To understand the signs of prostate enlargement- let us understand what prostate is? The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland. Which make some of the fluid in semen- that carry sperms. It is a very important part of the male reproductive system. It is present below the urinary bladder and surrounds the urethra. The urethra is a sieve through which males urinate or ejaculate. Prostate enlargement is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It is a condition- when the prostate gland gets extra enlarged. The enlargement is due to an increase in the number of cells in the prostate gland. Prostate enlargement can happen at any age but is very common in the age group of 51 years to 60 years males. It is also common in people with erectile dysfunction or people with a sedentary lifestyle (who do not lead an active life).
What is prostate enlargement?
Prostate enlargement is the slow growth of the prostate gland. For most men, it is the normal part of the aging process. As the man matures prostate grows. At puberty ( the time a boy gets sexually mature- during 12 years to 16 years of age) the prostate gets double in size. It again grows at the age of 25 years. And may lead to an enlargement stage- as the man reaches his forty’s. In forty’s the size of the prostate may become- like apricot from the size of a walnut. In some men, prostate enlargement may not cause any symptoms or health problems.
However, if the enlargement of the prostate gland reaches a point- where it starts pressing bladder or urethra affecting the normal flow of urine excretion. The flow of urine becomes slow and less forceful. The signs of prostate enlargement are very common in men in the age group of the sixties. And mostly found in the age group of 70 to 80 years.
If you are unable to completely empty your urinary bladder- due to prostate enlargement. It may lead to urinary tract infection (UTI) or permanent damage to the bladder. It can also lead to the inability- to control urination ( incontinence ). The early diagnosis can help in lowering the risk of complications.
Who are at the increased risk of prostate enlargement?
Prostate enlargement is common in men and can not be prevented. The chances of prostate enlargement depend upon age and your family history. Following are a few stats:-
- * Around 8 out of every 10 men develop prostate enlargement.
- * App. 90% men over the age of 85 develop prostate enlargement.
- * Around 30% men develop symptoms leading to complications.
The risk factors for prostate enlargement are yet to be fully known. All people with risk factors may not get- prostate enlargement. The aging process and the changes in hormone levels are the few risk factors. Moreover, ethnicity and family history can also be the risk factors.
What are the signs and symptoms of prostate enlargement?
Generally, an enlarged prostate generally does not possess serious medical concerns. This common problem may lead to various issues- affecting the quality of your life. The prostate gland surrounds the urethra (passage for your urine). The prostate enlargement may lead to squeezing of the urethra- affecting the flow of urine.
The symptoms of prostate enlargement include- the blockage of the urethra and the inability to get the urinary bladder completely empty. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person. Some people with less enlargement than others may experience more severe symptoms. Whereas some with more enlargement may have fewer or no symptoms.
If you are experiencing- trouble while starting to urinate or you have to go several times for urination. These may be the signs of prostate enlargement. Consult your healthcare advisor, if you experience early symptoms like- while urinating you have to start and stop several times, you are unable to empty your bladder completely, you have to strain for the flow while urinating, etc. Prostate enlargement very rarely may lead to serious health problems like kidney disease or bladder damage. Following are the few symptoms of prostate enlargement.
Symptoms of prostate enlargement.
Frequent need to urinate- ( normally a person needs to urinate between 6 to 8 times in 24 hours, under normal circumstances ) is one of the main symptoms of prostate enlargement. People with an enlarged prostate need to go several times for urination because prostate enlargement creates pressure on the urethra and bladder- and you are unable to empty your bladder completely. Which causes the frequent and sometimes urgent need for urination.
2. Difficulty in urination.
The prostate enlargement creates pressure on the urethra- which causes difficulty in urination due to squeezed urine passage. You may feel trouble initiating urination. It may also cause weak flow and more strain. Sometimes it may cause “dribbling.” Which can be mild to moderate urine leakage.
3. Painful urination.
In some people, pressure on the urethra gets worse- due to continuous enlargement of the prostate. On straining for urination you may feel pain. Pain can also be due to infection due to enlarged prostate. Since the bladder can not get completely empty, which may lead to infection and can cause pain.
4. Waking up in night for urination (Nocturia).
If you experience repeated waking up from sleep during the night for urination, you may be suffering from nocturia and prostate enlargement. Two or more times of waking up during the night besides restricted fluid intake before bed may be due to prostate enlargement.
5.Retention of urine.
The prostate enlargement may cause urine retention. Which is both a complication and a symptom. Urine retention may be acute or chronic. Acute urine retention lasts for a short period, whereas chronic urine retention is persistent and needs medical attention.
6.Blood in urine (Haematuria).
The presence of blood in urine may be due to prostate enlargement. It can be visible as red, pink, or brownish urine. Sometimes it is visible under a microscope only. The prostate is directly involved in the urinary tract. Prostate enlargement may cause leakage of blood. Which is expelled through the urethra as haematuria. There may be other reasons for the passing of blood in the urine. Healthcare advisors should be consulted.
Prostate enlargement may cause urinary incontinence. Which is the involuntary leakage of urine. Prostate enlargement may cause changes in bladder function.
What are the causes of prostate enlargement?
The prostate gland continues to grow with the age. The prostate gland attains doubles of its size at the puberty age. As the man enters around 40 years of age- the prostate may become enlarged. What causes the prostate to grow throughout a man’s life is yet to be known. The research is being focused on several theories as:-
- Low levels of male harmone- testosterone and excessive levels of female hormone- estrogen.
- Growth hormone- dihydrotestosterone (DHT) continued accumulation.
- Inactive growth hormones may become active as the age progresses.
Males produce a hormone- testosterone in a large amount. They also produce hormones- estrogen and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in small quantities. These hormones level change as men grow. The levels of testosterone may decrease and estrogen and DHT levels may increase. These changes cause the growth of cell numbers in the gland. This enlargement blocks the flow of urine and if untreated.
Prostate enlargement may lead to serious health problems – including prostate cancer. Consult your healthcare provider, if you or your nearby experience the following symptoms:-
- Severe abdominal or rectal pain.
- Inability to urinate.
- High fever- more than 101degree Fahrenheit.
What are the complications associated with prostate enlargement?
Prostate enlargement is a condition- which most men suffer, but very few men want to discuss it. If the prostate enlargement remains unchecked, It may prevent the urinary bladder to get completely empty. Which may result in permanent damage to the urinary system. Early diagnosing and treatment can prevent the potential risk of complications. Your healthcare provider can suggest effective ways of treatment. Complications of prostate enlargement may include:-
- Urine retention
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Stones in kidney or urinary tract
- Damage to kidney or bladder
Prostate enlargement is a growing epidemic. Recent studies indicate that around 50% of men by reaching the age of 60 years may have symptoms of prostate enlargement. During prostate enlargement – the prostate may get enlarged to two or three times -the regular size. Consult your healthcare advisor on noticing the following problems:-
- Problems in urination
- Delay in urination
- Feeling of pain, while urinating or after ejaculation.
What can you do to improve the symptoms associated with prostate enlargement?
The prostate gland can be maintained in good health with improvement in symptoms by taking care of the following:-
- Adopt regular exercising habits, including pelvic strenthening exercises.
- Cut down your stress levels
- Adopt healthy living and eating habits.
- Avoid consumption of caffeine and alcohol.
- Avoid delay in urination. Urinate as you feel the need.
- Avoid OTC (over the counter) decongestants or antihistamine medications, as they may worsen the symptoms.
- Consult your health care provider when needed (tell your doctor, if you feel any changes in urine flow, habits, or difficulty in urination). Get your prostate checked every year under consultation with your healthcare provide
Prostate enlargement- As per Ayurveda.
Prostate enlargement is the combined effect of imbalanced doshas– Vata, Kapha, and Pitta. During problem in a prostate enlargement- Ama (the sticky substance in the form of impurities) gets accumulated in urine. Which further gets mixed with Shleshaka Kapha- a sub-class of Kapha. Which tend to produce shleshma. Shleshma is responsible for cell growth during prostate enlargement.
Due to the imbalance of Vata dosha in old age- digestive power (Agni) gets weakened and produces more Ama. The ama tends to aggravate Vata and cause inflammation in the prostate. Kapha imbalance also tends to cause abnormal cell growth in the prostate. Prostate enlargement is caused by the effect of an imbalance of three doshas- Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Pitta leads to inflammation, Vata causes discomfort in prostate organs and Kapha leads to imbalanced cell growth.
Natural remedies can take care of problems- due to prostate enlargement. These are:-
- Ginger etc.
As per a study conducted in China, it was observed that men with diets rich in fruits and vegetables– especially leafy, dark vegetables, and tomatoes had less occurrence of prostate enlargement, lesser symptoms, and were less likely to experience worsening of symptoms. Researchers believe that it is not just one nutrient but the combination of nutrients found in a healthy diet. A healthy lifestyle is also helpful.
Vegetables- The ultimate source of nutrition and protection
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For awareness purposes only. For treatment consult your healthcare provider.
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