Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an enlargement of the prostate gland, and it is quite a common issue for men as they age. The prostate gland sits around the urethra, and as it gets bigger, it may put pressure or partially block the urethra and cause problems with urination. However, BPH is usually not too serious or cancerous; it is just uncomfortable. BPH is caused by changes in cell growth and hormone levels as men enter their senior years.

What are the Symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?

The size of the enlarged prostate doesn’t typically affect the severity of the symptoms. For instance, some men with very enlarged prostates may not experience many symptoms while those with slightly enlarged prostates may experience many symptoms. Some men will gradually get worse symptoms over time while others may stabilize or even improve.

Men with BPH may need to urinate urgently and more frequently. It may be difficult to keep a steady urine stream, or to completely empty the bladder, or to not strain while urinating. Nocturia is also a common symptom. Less common symptoms include urinary tract infections, blood in the urine, and anuria.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Causes

BPH is when the prostate enlarges and squeezes or partially blocks the uretha. The older a man gets, the more likely he is to experience BPH. It is a normal occurrence for ageing men caused by a change in hormone balance and cell growth. In rare cases, genetics may play a role in BPH which may require surgery in men under the age of 60. It is important to know that BPH is not cancer, but a benign condition that does not increase the risk of cancer. It is safe to say that although BPH can be a nuisance, it is not something that is life threatening. An unhealthy lifestyle can lead to symptoms of BPH before the condition actually presents itself.

How is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Treated?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia can be treated with medications or minimally invasive surgery. For instance, trans-urethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT) is an outpatient surgery that uses microwaves to break down prostate tissues. If symptoms aren’t too bad, medications known as alpha-blockers can be used.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Prevention

Life choices play a huge part in the prevention of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. There are no scientific procedures that can prevent BPH. To begin with, a man’s diet can help prevent BPH. Eating more fruits and vegetables, which contain many different anti-inflammatory aspects. Along with eating fruits and vegetables, it’s important to mainly eat foods that are healthy and low-fat. Try to limit or cut out red meat, calcium, dairy products and foods high in sugar, because these foods can all contribute to an enlarged prostate.

Instead, it’s best to choose plant protein over animal protein. This choice has been shown to reduce the rate of prostate disease in men. In conjunction with eating healthily, staying active and exercising regularly can also help to prevent the development of BPH altogether. It’s also crucial to decrease the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, spicy and salty foods as this will also aid in preventing the prostate from enlarging. Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that regular ejaculation and a healthy sex life can help prevent the occurrence of BPH. Overall, BPH is a condition suffered by the majority of men, but living a healthy life, and scheduling regular check ups with your doctor, can help prevent or decrease the impact of this prostate disease.