Bladder & Bowel

Bladder & Bowel Articles

Diverticular disease of the colon

Diverticular disease — a condition characterized by protruding pouches on the colon — consists of diverticulosis or diverticulitis. It's thought that a low-fiber diet, obesity, and lack of exercise contribute to the disease.  Of those with diverticulosis, 30% will develop more serious forms of the disease, including diverticulitis (infected and inflamed diverticula) and diverticular bleeding (bleeding from a blood vessel near a diverticulum). Most diverticulitis can be treated with medications and rest, but some cases lead to complications requiring surgery, including perforation of the colon, peritonitis (infection of the abdominal cavity), bowel obstruction, abscess, and fistula (an abnormal connection between the colon and nearby tissue). More »

The dubious practice of detox

Various types of body detoxification processes, such as fast diets and intestinal cleansing, have become popular. Generally there is no medical evidence to support their claims of effectiveness, and there are risks to some of the procedures. More »

Treating interstitial cystitis

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic inflammation of the bladder that causes people to urinate -- sometimes painfully -- as often as 40, 50, or 60 times a day. Their quality of life, research suggests, resembles that of a person on kidney dialysis or suffering from chronic cancer pain. Not surprisingly, the condition is officially recognized as a disability. There's no cure for interstitial cystitis, but many treatments offer some relief, either on their own or in combination. Treatment (see chart) is aimed at relieving pain and reducing inflammation. The two main approaches are oral medications and bladder instillations -- drugs that are introduced into the bladder by catheter and held for 15 minutes. The procedure usually takes place in a physician's office, but in some cases these drugs can be self-administered at home. More »