Benign prostatic hyperplasia

Like grey hair, prostate enlargement is a natural process for men as they grow older. Almost all men go through prostate enlargement after a certain age, usually during their 50’s. Frequent trips to the lavatory are the first and most common sign for prostate enlargement at an early age. Since the prostate surrounds the urethra, it causes extra pressure on it as it expands in time, causing for frequent urination. It is nothing to be alarmed about as it is a natural process and it certainly is not a sign of prostate cancer. Another name for this, which is most commonly used in the medical journals, is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as benign prostatic hypertrophy.

As a reproductive gland, the prostate is responsible for producing the milky white alkaline fluid that helps transcend the sperm through ejaculation. This gland also has some smooth muscles that help drive out the semen during ejaculation. A normal prostate is a little bigger than a walnut, it hails just beneath the urinary bladder while neighboring the urethra. During a rectal examination the doctors can feel the gland and check for any unusual activity. The male hormone testosterone, which is largely produced by the testacies, is needed to ensure healthy prostate.

Among the three most common prostate related diseases, prostate enlargement is the one that is most common because it happens naturally after a certain age. When the prostate grows large it creates a pressure for the urethra making urination difficult and painful. In some severe cases it may take a long tome to urinate all together or worse, it may be completely not possible. Sometimes bladder spasm which happens to elderly men may be confused as BPH. Statistics show that one third of the male population over 60 has BPH. The number soars after 85 years of age where the percentage stands at 90%.

Some common symptoms for benign prostatic hypertrophy are:

  • The urine stream not as strong and fast as before
  • Dysuria (Pain during urination).
  • The bladder still seems to be full after urination
  • Hesitation to urinate
  • Constantly having the urge for urination
  • Nocturia (Waking up in the middle of the night frequently to urinate).
  • The stream starting and stopping a lot while urinating.
  • The stream coming but just moments after it feels like it is finished.
  • Sudden urge, mostly in unusual times.
  • Problems in ejaculation during sex or masturbation.
  • Incontinence (suddenly urinating without any control over it)

Prostate enlargement may cause lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). The size of prostate does not necessarily invoke the level of severity. Often, men with enlarged prostate suffer from nil to mild symptoms, where patients with no BPH may be suffering from bladder complications that may be misdiagnosed as Prostate Enlargement Symptoms.

An obstruction in the urinary tract is the main cause of the most common symptom of prostate enlargement, which is voiding. Due to this, the patient with the condition may have a weak urinary stream and may feel pain. This may make one feel that the bladder is not completely hollow even after a proper urination. At the end the urine stream may dribble. The irritation symptoms that occur due to prostate enlargement are when there is a sudden urge to urinate, the frequency of urination dramatically rises especially during the night and there is a burning sensation while urinating. The most severe case of voiding, in which urination completely stops is the most severe case that can happen to a person with enlarged prostate. The person will need immediate medical attention as this may cause serious complications in the system such as bladder stones, infection in the urethra etc.

Doctors perform a series of renal exams, blood tests and ultrasound scans to make sure they are dealing with a case of prostate enlargement. Usually this condition can b managed by a change in lifestyle, such as drinking less before hitting the pillow, cutting down on caffeinated drinks such as coffee, colas etc and cutting down on alcohol consumption. Alpha blockers are among the most common used drug that is prescribed as the initial treatment for this condition. Consuming of the alpha blockers causes the prostate muscles to relax and reduce the pressure on the bladder and urethra. Side effects of this medication can be difference in ejaculation, nasal clogging etc.

When it comes to treating this condition with herbal remedies, beta-sitosterol collected from African star grass proved to have a great effect in keeping this condition under control. Pygeum which is from the bark of a tree called Prunus Africana also has a good record in relaxing the muscles. If all other treatments fail, the physician determines whether the patient needs to go under the knife or not. The surgery that is performed to reduce the complication of prostate enlargement is called Transurethral Resection of Prostate (TURP).

Since this is a very common condition, medical help is available in almost all well established hospitals and clinics. If any of the symptoms occur, taking a few steps can prevent any sort of severe complications.

Last updated on Aug 14th, 2010 and filed under Genitourinary Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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