There is hot debate about stem cell use, their ethics and potential for curing diseases. Although promising, the application to disease states should not be overblown. We may all feel bad for Christopher Reeve, but injecting him with stem cells is simply not going to make him miraculously walk. Some cold water needs to be thrown on the loudest proponents, since common sense dictates that all advancements in science don’t always happen out of sheer will and hope. Like all medical experiments, we ask the question: will it work and is it safe, and this applies equally to stem cells. Read more
Blood in the urine is never normal, but it can be present for benign and not-so-benign reasons. “Microscopic hematuria” is when blood is only seen on a urine test (urinalysis), or “gross hematuria” where actual blood or clots are seen in the urine.
There are many urinary tract issues that can lead to both, but essentially, blood in the urine can come from the kidney, ureter, bladder or urethra. Often menstural blood, or if urine contacts labial skin/hair on the way out prior to hitting the cup, can both lead to false positives. Read more
“If you don’t you use it, you lose it” principle also applies to the muscles in the pelvis. Age, menopause and childbirth can cause weakness and looseness to the pelvic floor muscles known as the levator ani. They wrap around the anus, urethra and vagina in the female pelvis and support the organs in the pelvis: the bladder, vagina/uterus and rectum. When pelvic muscles and their connective tissue covering (fascia) weaken or tear, women may experience urine leak when coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercising (stress incontinence), or have the sense that the bladder or other pelvic organs are dropping or pushing into the vagina. Overactive bladder symptoms can also occur with a dropped bladder, such as urgency , frequency and urine leak (the “I gotta go and I can’t hold it any longer” feeling). Read more
This is a very common question I get from my female patients, both young and old. Many seem convinced that cranberry juice or pills can stop a urinary tract infection (UTI) in its tracks when they feel it coming on, or take cranberry to prevent them. Well…they may not be wrong.
After many years of grandma’s advice, in 1994 a study was done on elderly women who consumed 300 ml of cranberry juice for three months and showed less bacterial counts in the urine. This is where the whole cranberry-UTI link picked up some steam. But there is more… Read more
Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) are defined as two or more UTIs within a twelve month period. They are bacterial infections that typical involve the bladder. Classic symptoms include lower abdominal pain or ‘pressure’, urinary burning, urgency, and frequency. If the kidney is also involved, back pain and fever may be present as well. The majority of UTIs in women are uncomplicated and involve only the bladder. Complicated UTIs are those involve the kidney or occur in pregnancy, diabetics, transplant patients, frail elderly, in weakened immune systems, or with urinary tract structural or anatomic abnormalities. Read more
There are a variety of ways to treat or even completely control urinary incontinence, but it depends on the cause. While there are sometimes multiple factors in play that cause this condition, treatment options are limited by patient motivation, cognitive level, physical impairment, or anatomic abnormalities of the urinary tract. For most, conservative management is the first line strategy and often is quite successful in decreasing the severity of leakage. Read more