By DR GREGGORY PINTO
Many men, women and children have their lives controlled by their bladder issues and it often drastically reduces the quality of their lives.
Afraid to drink a glass of water when away from home because of the potentially embarrassing problem of needing to rush to void urine or not being able to find a bathroom in time.
Waking up more fatigued in the morning than when first going to bed because of the urgent need to wake up several times in the night to urinate. Avoiding social interactions because if the perceived scent of urine from urinary incontinence.
No longer going to church because of the overwhelming need to rush to urinate several times during the service. Avoiding exercise because of the uncontrolled leak of urine or any exertional activity.
These horrible urinary symptoms are the unfortunate everyday reality for far too many Bahamian men, women and children.
Family members also may suffer indirectly from severe urinary symptoms of a love one: such as having constant sleeplessness nights due to a love one frequently waking one to urinate or having urinary incontinence/bladder leak.
Sexual relationships are destroyed because of the urinary issues of one or both partners.
Growing older absolutely does not necessitate having severe urinary symptoms, such as having to urinate less than every hour or struggling to empty your bladder.
As a woman, having a vaginal delivery of a child or entering menopause does not necessitate having to accept urinary incontinence.
Bahamian women do not have to wear daily pads or panty shields because of the great fear of not making it to the bathroom in time or leaking urine with every laugh, sneeze, cough or exertion.
Modern urology provides minimally invasive, often outpatient procedures that can effectively treat any urinary issue.
Urinary issues can negatively impact the quality of life of the sufferer and those around them
Severe urinary issues may include urinary leak/incontinence or frequent and urgent urination, recurrent urinary tract infections and a weak stop and start urinary stream.
These urinary issues may be a sign of something potentially very hazardous to your health. Never ignore urinary symptoms.
- The urinary issue could lead to devastating health consequences
Frequent urination and urinary incontinence in men, women and children could be the result of incomplete bladder emptying, which could lead to prolonged back pressure on kidneys and potentially acute or chronic kidney injury.
Prostate cancer in men may present with worsening urinary complaints so never ignore and suffer in silence. The other prostate problem, benign prostate hyperplasia is far more common than prostate cancer and also could present with progressively worsening urinary symptoms.
Other pelvic cancers in men and women could present with urinary symptoms. Chronic incomplete bladder emptying could lead to kidney failure and the development of an atonic bladder, whereby the bladder would never be able to contract and empty, even if the obstruction is removed.
There are multiple non obstructive causes of incomplete bladder emptying, such as diabetic cystopathy as a result of chronic poorly controlled diabetes or secondary to many neurological disorders.
Incomplete bladder emptying can lead to recurrent urinary tract infections and bladder and kidney stone formation. Urethral strictures/scarring can affect men of any age, which leads to urinary obstruction.
Never silently suffer from urinary issues. Seek urological consult. Ensure a potentially devastating health issue is not the root cause and regain control of your bladder and your happiness.
2. Nocturia - frequent nighttime urination
Waking up more than twice in the night to urinate should be investigated and appropriately treated. Seven hours of sleep is essential for good mental health, emotional well being and the health of your heart.
Sleep deprivation could potentially have numerous negative health effects and a profound reduction on your quality of life. No child should have to live with the devastating problem of bedwetting.
There are many simple management options to solve bedwetting.
3. Urinary incontinence and severe urinary urgency
Fear of leaking urine can negatively affect the sexual intimacy, professional lives and social lives of persons of both genders and all ages.
An individual could become a social outcast afraid to interact with others, fearful to attend church or go to the gym and exercise because of the fear of urinary leak and urinary urgency and severe frequency.
Too many Bahamian live their lives sadly with the persistent odour of urine due to urinary incontinence.
4. Urinary incontinence has shown to hasten physical decline in the elderly
Severe urinary issues in the elderly were found in a study in Urology Journal, to lead to more rapid health deterioration and resulting physical and mental health morbidities.
Elderly persons rushing to the toilet to pass urine, have higher incidences of falls and resulting fractures and head trauma.
5. Link between urinary issues and depression
An individual being afraid to exercise or socialise due to urinary incontinence could lead to depression and weight gain due to inactivity and multiple negative health issues.
Sleep deprivation from frequent nighttime urination could lead to depression. It cannot be emphasised in strong enough terms that it could be potentially devastating to ignore severe urinary issues.
You are far from alone when you suffer from urinary issues. Urinary incontinence or overactive bladder affects as many as one in three women. Almost every man will be afflicted with the urinary symptoms associated with benign prostate hyperplasia.
Stop being embarrassed and reluctant to seek help that is readily available. Seek confidential, comprehensive and compassionate urology care and regain control of your bladder and your happiness.
• Dr Greggory Pinto is a board certified Bahamian urologist and laparoscopic surgeon trained in South Africa, Germany and France. He can be reached at Urology Care Bahamas at the Surgical Suite, Centreville Medical Centre, #68 Collins Avenue/Sixth Terrace, Nassau. Call (242) 326-1929; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website:www.urologycarebahamas.com.