March 18th, 2014
According to the statistics reported by National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (1)
– Over 8 million male adults visit urologist clinics per year for prostate related problems (Prostatitis, Prostatic Hyperplasia or Malignancy) in United States (1).
– Over 2.5 million adults see their urologists for bladder related issues like UTI or urinary tract infection, marked by burning urination, increase in the overall frequency and urgency of urination and other similar symptoms.
– About 718,430 male adults consult their physician for urinary incontinence (the prevalence is almost thrice as much in the females for same indication).
Other common causes of visits to urologist clinic include bladder stones, erectile dysfunction, urethral diseases, urinary reflux and cystitis. Urological issues are disabling and can compromise the quality of your life. Moreover, long standing urological infections and complaints can evolve into much bigger health problems like chronic kidney disease, renal failure and cancer.
But, you can definitely avoid your urologist by adopting healthy habits and lifestyle modifications. This consequently will reduce your healthcare cost for ambulatory and non-ambulatory urological care, which according to latest statistics (2) is over $1.6 billion for UTI management alone.
Urinary system is highly effective at filtering your blood to excrete toxins, chemicals and nitrogenous waste products via urine. Increasing water intake to at least 2 liters per day is advised by most healthcare providers.
Mere increase in water intake can prevent urinary or renal stones (formed as a result of deposition of minerals or salts due to passage of very concentrated urine). Increase in water intake helps in flushing out the crystals before deposition. Likewise, bacterial and fungal infections can be prevented due to frequent flushing of toxins/ chemicals that may favor bacterial growth.
You should ideally increase your basal water intake in these conditions.
– Hot and humid weather
– After strenuous physical activity
– In acute or chronic illness/ infection
Intake of excessive salt (via diet) is an important contributing factor for calcium stone formation (Yes- it is not the calcium that cause calcium stones, but sodium from table salt). High sodium intake favors the excessive excretion of calcium that may get precipitated in the form of crystals/ stones.
Long standing and poorly managed metabolic or medical health issues like diabetes, hypertension, systemic lupus erythematous and others can affect the integrity of blood vessels and may increase the propensity to develop infections, chronic renal disease and renal failure.
Alcoholic or caffeinated beverages have a mild diuretic action that may increase the passage of urine (and also increase the risk of intra-cellular dehydration). Intake of caffeine is directly associated with interstitial cystitis and urinary tract infections (3)
It is good to practice preventive medicine (with the aim to avoid your urologist) but make sure to see a healthcare professional at earliest convenience if you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms for over two days .
– Burning urination (with or without urgency, increased frequency, flank pain, high grade fever with rigors or chills)
– Clouding of urine
– Passage of blood/blood clots/ pus in urine
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