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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Bladder Problems


These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Bladder Control [posted 1/14/99]
Question: I am a 54 year old male who recently had a rupture operation. Since the operation I don't get the sensation of having to urinate, except pain and feeling bloated or my kidneys hurt. I am taking Cardura (4 mg) and Xanax. The Xanax is for tremors and was recently started on Requip for the same problem. I would like to know if these could be part of my problem or if the operation could have caused it? The operation was done 8 weeks ago.

Answer: I suspect it would be the Xanax.

Shy Bladder [posted 11/5/98]
Question:I am 43 years old and have allways had trouble urinating in front of people other than my wife. This has been embrassing and very uncomfortable. What causes this and what can I do to correct this problem?

Answer: Fairly common problem, sometimes helped with SRI antidepressants or phobia counseling with a phobia specialist.

Info on Using Detrol for Bladder Control [posted 10/30/98]
Question:I would like more information on the new drug, Detrol. I have a problem with leakage and especially having to empty my bladder every two hours at night. Would this drug help me? What are the side effects with the other medication I take?

Answer: Just released and seems to be superior in terms of side effects, particularly dry mouth and constipation. Very similar to previous drugs;but, with less side effects. More expensive, so try it an see what you think.

Cystitis [posted 10/6/98]
Question: What can be done for the 3% of the people who do not tolerate Elmiron well? Is there any thing else. I get bad diarahea if I stay on them too long without a break.

Answer: I assume you have tried DMSO to your urethra? If not often very helpful. Have you tried agents to control the diarrhea?

Bladder Infections [posted 7/17/98]
Question: How do you get a bladder infection, what are the symptoms, and how do you cure a bladder infection? If no medical treatment is taken for a possible bladder infection, will it go away by itself? Are there side effects if no medical treatment is taken?

Answer: A bladder infection occurs when bacteria are retained in the bladder/kidney and begin to multiply. This is fairly easy in a limited space with lots of nitrogen to use for a food source. They get introduced by a variety of ways, but in women in general by pelvic pressure/trauma. In practical terms this is usually intercourse. The reason women get more infections than men is that the distance from the outside to the bladder is shorter in women(1/4 to 1/2 inch vs, 6-8 inches). Symptoms are usually urinary frequency, burning, spasm, etc. It will usually not go away by itself, but occasionally drinking large volumes of fluids will "cure" it by washing out the bacteria. Cranberry juice is of some help in changing the pH of the urine to one less hospitable to bacteria. However, antibiotics are usually the only effective treatment. If untreated, the infection can ascend to your kidneys and cause a major infection - not the best option.

Bladder Problems
Question: What are common bladder problems and is it possible for the bladder to fill and pop?

Answer: Chronic infections, bladder stones, cystitis, bladder spasm, incontinence, cancer, interstitial cystitis. Usually the bladder will experience overflow incontinence, since the outlet pressure is less than the pressure needed to rupture a fairly thick muscle. Rupture usually occurs when a full bladder is struck externally. This is uncommon, but it occurs.


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