Bladder & Bowel

Bladder & Bowel Articles

Pill-free ways to fight urinary incontinence

Problems with bladder control, or urinary incontinence, fall into a few categories. Leakage from pressure on the bladder is known as stress incontinence. For women, it’s often caused by childbirth, which can stretch or damage the pelvic floor muscles and nerves. Another common type of incontinence is urge incontinence or overactive bladder. The American College of Physicians has new guidelines urging doctors to first prescribe pill-free treatments for women—such as Kegel exercises, bladder training, and weight loss and exercise—before prescribing any medications. (Locked) More »

Try medication first for urinary woes

Before considering surgery for bothersome urinary symptoms caused by an noncancerous overgrown prostate gland, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, men should make sure they have given standard treatment with medication a chance to work. If the underlying problem is overactive bladder, there are alternative drugs to try. Overactive bladder drugs should not be used unless an exam and tests rule out urinary obstruction. A range of surgical options are available, each with pros and cons that should be discussed with a doctor. More »

Drugs for enlarged prostate: Is cancer a side effect?

The medications dutasteride (Avodart) or finasteride (Proscar) are used to treat symptoms of noncancerous enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The drugs slightly lower the chance of low-risk prostate cancer while slightly increasing the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Men must weigh the small long-term cancer risk associated with these drugs against the value of immediate relief of bothersome urinary symptoms caused by BPH. (Locked) More »

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 »