Monthly Archives February 2016

What is Urinary Incontinence and How Do I Prevent It

GS Urology_Urinary IncontinenceEver found yourself struggling to “hold it in?” You sneeze only to cross your legs because you felt a bit of urine leak out involuntarily. If so, you aren’t alone. These are signs of urinary incontinence, a common disorder that prevents you from being able to hold in your urine under pressure.

Those who struggle with this disorder may experience varying degrees of incontinence, from leaking while sneezing, laughing, or feeling pressure on the abdominal muscles, to a sudden need to urinate that is so urgent, it may not allow you to get to the bathroom prior to release.

What Causes Urinary Incontinence?

There are several different types of urinary incontinence. Those types include:

  • Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)
    The most common type of urinary incontinence, SUI is caused by physical stress that affects the pelvic floor muscles. This can happen if the muscles are weakened or stretched.
  • Overflow Incontinence
    This could be caused by a blockage, the bladder muscles’ inability to contract properly, or your body producing more urine than your bladder can contain.
  • Overactive Bladder (OAB)
    OAB affects over 30% of men and 40% of women in the United States alone. It causes you to have the urge to go, even when your bladder may not be full. This is typically caused by the individual’s bladder muscles being too active. For women, it often occurs after menopause or childbirth while for men it typically indicates a prostate issue.
  • Mixed Incontinence (SUI and OAB)
    This is literally a combination of SUI and OAB.

Risk Factors

There are several factors that increases your chances of developing one of these forms of urinary incontinence.

  • Obesity puts additional pressure upon the abdominal muscles, weakening them.
  • Heavy Smoking can lead to the development of a chronic cough that can cause bouts of incontinence.
  • Childbirth or Menopause can cause stress to the abdominal muscles.
  • Certain Diseases, Conditions, or Surgeries can have urinary incontinence as a side effect.
  • Age can also play a factor as the urethra and surrounding muscles weaken with old age.

Treatment and Prevention

Most patients can manage or stop urinary incontinence by making a few lifestyle changes. Kegel exercises specifically strengthen the abdominal muscles, allowing patients to have better bladder control. Cutting out unhealthy habits such as smoking and maintaining a healthy weight can also help.

However, in cases where urinary incontinence cannot be remedied, there are certain vaginal/urethral devices, surgeries, pads, or medicinal or minimally invasive treatments available to help manage the condition.

If you or someone you know is struggling with urinary incontinence, consult your doctor. Our urologists currently service patients across Lee County and Collier County. To make an appointment, simply give us a call at 239-333-3200.

  Rolando R. Rivera   Feb 10, 2016   Urinary Incontinence   Comments Off on What is Urinary Incontinence and How Do I Prevent It   Read More

Recognizing Kidney Stone Symptoms

GS_Kidney Stone Symptoms

Kidney stones, or nephrolithiasis, are crystalized masses of salts and minerals that form within the kidneys and can travel down the urinary tract. These stones develop when a high concentration of these substances are found within a person’s urine.

Over the years, kidney stones have become increasingly common among men and women within the United States. They are considered one of the most common urinary tract disorders, accounting for over 300,000 emergency room visits and over a million healthcare provider visits every year.

Symptoms

There are several symptoms for kidney stones. However, often times you have no idea you have them until they begin their descent into the ureter. The level of pain experienced in passing a kidney stone varies. Larger stones can cause severe pain and require medical attention.

The most common symptoms of kidney stones are:

  • Blood in urine
  • Abdominal, groin, or flank pain
  • Cramping
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Blocked urine flow

Cause

Kidneys are responsible for filtering substances that pass through your body. Kidney stones develop when the balance of fluid, minerals, salts, and other substances becomes heavily concentrated. One of the most common causes of this imbalance is dehydration.

Your risk factor in developing kidney stones can increase based on genetics, family history, and certain medical conditions. If you have a family member who is prone to developing kidney stones, your odds of developing them increases.

Also, once you develop a kidney stone for the first time, you become more prone to developing them again in the future.

Treatment

Typical treatment includes an elevated intake of fluids to flush the stone out of your system. Doctors may prescribe pain medication to alleviate discomfort until the kidney stone passes on its own.

However, larger kidney stones, or stones causing obstruction will require medical intervention. In cases such as these, a lithotripter is used to break the kidney stone down into smaller pieces via shock waves.

Other treatments include surgical methods such as percutaneous nephrolithotomy, or the use of an ureteroscope with extraction via basket or treatment with laser.

Prevention

The best way to avoid developing kidney stones is to keep your body hydrated. Although everyone’s body is different, most humans require an average of 8 to 10 glasses of water per day to function properly. People that make stones should have a voided urine volume of at least 2 liters/day.

Increased consumption of foods or liquids containing Vitamin D, Vitamin C, salt, protein, or high oxalates may also increase your risks of developing kidney stones, as well as high BMI and minimal physical activity.

  Rolando R. Rivera   Feb 01, 2016   Kidney Stones   Comments Off on Recognizing Kidney Stone Symptoms   Read More