Learn the Symptoms of Painful Bladder Syndrome

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition causing bladder pressure and pain, with occasional pain extending into the pelvis. The condition is a part of a spectrum of diseases known as painful bladder syndrome.

patient with bladder pain,, which is a urology issue

Interstitial cystitis occurs when your bladder, which is a hollow, muscular organ that stores urine, sends premature signals to your brain that you need to urinate. Normally these signals are sent once the bladder is full, but those with interstitial cystitis feel the sensation to urinate more often and produce smaller amounts of urine when they go.

Interstitial cystitis most often affects women and can have a long-lasting impact on quality of life. The symptoms may vary from person to person and they may change over time, periodically flaring in response to common triggers, such as menstruation, sitting for a long time, stress, exercise and sexual activity. In many cases symptoms of interstitial cystitis resemble those of a urinary tract infection.

Interstitial cystitis signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain in your pelvis or between the vagina and anus in women, the scrotum and anus in men
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • A persistent, urgent need to urinate
  • Frequent urination, often of small amounts, throughout the day and night (up to 60 times a day)
  • Pain or discomfort while the bladder fills and relief after urinating
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

The exact cause of interstitial cystitis isn’t known, but it’s likely that many factors contribute. One possible factor is a defect in the protective lining of the bladder which could result in toxic substances in urine to irritate the bladder wall.  Other possible but unproven contributing factors include an autoimmune reaction, genetics, infection or allergy.

Interstitial cystitis can result in a number of complications, including reduced bladder capacity, lower quality of life, sexual intimacy problems, and emotional troubles.

There is no current cure for interstitial cystitis, but there are medications and other therapies available that may offer relief. If you’re experiencing chronic bladder pain or urinary urgency and frequency, contact your doctor.

If you are experiencing symptoms of interstitial cystitis and would like to schedule an appointment with a urologist at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-.5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

7 Ways to Keep Your Bladder Healthy

Very often we take bladder health for granted until a problem starts to develop. Bladder problems can lead to discomfort, difficulty urinating, frequency in urination and in some cases, mad dashes to the bathroom.

The good news is by taking an active role in your bladder health you can avoid infections and reduce the risk of developing several medical problems. Here are seven ways you can help improve your bladder’s health and help it to function properly.

  1. Don’t wait long to use the bathroom. Holding in urine can add pressure to the bladder and increase the risk of developing infections.
  2. Do not rush when emptying your bladder. Rushing may result in your bladder not emptying completely- this can lead to bladder infections.
  3. Avoid food or drinks that contain irritants. Certain food or drinks that contain ingredients such as caffeine, artificial sweeteners, acid, spices, excessive amounts of salt and alcohol can worsen bladder problems.
  4. Drink enough water throughout the day. Drinking your daily recommended amount of water can help flush out bacteria in the urinary tract and help prevent bladder infections.
  5. Practice Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. Kegels are a good way for men and women to maintain bladder control.
  6. Avoid constipation by adding fiber to your diet. Constipation often results in a full rectum which adds pressure to the bladder.
  7. Urinate after having intercourse. Men and women should try to urinate after sexual intercourse. This helps to flush away bacteria that may have entered during sex.

If you are experiencing difficulty urinating or have questions about maintaining bladder health, please call Flushing Hospital Medical Center at 718-670-5588 to schedule an appointment with a urologist.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Kidney Stones Causes and Treatment

kidney stones 524903454Kidney stones (nephrolithiasis) are lumps of crystal made from substances found in urine. They typically build up along the inner surfaces of the kidney.  The size of a kidney stone can range from as small as a grain of sand to as large as a golf ball.  It is estimated, one in every twenty people will develop them at some point in their life.

Stones form when there is a decrease in the amount of urine produced, causing it to become highly concentrated and therefore allowing minerals to crystallize and stick together.  There are four major types of stones, they include:

  • Calcium stones
  • Uric acid stones
  • Struvite stones
  • Cystine stones

While dehydration is a major contributor to the formation of kidney stones, some people are more prone to developing them than others. People with certain medical conditions such as gout or digestive diseases, those with a family history of kidney stones, as well as people who are obese or consume a diet rich in protein, sodium and sugar are more susceptible.

Kidney stones often go undetected until they become loose and travel along the urinary tract.  When they move around the kidney or pass through the ureter, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Pain during urination
  • Pain along your side or back, below the ribs
  • Urine that is pink, red or brown in color
  • Pain in the lower abdomen or groin
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Frequent urination or urge to urinate
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Cloudy or abnormal smelling urine
  • Fever and chills

If these symptoms present themselves and persist it is advised that you see a doctor immediately.  Your doctor may perform a series of tests that may include blood or urine tests, analysis of passed stones or abdominal x-rays to assess your condition. Depending on severity, treatment may include increasing your intake of water, pain medication or surgery.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center is equipped with the latest technology to fully evaluate and treat patients suffering from kidney stones. Our Emergency Department physicians have extensive experience diagnosing kidney stones and can provide rapid relief of the symptoms often associated with this disease. To schedule an appointment, please call 718 670 5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Living With a Hernia

Unless you’ve suffered from one, most people only know about hernias from the Weird Al Yankovic song (“Living With A Hernia”).  Hernias are caused by pressure on an opening or weakness in the wall of muscle or connective tissue of the groin, belly button or upper stomach that allows a hernia sac (like a balloon) to protrude.  An increase in abdominal pressure pushes the hernia sac and its contents (organ or tissue) through the opening or weak spot.  The muscle weakness may be present at birth or develop at any age.  The most common types of hernia are:

ThinkstockPhotos-473611872. Inguinal (inner groin) –   fat, intestines, colon or bladder may protrude through the abdominal wall. About 96% of all groin hernias are inguinal, and most occur in men because of a natural weakness in this area.

. Incisional (resulting from an incision) —  intra-abdominal organs push  through the abdominal wall at the site of previous abdominal surgery. This type is most common in elderly or overweight people who are inactive after abdominal surgery.

. Femoral (outer groin) — occurs when the intestine enters the canal carrying the femoral vessels into the upper thigh. Femoral hernias are most common in women, especially those who are pregnant or obese.

. Umbilical (belly button) — part of the small intestine passes through the abdominal wall at or near the navel. Common in newborns, it also commonly afflicts obese women or those who have had many children.

. Hiatal (upper stomach) — when the upper stomach squeezes through the hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm through which the esophagus passes. These hernias cannot be seen or felt from the outside and majority do not require surgery

Anything that causes an increase in pressure in the abdomen can cause a hernia, including lifting heavy objects without proper support and coughing or sneezing.  Obesity, poor nutrition, smoking and prior abdominal surgery, can all weaken muscles and make hernias more likely.

Surgery to repair a hernia is one of the most commonly performed surgeries. Flushing Hospital Medical Center offers minimally invasive robotic procedures using the da Vinci robotic system. Hernia surgery performed using the robot allows for faster healing time, less scarring and shorter hospital stays.

If you are experiencing hernia discomfort and would like to make an appointment with a urologist, please contact the Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.