On the Right Tract
Kidney stones are on the rise; what should I know?
Important Questions to Ask Include: 1) How do I know if I have a kidney stone?
2) Is there any way I can prevent one from occurring? 3) What are treatment options?
Kidney stones are one of the most common urinary tract problems, and while they occur more often in men, the number of women who experience kidney stones is increasing. Kidney stones are small, hard deposits made of mineral and acid salts that form inside the kidney and can vary in size and shape. Both men and women can experience kidney stones for a number of reasons, some of which can be controlled, like weight and drinking enough fluids, and others, which cannot, such as family history, or recurrent urinary tract infections. Symptoms may include pain during urination, severe pain in the back and side, discolored urination, blood in the urine, nausea, vomiting and even fever and chills. Some kidney stones pass out of the body without treatment and others require medical intervention. Treatment depends on the size and shape of the stone and could include pain relievers and fluids, surgery or extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL). With ESWL, shock waves from outside of the body target the kidney stone, causing it to break into smaller pieces, which are passed through the urinary system. Coastal Carolina Hospital provides ESWL on-site 24/7 for those who require this service.
Eric Gwynn, MD is an urology specialist in Okatie, SC and has been practicing for 11 years. He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University School Of Medicine in 2002 and specializes in urology, pelvic reconstruction surgery, and more. He can be reached at 843-706-2255.
Do kegel exercises actually make a difference?
Many women have weak pelvic floor muscles that can cause problems with urine leakage. Kegel exercises have been shown to strengthen the pelvic floor, which helps with urine leakage, as well as support for the rectum and uterus. Learning how to do a Kegel is easy. If you are passing your urine, try to stop the stream. That muscle contraction is a Kegel. You can do them at any time, and as the pelvic muscles tend to be lazy, one recommendation is to do 10 Kegels, held for 10 seconds each, at every stop sign, red light or television commercial. This will keep them strong.
Laura Knobel, M.D. ia a board certified Family physician, who earned her M.D. at Boston University and complete her family residency in the Brown University Program. Her Direct Primary Care Practice is in Bluffton—843-836-2200.
How does vaginal rejuvenation make a difference for my feminine health?
FemiLift™ is a highly effective vaginal rejuvenation procedure that can improve feminine health by helping women regain self-confidence and restore intimacy. Using breakthrough laser technology, FemiLift™ improves the functionality of the entire vaginal area, normalizing blood flow, increasing lubrication, boosting immune resistance and restoring the strength and elasticity of the vaginal walls, all in an outpatient procedure with no downtime.
Carmen Traywick, MD, FAAD is a graduate of Emory University Medical School in Atlanta, Georgia, and has completed her Internship and Dermatology Residency at Emory University School of Medicine. She is a board certified Dermatologist who specializes in medical Dermatology, but has a unique talent and passion for non-surgical cosmetic procedures
Frederick G. Weniger, MD, MBA, FACS is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon who has over 15 years of experience in his field. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Notre Dame with an undergraduate degree in biochemistry. Dr. Weniger then graduated Summa Cum Laude from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he also completed his 6 year plastic surgery residency.
What do I do about recurring UTIs?
Women have a greater propensity to UTIs as a result of our anatomy. The female urinary tract is shorter than our male counterparts, which means bacteria doesn’t have far to travel before causing an infection. There is also thought that UTIs can be caused by urinary stasis—holding urine in your bladder for long periods, which can increase your chance of developing an infection.
- Hygiene—always wipe front to back after using the bathroom.
- Increase your fluid intake, and use the bathroom regularly throughout the day.
- Urinate after sex.
- Consume cranberry products like supplements and juice (not juice cocktail).
- Women who are prone to UTIs should avoid using spermicides or diaphragms for contraception.
- Treating vaginal dryness and at rophy in menopausal women can decrease rates of UTIs.
If you experience frequent or recurrent UTIs it is important to talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you determine the underlying causes of infection and offer options for treatment and prevention.
Janna Jones Kersh, CNM, is a certified nurse midwife at Beaufort Memorial Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialists. She received her B.S. from the University of Georgia and holds a Master of Science degree in Nursing with a major in Nurse-Midwifery from Vanderbilt University.
How do I know if I have a UTI and how do I treat it?
UTI symptoms include burning while urinating, foul smelling urine, cloudy urine, increased frequency in urination, and abdominal pain in the lower abdomen when the bladder sits. At first onset of UTI symptoms, start drinking plenty of water. It will help dilute the bacteria in your bladder. There is some evidence that drinking cranberry juice as soon as you experience UTI symptoms can help clear a UTI, but after initial onset of symptoms, cranberry juice does not have any proven utility. Patients may also take AZO, which can be purchased over the counter. (AZO will turn urine a dark orange/red color, so patients should not be alarmed when that occurs). While AZO helps ease discomfort, it does not treat the underlying infection.
Only antibiotics can treat the infection, so contact your provider, who will likely request an urine sample, and based on the findings, prescribe an antibiotic for treatment. It is particularly important to be seen by a provider if symptoms persist because the bacteria could continue to ascend into the kidney and cause a kidney infection (pyelonephritis), which often requires hospital admission and IV antibiotics to treat. Symptoms for pyelonephritis include lower back pain, fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting in addition to UTI symptoms.
Cameron Price, PA-C, is a board-certified Physician Assistant at Beaufort Memorial Express Care & Occupational Health. A summa cum laude graduate of Texas A&M University, she completed her Master of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.