs you have been taking. For, chances are that some of these may be exacerbating the problem. Certain drugs to treat high blood pressure are linked to an increase in incontinence.

Alpha blockers dilate blood vessels to reduce blood pressure and they also often relax the muscles of the bladder, furthering urine flow. Some drugs to treat depression can contribute to worsening incontinence symptoms.

Anti-depressants work by relaxing the nerves of the mind and may also affect the ability of the bladder muscles to contract (side effects).

Diuretics are another set of drugs that are associated with increased

urination. In fact, these drugs are also called ‘water pills’, and are designed to flush out excess salt from your body to treat conditions like high blood pressure.

Caffeine

Caffeine is an important component of our daily lives as most of us consume it through coffee, tea and chocolates. Excessive consumption of caffeine is associated with the problem of increased urination. While mild consumption doesn’t have a negative effect, excess consumption can affect the renal system, as caffeine is a stimulant. It stimulates the cardiovascular system, increasing the heart rate as well as blood pressure. This increases the rate of blood to be filtered. It also relaxes the bladder’s detrusor muscles, causing them to feel fuller more frequently. So, limiting caffeine intake is healthy.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a major health concern of today as it affects the functioning of the entire body. It also increases the risk of urinary incontinence, as well as its severity. Efforts should be made to prevent and control diabetes by keeping your weight under control, exercising regularly and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Excessive weight also puts extra pressure on the pelvic muscles and weakens them. Therefore, it is also important to control body weight.

Solutions

Besides controlling the aforementioned factors, it is important to take medical help to treat and manage urinary incontinence.

In some patients, adopting behavioral changes may help. For example, decreasing fluid intake to average levels, urinating more frequently to decrease the amount of urine that is held in the bladder and keeping regular bowel habits (as constipation can worsen the problem) may have a positive effect.

Pelvic muscle training exercises, aka Kegel exercises, can specifically help those who suffer from incontinence. The exercises help patients exercise better control of their detrusor muscles.

Weight loss has also been shown to help decrease symptoms in overweight people.

Bottom Line:  Urinary incontinence is a common condition affecting millions of American men and women.  Help is available and no one needs to “depend on Depends”!

Incontinence in Women-You Don’t Have To Depend on Depends!

August 6, 2014

Many women suffer in silence with their problem of urinary incontinence. About 1\3 of women between 40-70 have a problem of urinary incontinence and it is more common in women after menopause. This blog will discuss the problem and what are some solutions to this common condition that affects the quality of life of so many women.

Urinary incontinence, the loss of bladder control, is a common and often embarrassing problem. The severity ranges from occasionally leaking urine during a cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that’s so sudden and strong it’s impossible to get to a toilet in time.

Having accidents as an adult can be deeply embarrassing and most women don’t want to talk about it, yet it is far more common than many sufferers realize.

And the condition not only affects women’s confidence – it can also lead to mental health issues. Half (51 per cent) of women with adult incontinence (AI) also suffer from depression.

Because of the embarrassment surrounding the condition 60 per cent never seek help from their doctors, and of those who do 28 per cent delay seeking treatment for up to three to five years because they are ashamed.
Yet this common phenomenon can happen to women at any age and for many reasons including childbirth, the menopause or strenuous exercise.
This condition can also affect patient’s sex lives, with more than a quarter admitting it made them worry about sexual intimacy with their partners.

A large majority women said they had to change everything from the clothes they wear, the bags they carry, the way they travel, where they go and how they socialize.
They don’t always realize that help is available and that there are the right products out there that offer the comfort and protection women need to live life to the full.

Low impact sports such as cycling, yoga or elliptical machine exercises are ideal activities for keeping fit without affecting a sensitive bladder condition.

Abdominal workouts such as sit ups, crunches or plank kicks place a lot of pressure on the pelvic floor. Opt for alternative exercises where breathing or the position itself supports the pelvic floor.

PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES
Pelvic floor exercises and targeted Pilates and yoga exercises can be particularly helpful. By practicing at least three times a day, they can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and give more control when needed..

DRINK JUST ENOUGH
There’s no need to avoid drinking in order to reduce the urge to visit the bathroom. Limiting water intake makes urine more concentrated, which boosts the chances of bladder irritation.

NO HEAVY LIFTING
Lifting heavy objects is particularly bad for the pelvic floor and back. Ask for help instead.
Just Say No To Caffeine
Caffeine, alcohol and carbonated drinks could be your new worst enemies. Try limiting coffee, tea and carbonated beverages for a week or two as they can irritate a sensitive bladder.

SET A SCHEDULE
Your bladder is trainable. If you need to pass water frequently and need to rush to the restroom, ask your PCP about a daily schedule for building up the bladder’s holding capacity. Remember, allow your bladder to empty completely each time you go to the toilet.

WEAR BACK-UP
A growing number of pads for day and night use as well as absorbent underwear and bed pads are available at high street pharmacy chains. Wearing one may be the difference between being stuck at home and feeling able to go out for periods of time.
Most cases can be improved with simple lifestyle changes and pelvic floor exercises as well as by finding the right products for you.

Bottom Line: By doing daily pelvic floor exercises, you can decrease your incontinent episodes and not only build your pelvic floor muscles but also build your confidence.

Mind Over Bladder-Stress Reduction Used To Treat Overactive Bladder*

June 28, 2014

Overactive bladder (OAB) or when you gotta go, you gotta go affects millions of American men and women. OAB is a condition that significantly impacts the quality of life of those who suffer from this problem.

Now there is evidence that relaxing the mind may be helpful when it comes to reducing bladder urge issues, according to a new study completed at the University of Utah. Thirty women participated in an eight-week study and were followed for one year comparing the impact of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) with yoga on urinary urge incontinence, a challenge faced by as many as 26 percent of women in the United States.

Those affected may experience large, unpredictable leakage of urine which can be psychologically and socially devastating.

Older women are often the ones experiencing this incontinence, though it’s not clear why. Weaker muscles and neurological elements are likely the culprit. Medications are effective initially but not long-term and can have bothersome side effects.

Twelve months after participating in the study, the women who studied mindfulness-based stress reduction had 66.7 percent fewer urinary urge incontinence episodes compared with the control group, which saw only 16.7 percent reduction at that time. It may help to help calm the mind so the emotional area of the brain is not activated and thus allows the person to learn to reframe the normal urge sensations from their bladder.

More study is needed and the next step for researchers is to secure a National Institutes of Health grant to conduct the study on a larger group of women in the next several years.

Bottom Line: Learning techniques of stress reduction may be helpful for those who suffer from overactive bladder.

*this blog was inspired by an article in WebMD which appeared at: http://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/news/20090508/mind-over-bladder-may-lessen-leaks

Urine Incontinence — It’s Nothing to Sneeze At

January 17, 2014

One of life’s most embarrassing experiences is not being able to control your urination and soiling your clothes forcing you to leave any situation where you are engaged with others. It is one of the last medical conditions to remain in the closet as many men and women fail to seek medical attention for this common problem.
This blog will discuss the 4 types of urinary incontinence and what treatment options are available for this common problem.

Urge Incontinence occurs in women with an overactive bladder who may not be able to get to the toilet in time to prevent leakage, even though they tighten up all of their pelvic muscles, because they can’t control the bladder and keep urine in. Overactive bladder that leads to urge incontinence affects about 17 percent of women, but it increases to over 50 percent after menopause. Overactive bladder isn’t a normal part of aging.

Stress incontinence is a much more common type of incontinence. Menopause contributes to this problem, but stretching and tearing of the pelvic muscles during childbirth definitely sets the stage. The reduced muscle tone causes the urethra to sag. When pressure builds up in the abdomen from a cough, sneeze, laugh, jump or lift, internal organs put pressure on the bladder and a small amount of urine may escape.

Overflow incontinence occurs when more urine collects in the bladder than the bladder can hold and the excess urine leaks out. It can be caused by blockage of the urinary tract or nerve damage caused by conditions such as diabetes, stroke, or injury.

Functional incontinence is not really a problem with the urinary tract. It happens to people who can’t move quickly, who have eye problems or who suffer from confusion or memory loss. They simply can’t get to the bathroom in time.

Certain prescription drugs such as diuretics and some tranquilizers, and smoking and eating spicy foods or artificial sweeteners, or drinking alcohol and caffeine can irritate the bladder and worsen incontinence.

Mixed incontinence is a combination of both stress and urge incontinence.

Today, there are many more options to consider, from medications, pelvic floor physical therapy, and surgery. The first step is to have a work up to diagnose the underlying problem so that an appropriate treatment plan can be put into place. Sometimes more than one treatment is needed.
Treatment options include:
1. Bladder training — This approach teaches you to urinate only at scheduled times and waiting longer between trips to the bathroom. Start by going to the bathroom every 30 to 60 minutes while you are awake, even if you don’t have to go. After about one week, slowly increase the time interval by 30 minutes every week.

2. Kegel exercises — Dr. Arnold Kegel, a gynecologist at the University of Southern California, developed the exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles in 1948. Kegel exercises are often the first line of treatment for the millions of women in the U.S. suffering from unexpected bladder leakage due to coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercise. This if defined as stress incontinence but many women experience frustration because they unknowingly don’t perform the Kegels effectively, which leads to no improvement in symptoms. Most men or women need to do the exercises for 3-6 months before any changes will occur.

3. Pelvic Floor Electrical Stimulation with Biofeedback Therapy — This treatment uses computer graphs and sounds you can hear to show you which muscles you are exercising so you can perfect the exercises. Physical therapists and other professionals specially trained in problems related to women’s health teach exercises for the pelvic floor, trunk, back and extremities that can help strengthen the pelvic muscles and improve bladder control. The physical therapist may use devices that use mild, comfortable, electrical stimulation to train the bladder muscles when and how to squeeze.

4. InTone is a new FDA listed Class II Medical Device for home use that has been shown to effectively strengthen the pelvic floormuscles and helps to prevent embarrassing leakage without surgery or medication and can be done in the privacy of home. InTone is like a personal trainer for Kegel exercises.

5. Medications — Estrogen can be very helpful in improving the symptoms of some cases of incontinence. Studies have demonstrated improvement in 40- 70 percent of women. I have found that estrogen cream (one fourth to half an applicator) works better than either tablets or patches for this particular problem. Medications called smooth muscle relaxants (examples are oxybutynin and tolterodine) can also help if the problem is caused by abnormal bladder contractions.

6. Pessaries — These donut-like plastic or rubber rings are similar to a diaphragm used for birth control. They are fit into the vagina to lift and offer added support for the bladder when the pelvic muscles are weak.

7. Surgery — There are many operations that have been developed to support the bladder and improve or correct incontinence. Women don’t need to have a hysterectomy in order to control urinary incontinence. Most of these operations for incontinence can be performed as one-day surgeries.

8. Botox– If you don’t respond to oral medications, you may be a candidate for Botox injections directly into the bladder muscle. This, too, can be done as a one-day stay procedure and usually produces relief of symptoms of frequency of urination and urgency of urination with urge incontinence

Bottom Line: Women don’t have to suffer in silence. Successful treatment options are available and most women can be helped and made more comfortable and reduce their embarrassment.

Help For Women With Overactive Bladder-Now Available Without a Prescription

January 27, 2013
Oxytrol Patch For Overactive Bladder

Oxytrol Patch For Overactive Bladder

Millions of women suffer from overactive bladder-when you gotta go right now! In the past there are prescription medications used to make women more comfortable. Now the FDA has approved Oxytrol for Women, the first over-the-counter treatment for overactive bladder.

The condition affects more than 20 million American women, according to Merck, the drug’s manufacturer.
It will still only be available in prescription form for men.

Oxytrol helps relax the overactive bladder muscle that leads to symptoms such as the sudden need to urinate and leaking of urine.
Oxytrol for Women is in the form of a patch, applied to the skin every four days, Merck says.

It is expected to hit store shelves by the fall.

Oxytrol in pill form by prescription will still be available. Oxytrol for Women contains oxybutynin, a drug that helps to relax the bladder muscle. It belongs to a class of drug called anticholinergics. It is the first of this class to go over-the-counter for overactive bladder treatment.
Among side effects reported in the studies were skin irritation at the site of the patch, constipation, and dry mouth. Most women who develop overactive bladder are 45 to 60 years old. Many do not seek professional medical help due to embarrassment.

Many women who suffer with bladder problems wait on average seven years before seeking treatment.

Bottom Line: If you are using the restroom more than 8 times a day or three times a night, see your doctor or at least try over the counter Oxytrol.

Don’t Let Your Bladder Drain Your Travel Plans

December 21, 2011

Travel today can make anyone anxious and nervous. But traveling and worrying about urinary incontinence can make even the most seasoned traveler think twice about making plans for a trip. This article will provide ideas that can help allay those apprehensions about traveling if you have urinary incontinence.

First, if fears about having an incontinence episode are causing you to consider skipping your trip entirely, check in with your doctor. There are medications that can be taken once a day that will help with bladder frequency, urgency of urination and urinary incontinence. You may need to start taking medications a few days or a week in advance of traveling for them to work most effectively, so don’t delay.
Here are other things to discuss with your doctor:

A Kegel a day may keep you dry and comfortable. Kegel exercises are used to strengthen the muscles in the pelvis. However, it may take weeks or months to train these muscles to help control your urination. You can do the exercises at any time even while reading this article or while waiting for the lavatory sign to read “vacant.”

Some medications have side effects that can contribute to urinary incontinence. Check to make sure other drugs you take aren’t undermining bladder control. For example, people who take diuretics to manage blood pressure or swelling might need to switch medications to fight incontinence .
Creating Your Flight Plan

Here’s how to plan for flying or driving “dry”:
Book tickets carefully. If you’re flying, try to get an aisle seat and, if possible, one close to the toilet. Many booking sites let you choose the seat you want on a map of the plane.

Plan your route. If you’re driving, take a careful look at your map and consider stopping for bathroom breaks every 90 minutes or so (based on your typical time between urges or leaks).

Buy supplies. Even with good planning, you could experience a leak. Adult absorbent pads can help you feel more confident. For long trips, talk with your doctor about urethral plugs or portable catheters. Some patients may have a catheter or tube inserted into the bladder before a trip which will drain urine from the bladder to a leg bag which can be easily concealed under your clothing. The catheter can then be removed when you reach your destination. And if you’re flying, check ahead with your airline to find out what you can take in a carry-on. Generally, all prescription assistive products can go on the plane with you.

Learn foreign customs. If you’re traveling internationally, learn how to ask for a bathroom in the local language. Also check in advance to find out whether you will need change for public restrooms and tips for attendants.
Bladder Control While on Your Trip

Choose beverages carefully. Caffeine, soda, beer, and wine are all diuretics and increase the production of urine and can aggravate an already overactive bladder. You should skip these while flying or driving. Sip on water if you’re thirsty.

Ask for privacy. Should you find yourself in the awkward situation of needing a pat-down or other security screening, and you’re feeling embarrassed about your incontinence or related supplies, know that you can ask security officers for privacy. You may want to ask your doctor in advance for a note to confirm your situation.

Avoid constipation as constipation actually makes bladder control more difficult, so make sure you eat a varied diet and have regular bowel movements.

Void early and often. Instead of waiting for a leak, be proactive and seize your opportunities. Make sure you go to the bathroom before you get on the plane, during a layover, and when you have opportunities between meal and beverage cart service times. When driving, stick to your planned stops, even if you don’t feel the urge to go.

Pack a change of clothes. You want to travel light, but you should have easy access to a spare set (or two) of underwear and easy-to-wash travel pants.

Pack toilet supplies. Because you never know how well bathrooms will be maintained, you may want to carry your own flushable wipes, spare toilet tissue, sanitizing hand gel, plastic bags for disposing of trash or for storing soiled clothes, and any other supplies you think you might need.

Plan for special events. You may occasionally have to attend a gala dinner or other social engagement that could require sitting for hours while people speak or make presentations. Try to find out whether these will be on your itinerary and whether you can be seated close to a door.

Bottom Line: With proactive incontinence management, your trip should be as pleasurable and comfortable as you want and you won’t have to depend on Depends!

Article modified from Taking Incontinence on the Road, By Madeline Vann, MPHMedically reviewed by Farrokh Sohrabi, MD