November 1, 2016

What’s Your Bladder Health IQ? Take Our Quiz About Bladder Problems, Causes and Treatments

It’s something you probably don’t think about until you have a problem: your bladder. Your age and sex play a role in what type and the frequency of the bladder problems you might have, said Linda Gale, PA, of McDowell Urology in Marion. “For example, urinary tract infections are much more common in women,” said Gale. “Bladder cancer, on the other hand, is more common in older men.”

Quiz

1. Symptoms that you may have a bladder problem include:
a. Dizziness
b. Pain when urinating
c. Blood in the urine
d. Both b and c

2. Urinary tract infections can be caused by:
a. Sitting in a hot tub
b. Tight-fitting clothes
c. Sexual activity
d. All of the above

3. Symptoms of an enlarged prostate in men include:
a. Dizziness
b. Frequent urination at night (nocturia)
c. Craving cranberry juice
d. All of the above

4. You can help prevent bladder problems by:
a. Not smoking
b. Drinking plenty of fluids
c. Seeing a provider for any symptoms
d. All of the above

Answers

1. d. Both b and c

Pain with urination can be from an infection or other causes, but should be evaluated by a health professional. “Blood in the urine can be a signal of a urological problem, sometimes a serious one,” said Gale. “Don’t ignore this, even if it happens and then goes away.” Blood in the urine can be a symptom of bladder cancer—the fourth most common cancer among men—and cure rates are much higher if caught early. Blood in the urine can come from less worrisome causes such as kidney stones or an infection. You should see your provider if you see any blood, regardless of the amount.

2. d. All of the above

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common, and are usually treated with antibiotics. “Most urinary tract infections are in females because their anatomy makes it more likely that bacteria can get into the bladder,” said Gale. “Sometimes, women will find they have more frequent infections after menopause because of the reduction of estrogen, which is protective. Also, younger women are more likely to have UTIs related to sexual activity.” Other problems can cause UTIs, including enlarged prostate in men, neurological problems, kidney stones, anatomical issues and conditions that affect the immune system.

3. b. Frequent urination at night (nocturia)

In men, bladder issues can be caused by a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), in which the prostate becomes enlarged. “Difficulty urinating, stopping and starting, or slowing of the stream can signal BPH or other problems and should be evaluated,” said Gale.

4. d. All of the above

“Drinking plenty of fluids flushes bacteria out of the bladder and urethra, and can help prevent kidney stones,” said Gale. “There is some evidence that cranberry juice and probiotics may help prevent some types of bladder infections.” Avoiding smoking is critical to preventing bladder and kidney cancers. “If you smoke, please quit. This is the most important thing you can do for your bladder and general health,” said Gale. For women, performing Kegel exercises to keep the pelvic floor muscles toned and strong, especially after childbirth and menopause, can be helpful.


If you have questions about your bladder, contact your primary care provider. You can find a Mission Health primary care provider at mission-health.org/primarycare.

Linda Gale, PA, practices at McDowell Urology. (828) 656-5700