An overview of diseases related to Urology
Urology is a branch of medicine that deals with urinary tract problems – kidneys, ureter, bladder and urethra. Urology involves treating diseases of both men and women urinary tract, including the male reproductive organs such as testes, prostate, scrotum, penis, etc. The diseases concern the filtering and excreting of urine from the body. Urologic diseases and conditions can affect people of any age and result in significant problems, if not treated well.
Common Diseases Related to Urology
Some of the common diseases related to urology, which can be surgically or non-surgically include:
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
This condition is characterized by an enlarged prostate which implies that the prostate gland increases in size than normal causing problems. An enlarged prostate causes pressure on the urethra – a narrow tube responsible for excreting urine from the bladder and out of the body. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is very common in older men and results in an increase in the frequency of urination. Men suffering from BPH also tend to have a lower/weaker streak of urine, resulting in an uneasy feeling of a full bladder even after urination. This condition can be easily treated with some targeted medications including alpha-blockers; however, for severe cases, the doctor might suggest a surgery to treat the enlarged prostate.
Urinary incontinence is defined by a condition of loss of bladder control, resulting in unwanted and untimely leakage of urine. This is a very common condition but can be very embarrassing and difficult. Urinary incontinence can affect people of all ages and gender. Some of the major causes of urinary incontinence include:
- Overactive bladder
- Enlarged prostate
- Weakening of muscles supporting the urethra
- Infections of the urinary tract
- Acute constipation
- Spinal cord injury
- Weakening of bladder muscles
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
In most cases, urinary incontinence can be treated with a certain lifestyle and diet modifications such as limiting fluid intake and pelvic exercises which are suggested by urologists and physicians. However, in severe cases or in conditions where lifestyle and diet modifications fail to address the issue, the doctor might suggest surgery to treat the issue.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
UTIs are bacterial infections that affect any part of the urinary system – kidneys, ureter, bladder and urethra. These infections most affect the lower urinary tract consisting of the bladder and urethra. These infections can be easily treated and do not cause any significant health problems unless they are left untreated. In the latter case, the infections can affect the kidneys and can even cause them to fail. UTIs are more common in women as compared to men. Urinary tract infections are generally treated with antibiotics for a period of five to seven days.
Kidney and Ureteral Stones
A kidney stone is a solid mass composed of tiny crystals. These are formed when there is an excessive quantity of a certain mineral in the body while at the same time there is a lack of liquid to dissolve these minerals. These kidney stones when move into the ureter are known as ureteral stones. These stones tend to be very painful and can block the flow of urine. Small stones can be expelled from the body naturally without any medical help; however, in cases where the stones are comparatively larger, expelling them would require medical help and even surgery in severe cases. Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is one of the most common non-invasive surgeries used to remove the stones by breaking them into smaller pieces through high-intensity sound waves. The larger stones, when broken into smaller pieces, can exit the body easily than otherwise.
Prostate Cancer: Another disease related to urology is prostate cancer; a form of cancer that develops in the prostate – a small gland in men responsible for producing the seminal fluid which nourishes and transports sperm. Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death in men. Treatment for prostate cancer depends on the stage of cancer but include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, cryotherapy and surgery.
Bladder Cancer: A type of cancer that develops in the bladder and is characterized by the abnormal growth of bladder cells. This type of cancer is more common in men than women and is most often identified by blood in the urine. Bladder cancer is mostly caused by excessive smoking and consumption of tobacco. Bladder cancer can be cured by radiation therapy, chemotherapy or through surgery.
Other Diseases Related to Urology
- Bladder Cancer
- Bladder Prolapse
- Blood in Urine
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Painful Bladder
- Overactive Bladder
- Swollen Prostate Gland
Tips to Improve Urological Health
Diseases related to urology – surgical and non-surgical can be minimised or avoided by following certain easy tips to maintain overall urological health. These include:
- Stay hydrated
- Increase intake of cranberry
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Limit salt and caffeine intake
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid alcohol
- Avoid intake of fluid during night hours
- Undertake exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles
- Urinate before bed-time
To prevent diseases related to urology, it is critical to maintain good urological health and seek medical help upon doubtful symptoms. Moreover, regular health check-ups are also very helpful in preventing and managing urological diseases.