Everyone Pees

January 16, 2013

Adult Americans who have celebrated the experience of raising toddlers at any point in the last 40 years likely are familiar with Everyone Poops, the children’s classic from Taro Gomi about one of life’s more salient biological facts.

A book geared to an entirely different stage in life might well be titled, Everyone Pees.

Upon opening that book, the question becomes, for some of us, how much do we pee? Or more to the point, how much is too much?

Perhaps it’s best to illustrate the signs that a person is peeing too often by using a selection of everyday references. You’re peeing too often if:

  • You know the location of every bathroom in the city–just in case
  • You wake up tired because of so many night time trips to the bathroom
  • You can’t get through a movie without several trips to the toilet
  • You’re buying pads, but it’s not that time of the month and you’re too old for diapers

These experiences may seem familiar, and even a bit funny. But it’s wise to take bladder control issues–our own or those of our loved ones — seriously.

Here’s another set of signals, expressed in doctor-speak. It’s time to see a urologist:

  • If a person regularly voids more frequently than once every two hours
  • If frequent urges to void are interfering with daily life, work or sleep
  • If a person is bothered by wearing pads for urinary protection

Sometimes friends or family notice before the patient does. Patients will tell their urologist, “My friends or co-workers make fun of how often I go to the bathroom,” or, “My spouse can’t sleep anymore because I’m getting up so often and I keep her (or him) awake.”

Here’s a word to the wise for anyone challenged by bladder control issues — Interstim. Interstim therapy is a treatment option that uses mild electrical impulses to modulate the nerves that control the bladder and nerves that control the muscles related to urination.

A patient is a candidate for Interstim therapy if he or she has frequent, sometimes uncontrollable urges to void that are not responsive to conservative therapy such as medication or behavioral changes.

Interstim therapy also is indicated for urinary retention in the absence of obstruction. Additionally, Interstim is indicated for bowel control in patients with fecal incontinence that has not been responsive to conservative management with medication, diet and behavioral changes.

The good news is that Interstim can improve incontinence symptoms, frequency and urgency, by greater than 50 percent without the side effects of medication.

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