Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

BPH or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is the medical term for enlarged prostate. In this medical condition the weight of the prostate gland increases from 20 – 30 grams to 50 – 100 grams.

Many people wish to understand what exactly is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). ‘Benign‘ means that the prostate condition is non-cancerous. ‘Prostatic‘ means that the ailment involves the prostate gland. ‘Hyperplasia‘ refers to a situation where body cells begin to grow at an abnormal speed. Men suffer from the symptoms of enlarged prostate either when the cells in the prostate grow without control or when the cells do not perish as frequently as they should.

Another prostate disorder, which sounds very similar to BPH, is Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy. Many times, people use these two disorders interchangeably, which is wrong. Unlike in BPH, in Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, there is an abnormal increase in the number of tissues; it happens because of the oversized prostate cells.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Symptoms of BPH

The prostate gland consists of 3 zones: the peripheral zone, central zone and the transition zone. The symptoms related to BPH take place in the transitional zone. However, for every man the symptoms differ ranging from moderate to intense. Men suffering from BPH manifest symptoms which include:

  • Not being able to urinate right away
  • Starting and stopping
  • Weak stream 9f urine
  • Sensation of fullness after urination
  • Dribbling
  • Frequent urination.
  • Nocturnal urination (at night)
  • Incontinence
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Blood in the urine

 

The cause of these symptoms is the overgrown prostate, which puts pressure on the urethra. Basically the prostate grows inside the urethra leading to this unpleasant condition. Very often, men suffering from BPH have to endure other symptoms as well, such as stones and infections in the bladder and frequent urinary tract infections.  In some men, the enlarged prostate causes the bladder to stretch. As a result, when the patient strains to begin urination the veins present in the bladder on many occasions suffer a rupture. Consequently, blood starts appearing in the urine.

Do you have BPH?

You can very easily find out whether you have an enlarged prostate by taking the International Prostate Symptoms Test. You can take the test online and it will only take a minute. The test is not a sure-shot way of determining whether you have BPH, but it is a good method to learn if you should see your physician regarding this issue.

Visit a urologist!

Once the patient has noticed BPH symptoms, an appointment with the health practitioner should be sought quickly.You should ask your family doctor to get you an appointment with a specialist – a urologist. Since the span of the appointment will be limited, it is better for the patient to reach the doctor well prepared. Following is a check list of things that the patient should take along while going for the appointment:

1. List of symptoms

The doctor will need to know the exact symptoms for making proper diagnosis of the disease. The symptoms for the enlarged prostate are similar to the symptoms of other diseases like stones in the bladder, and kidney infection. Hence, the doctor will require a detailed list of the problems that the patient is going through currently.

2. List of medicines and treatments

Many times, a patient may suffer from BPH symptoms because of a medicine or as a reaction to a treatment approach. Therefore, the doctor will need detailed information about the medications and the treatment course that the patient has been following. It is very important for correct diagnosis and treatment of BPH.

3. List of questions

Knowledge and awareness can help in early detection and for proper treatment of BPH also.  The patient should not hesitate to ask any questions that he may have regarding his condition. Proper communication with the doctor is key to getting healthy!

BPH Diagnosis and Associated Tests

Apart from thoroughly analyzing the symptoms of the patient, the doctor also conducts a Digital Rectal Examination (DRE).  If the patient has taken the International Prostate Symptoms Test, the doctor may discuss the results. The doctor will likely ask questions regarding the social background and medical history as well as assess the patient’s diet and overall lifetstyle.  In order to confirm that the patient is suffering from BPH, the doctor will carries out a number of tests such as blood tests, pressure-flow urodynamic studies, PSA test, cystoscopy and urinalysis.

Have you recently been diagnosed with BPH?

In case you have just been diagnosed with enlarged prostate it is natural that you may have some questions regarding your health. You can stop worrying and because you are already doing the right thing for educating yourself on the subject. Here is a few things you can do to keep your prostate under control!

Control the causes and avoid the risk factors!

The exact cause of BPH is not yet known. Some experts claim that changes in the level of hormones lead to prostate enlargement. Other experts believe that in the advanced age testosterone is the cause of BPH. Another theory is that the dihydrotestosterone or DHT, which is produced by the testes, is the reason behind BPH.  However everyone agrees that certain factors are considered high risk, such as being overweight, high level of cholesterol and high blood pressure, family history, atherosclerosis, age and alcoholism. In either case you should make a healthy lifestyle a priority!

Prevent BPH or keep it under control!

Many of the risk factors like age and family history cannot be changed. However, by being proactive and choosing a healthy lifestyle you can avoid dealing with this unpleasant condition. You should start with assessing your lifestyle, watching your diet, cutting down on smoking, drinking, exercising regularly, taking the right kind of supplements and practising regular prostate massage.

Prostate Massage

This ancient centuries old procedure means a self massage of the prostate gland. It works wonders by improving the stagnant blood flow and reducing inflammation in the natural way. You can do it yourself with a finger or better yet with a proper prostate massaging device. 

> Learn more about prostate massage

> Learn about the symptoms of BPH