Bladder & Bowel

Bladder & Bowel Articles

Easy ways to stay regular

As people get older, the muscles around the colon become a little less responsive to contractions, so it’s not uncommon to become constipated. Managing fluid and fiber intake can help people stay regular. Treating underlying conditions, such as stress or a slow metabolism, and adjusting medications may also help. Many experts recommend regular exercise as one way of increasing regularity. The minimum recommendation for general health is 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking. Some doctors think that the extra fluids people drink when they exercise may be more important for regularity than the exercise itself.  (Locked) More »

Frequent nighttime urination

Frequent nighttime urination, or nocturia, can become a health issue if it disturbs sleep. Even after identifying and addressing underlying causes, it may not stop completely but can be reduced. (Locked) More »

When urinary tract infections keep coming back

Low-dose antibiotics can help women who are prone to UTIs. They can be used after sex, only when symptoms occur, or continuously. Drinking cranberry juice, wiping front to back, voiding before and after sex, and avoiding spermicide contraceptives may help. (Locked) More »

Using alternative and complementary treatments to manage IBS

IBS patients frequently turn to alternative or complementary therapies ranging from herbal remedies to meditation. Research shows that some patients experience improvement through any of several stress-reduction techniques taught by psychologists or other medical professionals. However, evidence of beneficial effects is lacking for most of the herbal therapies or other supplements. More »

Adding a diuretic to your blood pressure drug

People who have trouble getting to their target blood pressure may benefit from switching to or adding another drug, called a diuretic, to their medication regimen. Diuretics reduce sodium and water levels in the body; lower fluid levels mean less blood volume, which lowers blood pressure. There are three types of diuretics. Two of them may cause potassium levels to drop. A third type helps a person to retain more potassium. The most common side effect of diuretics is frequent urination, but it’s only temporary. (Locked) More »

Stay a step ahead of urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common among older adults, but the infections are often overdiagnosed and overtreated. In older adults, UTI symptoms include frequent urination, a sense of urgency to urinate, a burning feeling that occurs with urination, and confusion. Diagnosing a UTI requires testing a urine sample to look for bacteria and white blood cells. If positive, it’s necessary to grow the bacteria in a lab to see which type are causing infection. But even if a person has bacteria and white cells in the urine, it’s not a UTI unless symptoms are also present.  More »

Hemorrhoids and what to do about them

Hemorrhoids are usually caused by increased pressure due to pregnancy, being overweight, or straining during bowel movements. By midlife, hemorrhoids often become an ongoing complaint. By age 50, about half the population has experienced one or more of the classic symptoms, which include rectal pain, itching, bleeding, and possibly prolapse (hemorrhoids that protrude through the anal canal). Although hemorrhoids are rarely dangerous, they can be a recurrent and painful intrusion. Fortunately, there's a lot we can do about hemorrhoids. In one sense, everyone has hemorrhoids (or piles), the pillow-like clusters of veins that lie just beneath the mucous membranes lining the lowest part of the rectum and the anus. The condition most of us call hemorrhoids (or piles) develops when those veins become swollen and distended, like varicose veins in the legs. Because the blood vessels involved must continually battle gravity to get blood back up to the heart, some people believe hemorrhoids are part of the price we pay for being upright creatures. More »