Enlarged Prostate: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Complications, And Tips To Relieve It

Date December 19, 2017 14:53

A lot of changes happen in your body as you age. For men, one of these changes is prostate enlargement. Prostate enlargement, also called ‘benign prostatic hyperplasia’ (BPH), is a common condition that is not dangerous by itself but can cause some serious complications.

Prostate is a male gland that sits right under the bladder and surrounds urethra. This gland plays a key role in male fertility. It is thought to grow bigger due to changes in levels of male hormones. Prostate enlargement may lead to the constriction of urethra, which can cause some unpleasant urinary symptoms.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is very common. It’s estimated that about 14 million men in the United States have symptoms characteristic of BPH.

What are the symptoms of prostate enlargement?

Many men don’t experience any noticeable symptoms of the condition. The severity of symptoms doesn’t depend on the degree of enlargement. If any signs are present, they may include the following:

  • frequent need to urinate (8 times a day or more);
  • unsteady urine stream;
  • urinary incontinence;
  • incomplete bladder emptying;
  • waking up to urinate in the middle of the night (nocturia);
  • pain when urinating.

Symptoms that suggest a more serious problem and require urgent medical attention include the following:

  • not being able to urinate at all;
  • painful, frequent, and urgent need to urinate along with fever and chills;
  • blood in the urine;
  • significant discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen.

Factors that make benign prostatic hyperplasia more likely to develop

There are certain factors that increase a man’s chances of developing BPH. They include:

  • aging – men who are older than 40 are more likely to have BHP than younger men, and the likelihood of BHP further increases with age;
  • family history of prostate problems;
  • certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease;
  • use of certain medicines, such as beta-blockers;
  • being overweight or obese.

Complications of prostate enlargement

First of all, benign prostatic hyperplasia is not linked to cancer of the prostate, although cancer shares some symptoms with BHP.

But here’s what the condition can cause:

  • acute urinary retention;
  • chronic urinary retention;
  • urinary tract infections;
  • bladder stones;
  • bladder damage;
  • kidney damage.

If you have symptoms of BHP, don’t delay a visit to your doctor.

Lifestyle changes to relieve PHP symptoms

There are things you can do yourself to alleviate the symptoms of BHP, either when your symptoms are mild and you don’t need treatment, or to help treatment work better if your doctor prescribed it. You can try the following:

  • drink less fluid before bedtime and before going out in public;
  • limit your consumption of alcohol and caffeine, as these two can make you need to urinate more;
  • if you need to take medicines such as decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, or diuretics, take them exactly as your doctor prescribes, and ask them to lower the dose or prescribe a different medicine if the one you use contributes to your symptoms;
  • do exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles (Kegel exercises);
  • avoid or treat constipation, as it can make BPH symptoms worse.

Male health is a sensitive subject. It’s understandable that you may be reluctant to talk about your urinary problems, but your doctor is the person who needs to know about them to make the correct diagnosis and prescribe proper treatment.

Source: NIDDK, Mayo Clinic, WebMD, HealthLine

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This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.