If you’re having urinary problems, it could be a sign of a medical condition or one of the urologic diseases that we regularly see in our practice. Since the symptoms and severity of these conditions vary, it’s essential to see an experienced urologist when something seems off.
This blog article will discuss some of the most common urologic diseases, the symptoms to watch for, and who is most at risk.
Common urologic diseases
The urinary tract is made up of your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.
Your kidneys’ job is to filter your blood, which creates urine. That urine then travels through your ureters to your bladder, where it’s stored. When you urinate, the muscles of your bladder contract and the urine leaves your body through your urethra.
Urologic diseases affect one or more of these parts of the urinary tract. The most common conditions include:
- Overactive bladder or incontinence
- Kidney stones
- Low testosterone
- Prostate cancer
- Prostate problems
- Urinary tract infections
- Other urologic cancers
Overactive bladder and incontinence
Overactive bladder and bladder incontinence are very common urologic diseases. Nearly 1 in 5 people will experience one or both conditions at some point.
Overactive bladder is a strong, sudden, and persistent urge to pass urine (in other words, you really have to pee frequently).
In some cases, the symptoms of overactive bladder can be caused by another condition or lifestyle factor, such as:
- Urinary tract infection
- Nerve damage
- Bladder irritation
- Medication side effects
- Alcohol or caffeine use
People with urinary incontinence have bladder leakage or a loss of bladder control (meaning they can’t get to the bathroom in time). It’s most common in older people, and women are more likely to experience it than men—especially if they’ve given birth. The condition can be short-term or permanent.
Kidney stones are hard deposits of salt and minerals containing calcium or uric acid that develop in your kidneys.
The stones vary in size, from a fraction of an inch to as significant as several inches wide. These stones travel through your urinary tract, causing severe pain as they pass.
The signs and symptoms of a kidney stone can include:
- Frequent urination
- Pain during urination
- Bloody, cloudy, or foul-smelling urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills
Low testosterone is a condition in which the testes (male reproductive glands) don’t produce enough testosterone (male sex hormone). Low testosterone affects nearly 40% of men aged 45 and older.
The signs and symptoms of low testosterone can include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low sex drive
- Moodiness and irritability
- Trouble concentrating
- Loss of muscle strength
Urinary tract infection
A urinary tract infection is an infection in your urinary system. It can occur in any part of the urinary tract, but most cases occur in the bladder and urethra. Anyone can get a UTI, but women have a greater risk of developing one than men.
When a urinary tract infection is limited to your bladder, it can be treated with antibiotics and is typically not serious (though it can be pretty painful). However, a urinary tract infection that spreads to your kidneys can become severe.
Urinary tract infections don’t always cause noticeable symptoms. Still, when they do, the most common ones include:
- A strong, persistent urge to urinate
- Frequent urination in small amounts
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Urine that appears cloudy, red, or pink
- Urine that has a strong odor
- Pelvic pain (in women)
According to the American Cancer Society, about one out of every eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Because the prostate gland is close to the bladder, prostate cancer can cause urinary symptoms, including:
- Trouble urinating
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Blood in urine
- Loss of bladder control
Beginning at age 50, men should talk with their healthcare provider about prostate cancer screenings.
Urology at Van Wert Health
One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from urologic diseases is to have a urologist on your care team. They’re specially trained to detect an issue before any symptoms appear.
Our providers specializing in treating urologic diseases Dr. Scott Shie, Dr. Nike Kiehl, and Brandi Alwine, PA-C all help patients with various problems related to the bladder and kidneys. They’ll work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that restores your health and improves your quality of life.
To schedule an appointment with our Urology Specialists, call 419-232-6051. Or click here to send us a quick message.