Five home remedies of bladder infections.

From Medical News Today
A urinary tract infection is a common condition, often referred to as a UTI, that can be treated with home remedies.

When using home remedies for UTIs, it is helpful to understand the condition, including its causes and symptoms.

In some cases, home remedies for UTIs can be enough to ease symptoms and quicken recovery. Before relying on home remedies, however, it is always a good idea to speak to a doctor first.

What are UTIs?

doctor pointing at the bladder
Sometimes called a bladder infection, a UTI is an infection of the urinary tract that causes discomfort and frequent urges to urinate.

A UTI is an infection of the urinary tract, sometimes called a bladder infection.

The urinary tract is composed of the bladder, kidneys, urethra, and ureters. This system is responsible for processing and expelling urine from the body.

Usually, the urinary tract can prevent infection. Nevertheless, UTIs are common, and in some cases, they may pass in just a few weeks before symptoms become serious.

However, when an infection does occur, it is essential to seek medical attention, as soon as possible. This can prevent complications from occurring.

In addition to the advice your doctor provides you with, home remedies for UTIs can be adequate to alleviate symptoms in some cases.

Causes

Often UTIs are caused by bacteria that infect the urinary tract. This can happen for numerous reasons. For example, bacteria may enter the urinary tract during sex, or after using the bathroom.

UTIs can be related to other conditions, too, for example, kidney stones. If a person has kidney stones, these may block the urinary track, causing infections.

Those with diabetes also have an increased risk, as do people with a weakened immune system.

Further risks include certain medical treatments, such as chemotherapy or a urinary catheter, both of which may increase the risk of UTIs.

Symptoms

UTIs can be identified through a range of different symptoms. These may include:

  • The need to urinate more frequently than usual: If needing to urinate becomes disruptive to day-to-day life, it can be a sign of a UTI.
  • Pain or discomfort around the bladder and urethra: This can be felt before or after urinating, though it is mainly noticed when urinating. Sometimes, it is described as a burning sensation.
  • Changes in the quality of urine: This may include the color, smell, or appearance. Blood in the urine may also be a symptom of UTIs.

These symptoms may be accompanied by a general feeling of being unwell, such as being tired or having a fever.

Treating a UTI at home

While it is always a good idea to speak to a doctor for advice, there are ways the symptoms of a UTI can be treated at home.

Listed here are five of the most effective UTI home remedies:

1. Drinking fluids

woman drinking lots of water for a urinary tract infection
Drinking plenty of water will help flush the bacteria out of the urinary tract.

One of the simplest home remedies for a UTI is to drink plenty of water. This helps to flush the bacteria out of the body.

Usually, the recommendation is for an individual to drink up to half of their body weight in water. However, it is essential that medical advice is sought when deciding the amount to drink per day.

Drinking too much can be dangerous, particularly with pre-existing kidney diseases.

2. Urinate when necessary

It can be tempting to avoid urinating with a UTI. This is because a UTI can cause a person to want to urinate more frequently than usual, even if there is no urine to release.

However, urination can help to expel the bacteria that are causing the infection. Along with drinking more fluids, this can ease symptoms and quicken a recovery.

3. Heat

Some home remedies for UTIs can help to ease symptoms, such as pain and discomfort, though these may not aid recovery.

For example, applying a heat pad to the bladder or pubic area can help to relieve pain and discomfort temporarily.

Heat should not be applied directly to the skin, and should not be too hot. Heat should only be applied for short periods to avoid causing burns to the skin.

4. Clothing

Loose fitting clothing can prevent moisture from making the infection worse. Tight clothing can encourage moisture to develop.

Keeping the pubic area clean and dry is important to prevent the growth of bacteria.

5. Diet

citrus sources of vitamin c
Increasing vitamin C intake can help prevent the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract.

Certain foods can worsen symptoms. These include foods that are:

  • hot or spicy
  • fizzy
  • caffeinated
  • alcoholic

High fiber foods may help to quicken recovery. Getting a range of essential nutrients is also important to allow the body to heal itself.

Vitamin C can inhibit the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract since it makes urine more acidic. Although it is usually advised that vitamin C intake be increased via a varied diet, supplements may be recommended.

Cranberry juice is often considered to be a home remedy for UTIs. However, there is no conclusive study proving this to be true.

Preventing a UTI

Preventing UTIs is not always possible, though there are steps that can be taken to help minimize the risk of them occurring.

After using the bathroom, wiping from front to back can prevent bacteria from entering the urinary tract.

Urinating after sexual activity can also help to expel bacteria that may have entered the urinary tract. Doing this as soon as possible after sexual activity is usually recommended.

When to see a doctor

If symptoms of the UTI are severe or persist for more than 1 week without improvement, then it is essential to see a doctor. Severe symptoms that are long-lasting can indicate that the UTI is chronic.

In many cases where the UTI is mild or acute, it may pass in just 2-3 days with home remedy treatments.

Safety and home remedies

It is important to seek professional medical advice when considering home remedies for UTIs.

Home remedies for UTIs may be used to ease symptoms and support recovery in combination with prescribed treatment options. Home remedies are not necessarily more effective than prescribed treatment and drugs.

Any pre-existing conditions or medication should be taken into consideration before relying on home remedies for UTIs.

Some herbal remedies or changes to the diet can interact with existing conditions or medication in a way that could adversely affect health. They may also make symptoms of a UTI worse.

Usually, home remedies for UTIs can be administered safely. However, it is always recommended that they are discussed with a doctor first.

Home remedies are not a replacement for professional medical treatment.

The most common uncommon risks of having a vasectomy.

At the end of each vasectomy consultation and then after the vasectomy has been performed I tell the couple this, “The most important thing I will tell you is that you must not have unprotected sexual activity until we prove there are no sperm. It usually takes about 30 ejaculation to clear the sperm from the tube beyond the vasectomy site. In America approximately 50% of the men who have had a vasectomy will not get checked to be sure they are clear. You don’t have my guarantee until this has been done.” 

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Kidney Cancer: What you need to know.

urine-sample

Urologists are notorious for requesting a urine specimen at the time of an office visit and patients often times ask, “Why is this necessary?” Well….

  • The presence of blood can indicate kidney, bladder and prostate cancer.
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria) can indicate kidney stones. Not all stones hurt. If the stone is in the kidney but not blocking the flow of urine they don’t hurt, but can irritate the lining of the kidney enough to put blood in the urine.
  • Protein in the urine can indicate poor kidney function.
  • Nitrates can indicate an infection
  • Leukocytes can indicate an infection
  • Glucose in the urine indicates diabetes
  • There is even an evaluation that suggest liver or gallbadder dysfunction.
  • Want to know if you are hydrated….the specific gravity is indicated on the test strip.

So a urine tells you a lot particularly if it is completely negative. It is a great starting point of your urological evaluation and why one of the most common evaluations a urologist is asked to do in consultation.

How does the urine help with the diagnosis of kidney cancer?

From Medical News Today

Kidney cancer: What you need to know. Click here.

 

Types of prostate cancer surgery?

Which treatment is best to treat your prostate cancer may not be the best thing for you. Know your options and the pros and cons of each. A word to the wise is sufficient. A second opinion is rarely a bad idea. JM

prostate-seeds

From MNT

Types of prostate cancer surgery overview.

The urologist’s most powerful secret weapon…for the post menopausal woman!

IC-Diet-Tips

A small amount of Estrace cream to the urethra a few times a week helps with:

  • The prevention of bladder infections
  • The symptoms of Overactive Bladder
  • Improve the pain that may be experienced with intimacy
  • Help with urgency incontinence and getting up at night

Click here for over view of atrophic vaginitis.

Gleason Score 101-What the newly diagnosed prostate cancer patient needs to know.

From MedicalNewsToday.com

What is a Gleason score?

Last reviewed: Thu 25 May 2017

Most people who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer will want to know their outlook and treatment plan quickly. The Gleason score plays a major role in deciding both these things.

When a doctor diagnoses prostate cancer, a biopsy of the cancer cells in the prostate will be done. Afterward, the Gleason score will be used to help explain the results.

The Gleason score is also used to determine how aggressive the cancer is and what the best course of treatment will be.

What is a Gleason score?

[illustration of a cancer cell]
The Gleason score measures the progress of a cancer cell from normal to tumorous.

The Gleason score is a grading system devised in the 1960s by a pathologist called Donald Gleason.

Gleason worked out that cancerous cells fall into five differentt patterns, as they change from normal cells to tumorous cells. As a result, he determined they could be scored on a scale of 1 to 5.

The cells that score a 1 or 2 are considered to be low-grade tumor cells. These tend to look similar to normal cells.

Cells closest to 5 are considered high-grade. In comparison to the lower grade cells, they have mutated so much that they no longer look like normal cells.

How is the Gleason score worked out?

The Gleason score is determined by the results of the biopsy.

During a biopsy, the doctor takes tissue samples from different areas of the prostate. Several samples are taken, as cancer is not always present in all parts of the prostate.

After examining the samples under a microscope, the doctor finds the two areas that have the most cancer cells. The Gleason score is assigned to each of these areas, separately. Each is given a score of between 1 and 5. These are then added together to give a combined score, often referred to as the Gleason sum.

In most cases, the Gleason score is based on the two areas described above that make up most of the cancerous tissue.

However, there are some exceptions to the way scores are worked out.

When a biopsy sample has either a lot of high-grade cancer cells or shows three different types of grades, the Gleason score is modified to reflect how aggressive the cancer is deemed to be.

What do the results mean?

When a doctor tells a person what their Gleason score is, it will be between 2 and 10. Although it is not always the case, the higher the score, the more aggressive the cancer tends to be. Typically, lower scores indicate less aggressive cancers.

In most cases, scores range between 6 and 10. Biopsy samples that score 1 or 2 are not used very often because they are not usually the predominant areas of cancer.

A Gleason score of 6 is usually the lowest score possible. Prostate cancer with a score of 6 is described as well-differentiated or low-grade. This means the cancer is more likely to grow and spread slowly.

Scores between 8 and 10 are referred to as poorly differentiated or high-grade. In these cases, the cancer is likely to spread and grow quickly. Scores of 9 and 10 are twice as likely to grow and spread quickly as a score of 8.

In the case of a score of 7, the results could be one of two ways:

  • 3 + 4 = 7
  • 4 + 3 = 7

This distinction indicates how aggressive the tumor is. Scores of 3 + 4 typically have a good outlook. A score of 4 + 3 is more likely to grow and spread compared to the 3 + 4 score, but it is less likely to grow and spread than a score of 8.

In some cases, a person may receive multiple Gleason scores. This is because the grade may vary between samples within the same tumor or between two or more tumors. In these cases, the doctor is likely to use the highest score as the guide for treatment.

Other ways to measure prostate cancer

The Gleason scale is very important for doctors when they decide the best treatment options. However, there are some additional factors and groupings to assist them.

Some additional considerations include:

[closeup of blood vials and doctors hand]
There are other factors which help determine the treatment plan for prostate cancer, including blood PSA levels and biopsy results.
  • results of a rectal exam
  • the blood PSA level of the individual
  • the results of imaging tests
  • the number of biopsy samples that contain cancer
  • whether the cancer has spread beyond the prostate
  • how much of each tissue sample is made up of cancer
  • whether cancer is found on both sides of the prostate

More recently, researchers have determined additional groupings, called grade groups. These grade groups help address some of the problems with the Gleason system.

Currently, the lowest Gleason score that is given is a 6. In theory, however, the Gleason grades range from 2 to 10.

The lowest reported score of a 6 leads some people to think their cancer is in the middle of the grade scale. As a result, they are more likely to worry and to want treatment right away.

As described above, the Gleason scores are most often divided into only three groups: 6, 7, and 8-10.

These groupings are not entirely accurate since the Gleason score of 7 is made up of two grades, 3+4 and 4+3. Within this group, a 4+3 is a worse outlook than a 3+4.

Similarly, Gleason scores of 9 or 10 have a worse outlook than a Gleason score of 8, despite being in the same group.

The newer groupings are more understandable for the individual being treated and more accurate in terms of outlook and treatment.

The following is a breakdown of the new groups. A score of 1 is considered best and a score of 5 is considered worst.

  • grade group 1 = Gleason 6 (or less)
  • grade group 2 = Gleason 3+4=7
  • grade group 3 = Gleason 4+3=7
  • grade group 4 = Gleason 8
  • grade group 5 = Gleason 9-10

How does a Gleason score affect treatment?

The Gleason score and similar groupings help a doctor give an outlook and treatment plan to an individual. This information and other factors are then used together to guide the treatment decisions.

For lower Gleason scores, treatment is likely to consist of:

  • active surveillance, where someone’s age and overall health help determine when their cancer is treated
  • radical prostatectomy surgery to remove the prostate
  • radiation therapy

For higher Gleason scores and more advanced stages of cancer, treatment may consist of a combination of the following:

[man recovering from surgery in a hospital bed]
More advanced cancers may be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
  • radical prostatectomy
  • brachytherapy only
  • external beam radiation only
  • brachytherapy and external beam radiation
  • involvement in a clinical trial of newer treatments
  • active surveillance
  • chemotherapy
  • hormone therapy
  • surgery to treat symptoms of the cancer

Brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy, where radiation is administered to the prostate by placing small radioactive seeds directly into the prostate. It is also referred to as internal radiation therapy.

External beam radiation involves the use of a machine that focuses beams of radiation onto the prostate from outside of the body.

People with prostate cancer will be able to discuss their treatment options with their doctor to decide the best ones for them.