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Archive for the ‘Men’s Health’ Category

Two-panel drawing shows normal male reproducti...

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Information on Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) with obstruction will reduce the anxiety of men  over 40 yrs. old and their families to know that this is a common male disease relative to aging that is similar to having gray hairs according to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC). Provided there are no other health problems causing the enlargement of the prostate gland and difficulty in urination, Medline Plus says, “it is not cancer, and it does not raise your risk for prostate cancer.”

Cause

There is no known definite cause why the prostate gland enlarges over time although it had been correlated that it occurs mostly in older men and it doesn’t occur when the testicles have been removed. Aside from these correlation, the following theories were cited by the (NKUDIC) as factors that may cause the prostate gland to enlarge as man ages: the imbalance in the production of sex hormones, testosterone (male hormone) and estrogen (female hormone); the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) a substance derived from the testosterone in the prostate  which  accumulates and encourages the growth of cells; and a suggestion from researchers that BPH develop from an instruction given to cells early in life to reawaken and grow and be sensitive to hormones that influence growth.

The prostate gland is a part of the male reproductive system situated  in front of the rectum just under the bladder where urine is stored. The urethra which is the channel where urine flows out of the body passes through the two lobes composing the walnut size prostate gland, similar to passing through a doughnut hole. When the prostate gland enlarges which is also medically known as Benign Prostatic Hypertropy, it presses on the urethra causing the obstruction of the  flow of urine out of the body thickening  the bladder walls  and irritating it.

The problems associated with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia with obstruction is associated with the weakening and loss of the bladder’s ability to empty itself  due to the frequent contraction it made when it was irritated even when there was only a small amount of urine due to the narrowing of the urethra.

Symptoms

The symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland is different among men but it commonly involves changes or problems with urination.  The Mayo Clinic lists the following symptoms: weak urine stream; difficulty starting urination; stopping and starting while urinating; dribbling at the end of urination; frequent or urgent need to urinate; increased frequency of urination at night (nocturia); straining while urinating; not being able to completely empty the bladder; blood in the urine (hematuria); urinary tract infection; formation of stones in the bladder and eventually impaired kidney function.

Treatment

Treatment options for BPH with obstruction include medication, surgery and minimally invasive surgery according to the Mayo Clinic. The best treatment choice will depend on the severity of the symptoms, prostate size, age, other medical conditions present and the preference of the patient from the information gathered in consultation with his physician.

To treat moderate symptoms, medications using alpha blockers and 5 alpha reductase inhibitors or a combination of the two drugs are the most common treatment. Alpha blockers like terazosin (Hytrin), doxazosin (Cardura), tamsulosin (Flomax), alfuzosin (Uroxatral) and silodosin (Rapaflo) works quickly to relax the bladder neck muscles and muscle fibers in the prostate to make it easier to urinate after a day or two. The side effect is a harmless condition called retrograde ejaculation where the semen does not go out of the penis but goes back to the bladder.

5 alpha reductase inhibitors like finasteride (Proscar) and dutasteride (Avodart) works best for very enlarge prostate. It shrinks the prostate by preventing hormonal changes causing growth of the prostate. Improvement may take several weeks or months and while taking the medication may cause erectile dysfunction, decreased sexual desire or retrograde ejaculation.

For patients not responding to medication and whose symptoms are severe, surgery will be recommended  by the physicians. There are many types of surgery to choose from which all treats the enlarged prostate tissue that blocks the flow of urine which will reduce the size of the prostate gland and open the urethra. The side effects for all type of prostate surgery include retrograde ejaculation, incontinence and impotence.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) with obstruction is a common disease among men over 40 years old with no known cause. Information of this medical condition can help in treating  the symptoms on its early stage and prevent complications that may damage bladder and kidney functions.

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