Urgency for urination and frequent urination can be the symptoms of several disorders originating not only from the urinary tract, but also from other organs. The urinary bladder is a very dynamic organ which contains several different types of muscles, synchronized to work properly together. Urinary tract obstruction, inflammation, neurological disorders, as well as psychological disorders can contribute to its malfunction.
Urinary Tract Obstruction
Urinary tract can be obstructed from inside (kidney stones, tumors, infection, or congenital abnormalities of urinary tract), and from outside (benign hyperplasia of the prostate, prostate cancer, swelling or other masses in surrounding tissues). Regardless of the cause, the symptoms of urinary tract obstruction are similar, and they include urgent and frequent urination, pain in the urethral region and lower abdomen, and sometimes bloody urine.
It is always recommended to perform a detailed examination and to remove the cause of urinary tract obstruction, as urine backflow can cause kidney damage if left untreated. Additionally, obstruction of any kind increases the susceptibility to urinary tract infections.
Infection and consequent inflammation of the urinary tract is caused by different microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites) which in most cases access the urinary tract from the outside through the urethra and propagate upwards. The mechanism by which inflammation causes frequent urination is similar to obstruction, as it causes swelling, but the inflammation of urinary bladder makes it overactive too.
Urinary infection is the most common cause of frequent urination in young, otherwise healthy individuals. It can be treated with antibiotics, uroantiseptics, antifungal and anti-parasitic drugs, depending on the causative agent.
As mentioned above, the wall of the urinary bladder contains complex system of muscles, some of which are responsible for voiding, while others prevent the urination. Also, some of these muscles are controlled by autonomic nervous system (involuntarily) while others are controlled voluntarily. Centers for synchronization of these muscles are located in spinal cord, brain stem, and even in brain, so many neurological abnormalities can cause urination problems. Most commonly, injuries of spinal cord can result in frequent urination or urinary incontinence.
There is scientific evidence that depression, anxiety, and attention deficit disorder can cause disturbances in urination. This is possible due to disturbances in neurotransmitters in these disorders that affect complex coordination of urination regulation. After introduction of medications and psychotherapy, patients usually experience improvement in urination symptoms.
Organic causes need to be eliminated before attributing urination problems to psychological cause, especially in patients with no previous history of psychiatric disorders.
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