Category Archives: Blog

CT scans vs. ultrasound for diagnosing kidney stones

CT scans are no more accurate than an ultrasound for the initial diagnosis of kidney stones, reports a study that was published recently in The New England Journal of Medicine. The study involved 15 medical centers.

Why should this finding concern you? CT scans deliver a large dose of radiation whereas an ultrasound does not. Radiation exposure is cumulative: it adds up over time. Healthy tissue can only tolerate so much radiation exposure before damage occurs. Ultrasound uses sonar – sound waves. CT scans are also more expensive than ultrasound exams.

Although many hospital emergency departments favor CT scans to diagnose kidney stones, an ultrasound should be the first step says the study’s lead author, Rebecca Smith-Bindman, MD, a professor at the University of California – San Francisco.

Exercise might reduce nighttime urination

iStock_000008737805SmallA study led by a Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine researcher found that men who exercise have a lower risk of nocturia — i.e. waking up two or more times during the night to urinate. Nocturia increases as men age. It’s often due to an enlarged prostate (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). Other causes of nocturia include overproduction of urine, low bladder capacity and sleep apnea.

Researchers analyzed data from a large, ongoing trial called the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Screening Trial. They analyzed 28,404 men, who had BPH outcomes before enrolling in the study and, 4,710 men who developed BPH after the trial began.

Men who were physically active one or more hours per week were 13 percent less likely to experience nocturia and 34 percent less likely to report severe nocturia than men who had no physical activity,

Tomato-rich diet may help fight prostate cancer

Amazing Fresh Ripe Red Tomatoes on VineMen who consume more than 10 portions of tomatoes or tomato products per week have an 18 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancers, suggests a recent British study.

Researchers at the universities of Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford examined the lifestyle and diets of approximately 1,800 British men between the ages of 50 and 60 men with cancer and approximately 12,000 men who did not have cancer.

The cancer-fighting ingredient is believed to be lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that gives tomatoes and certain other fruits and vegetables their red color. Although the study’s findings are suggestive, they did not provide enough evidence to make a concrete recommendation.

Got female urinary incontinence? There’s new guidelines.

Kegel exercises, bladder training and weight loss are effective treatments for women with urinary incontinence, says the American College of Physicians (ACP). The ACP recently issued the new, evidence-based guidelines.

There are three types of female urinary incontinence (UI):

  • Stress — characterized by the inability to retain urine when laughing, coughing or sneezing
  • Urgency — characterized by the sudden and involuntary loss of urine for no reason
  • Mixed — a blend of both stress and urgency UI.

The ACP recommends Kegels for women with stress UI, and bladder training for women with urgency UI. The ACP also recommends Kegels and bladder training for women with mixed UI. Obese women with urinary incontinence should lose weight and exercise, says the national physicians ‘organization.

It’s estimated that as many as half of the women with UI do not report it to their physician. See your doctor if you suspect you have urinary incontinence.

What the color of your urine means

Ever wonder why urine looks different? Food can alter its appearance. So can medicine and illness. In general, colorless urine means you drink a lot of water and may want to cut back. Pale straw-colored to transparent yellow urine means you are well hydrated. Dark yellow to amber-colored urine may mean you are dehydrated. It could also indicate liver disease.

See your physician if you have any unusual urine color that persists. Urine that’s occasionally foamy is usually not concerning. If it happens frequently, it could indicate excess protein in your diet or a kidney problem. See a physician. Mind your pee and clues.iStock_000001428197Large

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