Many men have an acute awareness about the potential health risks they face as they reach an older age. Sure, everyone is encouraged throughout their lives to keep up with regular exams, but how many men actually stay on top of their health? Without knowing what risks you face, what symptoms to keep an eye out for, and what the causes of an enlarged prostate are, it is hard to really maintain a healthy lifestyle. In hopes of helping more men understand the causes and effects of an enlarged prostate, here is some useful information that can be of use to a lot of men, especially those approaching their late forties and fifties.
Enlargement of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) is a common complaint in men over fifty years of age. The prostate wraps around the base of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis. Consequently, when the gland enlarges, it obstructs the flow of urine. Early symptoms of prostate enlargement commonly affect men in their mid to late forties, although symptoms can occur earlier.
Urination becomes increasingly difficult, and the bladder never feels completely empty. If left untreated, continued enlargement of the prostate will obstruct the bladder completely, this is known as (acute urinary retention) and emergency measures will be necessary to empty the bladder. If the prostate is remarkedly enlarged, it may cause chronic constipation. In men over sixty years of age, cancer of the prostate may occur. An enlarged prostate gland, because of its location, can hide prostate cancer which will make it more difficult to diagnose. Acute or chronic prostatitis, a common inflammation of the prostate may also occur, due to the urine back up into your bladder.
According to research, the truth about an enlarged prostate is, there is no outright known cause to the inflation. We know the scientific cause, and that is hyperplasia (increased cell numbers), but we do not know the reason. The only certain cause that it can be tied to, is age. which doesn’t give much resolution. Symptoms develop and worsen over time and then even more problems arise as a result. For example, as added stress is put on the bladder muscle, it becomes thicker and is forced to work harder to push out urine. The urethra is then also squeezed and narrowed, leaving a lot of added stress that the bladder may not be able to handle.
Why is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) so common? According to reports, experts believe that two things are to blame, which are, normal hormonal changes that occur as men get older and environmental factors. Hormone levels shift for men in mid-life as they do for women. Research has shown that testosterone male hormone begins to decline with estrogen and prolactin, the female hormone (milk producing hormone) increase.
Although we may not know exactly what causes an enlarged prostate, we do know what the problem is capable of. The bladder muscle has to use more strength to contract and therefore becomes weak. This can potentially leave the bladder incapable of fully emptying of the urine. As a result, things like chronic urinary tract infections, potential kidney or bladder damage, and erectile dysfunction happen. The chance of not being able to urinate is also a serious issue faced.
There are also known symptoms and treatments for this medical ailment. The most recognizable symptoms are related to problems with urinating. Men will have the constant urge to urinate, will wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, will have a burning sensation when he urinates, always feel like they have to go to the bathroom, or will not be able to maintain free-flowing urine (stop-go urine). Some men are advised to get surgery for an enlarged prostate while others take prescription medications.
What are the symptoms of (BPH): Not all men who have enlarged prostate experience symptoms and the severity of symptoms varies. Common symptoms include frequent or urgent need to urinate, Increased frequency to urinate during the night, Difficulty starting to urinate, weak urine stream, not able to completely empty the bladder, continue to dribble after urination. Other symptoms include urinary tract infection, inability to urinate and blood in the urine.
What are the risk factors of an enlarged prostate? Risk factors include age, about one-third of men experience moderate to severe symptoms by age sixty and about half by age eighty, family history, Have a blood relative like a brother or father with prostate problems, have diabetes and heart disease. These may increase your risk of an enlarged prostate. Lifestyle, Obesity, may increase your risk while exercise can lower it.
There are many natural ways to heal and promote a healthy prostate. Herbal supplements are available over the counter and can help shrink the prostate back to normal size. Among herbal remedies mentioned, “saw palmetto” seems to be the most promising. According to research, more than 17 studies confirm its effectiveness and safety. It is also found that saw palmetto reduced nighttime urination by 25 percent.
Pygeum (Prunus Africanum): Extracts made from the bark have been used to treat BPH. The bark appeared to have compounds that work together to decrease swelling and inflammation in the prostate and to block the effects of testosterone. It is reported that at least nine studies that men have demonstrated that Pygeum improves urinary flow, decrease nighttime urination, and enhances the quality of life for those with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica): Research has shown that extracts of the roots have anti-inflammatory properties and can relieve symptoms of an enlarged prostate. It is best used in combination with saw palmetto.
Pumpkin Seed (Curcubita pepo): Researchers have found that pumpkin seed oil increases urine flow and it also contains other ingredients that might help BPH. It is also good for expelling intestinal worms and parasites.
Eat healthy for your prostate:
Herbs are only one alternative to drug treatment for prostate enlargement. Others will also work as well. Zinc has been shown to inhibit an enzyme that fosters prostate enlargement. Dietary sources of zinc include oysters, and other shellfish, red meat, ginger, eggs, nuts, seeds, and grains.
Protein: Protein is high hormone-like substances called isoflavones that block the effects of excessive estrogen. it also contains compounds called phytosterols that have been shown to increase urinary flow. Eat 3 to 4 ounces of soybeans, tofu, tempeh, or powdered soy protein every day.
Fatty acids: Essential fatty acids derived from salmon, mackerel, haddock, cod, or flaxseed can alleviate the symptoms of BPH. These oils decrease inflammation, which may be a contributing cause of prostate enlargement. Typical dose: mix 2 to 4 tablespoon into a shake or smoothie or sprinkle it on food daily. If you prefer fish, 3 to 4 servings of fish per week are recommended.
Eat tomatoes: Tomatoes are very high in lycopene, an antioxidant pigment similar to beta-carotene, but is more potent when it comes to the prostate. Good dietary sources of lycopene include organic catsup and organic tomato paste. Lycopene is also available in tablet form.
A few tips to help relieve your BPH symptoms: The symptoms of an enlarged prostate can strike fear into the hearts of grown men. Yet many cases of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) are mild and respond well to simple preventive treatments in the early stage. If you are nervous and tense you will urinate more frequently, so try to reduce stress by exercising regularly and learn to relax by practicing relaxation techniques like (meditation).
Take time to empty your bladder completely when you go to the bathroom, as this will help to reduce the number of trips you make to the toilet. If you are taking medications, talk to your doctor about the medications you are taking as some may contribute to your problem. Don’t drink caffeinated and alcoholic beverages in the evening and especially before going to bed. These can stimulate your kidneys to produce urine which can lead to more trips to the bathroom.
If you have BPH symptoms, it is very important not to suffer in silence. No matter how much you hate going to the doctor, don’t put off that visit. Think positive and hope for the best. Potentially serious complications can occur if your bladder does not empty completely. Urine that does not exit the bladder can lead to the growth of bacteria and this can cause frequent urinary tract infections. A bladder that hasn’t emptied completely can stretch and weaken over time. This can result in the wall of your bladder to no longer contracts properly, making it harder to fully empty your bladder. Too much pressure in your bladder from urinary retention can damage your kidneys and can allow infections to reach your kidneys, which can be serious for your health. I do hope that this article, what are the causes of an enlarged prostate will be of some help to you. Please feel free to leave a comment, or share with friends and family.
Delores Powell: My passion is all about Health and Wellness, Success, and to help others succeed as well.