Urological diseases can affect both men and women irrespective of their age and can even be diagnosed in children, making it quite a common affliction. There are a number of diseases that can be categorized under urological diseases, all of them affecting the ability of the body to flush out toxins efficiently.
To describe it simply, these diseases affect the filtering of and expulsion of urine in the body. When this critical function is impaired, several problems can arise. To understand these ailments better, prevent them and treat them in time, it helps if you have a basic knowledge of the human body’s urinary system.
The urinary system consists of two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder, and the urethra. The kidneys, shaped like beans, are about the size of your closed fist. They are located on either side of your spine, below the rib cage. The kidneys clean out the blood and create urine. The urine is carried to the bladder by the two ureters that lie on either side of the bladder.
The bladder lies between the pelvic muscles and it expands when urine is transferred here via the ureters. When you expel this fluid from your bladders this is known as urination. The function of the kidneys cannot be controlled by you but you do normally wield a significant amount of control over when your bladder empties.
The body uses this urinary system in general and the urinary tract, in particular, to get rid of the bodily wastes and extra fluids. When all the parts of the urinary system are all working in perfect order, normal urination occurs and the body can expel wastes efficiently. However, if you have an ailment that affects this system and its efficiency, several critical functions are affected too, such as:
Before you can find an effective urinary problem solution, you have to get the ailment diagnosed accurately.
The last two ailments are by far the most common ones when we talk of diseases that can afflict the urinary system.
Urinary tract infections may remain hidden from you, meaning, you may not experience any symptoms outwardly every time. However, if they do manifest, this is what will tell you that your problem could be a urine block arising from a UTI or they could be urinary incontinence symptoms:
Similar symptoms may arise from a variety of other ailments and that means this condition may be overlooked or mistaken for another. Approaching an experienced physician to make an accurate diagnosis is a very critical thing here.
The symptoms of urinary tract issues can be segregated based on which portion of the system is compromised. If the lower tract, urethra and bladder, are affected, the ailment is more easily and quickly managed.
An upper urinary tract ailment is a relatively higher risk disease that should be taken care of effectively and immediately with the right course of treatment. Keep in mind that the kidneys are affected in this case and if it is a bacterial infection that is causing the problems, there is a risk that the bacteria may move into the bloodstream.
Typically, when you have an ailment that is affecting the upper urinary tract you may have the following symptoms:
A lower tract infection may result in rectal pain in men and pelvic pain in women alongside the other commonly experienced signs.
If your doctor suspects either a UTI or incontinence, the diagnosis begins with the collection of your urine sample after a preliminary check-up.
For urinary incontinence, the urine sample will be checked for blood traces, abnormalities and also infection. The doctor will also ask you to maintain a detailed record of your fluid intake, amount of urine you produce when you urinate, occurrences of incontinence and your urge to urinate.
Next step is to measure the post-voidal urine in your bladder. That is, after you urinate, the remaining urine in your bladder is measured to see if there is any urine blockage that is creating the problem and if so, what is the cause. A muscular weakness or nervous problem could also result in a large amount of urine remaining in the bladder even after you urinate.
Once these tests have been done, the doctor is in a position to tell you more about what is wrong with your urinary system and what is causing the issues.
In case the physician suspects a urinary tract infection or UTI, the diagnosis starts with the urine analysis again after a check-up. The sample will be tested for the presence of bacteria as well as for red blood cells or white blood cells. The next step may be a urine culture that will tell the doctor what kind of bacteria you are infected with. This allows him/ her to identify the right course of medicines to treat you with.
If the doctor suspects that it is not a bacterial infection that is causing your UTI but some kind of abnormality with the tract itself, a detailed examination of the tract may be advised. There are different ways in which this may be done and the doctor may recommend one or all of these- CT scan, ultrasound or MRI. A cystoscopy is also one of the methods the doctor may use to examine the urethra and bladder.
Since urinary incontinence and Urinary Tract Infections are the most common ailments detected, let us take a closer look at both of these.
So exactly what is urinary incontinence? It is the inability of your body to control the passage of urine, resulting in leakage from your bladder. Since this is a condition that can hamper your lifestyle quite drastically you have to seek urinary incontinence treatment in time to tackle the problem effectively. It is a common belief that incontinence is an age- related issue. While older people do tend to develop incontinence, it is not confined to them alone.
There may be many factors that cause incontinence, some of which are lifestyle habits, others, medical reasons. Different urinary incontinence types may be traced back to different factors.
Before your doctor arrives at an effective urinary problem solution, he will need to diagnose the underlying cause. If there is a specific condition that is resulting in the ailment, the condition is treated to give relief from the incontinence problem. He will also identify why urine blockage is happening and what type of incontinence you suffer from. This too impacts the treatment method he should adopt.
Medication is not the only way to treat this problem although anticholinergics, alpha blockers, topical estrogen and mirabegron may be prescribed to you. The doctor may also focus on helping you achieve better bladder control via exercises such as Kegels.
Bladder training can also be done by controlling the urge to go to the toilet, delaying your urination little by little until you can maintain a normal 2.5-hour gap between each urination.
Inversely, the doctor may also ask you to schedule toilet visits every 2 hours to prevent the urge to urinate urgently from ever making an appearance. When you are urinating, waiting for a few minutes and trying again to evacuate your bladder completely, also known as double voiding, is another common technique used for dealing with incontinence. Electrical stimulation is another method used for strengthening pelvic floor muscles that can lead to better bladder control.
Alongside all of these, you will also be told what to eat/ drink and when, to lessen the impact of the ailment on your daily life.
If the condition is too severe to be treated with non- invasive methods, then surgery may be the option you should go for. There are different kinds of surgery that your doctor may recommend based on what your problem is caused by.
Management of incontinence, particularly in older people who cannot opt for surgery, is also done using absorbent pads to catch the dribble of urine from the bladder. You may also be taught to use a catheter to empty out your bladder efficiently at regular intervals during the day.
Rather than seeking a urinary problem solution or going for urine leakage treatment, it is best if you can take the right steps at the time to prevent the problem from afflicting you. Here are some things to keep in mind that help you lower the risk of developing incontinence.
Typically, UTIs occur in the lower part of the urinary tract, that is, the urethra and the bladder. However, infection in any part of the urinary tract is known as UTI. While bladder infections are an impediment to daily life and a nuisance, if the infection is in your kidneys, you need to take things far more seriously since the risk is much higher. A simple way to take preventive measures or treatment at the right time is to be aware of symptoms and quickly check in with your doctor if you develop any of them.
When a concretion blocks the duct wherever digestive fluid moves from the bladder, it can cause inflammation and infection in the gallbladder. This is known as acute cholecystitis. It is a medical emergency. The risk of developing acute cholecystitis from symptomatic gallstones is 1 to 3 percent.
Symptoms associated with acute cholecystitis include:
The most common cause of UTI is bacterial infection. Bacteria get into the urinary tract via the urethra and they begin to flourish in the bladder. If your in-built defence mechanism is not able to keep these microorganisms under check, the infection can develop full blown. In women, UTIs may be an infection of the bladder or of the urethra. Bladder infections are typically caused by E. coli while urethral infections are caused when bacteria move from the anus to the urethra.
To treat UTIs, your doctor will typically put you on a course of antibiotics to clear out the infections. The type of bacteria detected plays a big role in helping your physician determine what anti- biotic to prescribe. Apart from this, factors like your health condition and the frequency of the UTIs also impacts the treatment given.
If you have been suffering from UTIs on and off for a long time now, your doctor may opt for a treatment method that offers a permanent solution. In such case, a longer course of antibiotics may be prescribed. If he suspects that the UTIs arise from sexual activity, he may recommend taking an antibiotic after intercourse to prevent the onset of the infection. For older women who are in post- menopausal stage, estrogen therapy is also a method the doctor may advise. Very serious infections may require admission to the hospital and intravenous anti- biotics.
No matter what the ailment, prevention is always better than cure. To keep UTIs away, there are some simple preventive methods you can follow:
Following doctor’s orders is the most obvious and most important thing to do to recover quickly and fully from a urological disease. Taking the medications prescribed, as recommended and following the dietary and nutritional advice given is critical.
Apart from this, if you have had surgery, then your doctor will give you specific post-surgical care instructions that should be followed to the letter. Go for regular follow ups as advised so that your recovery process can be assessed and tracked by the doctor.
Urinary incontinence treatment may include exercises to train your bladder to evacuate fully and to open up only when you wish to urinate. Do these exercises regularly to build muscle strength in this area that can keep incontinence problems at bay. If you suffer from frequent UTI’s, improving hygiene, especially in cleaning the genital areas, can help immensely. Ask your doctor for tips and follow them diligently.
When it comes to dietary habits, the most important thing is to avoid items that irritate the bladder. These include caffeine, carbonated drinks and alcohol. Avoid these or cut them down to reasonable levels to ensure that these do not cause issues to crop up.
In general, drinking adequate fluids, especially water, throughout the day to flush out your urinary system thoroughly and prevent bacteria build up is very important. Eat healthy foods, with good fibre content to keep bowel movements regular since impaired digestion can also exacerbate urinary tract issues.
In general, to prevent urological disease, it is best if you learn which of your lifestyle habits are worsening the issue and avoid them. There may be simple things you can do at home to keep these ailments at bay.
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