The urinary tract helps the body expel toxins.
It is also involved in the process of regulating fluids inside the body. This tract consists of the kidneys, bladder, and urethra.
The kidneys act as a filter for the body’s blood and fluids. It pushes toxins to the bladder, which is filled with urine. Once full, the bladder releases urine through the urethra.
Many conditions can affect parts of the urinary tract. These conditions can lead to lower urinary symptoms. It can cause frequent nighttime urination and lead to discomfort during the day.
Some people find a urinary condition affects their quality of life. We look at common urologic diseases and what people should know about them.
What Are Urologic Diseases?
Urologic diseases include any condition that affects the urinary system. These conditions can cause different symptoms, depending on the severity and part of the urinary tract affected.
Symptoms may vary from one condition to another. There are, however, conditions with similar symptoms. This can sometimes make diagnostics more difficult. We take a look at common types of urological diseases below.
BPH is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia. It is sometimes referred to as an enlarged prostate. With this condition, the prostate tissue becomes enlarged.
The enlargement of the prostate gland causes it to push against the bladder and urethra. In turn, the man may experience several urinary tract symptoms. This generally includes a frequent urge to urinate, as well as the inability to empty the bladder when urinating completely.
Up to 60% of men will have benign prostatic hyperplasia by the age of 90. The condition is most common in older people. At the age of 40, about 8% of men have the condition.
Prostatitis also causes the prostate gland to become bigger in size. It is, however, not caused by the increased growth of prostate tissue. Instead, prostatitis is characterized by swelling in the prostate gland. This inflammatory response causes the prostate to push against the urinary tract.
Prostatitis is not only recognized by the urinary symptoms the condition causes. There are additional symptoms that men may experience. This generally includes a pain sensation in the groin region. Some men also complain about pain in their genital and pelvic region. There are ties where a man may experience symptoms associated with the flu when they have prostatitis.
Prostate cancer is a feared disease that needs to be recognized and acted upon early on. The condition is localized to the prostate gland in most cases. In such a case, the risks may be lower, especially when treated is initiated as soon as the condition is diagnosed.
In 60% of cases, prostate cancer is diagnosed in men who are older than 65 years. There are cases where younger men are diagnosed with this cancer too. Prostate cancer can become metastatic in some cases, which causes cancer cells to spread throughout the body.
An overactive is a condition that is generally associated with a consistent need to urinate. This is often considered a symptom of an underlying condition.
Men with an enlarged prostate, for example, may find that their bladder becomes overactive. This generally leads to an increase in urination. There may be a consistent need to urinate too. In some men, urine leaking may also occur.
People with an overactive bladder often need to get up at night to urinate. This may cause interference with the patient’s ability to get a full night’s sleep.
Urinary incontinence is a condition that can affect both men and women. It causes urine to leak involuntarily. This can have a significant impact on the patient’s life.
It may interfere with their abilities to enter public situations, such as an important meeting at work. This is a relatively common type of urinary condition. Several underlying diseases can lead to urinary incontinence.
With urinary incontinence, the patient may lose their ability to control their urinary sphincter effectively. In some cases, this muscle is weakened.
Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection is when bacteria, fungi, or other microorganisms start to overgrow in the urinary system. This type of infection can develop in several parts of the urinary tract.
It can affect the urethra itself. The infection may also affect the kidneys and the bladder, as well as the ureters. Treatment depends on the specific type of microorganism that affects the patient.
There may be a burning sensation during urination. Some patients detect blood in their urine. Most patients have an urge to urinate consistently. When urinating, only a minimal amount of the urine may be expelled from the urethra at a time.
Kidney And Ureteral Stones
There are cases where small stones develop in the kidneys. Kidney stones are quite a common urological disease. In the majority of cases, these small stones will be passed during urination. When the stones are too big, however, it can cause extreme pain and become stuck.
Kidney stones may pass through the ureters and get stuck. In such a case, the condition is known as ureteral stones. The disease is also characterized by blood that appears in the urine. Patients may experience pain during urination, as well.
Other Common Urological Conditions
We looked at the most common types of conditions that affect the urinary tract. There are more conditions that people should recognize. Conditions can affect both men and women. Apart from the diseases we shared, here are other urological conditions that are also relatively common:
- Bladder cancer
- Interstitial cystitis
- Bladder prolapse
In men, erectile dysfunction is also generally considered a urological condition. This condition causes poor erections. In some patients, it causes a complete loss of the ability to have an erection.
Tips To Improve Your Overall Urological Health
There are ways to care better for urological health. Both men and women should implement appropriate strategies to improve the well-being of their urinary tract. This would ultimately reduce the risk of developing a urological disease.
One of the very first factors to consider is to see a urologist if any symptoms are present. This includes milder symptoms that do not seem problematic at the time. These mild symptoms may signal the development of a condition.
When action is not taken early on, the condition may develop into a more severe disease. A urologist will be able to do a few tests to see what is wrong. They can then provide early treatment. This treatment would also play a role as a preventative strategy for more alarming complications.
The maintenance of a healthy weight is also important. In men, there seems to be a link between obesity and prostate problems.
A higher risk of an enlarged prostate has been noted among men who have too much excess weight. This is due to an alteration in the endocrine system, as well as higher activity in the sympathetic nervous system. Inflammation is also increased with obesity, along with oxidative stress on cells.
With this in mind, it is essential for men to exercise and eat healthily. A healthy diet should include a balanced range of foods. These foods should give the man an appropriate dose of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fatty acids. Turning to junk foods and processed foods can lead to higher inflammation rates in the body. It also causes weight gain and ultimately contributes to worse symptoms.
Exercise helps a man burn excess fat. It also ensures they are able to maintain a healthy weight. With the right activities, muscle mass increases. There are all ways to improve the general well-being of the body. A regular session of exercise may also help to keep the urinary system and prostate healthy.
Apart from these, having a healthy nighttime routine can help to reduce nocturnal urination. Men should ensure they avoid drinking too many fluids before bedtime. Caffeinated beverages such as coffee should also be limited, as it acts as a diuretic in the body.
Urologic diseases can be unpleasant, lead to a poorer quality of life, and lead to complications. By recognizing signs early on, treatment can be implemented before serious problems develop.
There are different types of diseases that can affect the urologic system. In men, benign prostatic hyperplasia is common. This, however, is not the only condition to take note of. There are ways to improve urological health. This may reduce the risk of developing these conditions.