Urinary System Diseases

This article presents to you with a quick insight into the types of urinary system diseases most people are affected with. Know about what causes the conditions, and what symptoms do they exhibit.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Feb 21, 2018
The urinary system of the body gets rid of waste products that are left behind in the bowel and the blood, after the body absorbs the required nutrients from the food. Any mishap in this system may disrupt the normal functioning of the body, resulting in several kinds of disorders, and discomfort. There is a wide range of urinary system diseases, which people suffer from; the following describes some common ones.
Cystitis is one of the common diseases of the urinary system. It is simply defined as the inflammation of the bladder, which results from an infection commonly caused by bacteria. The same could also be caused due to factors not related to infection. These may include drugs, radiation, chemicals, or other underlying medical problems in the body.
Symptoms include increased frequency of urination, sharp pain while urinating, pelvic pain, sudden urge to urinate but not being able to empty the bladder completely, and presence of blood in the urine (hematuria). This condition is more common in women than men. This is due to the shorter urethra in women, which is closer to the anus thus, more vulnerable to infection.
Treatment includes administration of antibiotics in case the condition is a bacterial infection. For non infectious forms of cystitis, symptomatic relief using medications or physical therapy forms the treatment.
A bacterial infection is the common cause of inflammation of the urethra, also known as urethritis. Men and young boys are more prone to developing this infection. In women, sexually transmitted diseases could also cause this condition.
Noticeable symptoms include sharp burning sensation or pain while urinating, pain during erection and penile discharge.
Treatment include antibiotics, the type of which and duration of their use depend upon the condition of the patient, and the type of the causal pathogen. For a milder form of infection, a short course of treatment is recommended, while a longer course may be required for frequent infections. If the infection is severe, then the treatment is usually carried out in the hospital with intravenous antibiotics.
Bladder Stones
As the name suggests, accumulation of minerals in the urinary bladder is known as bladder stones. These stones are formed when urine stays in the bladder for a long time, and start getting crystallized thus, forming stones. In men, prostate enlargement is responsible for this. Damage to the bladder controlling nerves could also be a reason. Another cause could be a poor diet, where the deficiency of nutrients could cause the urine to undergo change in its chemical properties resulting in the formation of stones.
The different symptoms include low abdominal pain, blood in urine and frequent urination, pain and difficulty in beginning to pass urine, dark-colored urine or no urine at all. In men, pain in the penis and scrotum, are also the symptoms. These symptoms may mimic those of cystitis, as mentioned above. So, a proper diagnosis by the doctor is required to proceed with the treatment.
Treatment is driven by the size of the stones. For smaller stones, doctors make use of laser, ultrasound or other devices to break them into small pieces. Thereafter, the bladder is flushed to get rid of the stones. However, stones that are too large, are removed with the help of surgery. In men, if the cause is an enlarged prostate, then even this condition is treated at the same time.
The condition is called so because the glomeruli of the kidneys become inflamed. Glomeruli are the tiny filters of the kidneys which are responsible for getting rid of waste, excess fluid and electrolytes from the blood so that they can be excreted with the urine. These tiny filters may suffer from inflammation due to factors such as infections, immune disorders, blood vessel diseases, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
Symptoms of glomerulonephritis include swelling of feet and ankles and puffiness in the face, presence of red blood cells in urine (evident by the urine's cola color), high blood pressure, and fatigue.
Treatment aims at correcting the underlying cause of the condition. For instance, if it is high blood pressure, then the patient would be put on medications to control the condition and delay the deteriorating time of the kidneys.
Bacterial infection from the bladder or urethra can travel up to the kidneys and give rise to pyelonephritis.
Chills, fever, nausea, pain in the sides and frequent urge to urinate, are the characteristic symptoms of this disorder.
As bacterial infection is the offender, antibiotics are the first line of treatment. A mild infection usually clears up within a few days of the treatment. But hospitalization may be required for monitoring a severe infection.
Bed-wetting is clinically termed as enuresis. This condition of unintentional voiding of urine (especially at night), is a common disorder among kids. Reasons may be many; the common ones being are improper training, nervous tensions or even heredity.
Treatment is usually not required as it is not considered a serious disorder, as most children outgrow it as they reach their puberty. It has been found, that about 1% of bed wetting cases reveal their link to diseases or defects such as bladder, kidney infection, diabetes or malfunctioning of the child's urinary system. However, if the affected child is too concerned about it, then medications and devices such as moisture alarms may help.
Urinary Incontinence
One of the most embarrassing and bothering urinary system disorders is urinary incontinence; a loss of bladder control. Some people who suffer from this disorder, might get a strong urge to urinate but they cannot make it to the washroom in time. While, some may suffer from leaking the urine by merely coughing or sneezing. Causes could be several, common ones include medical conditions such as constipation or urinary tract infection. Temporary cases may be caused by drinking alcohol, drinking too much fluids, irritated bladder, and medications. Cases which are chronic could be a result of pregnancy, enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, bladder stones, and aging.
The problem can be treated with the help of bladder training, certain changes in fluid consumption and diet as a whole, therapy including exercises of the pelvic floor, medications, and certain medical inserts. For those who do not benefit from conservative treatment options, surgery could be a solution.
Enlarged Prostate Gland
Men above sixty years of age are more prone to develop the disorder of prostate enlargement. If untreated, it may block the flow of urine from the bladder and may also give rise to urinary tract infection, gallstones, or kidney problems. What causes this condition is still not certain.
Symptoms of this disorder of the urinary system are many; the most common ones are difficulty to initiate urination, dribbling after having urinated, nocturia (excessive urination at night), hematuria, frequent urge to urinate, not getting the bladder to empty fully, and stopping and starting while urinating.
Treatment options are several. In some people, medications are enough to control and manage the symptoms. But for symptoms which are too severe to be treated with drugs, may require surgery. Multiple choices of surgery exist, and each one of them aims at reducing the size of the enlarged prostate.
Chronic Renal Failure (CRF)
Here, there is a gradual decline in the normal functioning of the kidney. The organ loses its ability to remove wastes, concentrate urine, and conserve electrolytes. Common causes include diabetes, hypertension, enlarged prostate, cancer of the bladder, cancer of the kidneys itself, stones in kidneys, and lupus to name a few.
Fatigue, swelling, hiccups, high blood pressure, nausea, headache, loss of appetite, itching, bad breath, nail problems, seizures, confusion and drowsiness are the most common symptoms.
The condition has no cure, but treatment helps in managing the symptoms by reducing their severity, and delays its progress. The treatment concentrates on dealing with the underlying cause of the disease, and addressing its complications.
End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
When the kidneys almost or completely cease to function, the condition is known as an ESRD. The symptoms are similar to those of chronic renal failure, as mentioned above. Procedures such as dialysis, and organ transplant are required for the treatment as at this stage the kidneys lose about 85% of their functioning.
Knowing about symptoms such as the ones mentioned above, comes in handy in self-diagnosing the conditions described in this article. As we can see, the symptoms are fairly similar and so, in order to initiate an early treatment, it is required that one must sought valuable advice from a doctor.
The urinary system
Urinary bladder with urine