Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Overview of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia also called BPH or Prostate Gland Enlargement, is a common problem in older men. When this occurs, the prostate gland becomes enlarged and often causes various urinary symptoms. These symptoms can cause the block of flowing of urine from the bladder, which causes bladder infections, urinary tract infections, or kidney problems. There are many treatments that your physician may recommend which can include therapy or surgery. Your physician will choose your treatment with you based on the size of your prostate, the other conditions, and the symptoms that you are experiencing.

Symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

The symptoms may vary between people, depending on the severity of. Some of the most common symptoms may include the frequent and very urgent need to urinate, which tends to increase even more at night. When urinating, it may be difficult to start urinating, and the stream may be very weak. The stream may also stop and start. At the end of urinating, you may also experience dribbling. You may also feel like you are not able to completely empty the bladder. Be sure to watch for urinary tract infections, blood in the urine, or even the inability to urinate. Your symptoms are not determined by the size of your prostate. In some men, these symptoms may improve over time or may even stabilize.

About the Prostate Gland

The prostate gland is located right beneath the bladder. The urine passes through the prostate when it comes from the bladder to the urethra. The prostate blocks the urine flow when it becomes enlarged.

Causes of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

The prostate continues to grow throughout a man’s life. In most cases, the growth will cause the blocking of the urine flow. There is no clear cause to why the prostate changes, but it is thought to be because if the balance of sex hormones when men get older.

Risk Factors of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

There are many risk factors that lead to the prostate gland enlargement. It is very rare that men under the age of 40 years old experience symptoms. About one-third of men between the age of 40 to 60 experience symptoms. Nearly one-half experience symptoms by the age of 80 years old. It is very common that if you have a relative such as brother or father with prostate issues, then you will as well. It is important to take care of your body to decrease the risk of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, such as being obese, having diabetes, or heart disease.

Complications with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

If you are experiencing the inability the urinate, also called urinary retention, then you may need to have a catheter, or tube, inserted into your bladder. This catheter will help to drain the urine from your bladder. Men with an enlarged prostate often need surgery to help relieve their urinary retention.

When you are experiencing urinary retention, you may also have urinary tract infections. If you are experiencing frequent urinary tract infections, then you may be recommended for surgery to remove a part of your prostate.

Another complication with urinary retention is bladder stones. These bladder stones cause infection, bladder irritation, obstruction of the urine flow, or blood in the urine. When bladders are not able to able to be completely emptied for a long period of time, the bladder stretches and often becomes weak.

When the bladder becomes weak, it makes it very difficult to fully empty your bladder. When there is pressure in the bladder, the kidneys can also be damaged. Having an enlarged prostate is typically not seen to be the cause of developing prostate cancer.

Diagnosis of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Your doctor will begin your diagnosis by asking you many questions about your symptoms. The physician will then move into the physical exam. A digital rectal exam is when a physician inserts a finger into your rectum, and will check your prostate for any enlargement. A urine test may be taken to rule out any infections that are causing similar symptoms. A blood test can rule out any kidney problems. A PSA, or prostate-specific antigen blood test, is a test that checks for PSA, which is a substance that is produced in the prostate.

Once these initial tests are done, your physician may run some additional tests. Your physician may ask you to record the frequency and amount of urine. It would be useful to see if more than one-third of the urinary output occurs during your sleep. You may also be asked to postvoid residual volume test. This test will see if you are able to see if you are emptying your bladder completely. This is done by inserting a catheter into your bladder after you urinate to measure how much urine is left in your bladder. If you do not want to use a catheter, then you will go through an ultrasound. A Urinary Flow Test is when you urinate into the machine that measures the strength and timing of your urine. This will be recorded and checked at your next visit to see if it is getting better or worse.

When your condition is getting worse, your physician may call for further checking. A prostate biopsy is when transrectal ultrasound guides needles that will take tissue samples. The physician will then examine this tissue. A transrectal ultrasound will probe your rectum to evaluate your prostate. A cystoscopy is a lighted, flexible instrument, also known as a cystoscope, and it will be inserted into your urethra, which will let your physician see inside your bladder and urethra. A local anesthetic before the test. A urodynamic and pressure flow studies is when a catheter is inserted into your urethra to your bladder. This will then measure the bladder pressure and determines how well these muscles are working.

Treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

There are many treatments available for enlarged prostates. Some physicians will recommend medications, therapies, or surgery. The physician will choose your treatment based on your age, health, size of prostate, and the amount of discomfort that you are experiencing.

Medication is the most common treatment for symptoms that are considered mild to moderate that your physician will recommend. Alpha blockers are medications that will relax bladder muscles, which will make urinating easier. These medications will typically help men with small prostates. 5-alpha reductase inhibitors are medications that are used to shrink the prostate by preventing the hormone changes. In some cases, your physician may recommend both of these medications be used if just one medication is not working.

There are also many minimally invasive or surgical therapies. You will be recommended for surgical therapy and minimally invasive surgery if your symptoms are moderate to severe, if you choose treatment, if you have a urinary tract obstruction, or if your medication is not helping your symptoms. You will not be recommended for treatment if you have a urethral structure disease, an untreated urinary tract infection, or a neurological disorder. There are many side effects of these procedures which may include erectile dysfunction, loss of bladder control, bleeding, UTI, difficulty with urination, or semen flowing backward instead of through the penis. When choosing a minimally invasive surgery or treatment, you will want to speak with your physician about the best treatment for you. You will want to see what follow up care your physician will also recommend. Your doctor may not want you lifting or exercising.

When preparing for your appointment with us, be sure to write down any symptoms you are experiencing and also a list of any questions that you may have for your physicians.

Home Treatment for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

There are many home treatments or lifestyle changes that can help control the symptoms for an enlarged prostate. It is important to use the restroom when you feel the urge to go instead of holding it and making the muscles work harder. Cold temperatures can increase the urgency to urinate, so it is important to stay warm. Double voiding can also be very helpful. In these cases, you will want to use the restroom, and then go again a few minutes later. Schedule your bathroom breaks so you are urinating at regular times and intervals. Be sure to stay active because a small amount of exercise can help to reduce urinary problems. Follow a healthy diet and limit caffeine and alcohol. Do not drink anything an hour before bedtime. This will help to cut down the number of bathroom trips.

Summary of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or prostate gland enlargement, is very common in older men. There are a variety of treatments that can help this, including at home remedies. In many cases, BPH causes uncomfortable urinary symptoms and can also lead to bladder infections, urinary tract infections, or kidney problems. As soon as you are uncomfortable with your symptoms, you will want to call our office and schedule your next appointment.

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