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Urology Blog

Urologic Health is a Priority

doctor check 3D kidney urology , kidney disease with medicineHere at UT Urology, we think about urologic health on a daily basis. Our patients usually do not, at least they didn’t until they were told by their primary care doctor that they should see a urologist. Until that type of recommendation is made, the average person usually doesn’t even know what a urologist does, let alone what they can do personally to improve their urologic health. We’ll touch on both here. 

Protecting Your Urologic Health

Urologic health is taking care of the urinary tract. This internal part of the body doesn’t receive the same type of care as other areas like the skin and the teeth. Because the urinary tract is all internal, we often don’t consider how what we do and don’t do could affect it. Some of the ways to be mindful of prioritizing urologic health include:

  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Refraining from smoking (It is a contributing factor for bladder cancer)

In addition to following these general rules for health and wellness, it is possible to prioritize urologic health by limiting sodium intake. Salt and sodium are factors in fluid retention. When the body retains water, the mineral/water balance in the kidneys may be disrupted. Caffeine, as well, may affect the urinary tract. In this instance, it is because caffeine is a diuretic and can lead to bladder irritation.

According to the Urology Care Foundation, urologic health is also promoted by using good bathroom habits. The foundation advises people to take their time when using the bathroom, allowing their bladder to empty fully so as to decrease the risk of infection. Finally, we should not shy away from talking about our urologic health. If symptoms occur that are out of the ordinary, they should not be ignored. A urologist can provide care that reduces or eliminates symptoms altogether. 

Signs That You Should Visit Your Urologist

Telltale signs that you should see a urologist include:

  • Pain when urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Inability to urinate
  • Significant changes in urinary patterns
  • Incontinence 
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Male impotence
  • Male infertility
  • Testicular pain 

The team at UT Urology specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of pediatric and adult urologic conditions. Contact us today to schedule your consultation. 

Men, Do You Know When You Need a Urologist?

To maintain our health and vitality, most of us regularly see our primary care doctor, our dentist, and our eye doctor. Because we’ve been taught to follow this general model of healthcare, confusion may arise should unusual symptoms occur. If symptoms are sexual or urinary in nature, they require the care of a urologist. Most men never think to see a urologist until it is recommended by their primary health physician. This doesn’t usually happen until sometime after age 50. However, there may be a need for urologic care before then. Here are some of the indications to be aware of.

  • Erectile dysfunction. The conversation about erectile dysfunction has become common in recent years. This problem, which may affect up to 50% of adult males, is no longer something that gets brushed under the rug. We talk about it. Most men know that there are ways to treat this condition. However, because supplements and medications are available, some men may overlook the need to have erectile dysfunction evaluated by a urologist. This specialist can perform necessary tests to evaluate the physiology of the male reproductive system and potential hormonal or systemic involvement in the inability to keep or maintain an erection.
  • Kidney stones. Although men are more likely to develop kidney stones than women, this is not common knowledge, nor is what to do about this condition. The signs of kidney stones include abdominal, side, or back pain, nausea, vomiting, odd-smelling urine, and blood in the urine. A urologist can diagnose kidney stones based on symptoms but typically orders an ultrasound or other imaging to confirm stones, their type, and their measurements. In some cases, kidney stones can pass. Sometimes they need to be broken down into small pieces for this to happen.
  • Testicular pain. There are several reasons why a man may experience testicular pain. In adolescent males, sudden testicular pain may indicate testicular torsion, an event that requires emergency care. Adult males may experience testicular pain due to kidney stones, trauma to the testicle, infection, cysts, or other factors. A urologist can identify the cause of pain and administer appropriate treatment. Dr. Shridharani is one of few microsurgeons in the country who performs denervation surgery as a treatment for testicular pain.

In addition to these problems, men should see a urologist if they have tested high for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) or demonstrate the signs of an enlarged prostate, such as a weak urine stream or difficulty urinating.

UT Urology serves Chattanooga and surrounding areas with friendly, professional care. To schedule a visit, call (423) 778-5910.

Symptoms Men Should Not Ignore

UT UrologyWe expect our various organs to perform well from day to day. For the most part, they do, though they may surprise us from time to time with unexplained symptoms. With age, many men come to realize that they may live with occasional difficulty keeping an erection or with slower urinary flow. Overall, the effects of aging are normal and workable. However, there are certain symptoms a man should recognize as abnormal so he can obtain the care he needs to restore health.

Symptoms to Take to The Doctor

  • Painful sex. There are several potential reasons why sex can be painful for a man. Perhaps the penis rubs up against a partner’s IUD (intrauterine device). Uncircumcised men may experience a minor tear in the skin during sex. Pain may also indicate a curve in the penis or, in some cases, penile fracture, though this is rare. In any case, if painful sex is the norm, it deserves some exploration with a medical professional.
  • Poor erections. Many men expect some degree of erectile dysfunction as they age. All cases of erectile dysfunction should be examined. However, if it becomes impossible to keep an erection in any circumstance, medical attention is necessary. Erections are one of several biomarkers for heart health so, when things go South, your doctor wants to know why.
  • Lumps or bumps. Just as women are encouraged to perform routine breast exams, men can benefit from examining their genitalia from time to time. Most bumps and lumps in the scrotum are benign and easily treatable. Common causes of bums include genital warts, varicocele, spermatocele, hydrocele, and hernia. Painless lumps in the testicles have a small chance of being cancerous and should be evaluated sooner rather than later.
  • Testicular pain. Men learn early on that their balls are not supposed to hurt. There is no other pain in the body that is quite like testicular pain. Regardless of intensity, recurring or persistent ball pain should be checked out by a doctor to rule out infection, testicular torsion (twisting), varicocele, or another condition.

UT Urology offers the services you need to stay on track with optimal health and wellness. To schedule a visit to our Chattanooga facility, call (423) 778-5910.

Minor Annoyance or Major Warning Sign?

MEN'S HEALTH Chattanooga TNIt is no secret that men are notorious for avoiding the doctor until they absolutely must receive medical care. The notion that subtle symptoms are merely a minor annoyance could be very, very wrong. It is our intent to help men in the Chattanooga area make sense of urologic symptoms; to understand their origin and, most importantly, find an appropriate way to correct the problem.

Here, we want to discuss signs that you or a man you love needs to see a urologist.

  1. Erectile Dysfunction. Historically, the topic of erectile dysfunction has been one that men have avoided. Only recently has it become recognized as a widespread problem. A urologic examination seeks to understand erectile dysfunction in the wider context of general health. Is the obvious problem linked to another, such as hypertension? Understanding the nature of erectile dysfunction, a urologist can then discuss appropriate treatment.
  2. Frequent urination. There are several reasons why a man may need to urinate frequently. Whether this occurs primarily at night or becomes disruptive of daytime activities, frequent urination is a problem to explore with a urologist. The underlying issue could be an enlarged prostate, infection, or urinary incontinence. With proper treatment, the problem can become much more manageable.
  3. Difficulty urinating. Sometimes, urinary difficulty goes hand in hand with a frequent need to urinate. This could relate to an enlarged prostate and the inability to adequately release urine.
  4. Blood in the urine. If urine is pink-tinged or red, a urologic exam should be scheduled right away. This holds true even if evidence of blood comes and goes. Thorough testing is necessary to determine the cause of blood in the urine, which might be infection or kidney or bladder cancer.
  5. When a couple has difficulty conceiving, it is important for both partners to undergo a thorough health examination revolving around fertility. Studies suggest that 25% of infertility cases relate directly to a male reproductive issue.

Our medical needs change as we go through life. At some point, men will be best served by the inclusion of a urologist in their general healthcare team. To schedule a visit at UT Urology, call (423) 778-5910.

Fellowship-Trained or Board-Certified: What is the Difference and Why Should You Care What Certification Your Urologist Has?

Urologist Chattanooga, TN When choosing a healthcare provider, there are certain qualifications one looks for. In the general setting in which a doctor will be chosen to perform basic general checkups and relevant screenings, most patients look for a physician who is board-certified. Instinctively, many people will look for the same when they need a specialist. At UT Urology, patients from the Chattanooga area are most likely to see a fellowship-trained urologist. Here’s why that matters.

Board Certification

The American Board of Urology sets the standard for the board-certification of urologists in our country. Physicians who have completed their training and residency requirements within the specialty of urology may apply for board-certification; a two-part examination process through which competency is confirmed.

Fellowship Training

Specializing in any area of medicine means that a physician has completed extensive schooling and advanced training. First, the specialist obtains their initial 4-year college degree just to enter medical school. This post-graduate training continues for another 4 years. Residency, which is usually a five-year program, then offers the physician the advanced training they desire to specialize in their chosen area, such as urology. A select few residency-trained physicians receive an invitation to complete Fellowship program in their area of specialty. Fellowship training is usually a one-year commitment.

What does fellowship training mean for a doctor? Expertise. A fellowship-training program is overseen by leaders in their field, providing the training physician with the opportunity to learn the most advanced diagnostic and treatment protocols available. The added level of expertise and insight translates into a higher standard of patient care.

The Urology team at UT Urology includes fellowship trained specialists across multiple areas of urologic care. Our physicians have received fellowship training in areas including female urology, microsurgery, robotic urology, and men’s health and reproductive urology. The extensive training that our team has undergone enables us to achieve accurate diagnoses and to develop treatment plans that achieve optimal patient outcomes.

We proudly serve patients from the Chattanooga area with professional care in a friendly environment. Contact UT Urology for specialized care in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, Peyronie’s Disease, kidney stones, overactive bladder, and more.

We’re here to help. Call (423) 778-5910 to schedule your visit.

Five Specific Urologic Conditions Affected by Smoking

Men's Health Chattanooga, TNUrologic conditions such as erectile dysfunction, infertility, and overactive bladder may develop as a result of a number of different factors. Some of the factors related to conditions like these relate to how a person lives from day to day. This is good news, because it affords us the opportunity to reduce the risk of urologic problems by looking at lifestyle modifications. One lifestyle change that is recommended often is that smoking comes to an end.

Before discussing the particular urologic conditions that can be adversely affected by smoking, we want to point out that research points to a number of forms of tobacco use and smoking that are detrimental. Habits such as smokeless tobacco, hooka-smoking, and the use of e-cigarettes are as harmful as cigarettes, according to studies. Furthermore, second-hand smoke also poses a risk.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking-related disease currently affects more than 16 million people in our country. As this relates to urologic conditions, we see a link between smoking and . . .

Erectile dysfunction

The range of physical and psychological factors related to erectile dysfunction includes smoking. Scientists suggest that the connection between the two may be the damage that smoking causes to the blood vessels throughout the body, including the small vessels responsible for supplying the penis. In many cases, erectile dysfunction is diagnosed as a man ages. However, cases that are diagnosed in men of all ages reveal a strong link to smoking.

Infertility

Smokers are twice as likely to struggle with infertility than non-smokers. For many years now, doctors have discouraged smoking during pregnancy. However, studies have also indicated that smoking may impede a couple’s effort to conceive by harming the genetic value of sperm and eggs. Additionally, smoking may disrupt hormone production, and create an unfriendly uterine environment that increases the risk of miscarriage and birth defects.

On the bright side of research, we see that fertility begins to improve within 2 months after a couple stops smoking and may be completely reversed within 12 months.

Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder is a type of urinary incontinence that affects more than 30 million Americans. This condition disrupts sleep, sometimes several times a night, and diminishes quality of life due to a need to remain close to a bathroom. Studies have revealed that women who smoke cigarettes are three-times more likely to develop symptoms of overactive bladder than non-smokers. It is believed that this is caused by the toxic chemicals from cigarettes collecting in urine.

Bladder Cancer

Here again, we see that the chemicals in cigarettes collect in urine and irritate the lining of the bladder. In 50- to 60 percent of bladder cancer diagnoses in men, smoking is a related cause. In women, smoking is thought to contribute to approximately 20- to 30 percent of bladder cancer diagnoses.

There is widespread evidence that confirms the extensive dangers of smoking. As a collective, the medical community supports patients in developing lifestyle habits that promote health and longevity. As a practice, we are focused on helping men of all ages sustain vital wellness. For more information on our urology services, call (423) 778-4636.

Smoking has Several Urologic Consequences

Urology Treatment Chattanooga, TNThe discussion regarding the dangers of smoking has gone on for many years now. However, the prevalence of this common addiction remains high. There is no question that the chemicals in cigarettes and other tobacco products are addictive. There is also no question that they can harm the body in more ways than one. As we discover the reach of these toxic chemicals, the sense of urgency in helping smokers overcome their habit increases.

The fact that smoking significantly increases the risk of death is not a secret. What may easily be missed along the way, though, is the adverse effects that smoking can have on the body. Besides the lungs, the heart, and the mouth, smoking is a great risk to the urological system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease that can be attributed to smoking.

Urological conditions related to smoking include:

Infertility

Studies suggest that smoking doubles the risk for infertility. There are several reasons why. First, smoking damages both sperm and eggs. The chemicals from cigarettes and even from smokeless tobacco are absorbed by tissue throughout the body, including the uterus. The adverse effect on uterine tissue correlates to an increased risk of both infertility and miscarriage.

Couples who are in the family planning phase are encouraged to replace smoking with healthier habits. Doing so improves the chances of conception within 2 months and can significantly improve fertility within one year.

Erectile Dysfunction

Smoking is one of several factors that have been associated with a man’s risk of developing erectile dysfunction. Studies indicate that smoking can quickly begin to damage blood vessels in the body. Because erection relies on blood circulation into the penis, a moderate degree of damage to the circulatory system may translate into erectile dysfunction.

Overactive Bladder

More than 30 million Americans suffer from the strong and sudden urge to urinate. This type of urinary incontinence is referred to as overactive bladder. While there are several potential factors related to this condition, smoking has been identified as a significant cause. This could be associated with the accumulation of toxic chemicals in the urine of smokers. Overactive bladder largely affects women, and those who smoke have three times the risk of those who do not.

Bladder Cancer

Like overactive bladder symptoms, bladder cancer may be preceded by an accumulation of toxins in the urine. Research suggests that smoking is an instigating cause of bladder cancer in up to 60% of cases diagnosed in men. Furthermore, as much as 30% of the bladder cancer diagnosed in women relates to a smoking habit.

UT Urology provides comprehensive care for the treatment of urologic conditions. To learn more, call (423) 778-8765.

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