Urinary tract problems are broader in scope than most people think. Consider the following common terms that are often talked about: prostate cancer, kidney stones, overactive bladder, incontinence, erectile dysfunction, painful bladder syndrome, BPH, urinary tract infections, pelvic floor issues. They all concern some aspect of the urinary tract, and they require seeing a urologist for a proper diagnosis to begin treatment. Some issues may involve a treatment as simple as antibiotics. But more serious ones may require immediate medical intervention to confirm cause and to prevent overlooking a very serious, life-threatening situation.

Dr. Michael GrableKidney stones and bladder stones are frequent reasons people go to see urologists. These are accumulations of common minerals within urine that start to form particles, much like rock sugar, but they are not so nice when found in either the kidney or bladder. Smaller ones can often pass through the urinary tract totally unnoticed. But larger ones get stuck and only tend to get bigger over time, requiring medical intervention. A person may need to use the bathroom more frequently or feel pain. There may be other underlying reasons for stones to start, such as diabetes or an enlarged prostate, so certified medical personnel should be consulted.

Urinary tract infections (UTI) affect both men and women when bacteria starts negatively affecting any part of the urinary system. Symptoms may include a burning sensation during urination, itching, pain, foul-smelling urine, incontinence, or evidence of blood. In any of those situations, especially when fresh blood is observed, a doctor should be seen as soon as possible.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is more commonly known as a non-cancerous enlarged prostate gland. Many possible reasons exist for BPH, such as inflammation, a narrowing of the urethra, stones, and many of the same issues that can cause incontinence. This is something that, if noticed, the person should try to see a doctor quickly. But annual medical checkups also usually check for this problem.

Incontinence, when one leaks urine without intention, can have many different reasons. Some can be dealt with through simple types of exercises, but others may be from muscle damage, nerve damage, bladder stones, an enlarged prostate (BPH), or infections that may only be properly diagnosed by a professional urologist. It is best to always talk to a physician about any incontinence experienced, since it may be a symptom of something more serious.

Prostate cancer is surprisingly common in the elderly, and it is rarely an issue for most. But it does affect the prostate gland and can damage the urinary tract. Since it is relatively easy to detect through annual exams and blood PSA tests, it seldom goes unnoticed. A regular physician will usually be the first to notice a potential issue and refer the patient to a urologist. Surgical treatment may or may not be required, depending upon the severity of the cancer. If surgery is recommended, it is best to get a second opinion from a doctor in another medical group because of the potential side effects of surgery.

Erectile dysfunction and pelvic issues are both gender-based medical issues that are difficult to discuss with anybody, but it is important to talk about them with qualified medical personnel. The urologists at the Advanced Urology Institute are all qualified to diagnose, give second opinions and treat urological tract problems.

For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website

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