What To Expect At Your Providers Office
When you are seen by a provider, there are several different tests that can help figure out what is going on. These include:
Urine tests: These tests can help confirm the presence of blood, as well as check for things like infection.
Imaging: Tests like ultrasounds and CT scans can take a closer look at the urinary tract and kidneys. But these are not always necessary to determine the cause of blood in the urine.
In some cases, your provider may suggest you see a medical specialist called a urologist. They can run even more tests if the diagnosis is unclear. This often includes a cystoscopy, which is when they use a tiny camera to look at the bladder.
Is There A Link Between Constipation And Urinary Urgency
Constipation happens when stool is dry and difficult to pass, resulting in three or fewer bowel movements a week.
Overactive bladder causes urinary urgency, or frequent and sudden urges to pee. Its caused by a problem with bladder function.
Constipation and OAB often appear together. Thats because constipation increases the risk of OAB, and vice versa.
Read on to learn about the link between constipation and OAB, plus when you should see a doctor.
There are two types of OAB: dry and wet.
Dry OAB is an overactive bladder without urinary incontinence, which is the inability to control urination.
Wet OAB is an overactive bladder with urinary incontinence. This typically occurs right after you feel the urge to pee. It can cause leaking.
The other symptoms of dry and wet OAB are the same. Both types of OAB cause:
- sudden urges to urinate
- urinating at least eight times every day
- urinating at least two times every night
Is There A Connection Between Uti And Incontinence
Urinary incontinence can affect anybody at any age, but it is more common when we get older and in connection with other medical conditions. Therefore, it is not unusual for people with urinary incontinence to have additional problems that contribute to a higher risk of UTI. Some examples include not being able to completely empty the bladder, reduced immune defence functions, and chronic illnesses. Bowel incontinence is another factor that increases the risk of infection.
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How Is Urinary Incontinence Diagnosed
Urinary incontinence is easy to recognize. The primary symptom most people experience is an involuntary release of urine. But the type and cause of the incontinence can be more difficult to determine and may require a variety of exams and tests. Most physicians will use the following:
A bladder diary Your doctor may have you track your fluid intake and output over several days. This may include any episodes of incontinence or urgency issues. To help you measure the amount of urine you pass during an episode of incontinence, you may be asked to use a calibrated container that fits over your toilet to collect the urine.
Urinalysis A urine sample can be checked for infections, traces of blood, or other abnormalities, such as the presence of cancer cells. A urine culture can assess for infection urine cytology looks for cancer cells.
Blood testsBlood tests can look for chemicals and substances that may relate to conditions causing the incontinence.
Pelvic ultrasound In this imaging test, an ultrasound device is used to create an image of the bladder or other parts of the urinary tract to check for problems.
Postvoid residual measurement In this procedure, the patient empties the bladder completely and the physician uses a device to measure how much urine, if any, remains in the bladder. A large amount of residual urine in the bladder suggests overflow incontinence.
UI is usually curable, and if not, then controllable.
What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are caused by microorganisms usually bacteria that enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. Though a UTI most commonly happens in the urethra and bladder, bacteria can also travel up the ureters and infect your kidneys.
More than 90% of bladder infection cases are caused by E. coli, a bacterium normally found in the intestines.
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How Does My Doctor Know I Have Interstitial Cystitis
You may have interstitial cystitis if any of the following occur:
You have to urinate often or urgently
You have pelvic or bladder pain
A urologist finds bladder wall inflammation, pinpoint bleeding or ulcers during an exam with a special scope that looks inside your bladder
Your doctor has ruled out other diseases such as urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, bladder cancer, sexually transmitted diseases and, in men, chronic prostatitis
Is Blood In Your Urine A Reason To Be Concerned
If you notice blood in your urine, don’t ignore it. There are many possible causes of this condition, known as hematuria. While some are simply treated and not dangerous, others may need immediate medical attention.
Not all hematuria can be seen with the human eye. In fact, the most common type of hematuria-called microscopic hematuria-can only been seen by a health care expert under a microscope. In many cases, microscopic hematuria is spotted when a person has a urine test during a health exam.
When a person can see the blood in his or her urine, the condition is called gross hematuria. People with gross hematuria have urine that is pink, red or brown.
“There’s a common misconception that if you see blood in your urine once and then it goes away that you’re in the clear,” says Angela B. Smith, MD, Assistant Professor of Urology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill. “But it’s important to seek care the very first time you see blood in the urine, so your doctor can confirm that it’s there and refer you to a urologist for an evaluation.”
In most cases, people with either type of hematuria do not have pain or any other signs or symptoms.
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What Is Microscopic Haematuria
Haematuria is the presence of blood in the urine. Microscopic haematuria is where the blood is not visible and is present only on testing of the urine.
In Australia microscopic haematuria is defined as greater than 10 red blood cells visible on a high-powered microscopic examination of urine. The definition of microscopic haematuria varies from more than 3 to 10 red blood cells in different countries. Microscopic haematuria is usually discovered when urine is tested with a dipstick test. As the results of urine testing with a dipstick are not always accurate, the finding of microscopic haematuria should be confirmed with microscopic examination on an MSU or mid-stream urine testing.
Apart from the main classification into microscopic haematuria and macroscopic haematuria, haematuria can be classified into:
- Symptomatic associated with voiding symptoms such as
- Dysuria – burning or pain on urination
- Abdominal or flank pain
Increases Risk Of Bladder Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, a lack of fluids is considered a risk factor for bladder cancer. Flushing the bladder with hydrating liquids, especially water, means you urinate more often and keep cancer-causing chemicals from sitting in your bladder too long.
Also, keep a check on your urine color to be sure its not too concentrated. Chances are, plenty of nasty chemicals live in that high volume of waste, and you dont want that hanging around in your bladder!
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Other Risk Factors For Urinary Tract Infection Problems And Symptoms
Especially as women get older, they experience some thinning of the tissues in the vagina and bladder, and when you lose estrogen with menopause, the nerves dont function as well and the muscles dont contract as well, Dr. Rabin explains. All these changes can cause urinary leakage or difficulty emptying the bladder fully. Whats more, the easiest way to get a urinary tract infection is to allow the bladder to have high residual urine, she adds. Its better to empty the bladder completely to let it fill completely.
Being sedentary can magnify these risks because when you sit still, blood doesnt circulate as efficiently to the tissues, which may affect nerve and muscle function around the bladder. Plus, prolonged sitting is associated with reduced core strength and likely less work for the pelvic floor muscles that are used more when someone is standing, Dr. Brubaker notes.
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If you have lower urinary tract symptoms, your best bet is to see a doctor to find out why. Various medications or health conditions including pelvic organ prolapse, and neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinsons disease could be to blame, in which case youd want to treat the cause directly.
Change Menstrual Pads Tampons Or Cups Frequently
Low-absorbency pads made of synthetic materials can expose your vulva to bacteria and increase your risk of infection. Using tampons can encourage bacteria to develop faster, so its important to change your tampon regularly. Tampons and menstrual cups may increase your risk of getting or worsening a UTI if its not positioned correctly. If it pushes on your urethra and traps your urine, bacteria can spread to the bladder. Changing the size or shape of a menstrual cup may help prevent recurrent UTIs.
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Greater Risk For Kidney Infections
Most often, a kidney infection develops from an untreated bladder infection. The bacteria invade through the urethra, affect the bladder, and then infection travels up the ureters to the kidneys.
Typically, you would treat the infection before it reaches the kidneys. But sometimes people put off going to the doctor too long. They might try to treat the bladder infection at home or simply dont notice infection symptoms.
But dehydration makes it more likely that the infection will spread through your urinary tract to your kidneys. See your doctor if you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection, and remember its one of the common effects of dehydration.
Internal And External Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins in or around the anus. There are two types: internal and external.
Internal hemorrhoids form inside the rectum. They are typically painless but may be painful if they become prolapsed and slip outside the anus.
External hemorrhoids form around the opening of the anus. Although covered by sensitive skin, they are typically not painful unless they are very swollen or a blood clot forms inside them.
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When Should You See A Doctor For Leaking Urine
Incontinence is common but not normal, says Sapienza. I think suffer in silence thinking that they cant get help, but it is treatable, she says.
Some patients arent concerned with a few leaks here or there, and if its truly not bothering you, then you likely dont need to see anyone, says Dr. Sheyn.
However, if youre altering your life in order to manage symptoms, then talk to a doctor. For instance, maybe when you go to a new place, you immediately scout out a bathroom to make sure you know where to dash off to if the time comes. Or maybe you decline invitations out because you cant be sure of the bathroom situation. Maybe you live in black leggings to hide urine leaks, something that patients often tell Sapienza they do.
You should also talk to your doctor if youre leaking urine frequently. Besides the impact it can have on your social, work, and personal relationships, regular urinary incontinence can also lead to physical complications like skin problemsrashes, skin infections, and sores can develop from constantly wet skinand urinary tract infections. Theres this too: Chronic incontinence might be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, and thats something youd want to get checked out.
How Serious Is Hematuria
Though you may understandably be alarmed to see blood in your urine , dont panic the underlying cause is often easily treatable. It may be the symptom of a urinary tract infection .
Further, not all urinary discoloration results from blood in your urinary tract. Women who are menstruating may see blood in their urine, certain medications can cause blood to show up in your urine, and some foods, including beets, can cause you to pass pink or red urine after eating them.
Hematuria may indicate a serious disorder, and its best you report any cases of urinary discoloration to your doctor. Older patients and smokers are more likely to have blood in their urine, and smokers are at greater risk for genitourinary cancer. This can include cancers of the kidney, bladder, prostate, testicles or penis.
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Can Lower Back Pain Cause Blood In Urine
Blood in the urine that accompanies severe lower back pain may indicate endometriosis, a common health condition that occurs in more than 11% of adolescent and adult females in the United States. Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the endometrium the lining of the uterus grows in areas of the body outside of the uterus.
What Is Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder syndrome is characterized by the occurrence of urinary urgency which is a sudden compelling desire to urinate that is difficult to postpone. It is usually accompanied by frequent urination and nocturia . It is also commonly accompanied by urgency incontinence, where urine is accidently lost with urgency. This commonly manifests as the inability to get to the bathroom on time once urgency starts. OAB is quite common and affects about 11-16% of adults to varying degrees. Although it is common, that does not mean that a person who is affected by OAB should simply live with the condition, as many do. For some OAB can have a profound effect on quality of life causing disruptions at work, curtailing of social activities, reduction of sexual intimacy, and interfere with sleep. However, it is important to know that there are effective treatments for the symptoms of OAB.
There are other conditions such as urinary tract infections , polyps or tumors in the bladder, and excessive drinking of fluids that can cause similar symptoms and these conditions should be ruled out by your health care provider before embarking on OAB treatment.
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Which Medications Can Cause Oab
Some medications help with an overactive bladder and are used to treat the condition. But in other instances, your medications may be the culprit leading to urinary urgency.There are several classes of medications that may lead to OAB, including the following:
Diuretics are a type of medication that helps stimulate the kidneys to get rid of water and salt from the body in the form of urine. It is prescribed for people who may retain fluid. One of the most common drugs used is Lasix. Because it stimulates the body to make more urine, it often causes OAB.
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2. Blood Pressure Medications
Alpha-blockers are a type of medication used to reduce blood pressure. They work by dilating the blood vessels in the body, which can increase urinary urgency. Examples of alpha-blockers include prazosin and doxazosin mesylate.
Different antidepressant medications may prevent the bladder from emptying completely. This may cause an increased urgency to use the bathroom. Some antidepressants also decrease a persons awareness that they need to urinate, which can lead to urinary incontinence.
4. Narcotic Pain Medications
Treatment Of Irritable Bladder
There is no blanket treatment for irritable bladder syndrome. It largely depends on the underlying cause. The following are standards treatments applied today.
- Antibiotics: Usually prescribed for irritable bladder due to infection
- Bladder training: A technique that teaches the bladder to gain control and improve voiding times. It begins with the patient literally scheduling a bathroom visit even if he or she does not feel like there is a need to go at that specific time. The interval between bathroom visits is gradually increased towards a goal of about four hours. This idea is that the body adapts to these times and incontinence is eliminated.
- Antispasmodics: Drugs that relax the bladder muscles and can help prevent uncontrolled bladder contractions.
It is important to know that pads and diapers are widely marketed today, but many doctors dont recommend them for long-term use. They like to see their patients try to address the problem head-on with some of the approaches listed above or even with home remedies.
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What Is The Difference Between Lower And Upper Utis
The most common type of UTI occurs in the lower urinary tract, infecting the urethra and bladder. Highly virulent strains can, if left untreated, spread up to the ureters and kidneys in the upper urinary tract.
Upper UTI symptoms are considerably worse, and may include back pain, nausea and fever. Such a kidney infection is serious and can potentially damage the kidneys or even cause kidney failure. If left untreated it can also lead to urosepsis, which is when the infection enters the bloodstream. This condition requires intensive care.
Natural Remedies For Relieving Bladder Pressure Caused By Ic
An interstitial cystitis-friendly diet, where trigger foods are pinpointed and eliminated, is highly recommended to minimize IC flare-ups. For example, eliminating the four Cs caffeine, citrus fruits, carbonated drinks, and vitamin C can significantly help reduce symptoms.
Evidence from recent studies also shows that aloe vera supplements, such as the Freeze Dried Aloe Vera For Interstitial Cystitis from Intimate Rose are incredibly effective in treating IC symptoms.
Aloe veras natural anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and anti-fungal properties act to soothe the pain and the burning sensation. Aloe can also help to regenerate the protective layer of the bladder more commonly known as the GAG layer, which can often be damaged in IC patients.
Regular yoga and meditation can help to relieve stress, which is known to cause IC flares-ups in some people. In addition, yoga also helps to relax the pelvic floor muscles.
Heat pads or hot water bottles also help to ease the dull pelvic ache associated with bladder pressure.
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