BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia
is a disease in which the prostate gland becomes much enlarged and may
cause problems associated with urination. BPH can raise levels of
prostate specific antigen (PSA) two or three times the normal level.
The increased PSA level does not indicate cancer, but the higher the
PSA level, the greater the chance of cancer.
Some signs of BPH and prostate cancer are the same; however, having BPH
does not appear to increase the chances of developing prostate cancer.
A man who has BPH may also simultaneously have undetected prostate
cancer or may develop in the future.
How does BPH occur?
The prostate goes through two main periods of growth. At the onset of
puberty, the prostate doubles in size. Then, around age 25, the
prostate begins to grow again and continues to grow throughout most of
The continuing enlargement of prostate does not usually cause problems until later in life. However, the second growth period, many years later, result in BPH.
* BPH rarely causes symptoms before age 40.
* More than half the men in their 60s have some symptoms of BPH.
* About 90 percent of men between 70 and 90 years of age have some symptoms of BPH.
What happens when prostate enlarges?
As the prostate enlarges, it presses against the urethra and interferes
with urination. At the same time, the bladder wall becomes irritated,
it becomes thicker and begins to contract even when it contains small
amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination. As the bladder
continues to weaken, it may not empty completely and leave some urine.
Blocking or narrowing of the urethra by the prostate and partial
emptying of the bladder cause many of the problems associated with BPH.
Most common symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia and individual may experience symptoms differently:
* Leaking or dribbling of urine.
* More frequent urination, especially at night.
* Urgency to urinate.
* Retention of urine or inability to urinate.
* Weak urine stream, with pauses and interruptions.
These problems may lead to one or more of the following conditions:
* Damage to the kidney.
* Damage to the bladder.
* Urinary tract infections.
* Bladder stones.
The symptoms of BPH may resemble other conditions or medical problems.
The lifestyle to control BPH may include:
Dietary factors: Although still untested, drinking more soy and
green tea may be beneficial to the prostate. Furthermore, it may help
prevent or reduce alcohol, coffee and other liquids, especially after
dinner. It is known that the highest risk of BPH is associated with
diets high in zinc, butter and it is believed that individuals who eat
lots of fruits have a lower risk of BPH.
Kegel exercises: The repeatedly contract and relax the muscle of
the pelvis is also known as Kegel exercises, and is helpful in prevent
urine leakage. Practicing this exercise while urinating in order to
isolate the specific muscle: contract the muscle until the flow of
urine decreases or stops and then relax. It is recommended that men
with BPH three to five times a day, and repeat five to 15 contractions,
holding each for 10 seconds.
Consult your doctor for more information on treatment for prostate.