Researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston suggest that sleep quality may affect the severity of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in some men.
The researchers investigated the prevalence of LUTS among men working non-standard hours to figure out whether the quality of sleep has an impact on the symptoms. Working non-standard hours was defined as ‘starting work before 7 am or after 2 pm, rotating, or regularly including hours outside of the standard 7 am to 6 pm work day.’
The study included 239 men who worked non-standard shift work. The researchers analyzed responses of the men about their work hours, sleep quality and symptoms. The results showed that the men who reported having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep had more severe LUTS compared to men who did not have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Additionally, men who reported feeling a reduction in their sense of well-being or a reduction in their physical and/or mental function, as a result of their work, also experienced more severe LUTS.
According to the study’s author, Dr. Adler, “These findings indicate that sleep quality may play a significant role in the development or worsening of urinary symptoms.” He also said, “Physicians with patients with LUTS may want to consider including a discussion about sleep factors when assessing and treating these patients.” Dr. Adler is an associate professor of Urology and medical director of the Prostate Care Program at Stony Brook Medicine in Stony Brook, New York.
Lower urinary tract symptoms are a common problem among men. It usually affects older men. They can have a significant impact on their quality of life. LUTS can include symptoms such as frequency or urgency of urination, painful urination, or difficulty urinating. Men with LUTS may have a more serious underlying condition, likely within the urogenital tract, that is causing the symptoms. If men are experiencing multiple lower urinary tract symptoms, they may have several conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia with obstruction, nocturnal polynocturia, detrusor muscle weakness or instability, urinary tract infection, chronic prostatitis, urinary stone, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, or a neurological disease such as multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury.
The International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) can be used to determine the severity of the symptoms, along with an examination. Other tests may include the PSA (Prostate-specific antigen) test, urinalysis, ultrasound, urinary flow studies, imaging, temporary prostatic stent placement, prostate biopsy and/or cystoscopy.
One method to diagnose LUTS is by placing a temporary prostatic stent which can help identify whether LUTS symptoms are directly related to obstruction of the prostate or to other factors to need to be looked in to.
Treatment for lower urinary tract symptoms depends on what is causing the condition. The first option for treatment is usually with medications, such as alpha-1 blockade and antiandrogens. If medications fail to improve the condition, surgery is usually the next option. Surgery techniques include:
- Trans-urethral resection of the prostate (TURP)
- Transurethral microwave thermotherapy
- Thermal ablation
- High intensity focused ultrasonography (HIFU)
- Transurethral needle ablation
- Prostatectomy (for prostate cancer)
- Intraurethral prostatic stenting and balloon dilatation of the prostate
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