Bladder & Bowel

Bladder & Bowel Articles

Backed-up bowels? Don't get stuck on daily "regularity"

Not having a bowel movement every day does not always indicate a problem. It is more important that bowel movements are free of pain or straining. To address constipation, first make sure you get adequate dietary fiber. Use fiber supplements if it is not possible to get sufficient fiber from food. Also check for the constipating effects of common medications. If you must use a laxative, start with gentle osmotic laxatives and avoid stimulant laxatives.   (Locked) More »

Stopping repeated urinary tract infections

A short urethra, coupled with the drop in estrogen after menopause, increases older women’s susceptibility to urinary tract infections (UTIs). The lack of estrogen can also lead to vaginal atrophy, which can increase the risk of recurrent urinary infections. Antibiotics are the mainstay of treatment for UTIs, and some women who get several UTIs a year may need to take them long-term. To prevent repeat infections, women should make sure to fully empty their bladder each time they use the bathroom, urinate after sex, and drink plenty of water.   (Locked) More »

Red, brown, green: Urine colors and what they might mean

Most of the time, urine is a pale-yellow color because it contains urochrome, one of the substances produced when hemoglobin gets broken down. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that sticks to oxygen so it can be ferried around the body. Occasionally, though, urine turns a very different color. Men may notice the change as their urine enters the toilet bowl or urinal. Women may be more likely to observe it after wiping. Seeing red or orange instead of the usual yellow can be alarming, especially if there are also symptoms like a burning sensation or pain with urination. The alarm may be justified: an abnormal urine color can be an early sign of a serious medical condition. To be on the safe side, it should be discussed with a doctor or another clinician. But don't push the panic button. Urine can also change color for harmless reasons having to do with the foods you've eaten or medications you're taking. And colors other than red and orange are very unusual. More »