Unsurprisingly, many people who experience problems peeing don’t exactly shout from the rooftops about it. That’s probably why our Ask the Expert clinic on the subject, held from 3 to 6 December, attracted lots of questions from anonymous members seeking advice from our panel of experts.
Questions ranged from stress incontinence to type 2 diabetes, from needing to pee in the night to ureteral stents, and from catheter management to interstitial cystitis.
Among the many questions and answers, which you can read on our ‘Problems Peeing’ Ask the Expert page for a year, were:
“Why is it when my blood sugars are controlled I want to pee frequently and I have slight incontinence?” asked one member.
Sharon Clovis, a nurse on the panel of experts, replied “You need a flow rate, post void residual and possibly urodynamics and/or a flexible cystoscopy, and/or ultrasound to determine the nature and extent of your symptoms.”
“I currently have bilateral ureteral JJ stents, these were places prior to a hysterectomy which I had four weeks ago due to extensive adhesions around my left ureter and bladder,” said another member. “The stents cause me a lot of ureteral pain, constant urge to pass urine even straight after a wee and I constantly feel nauseous. Will all the symptoms go once they are removed?”
Elaine Hazell, another nurse on our panel, gave this advice: “I’m afraid the ureteric JJ stents do often cause horrid bladder irritation, pain, frequency of passing urine & sometimes blood in the urine. It’s the end of the stent that’s sitting in your bladder irritating the bladder wall & the constant urge to pee is the reaction to a foreign body (the stents) in the bladder. This will be resolved once they are removed & you should have no further bladder problems.”
An 81-year-old man wondered why he had to frequently get up in the night to pee, while he only peed normally during the day – an issue many people are more than familiar with.
“You may be experiencing what is called nocturnal polyuria,” replied Elaine. “This is when you pass more than two thirds of your urine at night. Do your legs swell in the daytime? Or are you less active than you used to be? What can happen when we get older is that due to inactivity or other health problems fluid pools in the lower limbs & become swollen. The fluid is unable to return in the circulation to the heart and kidneys. When you lay down the fluid flows back to the heart and kidneys, and you need to pass it out. In the morning the ankles are not swollen but the fluid refills throughout the day. Firstly, you should try to elevate the legs in the day-time so the fluid can flow back to the heart. You should stop drinking fluid 2-3 hours before bed. Avoid caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee in the afternoon/evening time.”
In many of these cases our experts encouraged people to see their GP and ask to be referred to a qualified urologist for professional help.
Many thanks to the Urological Foundation and nurses Sharon Clovis and Elaine Hazell, and consultant urologist Ian Pearce for answering everybody’s questions in the clinic.