The image above shows the difference between a normal prostate and enlarged prostate. Notice that the image of enlarged prostate shows swelling, which actually causes the problems.
The prostate gland is just about the size of a walnut, that is attached to the base of the bladder. The tube (Urethra) that carry out the urine out of the body goes through the prostate gland.
Prostate gland grows slowly as most men age. This growth is called benign prostatic hyperplasia and not considered life-threatening like cancer. It only means tissue growth, which occurs in about 90% of men 70 years old and older.
In this case, many men, even without knowing it, may actually have enlarged prostate. They may not notice it until swelling occurs, which is the main cause of the problem. Because urine flows from the bladder through the urethra and the prostate wraps around the urethra, an enlarged prostate blocks the flow of urine out of the body. This causes the bladder to fill up, while harder to empty at the same time.
Causes of an Enlarged Prostate
No one has fully understand yet the exact main cause of prostate to enlarge. However, there are factors linked to it such as age, hormone level, and other factors.
Age – As men get older, the risk of developing an enlarged prostate becomes higher. A lot of men 50 years and older may have enlarged prostate even without experiencing the symptoms.
Hormone levels – Again, as men get older, the balance of hormone in the body also changes. This may cause growth of the prostate gland.
Other factors – Studies show that obesity and diabetes among men gives a greater risk of developing an enlarged prostate.
- Slow urinary stream
- Feeling of not fully emptied bladder
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty in urination
- Urgency to urinate
- Urinary stream that starts and stops
- Dribbling of urine
- Straining to urinate
Problems Associated with Enlarged Prostate
Due to enlarged prostate, urine are not completely emptied from the bladder. This may cause urinary tract infections that may eventually develop to other problems such as incontinence, blood in the urine, bladder stones, or total inability to urinate (acute urinary retention).
Erectile dysfunction is also being linked to enlarged prostate. In more severe cases, kidney damage and renal failure may occur resulting to the need for dialysis.
What You Can Do
Understanding the symptoms of having an enlarged prostate is the key to keep you healthy. Remember that a sudden inability to urinate is a serious medical condition, so it's advisable to visit your physician immediately if you happen to experience this. It may not always obvious what's going on, but an enlarged prostate must be examined carefully to fully understand the severity of the problem. Generally, a prostate examination is performed by a gloved, lubricated finger into the anus for internal examination that is done by your doctor.
Treatment for enlarged prostate may differ from person to person; treatment for a 65 years old man may not be applicable to a 90 years old. This is because the age, the size of the prostate gland, and the overall health are to be considered before any treatment should be given.
There are various treatments for an enlarged prostate, depending on the person's condition. These are:
- Lifestyle change
Your doctor will recommend the best possible treatment for your condition. You may also want to prevent enlargement of prostate with health supplement products that are safer with no serious side-effects.
Having an enlarged prostate doesn't necessarily mean that you'll automatically have prostate cancer. However, it's still possible to have both an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer at the same time. For this reason, early detection is very important especially if you have risk of developing it. Visit your doctor and have yours checked.