An enlarged prostate (also called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, BPH) occurs when a man’s prostate gland slowly grows bigger as he ages. More than half of men over age 60 have this condition, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Some men have symptoms and others don’t. The exact causes are unknown, but one thing is sure: BPH is not cancer and it does not lead to cancer. The prostate sits below the bladder and produces fluid for semen.
- Urinary frequency—urination eight or more times a day
- Urinary urgency—the inability to delay urination
- Trouble starting a urine stream
- A weak or an interrupted urine stream
- Dribbling at the end of urination
- Nocturia—frequent urination during periods of sleep
- Urinary retention
- Urinary incontinence—the accidental loss of urine
- Pain after ejaculation or during urination
- Urine that has an unusual color or smell
Complications caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia may include
- Acute urinary retention
- Chronic, or long lasting, urinary retention
- Blood in the urine
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Bladder damage
- Kidney damage
- Bladder stones
Some Causes of Symptoms Include
- A blocked urethra because of the enlarged prostate
- A bladder that is overworked from trying to pass urine through the blockage
To ensure a correct diagnosis our Doctors may perform a few exams and tests such as:
- Review of personal and family medical history
- A physical exam – This may include checking for:
- Discharge from the urethra
- Enlarged or tender lymph nodes in the groin
- A swollen or tender scrotum
- Taps on specific areas of the patient’s body
- Digital rectal exam
Medical tests may include:
- A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test
- Urodynamic tests
- Transrectal ultrasound
- Lifestyle changes
- Reducing intake of liquids, particularly before going out in public or before periods of sleep
- Avoiding or reducing intake of caffeinated beverages and alcohol
- Avoiding or monitoring the use of medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, and diuretics
- Training the bladder to hold more urine for longer periods
- Exercising pelvic floor muscles
- Preventing or treating constipation
- Alpha blockers
- Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors
- 5-alpha reductase inhibitors
- Combination medications
- Minimally invasive procedures
How can benign prostatic hyperplasia be prevented?
Researchers have not found a way to prevent benign prostatic hyperplasia. Men with risk factors for benign prostatic hyperplasia should talk with a health care provider about any lower urinary tract symptoms and the need for regular prostate exams. Men can get early treatment and minimize benign prostatic hyperplasia effects by recognizing lower urinary tract symptoms and identifying an enlarged prostate.
Eating, Diet, and Nutrition
Researchers have not found that eating, diet, and nutrition play a role in causing or preventing benign prostatic hyperplasia. However, we can give information about how changes in eating, diet, or nutrition could help with treatment. Men should talk with their doctor about what diet is right for them.
Who Gets an Enlarged Prostate?
Most men get an enlarged prostate as they age. The prostate gland grows throughout most of a man’s life, first at puberty and then from about age 25 on. It usually doesn’t cause symptoms before the age of 40. But by age 85, up to 90% of men have symptoms. Only about a third of men with an enlarged prostate are bothered by symptoms.
What Causes the Prostate to Grow?
No one knows for sure. It is believed that different hormones such as testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and estrogen may play a role. It is also unclear why some men with BPH will have symptoms while others do not. Vasectomy and sex do not raise the risk of having BPH.