An enlarged prostate is medically known/called Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is when the Prostate is swollen or inflamed. This occurs for many reasons. When the cells swell and multiply, the additional cells have nowhere to go. The swelling caused by the additional cells rarely goes away on its own. If the swelling worsens, then the patient may have trouble urinating.
An Enlarged Prostate is uncomfortable and occurs only in biological men. However, it is more common in older men as they age.
Causes of Enlarged Prostate
There are no exact causes; however, many different risk groups increase the chances of developing a swollen or enlarged prostate. One of the biggest risk groups is men over 50 years old. Technically, an enlarged prostate, to a degree, is a normal part of aging as the body breaks down. Although this is true, not all men will develop this condition as they age. Your medical history and family history can tell a doctor a lot. There is a genetic component to an enlarged prostate.
Enlarged prostate could be a hereditary condition. For instance, if your father has this condition, you may also receive it. Some medications also cause your body to overproduce cells in the prostate area. The most common medications that do this are antidepressants and sedatives. Contrary to popular belief, enlarged Prostate or BPH is a medical condition that has no relation or connection with cancer.
Symptoms of Enlarged Prostate
Enlarged Prostate symptoms are uncomfortable and painful. When you have this condition, you lose control of your body and struggle to urinate at a ‘normal’ rate. The most common symptoms are:
- Pain with urine
- Swollen Prostate
- Red skin
- Needing to urinate more than twice in one night (frequently)
- Struggling to urine (takes time)
Complications of Enlarged Prostate
If an Enlarged Prostate is left untreated, various conditions can develop. For instance, infections. Since the urine struggles to get out, the toxins and bacteria are trapped inside your body. It is common to see Urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and bladder stones.
These are all uncomfortable and sometimes require surgery to fix. Kidney and Bladder stones can pass through but are uncomfortable and can damage the urethra.
Diagnosis For Enlarged Prostate
If the symptoms interfere with your life or you are concerned about them, talk to your general doctor! They will be able to diagnose you through a physical exam. Since the Prostate and surrounding areas swell, they can see the inflammation visually.
During the physical exam, your doctor will ask you questions about your condition and family history. This will help them understand the cause of your Enlarged Prostate. It is concerning if it is too painful and you cannot control your urine. Since this is concerning, it is not uncommon for a doctor to request additional tests.
Your doctor may request a Urinalysis. During this exam, you urinate in a cup and the lab checks for any bacteria or blood in the urine. This determines if there is an underlying condition like bacteria present.
Treatments For You
Thankfully, there are many ways you can treat this condition at home and through a medical professional! There are various medications to help stimulate urine and decrease swelling. However, the medications come with side effects that you should consider before taking them.
Many treatments are at-home solutions that simply reduce the symptoms. For instance, in order to reduce the chances of an accident in public, go to the bathroom frequently throughout the day. Even when you have no urge to use the bathroom, try to use the bathroom to empty your bladder!
Experts recommend going to the bathroom at least once every two hours. Since nerves and stress affect people’s ability to use the bathroom, reducing nervousness and stress can aid in increasing the urge to urinate. This is a good thing as you can use the bathroom less frequently. Everyone feels relaxed with different strategies. You should look for things that calm you down and bring you joy. For instance, if you are in a stressful situation, take a deep breath and think about what you love and enjoy.
Placing yourself in cold situations and environments can also stimulate the urge to use the bathroom and reduce inflammation and swelling. Since the prostate swells, anything with anti-inflammatory properties works well to reduce swelling. However, you should not place a cold object directly on your Prostate.
To hold in your urine and use the bathroom on your own terms, you can strengthen your pelvic muscles through exercise. This takes dedication and time. However, it gives you the ability to hold and stretch your Prostate and body.
Surgical treatments are rarely used. They are uncommon because, usually, at-home solutions work well. However, if none of the above is helping your situation and the condition worsens, you may qualify for surgery to reduce the swelling of your Prostate. The most common surgical procedure to treat an Enlarged Prostate is Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA). During this procedure, radio waves in the machine scar and reduce swelling in the Prostate, which shrinks the tissue and cells.
Another surgical treatment used by doctors is Transurethral microwave therapy (TUMT). TUMT uses microwave energy to decrease prostate tissue. This aids in swelling, but the condition can come back. There is no exact cure as an Enlarged Prostate can swell again. The cells, because of age or trauma, will continue to duplicate and cause swelling.
Living with an Enlarged Prostate Problem
Overall, an Enlarged Prostate is a condition that generally affects men over the age of 50. The condition is uncomfortable and occurs when the Prostate’s cells continue to multiply and grow. This causes the cells to swell.
The swelling is not only irritating but painful. It also blocks a person’s ability to urinate, causing further complications. There are ways to treat the symptoms, but it does not get rid of the condition completely. If it worsens, your doctor may recommend getting a surgical procedure. However, not everyone qualifies. All in all, this condition is not severe, and you can live with it and still live a long life.
- Can my enlarged prostate be cured? The straightforward answer is yes. For most patients with some medication and simple treatments, your enlarged prostate can be easily cured.
- Can certain food irritate the prostate? Yes. Certain food especially red meats may irritate the prostate.
Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment, always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!