My wife and I have to get up four or five times a night to pee. I feel like I haven't had a good night's sleep for years. Is this normal?
The need to pass water can have a huge impact on sleep as we get older.
For men, this can be prostate-related – the prostate gland is located just below the bladder, and it is common for it to grow over the years. This can affect how much the bladder can hold and the ability to hold.
For women, bladder changes may be related to menopause and hormone change. The pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder, also weaken with age.
& # 39; My wife and I have to get up four or five times a night to pee. I feel like I haven't had a good night's sleep for years. Is this normal? & # 39; (stock image)
An overactive bladder syndrome can occur in both men and women – when the muscle involuntarily contracts, even when the bladder is not full.
Disabling caffeine can help with all these problems because it can cause aggravation.
Drinking a normal amount of other liquids is important – about eight glasses a day – otherwise the urine can be concentrated and even more irritating to the bladder.
Drugs known as anticholinergics, such as oxybutynin or solifenacin, can be prescribed. These make the bladder nerves temporarily insensitive and reduce the urge to go.
My husband suffers from terrible osteoarthritis in his back, knees and hands. He is 75 and even finds it difficult to use cutlery. He has received a tablet with the name naproxen which helps a bit. But is there anything else?
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is likely that with 75 people, most people will have it to varying degrees.
The cartilage that covers and protects the bones in the joints is damaged and wears out with age, weakened muscles and obesity. This causes pain and stiffness but also swelling, especially of the small joints such as the hands.
GPs tend to focus on painkillers for osteoarthritis, such as naproxes or other anti-inflammatory drugs. But that is far from the complete picture. Most patients do not receive specialist referral and there is no cure for osteoarthritis, but it is possible to get relief and better movement if you examine a number of options.
Exercise is important, although patients may be worried because of pain. Specific muscle strengthening and movement range exercises relieve and improve symptoms. A physical therapist can advise, but it is difficult to see one on the NHS in many areas. The charity versus arthritis (versusarthritis.org) is a good source, with exercises explained and illustrated on the website.
Training in water can be more comfortable and even relaxing.
Weight loss is often recommended. It not only reduces the strain on the knees and hips – there are indications that even hand arthritis can improve, because being overweight increases the amount of chemicals in the body that aggravate joint pain and swelling.
There is very little scientific basis for the use of joint pain supplements, but many people find them useful – glucosamine, chondroitin and fish oil are worth it and the results can be felt after two to three months.
And, as simple as it sounds, ice packs are still one of the best ways to reduce swelling and inflammation. They can be applied 20 minutes a few times a day. Massage, medical acupuncture and osteopathy are also worth exploring.
Ask your pharmacist to get the best pain relief from medication about combining naproxen with gels such as heat rubs or adding acetaminophen. The trick with good analgesia is to safely combine by trial and error – but make sure you always stick to the recommended doses. Privately, injections of hyaluronic acid are offered for knee pain.
HOME-MADE 60p MEALS? YES PLEASE
Dust the Tupperware! The secret to weight loss is organization
Dust the Tupperware! The secret to weight loss is organization – as proven by John Clark, 39, and his partner Charlotte Deniz, 34, who lost 15 stones between them, not by spending a lot of money on luxury superfoods, but by preparing meals every week for just 60 p per dish.
Weighing 21 pounds on his heaviest, "Fat John," as he was known, a truck driver, lived on a diet of hamburgers, sausage sandwiches, and publunches. Now he says: "We make absolutely everything from scratch and we eat what we want."
I totally agree. Batch cooking preparation is boring, but when we have home-made food ready to eat in the freezer, we all stop reaching the snack and takeaway menu.
You have to cook and box a lot. But sometimes I manage to be so organized, it definitely works for me, especially with a hungry family during busy weeks. It is also a great way to save money.
"Safe" pain killers can be dangerous
There is no such thing as a "safe" painkiller. I never use the term because all treatments involve risks. Public Health England warned earlier this month that even the "safer" pain pills gabapentin and pregabalin, also known as gaba drugs, can lead to addiction and withdrawal.
I see patients who experience serious side effects and dependence. One and a half million Britons are on them, and they are often used when other treatments fail. They can help people. But they are not a quick solution to the opioid crisis – they are more likely to replace one problem with another.
There is no such thing as a "safe" painkiller. I never use the term because all treatments involve risks (stock image)
It was tragic, but unfortunately not surprising, to hear last week that a coroner has linked the death of five anorexia patients to the poor care they received from one NHS trust. I can admit that if I diagnose an anorexia patient, I am always worried about what will happen. NHS care for eating disorders is still poor and endangers vulnerable lives, as these deaths show. Waiting lists are too long, specialized centers have been decimated and in some areas the weight of a patient must be dangerously low before assistance is offered. Why do we still misunderstand this?
DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION FOR DR ELLIE?
Email DrEllie@mailonsunday.co.uk or write to Health, The Mail on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT. Dr. Ellie can only respond in a general context and cannot respond to individual cases or give personal answers.
Always consult your own doctor if you are concerned about health.
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