Posts Tagged ‘hematuria’

What Women Need To Know About Their Partner’s Health

September 18, 2015

Women are drives of healthcare. They are responsible for helping to see that their partners take good care of themselves. My wife makes an appointment for my annual physical exam each year and accompanies me to the doctor to be sure that I explain all of my concerns and that she has the instructions for the recommendations and follow up. I don’t think my situation is unique as most women not take care of themselves but also the healthcare of their partner. This article will discuss 5 conditions that can impact a man’s health and should come to the attention of a physician\urologist.

Erectile dysfunction is often a sign of something more serious. About 70% of ED cases are caused by existing medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or heart disease. The more advanced these diseases are, the more at risk a man is for ED. In most cases, ED is treatable. If you loved one has ED, encourage him seek medical care.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. About 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. The number jumps to 1 in 5 if he’s African-American and 1 in 3 if he has a family history of prostate cancer. Men should know their risk and talk to their doctors about whether prostate cancer screening is right for them.

Male infertility is more common than you think. In about 40% of infertile couples, the male partner is either the sole cause or a contributing cause of infertility.

If he has blood in his urine, pay attention. This can be a sign of a urinary tract infection, kidney stone, enlarged prostate or an early sign of bladder or kidney cancer. All men who have blood in the urine should see their doctor\urologist.

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men ages 15-35. Although there is nothing to prevent testicular cancer, if the cancer is caught early, there is a high cure rate. Signs of testicular cancer include persistent pain or a bump in the testicular area.

Finally, if they are going to the bathroom more than three times each night, they should be seen by a doctor. This could be a sign of a prostate or bladder problem, or potentially something more serious.

Bottom Line: Men have unique medical problems and women can be so helpful in directing men to a healthcare provider. I hope this article should be kept in mind regarding your male loved one’s medical health.

More FAQs From My Patients

February 16, 2015

I have a high cholesterol level. Is there anything I can do to lower the cholesterol level besides medications, i.e., statins?
Yes, there are cholesterol lowering foods that are effective and have absolutely no side effects. These include:
Soluble fiber of 25gms each day is helpful and good for the colon as well. Good sources of soluble fiber include legumes such as peas and beans; cereal grains such as oats and barley and vegetables and fruits such as carrots, apples, and dried plums (prunes).
Nuts to the rescue. Although nuts are high in fat, the fats are predominantly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, which are known to decrease LDL cholesterol levels or bad cholesterol. By eating a daily helping of nuts — about 2.4 ounces — results in an average 5% reduction in total cholesterol concentration. Nuts that will help lower LDL cholesterol levels include almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pecans, macadamias and pistachios.
Plant sterols and stanols, plant compounds that are structurally similar to cholesterol, partially block the absorption of cholesterol from the small intestine. They lower levels of LDL cholesterol without adversely affecting high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol levels. Plant sterols and stanols, plant compounds that are structurally similar to cholesterol, partially block the absorption of cholesterol from the small intestine. They lower levels of LDL cholesterol without adversely affecting high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol levels.
So you can begin by decreasing your consumption of red meat, butter, and high cholesterol containing seafood such as crayfish (heaven forbid!) shrimp and lobster and try these other non-medical options. If these do not work, then talk to your doctor about medication.

I am thinking of having a vasectomy. Is there any risk of erectile dysfunction or impotence?
No, you have nothing to worry about. A vasectomy ONLY prevents the sperm from entering into the ejaculate or seminal fluid. It does not affect the testosterone level or the ability to engage in sexual intimacy. If your erections are good before the vasectomy, they will remain just like they were prior to the vasectomy. So it is safe to proceed with the “prime cut”!

I am a man 78 years of age. Do I need to have a PSA test for prostate cancer?
No, the American Cancer Society and the American Urological Association do not recommend screening for prostate cancer with the PSA test in men more than 75 years. Cancer screening tests — including the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test to look for signs of prostate cancer — can be a good idea in younger men between 50-75 but not in men over age 75. A normal PSA test, combined with a digital rectal exam, can help reassure you that it’s unlikely you have prostate cancer. But getting a PSA test for prostate cancer is not be necessary for men 75 and older.

I am 40 years of age and ate some red beets. My urine turned red. Is that normal after consuming red beets?
Usually red urine after red beet consumption is a result of a pigment, betalain, in the red beets and is nothing to worry about. However, if the red persists more than 24 hours after consuming the beets, then it is important to see your physician and have a urine examination. When the red color persists, this is referred to as hematuria. Hematuria is a clinical term referring to the presence of blood, specifically red blood cells, in the urine. Whether this blood is visible only under a microscope or present in quantities sufficient to be seen with the naked eye, hematuria is a sign that something is causing abnormal bleeding in the patient’s genitourinary tract. For more information on hematuria, please go to my website: http://neilbaum.com/articles/hematuria-blood-in-the-urine

Red Urine After Eating Beets

August 16, 2014

I have noticed that my urine turns red after eating beets. Is this a problem?

Don’t be alarmed as this is a normal occurance after eating beets. There’s even a medical name for red urine from eating beets, beeturia. The color is caused by the excretion of betalain (betacyanin) pigments. The coloring is highly variable between individuals and between different occasions and can vary in intensity. Beeturia is often associated with red or pink feces.

If, however, if the urine doesn’t return to the normal yellow color in 24-48 hours after the consumption of beets, then this is probably related to something else and does require the attention of your physician.

When Your Pee Changes Color

January 27, 2011

Most of us are uncomfortable talking about our waste products, urine and feces.  However, changes in the color and odor may signify disease that can be treated or prevented.  This article will review causes of discoloration of urine and when there is a change in the odor of urine. 

For hundreds of years doctors have looked at urine as a barometer of what is happening in the body.  The urine can tell what you have been eating, how much fluid you are consuming, and what diseases you may have.  Early doctors even tasted the urine of their patients in order to diagnose their medical conditions.  Fortunately, we have made progress and a simple urinalysis can make this determination in seconds.                   

Urine is an important part of the body’s regulation process. Its job is to remove the extra water and wastes that the kidneys filter out of the blood. The urine is there primarily to get rid of toxins or things that would otherwise build up in the body that would be bad for the body.

When you notice that your urine has changed color, or there’s a strange odor emanating from the toilet, the cause might be something as harmless as what you had for dinner such as asparagus. It also might be a sign of a more serious condition, such as an infection or cancer. 

Color Changes

Urine normally varies from pale yellow to deep amber, depending on the concentration of the urine, which is determined by the amount of fluid you consume. Darker urine is usually a sign that you’re not drinking enough water.   Correction is as simple as consuming more liquids, especially water. 

The opposite is also true. If your urine is very pale, it means that you’re either drinking a lot of fluid, or you’re taking a diuretic or water pill which is a drug that forces the body to eliminate excess water.

Urine can turn a rainbow of colors, and an unusual hue isn’t necessarily cause for alarm. Certain medications can turn the urine fluorescent green or blue, the carotene in carrots can tint it orange, and vitamins can give it a yellow hue.  Pyridium, a medication, which is used to treat burning on urination, will turn the urine orange-red.

Seeing red is typically a sign that there is blood in the urine, but before you panic, know that a little blood can produce a dramatic color change. Just like a drop of food coloring will add color to a large volume of food or fluids, it only takes one drop of blood to turn an entire toilet bowl red.

Red urine is usually an ominous sign and can indicate an infection or maybe even cancer.  Red blood is a real warning sign and should prompt you to see your doctor or urologist, a doctor who specializes in disease of the kidneys and bladder.

Odor Changes

Urine normally doesn’t have a very strong smell. If your urine has a foul odor, you could have an infection or urinary stones, which can create an ammonia-like odor. Diabetics might notice that their urine smells sweet, because of excess sugar.

Some foods can also change urine odor. Asparagus is among the most notorious. What people are smelling when they eat asparagus is the breakdown of a sulfur compound called methyl mercaptan (the same compound found in garlic).

How Often Do You Need to Go?

How often you need to go can be as important an indicator of your health as the color or smell of your urine. Most people take bathroom breaks about six to eight times a day, but you might go more or less depending on how much fluid you drink. If you’re constantly feeling the urge to go and it’s not because you’re not drinking extra fluid, causes can include:

Overactive bladder  (when you gotta go, you gotta go!), urinary tract infection, Interstitial cystitis (painful urination without an infection), prostate gland enlargement, and diabetes. 

The opposite problem, not going to the bathroom enough, can occur when there is a blockage or infection. Or, it can be the result of bad bathroom habits. Some people — especially teachers, surgeons, and anyone else who doesn’t have time for regular bathroom breaks throughout the day — tend to hold it in.

Delaying urination can also cause problems.  The bladder can develop a chronic over-distension and will not empty completely.  As a result urine is left in the bladder and can be a source for developing a urinary tract infection.

Develop good bathroom habits.

Drink whenever you’re thirsty, but certainly increase your fluids before going outside in the hot summer sun or before exercising. 

If you’re getting up during the night to use the bathroom, stop drinking three to four hours before bedtime. Limit caffeine, which can irritate the lining of the bladder. Also watch your intake of alcohol, which can have an effect similar to a diuretic.

Finally, don’t hold it in. Don’t delay answering the call of the rest room.  Your bladder will thank you.

Bottom Line:  Pay attention to the color and odor of your urine.  If there is a change, contact your physician.

Cystitis-How To Leave Home Without It

March 11, 2010

What does sex, bubble bath and thongs have in common?  Answer: They may all be causes of cystitis.  If you are a woman who has ever suffered from cystitis then you will know just how debilitating and miserable it can be, you you can perhaps take comfort from the fact that you are far from alone.  It seems that at last 20% of women have had an attack at some point in their lives, and 20% of those will get more than one episode a year.

There is certainly no mistaking the feeling it brings, which usually starts with a strong sensation of needing to urinate.  When you try to go, it either burns horribly, or nothing seems to come out.  You may have a full, uncomfortable sensation in the bladder, plus an aching back and stomach and a general feeling of being unwell.  The most common cause is an infection caused by bacteria.  It isn’t only a female problem but far more common in women than men.  The reason is that the internal plumbing of women is much shorter than in a man and the relationship of the rectum which is usually the source of the bacteria is closer to the urinary tract in women than in men.

A bacteria called E. Coli is usually the culprit.  Since E. Coli coming from the rectum can reside in the vagina and then can have easy access to the urethra or the tube that transmits urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.  This is why it is beneficial for women to wipe from front to back when they use the restroom.  If you swipe the wrong way, you can move the bugs from the rectum into the vagina and then into the urethra.  Another recommendation is to switch from nylon or synthetic underwear to the cooler cotton briefs which discourage the growth of bacteria.  Also, thongs and G strings may be very sexy but they are bad news for cystitis sufferers as the string is an effective way for bacteria to hitch a ride from your bottom to your bladder. Another suggestion is to change the bacterial flora of the gastrointestinal tract.  This can be accomplished by regularly eating yoghurt which contains the good bacteria lactobacillus or acidophilus.

It is also crucial to drink large quantities of water to flush away any bacteria.  Also, it is recommended that sufferers of frequent cystitis go the toilet when you first feel the urge.  The longer you hold in urine, the fuller your bladder is, with more potential for bacteria to grow and proliferate.  Using bubble baths or irritating soaps around the vagina should also be avoided as these agents can upset the delicate balance of acidity and alkalinity in your skin so that bacteria can flourish.

It also appears that sexual intercourse, promotes moving bacteria from the vagina into the urethra.  This then starts the process of bacterial multiplication in the bladder and creates the symptoms of cystitis.  Therefore, it is important for women who get cystitis after intercourse to urinate frequently after sexual intimacy to wash the bacteria out of the urethra so they don’t become permanent residents and create an infection.

For years doctors have recommended cranberries of a method to reduce the attacks of recurrent cystitis.  Initially, it was thought that the cranberries were a source of acid and this prevented cystitis.  Now research has shown that the cranberries contain chemicals that help stop the bacteria from sticking onto the bladder wall.  Because cranberry juice can be quite high in sugar, you might prefer to take one of the cranberry supplements that are available.

Beating back an attack

The first practical step is to consume 2 glasses of water every 20 minutes for the first three hours.  This will help you ladder to flush itself out, and sometimes is enough on it s own to prevent further problems.  If not, gulp down a few glasses of cranberry juice.  Sipping a glass of water with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda stirred into it may help the burning sensation when you urinate.

If these simple measures don’t relieve your symptoms in a day or two, you may need to see your doctor and take a short course of antibiotics.  Failure to treat the infection can result in a much more serious kidney infection.  Also, if you have more than 3-4 infections in a 12 month period you will want to see your doctor to be sure there isn’t something else more ominous causing these infection.