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Are frequent urges to urinate and frequent bowel movements a serious concern when diagnosed with diverticulitis?

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Posted on Wed, 12 May 2021
Question: This weekend my husband is having frequent urges to urinate and frequent bowel movements. He feels well and has good appetite- vegan diet for over a year. He is 64 and was treated for stage 2 Prostate cancer, with radiation only, last fall. He has been told he has some diverticulosis. He takes tamsulosin for prostate. Wondering what is causing this new issue?
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Answered by Dr. Saumya Mittal (58 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Suggestions

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
I am Dr Mittal.
I have read your message.
I think I can help you.

There is a problem with urine as well as stools- he seems to have urgency.
This may be the first signs of spinal cord involvement.
Spinal cord, especially lower down is one area that controls the bowel as well as bladder .
Injury to this area may affect the movements.

I would recommend meeting a neurologist there for an examination and confirmation of the diagnosis.
If the diagnosis is confirmed on clinical examination, he will need to be tested with an MRI of the spine.

The cause may be elicited with MRI, and the treatment can be initiated accordingly.
It would be better to avoid any delay. The sooner he is diagnosed, the sooner the treatment can be initiated.

I have tried to make it as simple as possible.
Feel free to contact me for further information if needed.
Best wishes, Dr Mittal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Follow up: Dr. Saumya Mittal (2 hours later)
Dr. Mittal,
Thank you for your response. However, he has never had any back issues - no pain or injury. Can you think of another reason? He has gone a little longer without a trip to the bathroom this evening.

I will add that 4 days ago he had diarrhea for about 24 hrs - thinks it may have been something he ate. He lost appetite that day also. Then things improved a bit.

XXXX
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Answered by Dr. Saumya Mittal (43 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Suggestions

Detailed Answer:
Hello Pam.
Thanks for your response.

Please inform to me the durations of symptoms and the way they developed in details.

With the current information, I would like to make the following comments-
1st, the food and diarrhoea would not cause feeling of urgency of urine.
Rather if he is dehydrated, it may actually lead to the delay in urine.
Besides, I think these symptoms may have been present prior to 4 days- do correct me if I am incorrect.
Secondly, the back issues may not always be present- it depends on the cause of myelopathy. It does contribute to the symptoms of urgency, but does not need to be present essentially.

Another possible cause I can think of is the damage to the plexus of nerves that supplies these structures. Having said that, it does usually cause some sort of limb weakness which you have not reported. So I think this is less likely.

So yes, I do think a myelopathy needs to be ruled out first prior to considering any other possibility.

I have tried to make it as simple as possible.
Feel free to contact me for any further information.
Best wishes, Dr Mittal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
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Dr. Saumya Mittal

Diabetologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 2895 Questions

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Are frequent urges to urinate and frequent bowel movements a serious concern when diagnosed with diverticulitis?

Brief Answer: Suggestions Detailed Answer: Hello, I am Dr Mittal. I have read your message. I think I can help you. There is a problem with urine as well as stools- he seems to have urgency. This may be the first signs of spinal cord involvement. Spinal cord, especially lower down is one area that controls the bowel as well as bladder . Injury to this area may affect the movements. I would recommend meeting a neurologist there for an examination and confirmation of the diagnosis. If the diagnosis is confirmed on clinical examination, he will need to be tested with an MRI of the spine. The cause may be elicited with MRI, and the treatment can be initiated accordingly. It would be better to avoid any delay. The sooner he is diagnosed, the sooner the treatment can be initiated. I have tried to make it as simple as possible. Feel free to contact me for further information if needed. Best wishes, Dr Mittal