Bladder & Bowel

Bladder & Bowel Articles

Anticholinergic drugs linked with dementia

Anticholinergic medications used to treat bladder conditions, Parkinson’s disease, and depression are associated with an increased risk of dementia, suggests a new study. People who got dementia had taken the medications for between four and 20 years, and the longer they took the drugs, the greater the risk. More »

Pelvic physical therapy: Another potential treatment option

Unexplained pelvic plain is common in women of all ages and is sometimes related to problems with the muscles in the pelvic floor, a condition called myofascial pain. Tight pelvic floor muscles can cause chronic pain, and pelvic physical therapy is a potential treatment that may help to relieve this pain. (Locked) More »

Keeping kidney stones at bay

Kidney stones are more common in men than women, and half of people who’ve had them will have a repeat episode within 10 to 15 years. Men can reduce their risk of new and recurring kidney stones by drinking sufficient water, increasing calcium, reducing sodium intake, and avoiding or cutting back on high-oxalate foods and animal protein. (Locked) More »

Help for hemorrhoids

More than 75% of people ages 45 and older have hemorrhoids, and many of them develop symptoms, such as rectal pain, itching, and bleeding after a bowel movement. The good news is that they are rarely dangerous and often shrink on their own when aided by simple self-help and over-the-counter remedies. However, some hemorrhoids may need to be removed with in-office procedures or minor surgery. More »

What to do when medication makes you constipated

Many medications can contribute to constipation. Common offenders include antidepressants, opioids, calcium-channel blockers, and anticholinergics. Older adults can be more susceptible to the constipation side effect of medications. Constipation symptoms include having bowel movements fewer than three times a week; having hard or small, lumpy stools; having stools that are hard to pass; straining; having painful bowel movements; or having the sensation of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement. Long-term treatment options include prescription medications, over-the-counter remedies, fiber supplements, and an increase in dietary fiber. More »

Where to turn for treatment of incontinence

Incontinence in middle and older age is common. You may realize it's a problem if you have a frequent need to go to the bathroom (urge incontinence), or if you leak urine easily when you cough or have a good laugh (stress incontinence). Fortunately, incontinence help is readily available. To find treatment of incontinence, the Harvard Special Health Report Better Bladder and Bowel Control recommends that you start with your primary care physician. But not all physicians have the necessary interest or experience. If your doctor seems unable to help, keep looking. More »

Defend yourself from diverticulitis

About half of Americans ages 60 to 80 have diverticulosis, a condition in which pea-sized pouches, called diverticula, bulge outward from the colon. Most of the time the pouches don’t cause any problems, but if the diverticula become inflamed or infected, the result is diverticulitis, which produces symptoms like fever, nausea, vomiting, and pain or tenderness in the lower left abdomen. Drinking plenty of fluids and eating a high-fiber diet can help prevent the problem. More »