Bladder & Bowel

Bladder & Bowel Articles

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 »

Silent urinary infections, serious consequences

Older women and men are susceptible to urinary tract infections. These often occur when bacteria from the rectum cling to the urethra (the tube leading to the bladder) and then ascend to the bladder. Symptoms include burning with urination, frequent urination, a sense of urgency to urinate, and pain in the area of the bladder. But symptoms don’t always occur in older adults, which may result in a UTI going untreated and then spreading to the kidneys, where the bacteria can get into the bloodstream easily and cause sepsis. The key to prevention is increased fluid intake. (Locked) More »

What you can do about incontinence

Incontinence is twice as common in women as it is in men, yet about half of women never seek treatment—in part out of embarrassment. Treatments include Kegel exercises, anticholinergic medicines, surgery, pessaries, and lifestyle measures such as bladder training and limiting fluids. The FDA’s recent approval of an expanded use for botulinum toxin A (Botox) and a new nonprescription incontinence medication offer other options for women. (Locked) More »