ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — By the time they reach 60 years old, one-third of men in the U.S. will experience benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, otherwise known as an enlarged prostate. That number jumps to 90% for men 80 years or older, and many of them will have no symptoms. It’s such a small part of the male reproductive system, about the size of a small apricot; and the location of the prostate gland makes it a liability when it swells or grows.
“We think it’s due to hormonal changes that occur. The prostate gland enlarges and because it sits in front of the bladder it constricts the bladder neck, which is the tube that allows urine to pass,” said Frank Costa, M.D., an urological surgeon at the Allegheny Health Network in Orlando, Florida.
To Ed Gallagher, BPH felt like, “Progressive irritation, mental irritation. I was uncomfortable.”
The symptoms of the common disease include frequent or urgent need to urinate, dribbling, pain and inability to empty the bladder. Cold weather can even make the symptoms worse.
Dr. Costa said, “It could be something that just bothers one’s lifestyle, but in extreme circumstances it can present with symptoms that can actually cause kidney failure.”
The biggest risk factor is simply aging. One out of three men over 60 years old will experience symptoms of an enlarged prostate. It is less common in Asian men than in white and black men. Furthermore, studies show that obesity, diabetes, and heart disease increase the risk.
While BPH cannot be prevented, it can be treated with medication or surgery. If you have urination problems that have developed over a few weeks or a few months and are frequent, call your doctor.
Lastly, these symptoms are not always related to an enlarged prostate. Other conditions that may cause similar symptoms include urinary tract infections, prostate cancer, diabetes, heart failure, and neurologic diseases.
Contributors to this news report include: Jessica Sanchez, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.
BPH: WHAT ALL MEN SHOULD KNOW
BACKGROUND: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, also known as BPH or enlarged prostate, is a condition very common in older men. It occurs by the enlargement of the prostate gland and it can cause bothersome urinary symptoms. The enlargement of the gland can block the flow of urine from the bladder and can cause bladder, urinary tract, or kidney problems. 50% of men over the age of 60 will suffer from BPH, and the percentage increases to 90% when men are 85 years or older. BPH does not cause prostate cancer, the ability to conceive children or erectile dysfunction.
(Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/benign-prostatic-hyperplasia/basics/definition/con-20030812 & http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/437359-overview#a2)
BPH SYMPTOMS: The most common symptoms of an enlarged prostate are:
- There’s trouble to start urinating and to get it to completely stop (dribbling).
- The feeling of always having to go to the bathroom. It affects your daily routines like sleeping.
- A weak urine stream.
- A sense that your bladder is not completely empty even after having gone to the bathroom.
- Inability to urinate completely.
- Blood in the urine.
BPH can cause the bladder to be blocked and the retention of urine can lead to bladder infections or stones, or kidney failure.
(Source: http://www.webmd.com/men/prostate-enlargement-bph/benign-prostatic-hyperplasia-bph-topic-overview#1 & http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/benign-prostatic-hyperplasia/basics/symptoms/con-20030812)
TIPS: BPH is a condition that can’t be prevented but can be treated. The treatment will depend on the size of the prostate, the age and overall health of the patient, and the amount of discomfort they are going through. Treatments can vary from medication to therapies to surgery. Here are some life-style changes one can implement if suffering from BPH symptoms:
- Limit beverages in the evening to avoid night trips to the toilet.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol since they can increase urine production, irritate the bladder and worsen symptoms.
- Limit decongestants or antihistamines. They tighten the band of muscles around the urethra that control urine flow, making it harder to urinate.
- Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge.
- Schedule bathroom visits, like every 4 to 6 hours. This can be especially useful if you have severe frequency and urgency.
- Follow a healthy diet. Obesity is associated with enlarged prostate.
- Stay active. Inactivity contributes to urine retention. Even a small amount of exercise can help reduce urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate.
- Urinate, and then urinate again a few moments later. This practice is known as double voiding.
- Keep warm. Colder temperatures can cause urine retention and increase the urgency to urinate.
* For More Information, Contact:
Doug Braunsdorf, Public Relations
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