Urology problems affect people of any age, although they are more common in adulthood. In adults, there are many different illnesses that can affect urological function: urinary tract infections, kidney stones, tumours, infertility, impotence or erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, etc.
The patient must see a urologist for an assessment as soon as any symptoms or conditions are noted, regardless of age. It is also highly recommended that men over 50 years of age have a prostate screening whether or not they show any symptoms of a urology problem. If something seems amiss, or not quite right, the sooner a urologist is seen, the better.
Can urological diseases be prevented?
There is a simple, recommended piece of advice to prevent all urological diseases: drink plenty of liquid. In general, it is recommended to drink at least about two litres of water in winter and 2.5 litres in summer. There is a simple way to know if fluid intake is adequate, and that is from the colour of the urine, which should be almost colourless.
In patients with kidney stones, it is also recommended to reduce salt and protein intake. A common misconception is to restrict the consumption of milk and dairy products, a measure that is not only not recommended but also, counterproductive.
Those with recurrent urinary tract infections should try to avoid constipation, undertake proper washing of genitals always from front to back, urinate frequently, and urinate and wash after intercourse. There is no clear scientific evidence that drinking cranberry juice, which is a current trend, is effective in preventing UTIs.
Patients with prostate disease should have regular and frequent sexual intercourse, avoid constipation, not ride a bike, motorcycle or a horse, keep alcoholic, caffeinated and fizzy drinks to a minimum, not hold in urine, and not eat excesses of spicy food or asparagus. The Mediterranean diet is recommended for patients with prostate cancer, more specifically, by increasing the consumption of vegetables rich in antioxidants such as tomatoes, squash, grapes and soya beans and avoiding foods high in fat, especially meat, to reduce the risk of obesity.
For more information, get in touch with a urologist.
Do urologists also treat women?
Yes. Although the popular belief is that the urologist is a doctor for male patients, as there are urological diseases that only affect men (such as prostate cancer) or are more common in men (such as urological tumours), many of the diseases that urologists treat also affect women and in some cases more frequently, such as urinary tract infections and urinary incontinence.
At what age should a man have a screening to rule out prostate cancer?
It is recommended that a man visit a urologist for a prostate cancer screening at the age of 50. This involves a blood test (PSA) and a prostate or rectal examination. In patients with a family history of prostate cancer (primarily father or sibling), it is recommended to have the initial review at 40-45 years of age.