Q – What are common causes of problems in the urinary system?
A – Aging, sickness, or injury can lead to problems in the urinary system. With age, certain changes in the kidneys’ structure may cause them to lose some of their ability to remove wastes from the blood. In addition, the ability of the kidneys to filter blood entirely may be weakened by poor health or injury.
Muscles in your bladder and urethra may be inclined to lessen in strength. Increased urinary infections may occur because the bladder muscles do not tighten enough to completely empty your bladder. Diminished strength in the sphincter and pelvis muscles will in some cases lead to incontinence.
Q – What can I do to help promote a healthy urinary system?
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid food or drinks that irritate your bladder such as caffeine or alcohol.
- Eat foods rich in fiber.
- Drink plenty of foods especially water.
- Participate in moderate amounts of physical activity.
Q -How do kidney stones form?
A – Crystals can be found within the urine of almost all humans. These crystals are thought to be a normal body response to get rid of excess dietary mineral and to conserve water. Instead of being harmlessly excreted, stone formers’ urinary crystals nucleate (grow) and aggregate (stick) within the kidney, resulting in a cascade of events that lead to stone formation. The exact biological mechanisms remain unclear, but one way to prevent urinary crystals is to decrease the amount of acid, calcium, and oxalate in the urine OR to increase the amount of citrate and magnesium.
Q – How do I prevent kidney stone recurrence?
A – The best proven method of stone prevention is to increase the amount of urine that you make. By the simple process of urinary dilution, crystals are unable to collect within the kidney and pass in the urine without forming a stone. As many stone formers have “metabolic” risk factors for kidney stones, talk to your urologist about obtaining a metabolic profile to better understand the reason for your stone disease, in particular if you’ve had more than 2 or 3 stones in your lifetime.
Q – How many times a day does a healthy person urinate?
A – Urination frequency varies widely according to a number of factors, although for most healthy people going four to eight times a day is typical. More frequent urination or waking up at night to go to the bathroom might mean either a health problem or simply that you’re drinking too much at bedtime.
Q – Are urination problems more of a problem for women than men?
A – Not necessarily, although urinary incontinence occurs about twice as often in females than males. Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and female anatomy account for the difference. But of the approximately 12 million sufferers in the United States, about one-third are men. Male incontinence is often associated with prostate problems or treatments.
Q – What increases women’s risk of incontinence?
A – Often it’s a combination of factors, such as having given birth multiple times, age, obesity and smoking. Other factors include having had hysterectomy, a post-menopause drop in estrogen, chronic bladder infections, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke and spinal cord injury. While age can be a contributor, no one should accept incontinence as an inevitability of growing older.
Q – What increases the risk of incontinence for men?
A – For men incontinence may be related to a number of health conditions or medical treatments. It can also be caused by lifestyle or family history. Most men have decreased bladder capacity as they age, naturally increasing risk of incontinence to some degree. Other contributors can be smoking, obesity, a high consumption of alcohol and caffeinated and carbonated drinks and injury to the bladder. In addition, just as in women, neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease can play a role.
Q – When should I see a doctor for incontinence?
A – Generally, it’s a good idea to call your doctor or schedule an appointment if you have a sudden onset of incontinence or if you’re having enough accidents that you need to either wear a pad for urine absorption or if incontinence is interfering with your lifestyle.