When & Why to See a Urologist
The urinary system is an integral part of the body’s regulation process. Its primary function is to remove extra water and waste that the kidneys filter out of the blood and would otherwise build up in the body.
A urologist is a specialist physician who can diagnose and treat problems affecting the bladder, kidney, urinary tract, and men’s health issues. But when is it time to see a urologist versus your primary care physician? This depends on the severity of your symptoms and the treatment plan you have pursued thus far. Typically, urinary symptoms are preliminarily diagnosed and treated by your primary care physician. Men of all ages experience a wide range of urinary problems that may not require specialized care. Some, like mild infections, can be treated with prescription medication. Others require lifestyle changes like reducing alcohol consumption, stopping smoking, and losing weight. However, there are a plethora of reasons you may need to see a urologist, and here are some examples:
Difficulty getting or sustaining an erection is more than just an inconvenience. Your sexual life contributes to your overall health. In addition, erectile dysfunction may signify a serious health issue, such as cardiovascular disease. The only way to find out if you have erectile dysfunction is to get examined by a urologist. A urologist can treat erectile dysfunction in many ways. Many treatments available – both nonsurgical and surgical – can help restore your sexual health. If you have post-prostatectomy erectile dysfunction, a men’s health specialist like Dr. Natale may be able to offer a restoration plan up to and including a penile implant.
Male Urinary Incontinence
If you have issues controlling your bladder, you may have urinary incontinence. Signs include rushing to the bathroom when getting the urge to urinate and losing control of your bladder frequently. Urinary incontinence is a common issue among older men. Urine leakage is not something a primary care physician can treat, and you will be referred to a urologist. Diagnostic tests, including a urinalysis and a post-void residual measurement, can help diagnose the condition. When conservative and lifestyle treatment options no longer work, a specialist like Dr. Natale can offer in-office or surgical BPH treatment options or incontinence procedures like a urethral sling or an artificial urinary sphincter.
When you notice that your urine has changed color or a strange odor coming from the toilet, the cause might be something as harmless as what you had for dinner, such as asparagus or beets. It could also indicate a more serious condition, such as an infection or even cancer. For hundreds of years, doctors have looked at urine as a barometer of general health, and it is no different today.
The average person’s urine varies from pale yellow to deep amber, depending on its concentration, determined by the amount of fluid you consume. Darker urine is usually a sign that you’re not drinking enough water, which can be corrected easily and quickly.
The opposite is also true. If your urine is very pale, you’re either drinking a lot of fluid or taking a diuretic or water pill – a drug that forces the body to eliminate excess water.
Urine usually doesn’t have a potent smell. If your urine happens to have a foul odor, you could have an infection or urinary stones, which can create an ammonia-like odor.
Blood in the urine is often a sign of an underlying urological condition that needs treatment. If you see blood in your urine, see a urologist promptly. It could be due to an infection, growth in the kidney or bladder, an injury, or cancer. While your primary care physician can send you for a urinalysis and treat urinary tract infections, a urologist can perform advanced testing to determine the cause and give you effective treatment.
While many believe that women are the primary cause of the inability to conceive, men account for about 50% of situations where a couple cannot naturally have a child. Infertility is treatable, and specialized men’s health urologists can pinpoint the cause (erectile dysfunction, a physical abnormality, or a sperm-quality issue) and provide effective treatment.
A vasectomy stops the ability of sperm to travel out of your body during sexual intercourse. Urologists perform this easy and quick procedure (many even perform it on themselves!). Alternatively, you may decide that your family planning needs have changed after a vasectomy, and Dr. Natale specializes in these intricate vasectomy reversals.
Treatment for Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are formed by uric acid and calcium crystals that your body can’t properly dilute and expel. Once the kidney stone reaches your urinary tract, you can expect excruciating pain. Urologists will be able to determine whether or not surgical intervention is required to help break down and expel the stones and relieve your pain.
Treating Low Testosterone
If you are feeling tired, experiencing a low sex drive, or notice hair and muscle loss and weakness, don’t blame it on aging; it may be a result of Low Testosterone. Your urologist is an expert at diagnosing and treating Low T, which can change your entire outlook on life!
A wellness exam from your urologist can uncover specific urological cancers that affect the bladder, kidney, testicles, and prostate. When detected early, the rates of recovery are extremely favorable. Early detection can spell the difference between life and death, so it’s recommended that men have regularly scheduled prostate and urology wellness exams.
Get Checked Now
Whether you believe you may have urinary issues, it’s been a while since you had a prostate exam, or your primary care physician has referred you for urologic care, Carolina Urology Partners can help. We are located in Concord, North Carolina, and offer various services to ensure your best urological health.
Call us now at (704) 786-5131 or schedule an appointment, and together, we can achieve the best results for you.