Enlarged prostate is considered a natural process of ageing as it mostly affects men above 40 years and the chances of being affected by the condition increase with age. Men suffering from this condition usually don’t exhibit any symptoms and if present they commonly include:
- Difficulty starting and stopping urination
- Weak stream of urine
- Dribbling of urine especially after urinating
- Frequent urination and especially at night
As the symptoms progress, you may develop bladder stones, bladder infection, blood in your urine, damage to your kidneys due to back pressure caused by retaining large amounts of extra urine as well as sudden blockage of the urinary tube, making urination impossible.
Causes of enlarged prostate
Experts say that the condition occurs when the prostate grows larger due to the increase in the number of hyperplasia cells (abnormal cell growth). Experts are yet to discover the reason behind increase of the hyperplasia cells. As the prostate grows larger and the urethra is squeezed more tightly, the bladder might not be able to fully compensate for the problem thus making one want to pass urine frequently.
Here are some of the causes of the condition:
Thickening of the bladder
According to experts, in the early stage of prostate enlargement, the bladder muscle becomes thicker and forces urine through the narrowed urethra by contracting more powerfully. As a result, the bladder muscle may become more sensitive hence the reason one urinates more often.
Although an enlarged prostate does not cause prostate cancer, cancer of the prostate can cause enlarged prostate.
Prostate infection (Prostatitis)
When several types of prostate infections affect the prostate, they can lead to prostate enlargement.
The risk factors include:
The condition is more common to older men and doesn’t usually affect men younger than 40. Family history. If your dad or your brothers have the condition, you have a higher chance of getting it.
Experts say the condition affects black and white men more often than Asian men. Black men may experience the symptoms at a younger age.
Other conditions that might raise your chances of getting the disease include: diabetes, heart disease, and erectile dysfunction.
Diagnosing the condition
Your doctor may opt to test your urine, a process known as urinalysis, to confirm whether you are ailing from the condition or you can have a sevenquestion BPH symptom score index survey to evaluate the severity of your symptoms. A flow study to measure how slow the urinary stream is compared with normal flow can also be conducted.
Treating enlarged prostate
Patients with mild symptoms may not look for treatment other than waiting to see how the condition turns out. But if your condition is severe, you can visit a doctor who can advise on the kind of treatment to take. Some of the treatments options available include:
Your doctor may give you medicines such as Proscar and Avodart to treat the condition. The two work by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which affects the growth of the prostate gland.
A number of surgeries can help to remove prostate tissue blocking the flow of urine. Although this method may be effective, it may have side effects that include bleeding, infection, and impotence, among others.
Minimal invasive treatments
There are newer treatments that can effectively reduce the size of the prostate and relieve urinary obstruction, but are less invasive and damaging to healthy tissue than surgery. Less invasive procedures require less time in the hospital, result in fewer side effects, are less costly, and allow for quicker recovery.
Although you may not control some of the risk factors, you can embrace a healthy lifestyle to keep the condition at bay. They include:
- Eating more fruits and vegetables
- Eating healthy low fat food
- Opting for plant protein over animal protein
- Embracing green tea
- Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
- Taking recommended supplements