Patient-Focused Philosophy

The strength and history of innovation at Arkansas Urology stems from a patient-focused philosophy and a dedication to the most advanced technology.

4

April 2019

4 Changes Women Experience as They Age

By: Arkansas Urology

Many women experience a variety of changes as they age. While it’s common to be embarrassed when it comes to speaking to someone about these changes, it’s important to remember that they’re completely normal. If you’re experiencing symptoms of any of the following conditions, schedule an appointment with one of the skilled professionals at Arkansas Urology today to see how we can help.

Pelvic Prolapse

When an organ slips down into the body or becomes displaced, it is known as pelvic prolapse. This pelvic floor disorder affects about one-third of all women throughout their lifetime, and in most cases occur in older women. It is often discovered during a routine pelvic exam or Pap smear. The causes of pelvic prolapse vary, and a number of treatments are available depending on severity.

Urinary Incontinence

Uncontrollable urine loss is a common condition in the United States, and more than 80 percent of incontinence cases occur in women. While urinary incontinence can occur in people of all ages, it is a frequent problem in older adults. Causes include Alzheimer’s disease, lack of estrogen, a weakened pelvic floor, urinary tract infections, surgery, certain medications, and diabetes.

Menopause

The onset of menopause can affect women in a variety of ways. Symptoms include hot flashes, chills, irregular periods, loss of hair, fatigue and anxiety, and low libido among other things. Treatments typically focus on symptomatic relief. Hormone pellet therapy provides a steady stream of hormones to treat hormone imbalances often caused by menopause.

UTIs

UTIs occur in women of all ages. Symptoms include a frequent urge to urinate, a burning sensation while urinating, and cloudy urine. You can help prevent UTIs by not holding in urine when you need to use the restroom, urinating after sex, wearing cotton underwear, and drinking cranberry juice.

Several common changes take place as women age, but that doesn’t mean you should simply deal with being uncomfortable. A variety of treatment options are available, and our doctors are here to help you find the best solution for your condition—no matter your age. Schedule an appointment today!

 

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20

March 2019

Overactive Bladder - No “One Size Fits All” Treatment

By: Arkansas Urology

Contrary to popular belief, overactive bladder (OAB) is not a normal part of aging. While loss of bladder control can cause feelings of embarrassment, frustration, anger and low self-esteem, your doctor can help you find ways to manage your OAB. No one treatment is right for everyone, and often different therapies and treatments are used in combination at the same time.

The first course of treatment is lifestyle changes, also known as behavioral therapy. This includes removing all the “bladder irritating” foods out of your diet like caffeine, alcohol, soda, artificial sweeteners and spicy food. Keeping a daily diary of trips to the bathroom and food consumed can help you and your doctor understand your symptoms better.

Learning bladder tricks like “double voiding” or “scheduled voiding” can also be helpful in managing your OAB. You might also find relief from training your bladder with “delayed voiding.” Other behavioral therapies, such as pelvic floor exercises (Kegels) can help strengthen your urine control. Biofeedback equipment is another tool that can be used to better identify the muscles that need to be exercised.

Most people do not have relief from all their symptoms with lifestyle changes alone, so your doctor may prescribe a medication. More advanced treatments such as injections of Botox into your bladder muscle may also help to keep your bladder from contracting too often.

Finally, your doctor may suggest nerve stimulation if your quality of life is being more severely affected due to your OAB. Neuromodulation therapy is a group of treatments that deliver electrical pulses to nerves to change how they work within your body. Another option is sacral nerve therapy that is administered by implanting a “bladder pacemaker” (InterStim). This device stops the nerve signals that can cause OAB altogether.

As you can see there are many options available for those struggling with an overactive bladder. Talk to your doctor about what options may be best for you to live a happier, healthier life.

 

 

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27

February 2019

Medical Myth: Frequent urination at night is just a normal sign of aging

By: Arkansas Urology

 

Everyone desires to wake up in the morning feeling rested and refreshed. But all too often the urge to use the bathroom interrupts our peaceful sleep. Nighttime urination is definitely more common in people over the age of 60. As you age the body produces less of a hormone that helps you retain fluid.

Also, as you get older you are more likely to have other health problems that cause you to need to use the bathroom at night. In men, an enlarged prostate is a common cause. It is not usually serious, but it does keep you from emptying your bladder. After menopause, women produce less estrogen. This can cause changes in the urinary tract that cause you to have to go to the bathroom more often.

Aging is not, however, the only contributing factor to nighttime urination. Other causes include chronic urinary tract infections (UTI), drinking large amounts of fluids before bed (especially alcohol or caffeinated drinks), and taking prescription medications that exaggerate urination (diuretics). Some medical conditions like diabetes or liver failure can also cause your body to make too much urine.

Sometimes it is not the urge to go to the bathroom that causes you to wake up but rather restless leg syndrome, chronic pain, hot flashes or sleep apnea that might actually be the culprit in awakening you. Of course, once you are awake, you will feel the need to go to the bathroom. Sometimes by addressing those types of problems you can even solve the nighttime urination issue as well.

As you get older you may accept the new normal of getting up to go to the bathroom at night, but you should also discuss it with your doctor. There are treatment options available depending on the underlying cause. If you have tried to control the frequent trips to the bathroom on your own and it continues to worsen, you should definitely consult your doctor. If you have to go to the bathroom more than twice during your six to eight hours of sleep, you may have a condition called nocturia. Serious conditions such as bladder or prostate cancer could be the cause.


 

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19

February 2019

Hormone Therapy for Women - Who Should Get It?

By: Arkansas Urology

 

Millions of women in America suffer from hormonal imbalance, whether it is due to menopause or premenstrual symptoms (PMS). As women age, their levels of key hormones fluctuate or decrease. One treatment used to aid in replacing these is Testosterone hormone pellet therapy or topical testosterone cream.

Testosterone is important in both males and females for proper body function. Testosterone increases sexual interest and sense of emotional well-being, increases muscle mass and strength, helps maintain memory and keep skin from sagging, helps maintain bone density, and decreases excess body fat. Some ways to naturally improve libido, without supplementing testosterone, include decreasing calorie and increasing protein intake, exercising properly, getting adequate sleep, losing weight, and reducing stress levels.
Too much testosterone can cause acne, irritability, and (in extreme cases) facial hair growth and male pattern baldness in women.

Hormones are special chemicals created in the body’s glands, and they control many functions in the body. Compounded bioidentical hormones are chemically processed from precursors found in yam or soy plants to have exactly the same chemical structure as hormones produced by the human body. The benefits of bioidentical hormones include fewer side effects versus synthetic derivatives, individualized therapy, and positive benefits of estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone balance.

Hormone pellet therapy is recommended for women with hormone imbalances who want to feel healthier and younger than they have in years. This in office therapy works by inserting small pellets beneath the skin that release small doses into your system over the next three to four months. The pellet delivery system is designed to provide a steady stream of hormones. Most women enjoy the benefit of getting the pellet implant and then being able to go on with their busy lives.

Remember some of these problems like gaining weight, suffering from memory fog, night sweats, decreased libido and hot flashes are natural signs of the aging process, however, that doesn’t mean you should have to live with the pain and discomfort caused by growing older. The good news is that hormone loss and imbalances are correctable and hormone pellet therapy could be your solution.


 

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4

February 2019

Erectile Dysfunction - What You Need to Know

By: Arkansas Urology

 

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is much more common than you may think! You are not the only one who deals with this. In fact, studies show that it affects half of men over 40 and that almost all men will suffer from ED at one time or another. ED is defined as the inability to get or maintain an erection, which can lead to stress, strain on your relationships and self-confidence issues.

The important thing for both you and your partner to remember is that it is not a reason to freak out. Being overly concerned about an ED episode will just add more anxiety and the erectile dysfunction will be more likely to continue. You need to understand that it could potentially be an isolated incident. However, if it does continue to occur you should not just ignore it and hope it will go away on its own.

There are many causes of ED, and the most common is vascular disease especially in men over 50. It can also be a side effect of medications or other chronic health issues. While ED is very rarely just all “in your head,” depression and anxiety can be an underlying contributor. Low testosterone can also affect your ability to get an erection. That is why it is so important to consult your doctor.

The treatment for ED depends on the cause. After your diagnosis, your doctor can help you navigate various ED treatment options. Up to seventy percent of men experiencing erectile dysfunction show improvement with the use of prescription drugs. Testosterone therapies are available for men with ED related to low testosterone. Sometimes lifestyle changes such as exercise and a healthier diet can improve or prevent ED. In rare cases, surgery may be a consideration.

So in the heat of the moment, what you need to know if you are having trouble achieving or maintaining an erection is: RELAX! Communicate what is happening and how you are feeling with your partner. Don’t worry that your sex life is over. However, if your ED is more than just a one-time event there are many treatment options available. Never be embarrassed or afraid to share your erectile dysfunction concerns with your doctor.

 

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15

January 2019

Get Screened in 2019

By: Arkansas Urology

 

About one in six men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Screening for prostate cancer is an important part of taking care of your health in 2019. This is definitely not something that is only for men who are at higher risk.

Starting at age 45, men should have a baseline prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. This will measure the level of a protein produced by the prostate that circulates in a man’s blood. If your PSA level is higher, there is a reason for concern and more testing. In some cases, this can be a sign of BPH, but in other cases, this can mean there is prostate cancer. If the PSA level is normal, you should see your doctor for another PSA test at age 50.

For men who are 50 and older, you should have an annual PSA test. Screenings are so important because there are not always signs of prostate cancer. A screening is the best way to detect prostate cancer early. Thankfully, most cases of prostate cancer are caught before they spread to other areas of the body. You are definitely on the right track to want to get screened and take better care of your health. You’ll want to make an appointment with a urologist for a screening if you have never had one before.

 

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7

January 2019

Are UTIs Related to Bladder Cancer?

By: Arkansas Urology

Fact or Fiction: There are no warning signs of bladder cancer other than a UTI.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) can definitely be a symptom. Of course, not everyone who has a UTI will be diagnosed with bladder cancer, but this is why it’s so important to seek treatment if you have a UTI because it can be a sign of something more.

For men, bladder cancer is the fourth most common form of cancer.However, it is less common in women. Nearly 90 percent of the people diagnosed with bladder cancer are over the age of 55. This type of cancer can spread to the kidneys, lungs, bones and brain if left untreated.

The bladder is a balloon-shaped organ that stores urine the kidneys have produced.Most bladder cancers originate in the bladder lining, and one of the most common symptoms is blood in the urine.It can appear as spotting on your toilet tissue or as bright red clots in the urine.

UTIs that keep reoccurring, as mentioned previously, could be a symptom of bladder cancer.Women are more prone than men to have UTIs. However, anyone making multiple trips to the doctor for treatment should recognize it as a potential sign of bladder cancer.

Painful urination or blood in the urine are common symptoms because the cancer tumors irritate the nerves in the bladder lining.It is not normal to experience discomfort when voiding or to have pain in the pelvic area that gets worse with time.

Symptoms of bladder cancer are similar to those of many other urinary problems, like urinary tract infections or kidney stones. So no, UTIs are not the only symptom of bladder cancer which is why it is important to share your concerns with a urologist or other health care provider for an accurate diagnosis.

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21

December 2018

Best Pelvic Floor Exercise

By: Arkansas Urology

 

Bladder leakage is not a problem you have to live with. In fact, did you know simple exercises can help with your bladder issues!

The pelvic floor acts like a hammock that supports the bladder, bowel and uterus. After childbirth or as you get older, the pelvic floor can weaken, and you may experience bladder leakage or incontinence. When it comes to your workout routine, exercises that strengthen your pelvic muscles probably aren’t on your list, but they should be! 

When the muscles located in pelvic floor contract, the organs are lifted and the opening to the urethra is tightened. (The urethra is the small tube that allows urine to exit your body.) As you train the muscles, the weakened pelvic floor becomes stronger. The result is reduced risk of incontinence, and it can also boost your core strength.

You’ve likely heard of ‘Kegels,’ which are the exercises that work by isolating and strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. You might benefit from Kegel exercises if you leak a few drops of urine when you sneeze or cough (stress incontinence) or have a strong, sudden urge to urinate with bladder leakage (urinary incontinence).

To get started you need to identify the pelvic floor muscles. The next time you go to pee, stop your urination in midstream. If you succeed, you’ve found the right muscles. Start by tightening your pelvic floor and hold the contraction for ten seconds and then relax for 10 seconds. You should repeat for 10 repetitions at least three times a day and be careful not to flex the abdomen. You can do these exercises discreetly anytime and anywhere. If you’re having trouble doing the exercises, don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Our urologists at Arkansas Urology can help you learn to isolate and exercise the correct muscles. Contact us today!

 

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3

December 2018

Your Bladder and the Holidays

By: Arkansas Urology

‘Tis the season to overindulge and let our guard down when it comes to healthy choices during the holidays. We are mindful of the extra pounds that sneak on, but what about the increased risk of compromising our urinary system? With a few simple diet tips, we can enjoy the season and avoid bladder issues.

Moderation is the key when it comes to all the holiday foods and drinks. Limit the amount of sugary, acidic and rich foods because they can directly irritate the bladder. When these foods are eaten in higher than normal quantities, it puts a strain on all our body’s systems including the urinary tract. Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables and fiber. This will help prevent constipation, which can put additional pressure on the bladder.

Enjoy your glass of wine or cup of holiday cheer but remember that alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it causes the urgency and frequency of urination and that can create some uncomfortable bladder issues. Coffee and tea also act as diuretics plus they contain caffeine which can irritate the bladder. Drinking plenty of water is even more essential during the holidays. Consider switching between a glass of water and your holiday drink during the festivities. Then keep your water bottle handy during shopping trips and strive to drink eight cups everyday to stay hydrated.

And those extra pounds we mentioned, any weight gain can contribute to a decrease in bladder control. It’s the most wonderful time of year and by celebrating in moderation, you will be able to enjoy the holidays without (bladder) interruptions. 

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19

November 2018

How Smoking Impacts Prostate Health

By: Arkansas Urology

Are you a smoker or do you know one?  Smoking can make one more at risk for lung cancer, and it can also increase the risk for prostate cancer. However, the truth to that claim is a little complicated.

Results are very mixed when it comes to smoking having a direct link to causing prostate cancer. Smoking affects certain hormone levels through exposure to carcinogens, which can affect your risk for prostate cancer.

While recent studies have not conclusively said that smoking will make you more likely to develop prostate cancer, research has found a link. Studies have shown that smokers who have prostate cancer have a much higher recurrence rate than nonsmokers. In one study, current smokers were 40 percent more likely to have tumors return after treatment compared to men who never smoked. They were also more than twice as likely for the cancer to spread from the prostate and 89 percent more likely to die from cancer. The good news is that patients who quit smoking 10 years previously were not significantly different from men who never smoked, which should be extra motivation for you to permanently kick the habit.

While smoking may not directly lead to the development of prostate cancer, it can make it more aggressive or more fatal. Smoking has so many other effects on your health; for any current smokers, there’s no better time to quit than now!

 

 

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