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Prostate Problems - Symptoms Causing Concern

Some blood in the urine... burning sensations... or even inability to urinate... all relatively serious problems which might also implicate the prostate.

BLOOD IN THE URINE

Just a few drops of blood can make the urine held in your bladder turn a red color. We're talking about haematuria. Don't panic - there's no danger - the presence of blood is more disturbing than dangerous. Drink a lot of water to rince it out then go and see your doctor. Haematuria may be due to one of the following:

* simple congestion of the prostate * a unirary infection inflaming the wall of the bladder and making it bleed * stones in the bladder which are irritating the wall * following some strenuous exercise

When the prostate is the cause, during urinating the blood will usually arive first followed by clearer urine. Such haematuria might occur from time to time and are not dangerous. However, if frequent, surgical intervention on the prostate might one day be required.

But note that,

if you do have blood in the urine, it is of vital importance that its origin is determined. This will require a thorough urological examination including an ultrasound scan, intravenous pyelogram and fibrescopy of the bladder to determine or eliminate possible other causes (such as a bladder tumour or stones, or a kidney or ureteral tumor).

A BURNING SENSATION

If you feel a burning sensation while urinating, this is probably due to a urinary infection which is irritating the bladder or urethra. The burning is often accompanied by a frequent desire to urinate - up to a dozen times a night. However the urine flow will be week since the bladder hasn't had time to refill. Occasionally the irritation will be so great that the bladder might bleed. You might also have a fever which can signify that bacteria have penetrated the prostate (with associated risk of septicemia).

Such a urinary infection is diagnosed by a urine analysis and is rapidy treated with antibiotics. For urinary infections

with fever, the treatmant will last about three weeks.

ACUTE URINE RETENTION

You haven't urinated for over 24 hours, the bladder is full, blocked; you want to urinate, but can't; your lower abdomen is distended and painful to the touch. Yes, the bladder is capable of holding over a litre (2 pints) of urine! This is acute urine retention.

There's no point in trying to force it or waiting. There's only one thing to do: insert a probe into the urethra and empty the bladder. You'll have immediate relief. Contact your own doctor or go immediately to your local hospital emergency department. The probe will remain in place for a few days to enable the bladder to relax. When it's removed you'll have about a 50% chance of returning to a normal urination frequency. But beware of any recurrence.

Acute urine retention can indicate prostate hypertrophy as yet undiagnosed due to the absence of other symptoms. It can also occur in someone undergoing prostate treatment, where it

would indicate an evolution in the illness, and surgery might be necessary.

Once again, you should be aware of other factors which might lead to urine retention, such as taking certain cold and bronchial medicines, constipation, some anaesthetics, and excessive alcohol consummation.

So there you are. The above three problems are not uncommon, but they are often the cause of much undue worry for those suffering from them. Of course, they should all be reported immediately to your doctor and thoroughly investigated. But I hope that this short article will help to put your mind at rest and that in many cases, your problems might not be so severe or life-threatening as first imagined.

About the author:

Dr. Tavares is a medical consultant with experience in traditional and complementary medicine. Her writing about prostate problems can be found at Prostate Cancer Answers.

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