To use the bathroom and notice bright red fluid can be incredibly alarming. This can be especially so if you cannot come up with a good reason for seeing blood in your urine (and who really can?). We imagine that, in such an instance, numerous questions may form all at once. Why is there blood in my urine? Where is it coming from? Are there other symptoms I have missed? It’s normal to wonder what has caused this problem to occur. The best way to find out is to schedule a visit with your Collin County urologist.
If you notice the signs of blood in your urine, such as noticeable darkness or actual specks of blood, we encourage you not to wait. The physicians at Collin County Urology have extensive training and a familiarity with the intricacies of the urinary tract, including the bladder, kidneys, and other organs. Our priority is your health and peace of mind, and we work diligently to uncover the cause of hematuria, or blood in the urine so that we may treat the condition appropriately.
To know how to treat hematuria, it is necessary to find the source of blood cells. Red blood cells may be released from the bladder itself, or the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder (the ureters) or the bladder onward (the urethra). These are not the only structures that may be involved, though.
Causes of Blood in Urine
Red blood cells may be released into the urine for some reasons.
- Blood may indicate that bacteria have caused an infection in the urinary tract or the bladder.
- Blood may come straight from infected kidneys, but would normally be accompanied by fever and noticeable low back pain.
- Kidney stones may also cause blood to be present in the urine, along with moderate to severe abdominal or pelvic pain.
Many people are aware of these common causes of hematuria. However, this is not a conclusive list. Other potential reasons that blood cells may be present include a benign or malignant tumor somewhere along the urinary tract (bladder included) or even an enlarged prostate. Because treatment is dictated by the cause at hand, it is important to schedule an examination if there is the suspicion of blood in the urine.
We can help you make sense of your urologic health. Call (972) 403-5425.
Testosterone has not historically been a looming topic of discussion around dinner tables, or even in doctor’s offices. Only recently has science made substantial headway in understanding the vital role of this and other hormones in the body. While this post focuses on recognizing the signs of low testosterone in men, know that women also need adequate levels of testosterone, and may require replacement therapy at some point, just like their male counterparts. Also, the symptoms and consequences of low testosterone may be similar among both genders. These include:
- Diminished sex drive. If you do not crave sex as much as you once did, it is not because you are “getting older.” Well, it is, but the direct cause is the decreased testosterone coursing through your veins.
- Diminished sexual ability. By that, we mean erectile dysfunction. Adequate levels of testosterone support penile function, as do circulation and functional valves in the penis.
- Multiple studies suggest that testosterone plays a direct role in the regeneration of physical and mental energy. Men (and women) who are low in this hormone typically have a difficult time concentrating, and complain of feeling tired regardless of how much rest they get.
- Poor sleep. Scientists are not clear on the exact reason why low testosterone seems to correlate with sleep disturbances, but the link is clear. More than a simple association, the link between low testosterone and poor sleep goes both ways. This can create a vicious cycle that threatens well-being.
- Research continues to suggest that low testosterone plays a role in depression. In fact, 56% of the men in one study suffered significant depression alongside borderline low testosterone. Many of these participants were already being treated with antidepressant medication. Furthermore, other studies following the depression/low testosterone line indicate that depression symptoms improve when a man’s testosterone levels are brought back to a normal balance.
The team at Collin County Urology offers comprehensive diagnostic testing through which you can determine if your symptoms are related to low testosterone. The information you gain from this testing allows you to move forward with appropriate treatment and lifestyle habits to support vitality as you age. Call (972) 403-5425 to schedule your visit.
Men and women are vastly different on several levels, right down to their dietary needs. What is on a man’s plate will affect how well he thinks, how well he feels, and how well he performs in life. Due to the daily stresses in life, many of the men out there (and the women in their lives) reach for the wrong types of foods; foods that may feed an immediate desire for comfort or pleasure but that do not foster long term health and vitality.
Food choices matter. As does exercise. These two factors alone go a long way in affecting a man’s risk for heart disease and cancer, the top two killers of men over age 35. Are you ready to maximize your health and wellness? See what 5 foods should be on your plate!
Health-Boosting Foods for Men
- Fatty fish. Is there such as thing as fatty fish? There is, and you want to eat it about twice a week. Choose fresh-caught tuna, mackerel, salmon, or canned sardines to get healthy doses of omega-3 fatty acids. These foods, along with flaxseed and walnuts, support heart health and a strong immunity.
- Cherries and berries. These tiny gems may seem like a lovely treat, and they are because they feed your sweet tooth along with your body. Red and dark berries are loaded with antioxidants and the flavinoid anthocyanin, noted for anti-cancer properties.
- Broccoli. Men and broccoli. These two rarely mix. Fortunately, the cruciferous vegetable family includes other foods, like Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, and cauliflower. Each of these foots provides anti-cancer phytochemicals along with potassium and vitamin C. Together, these compounds significantly reduce a man’s risk for bladder cancer.
- Bananas. Potassium is once again a play here, and bananas have high amounts of this nutrient needed by the average guy. The B vitamins in bananas support the nervous system. Other nutrients in bananas build immunity and aid in the breakdown of proteins. Ultimately, bananas lower a man’s stroke risk.
- Oysters. This food has long been touted for its aphrodisiac properties. However, it is the zinc content of oysters that really matter to male health. Zinc is vital to hundreds of biological processes, and is an important mineral for prostate health.
If oysters do not sound appetizing to you, get your 11 milligrams of zinc in other shellfish, lean beef, and legumes. Collin County Urology offers men’s health services that suit your needs. Call (972) 403-5425 .
The vasectomy procedure is one of the most common to be performed by experienced urologists like Dr. Wierschem and Dr. Hegde. What is interesting, when you consider the reality of this procedure, is that only 9 percent of men in America undergo this form of male birth control. This is far less than that 27 percent of women who seek permanent sterilization with tubal ligation, a far more invasive and risky procedure. Wonder why? We think it could have a little something to do with myths. So let’s look at the truth about the Big V.
Truth #1 – You Keep your Sex Drive
Vasectomy goes nowhere near your ability to get and keep an erection, to climax, or to desire sex. At most, what some men report after their vasectomy is a minor ache every now and then when they become aroused.
Truth #2 – It isn’t as Painful as you Imagine
The area on which a vasectomy is performed is sensitive. We understand that a bit of anxiety may go hand-in-hand with even thinking about this procedure. However, it is necessary to set the record straight about pain. Generally, the procedure involves sensations much like slight tugging as the vas deferens is located and modified. After anesthesia diminishes and feeling is fully restored, the ensuing discomfort is manageable with over-the-counter medication and ice.
Truth #3 – Recovery is Neither Long nor Painful
Men do not only worry that they will experience post-operative pain that is intense or severe; they also worry that pain will linger for many weeks, or that discomfort may keep them from getting back in action. In reality, most patients are back to a high degree of comfort within a week. Remember, the pain that is experienced during this week is mild and manageable! Rest is one of the best things a man can do after his procedure. Hint: schedule your vasectomy to coincide with your favorite playoffs!
There are several important questions we know you will have as you decide if a vasectomy is right for you. To schedule a consultation at Collin County Urology, call (972) 403-5425.
The prostate gland is quite small. However, it fulfills an important role in the male body; production of the fluid that holds semen. If a something goes awry within the prostate, a man is very likely to experience symptoms of one type or another. This is because of the location of this gland, just in front of the rectum, and just beneath the bladder, wrapped around the uppermost part of the tube below the bladder, the urethra. This tube is the body part that is responsible for carrying urine out of the body.
This condition has been identified as a major risk, thought to affect 1 in 7 men during their lifetime. Generally, prostate cancer is viewed as an age-related condition. Ongoing research is helping physicians and their patients determine the most appropriate screening schedule for this condition. On one hand, prostate cancer is the #2 cancer-related threat to mortality. On the other hand, a large percentage of cases are slow growing. In one case study (autopsies), researchers discovered that men passed away from other health conditions, or old age, having never known they had prostate cancer.
Comparing the risks of treatment against the growth rate of many prostate cancers, doctors are in a precarious position of “wait and see” with many of their patients.
It’s not only about Prostate Cancer
Prostate health is an important topic even beyond informing yourself about prostate cancer. Other conditions that are important to discuss with your physician are:
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. Like prostate cancer, this condition also most commonly affects older men. It may also be referred to as enlarged prostate. As the urethra is compressed from this enlargement, urine flow usually diminishes. Depending on the severity of enlargement, a man may experience a total blockage of urine flow.
- Prostatitis describes prostate inflammation or infection. Symptoms of prostatitis include difficulty urinating or ejaculating. These activities may be painful, and may be accompanied with lower back pain or pain in the perineum, located behind the scrotum and in front of the rectum.
Collin County Urology has offices in Plano and McKinney. Our friendly staff offers professional care for prostate health and other men’s health issues. Contact us to schedule a consultation.
Urinary incontinence has long been perceived as an issue of the female reproductive system. Women carry babies for months on end, and give birth. These factors alone make the introductory assumption seem logical. So if a man notices that a little urine leaks here and there, he may feel frightened but too embarrassed to say anything about it. The fact is, as much as 17% of men could have urinary incontinence. The sooner that evaluation and treatment are sought, the better chance there is at finding and resolving the cause of this unsettling condition.
What does urinary incontinence look like in the life of the average guy? Here are some common scenarios:
- A strong urge to urinate occurs immediately before slight leakage.
- Urine leaks accidentally during exercise like running or weight lifting. Even lifting a semi-heavy object could cause “dribbling.”
- Without any trigger, nor any warning, slight leakage may occur.
Why a Man may Develop Urinary Incontinence
The primary culprit of male urinary incontinence is the prostate. As a man ages, this almond-sized gland that sits at the opening to the bladder can increase in size. The larger it becomes, the more it may affect bladder control. Another common reason for bladder control issues is damage to the nerves around the prostate, which may occur during surgery to remove the gland.
Other reasons for accidental urine leakage in men include:
- Diabetes. There are several reasons why a man with diabetes may also struggle with bladder control. One is that some types of diabetes are associated with obesity. First, diabetes creates an overactive bladder situation. Then, the extra weight becomes too much for the weakened sphincter muscle around the bladder to control flow.
- Stroke. One of the common issues of stroke is diminished muscle control. Patients may also experience decreased sensations. Together, these two side-effects of stroke could create a bladder control issue.
- Alcohol and the bladder. Drinking excessively affects muscle control and could, in some situations, lead to incontinence. It is not only alcohol, though, that could temporarily diminish bladder control. Too much caffeine, as well as certain over-the-counter medications and some anti-depressants, all have the potential to cause short-lived urinary incontinence.
Urinary incontinence can be extremely difficult to discuss. We understand, and we provide excellent care to patients of our Plano, TX urology office in order to get the desired result. Call (972) 403-5425.