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Ask Dr. Gott 3/14
Muscle contraction causes problem urinating
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: I am a 73-year-old male with heart and kidney failure. I am not on dialysis. I take Lasix. I was taking three 80-milligram pills every day for quite some time. One day, I suddenly could not urinate. The following day, the same thing, so I went to the emergency room at my local hospital, where I was catheterized. The doctor then told me I did not have a blockage and that he could find nothing wrong with my blood and urine tests. He told me upon release to reduce my Lasix to one and a half pills per day. A few days later, my ankles began to swell, so my kidney doctor put me back on two pills a day.
    I am still unsure about what happened. Could taking three Lasix a day have caused this?
    DEAR READER: I do not believe that the Lasix was the cause of your unpleasant experience. More likely, you had bladder dysfunction due to urinary-tract muscle contraction.
    I assume that your "kidney doctor" is a nephrologist. You should review your problem with him or her. I would hope that the specialist can suggest ways of overcoming the spasm if it occurs again.
    To give you related information, I am sending you copies of my Health Reports "Bladder and Urinary Tract Infections" and "Kidney Disorders."

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I am a 79-year-old male who has frequent hot flashes with sweating. I have had them happen day and night for several years. I have asked several doctors about this, and none had any answers. I have also tried various medications unsuccessfully.
    I am wondering if you could give me a reason why this is happening and what I can do for it.
    DEAR READER: I believe you are experiencing a lowering of testosterone. As we age, the hormone levels in our bodies can drop significantly. This can lead to annoying reactions such as hot flashes, sweating and other symptoms. These reactions, which accompany menopause in women, can also affect men on occasion. Women lose estrogen, which causes the testosterone in their bodies to become more dominant. Men, however, lose testosterone, which causes the estrogen to become more dominant. I recommend that you have a blood test to measure the testosterone in your system. If, as I suspect, your testosterone is low, you may wish to consider hormone replacement.
    You should also be tested for other disorders. Perhaps you have a hidden infection or are simply anemic. If your hormones are normal, your doctor can then look at these other tests to determine whether there is something else amiss.
    You do not say whether you are taking any medications. Some drugs can cause flushing, sweating and more. The leading culprit is niacin, used for lowering cholesterol. If you are taking medicine, be sure to check the possible side effects. Work with your primary-care physician to find a solution.
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