Bladder & Bowel

Bladder & Bowel Articles

Best ways to battle irritable bowel syndrome

Cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation are tough to handle at any time. But if a combination of these symptoms lasts for at least three months, it may be a condition called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Flare-ups are often triggered by food, caffeine, stress, carbonated drinks, artificial sugars, or infectious diarrhea. The more IBS episodes a person has, the more sensitive the gut becomes to triggers. Strategies to treat IBS include dietary changes, taking probiotics, and taking enteric-coated peppermint capsules. More »

Don't bomb the bowel with laxatives

Eating a fiber-rich diet helps to prevent constipation. There are a variety of laxatives for occasional irregularity. The gentlest starter option is bulk-forming laxatives. After that, the options include osmotic laxatives, which draw water into the bowels. Stool softeners help to prevent straining due to hard stools. Lubricants like mineral oil also help to ease difficult bowel movements. Stimulant laxatives should not be used frequently. More »

New treatments for incontinence

Many different therapies are available to treat incontinence in women, from anticholinergic drugs that calm overactive bladder to surgery that supports the urethra and prevents it from leaking. New treatment options include Botox injections, Myrbetriq, the Oxytrol patch, and mini-sling procedures. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: What can I do about fecal leakage?

Fecal incontinence-or leakage of stool-becomes more likely as we age. Try to avoid foods that can cause loose stools, such as spicy or fatty foods and diet foods or drinks. Eat smaller meals more often, and increase your fiber intake. (Locked) More »

Overcoming an overactive bladder

An overactive bladder (OAB, also known as urge incontinence) causes a sudden urge to urinate, even when your bladder isn’t full. OAB can be caused by something temporary, such as a bladder infection. It can also result from another condition, such as multiple sclerosis. Women are twice as likely as men to struggle with OAB conditions, because of the stress of childbirth on the urinary tract as well as the loss of estrogen after menopause. In men, OAB may occur as the result of an enlarged prostate. Treatment includes Kegel exercises and vaginal estrogen creams for women, and medications and Botox injections for both men and women. (Locked) More »

Eat blueberries and strawberries three times per week

Blueberries and strawberries are rich in chemical compounds called anthocyanins, which lower blood pressure and make blood vessels more elastic. A long-term study of young and middle-aged women found that those who ate the most blueberries and strawberries had a lower risk of heart attack than those who ate the least. Just eating berries once in a while didn’t count—it took at least a half-cup serving three times weekly. But don’t cheat by taking anthocyanin supplements. Real fruit is your best bet. More »

Natural ways to relieve constipation

An estimated 40% to 60% of older adults regularly deal with constipation. Dietary changes, medications, and a lack of exercise often contribute to constipation in older women. Getting plenty of fiber and drinking four to six glasses of fluid each day are the best ways to prevent—and treat—constipation. (Locked) More »