Prostate Disorders Bph

Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, refers to an enlarged prostate. The condition is considered benign when lab tests have found no cancerous cells. The enlarged gland presses against the urethra as it grows: this prevents the free flow of urine. Urine pools in the bladder, where it irritates the bladder walls and eventually causes the walls to thicken. The bladder becomes so sensitive it contracts in response to small amounts of urine, resulting in frequent urination.

Enlarged Prostate Symptoms

The most common symptoms of BPH are all associated with urination:

  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Frequent nighttime urination
  • Pain while urinating
  • Weak or interrupted stream of urine
  • Having the feeling of a chronically full bladder.

Who’s at Risk?

Men Over 40 Are At Increased Risk Of Developing Enlarged Prostate Symptoms.

Men over the age of forty are at increased risk of developing enlarged prostate symptoms. By age sixty, half of all men display some symptoms. Incidence rates continue to rise with age: ninety percent of men over seventy have BPH symptoms. By age sixty the prostate may have doubled in size, and may double again by age seventy.

The Causes of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Why benign prostatic hyperplasia occurs is unknown. Men who have had their testicles removed do not develop BPH, so it appears that the testicles play a role in prostate growth.

Current medical thinking links BPH to testosterone production. Men produce testosterone and estrogen, a “female” hormone. Testosterone levels drop with age, but estrogen levels remain constant. Proportionally higher levels of estrogen may promote prostate growth.

A second theory suggests that the testosterone-based hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is responsible. The prostate manufactures DHT from testosterone, and levels of DHT appear to build up in the gland even as overall testosterone levels drop with age. The exact connection between DHT and BPH has yet to be determined.

Complications

Left untreated, an enlarged prostate can result in a number of complications and health concerns, including:

If bladder damage caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia becomes extensive, treatment may not provide relief. For this reason you should report possible any symptoms to your doctor promptly.

Resources

Medical College of Wisconsin. (updated 2000). Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): causes, symptoms and diagnosis. Retrieved January 19, 2003, from healthlink.mcw.edu/article/931013387.html.

University of Texas – Houston, Medical School. (updated 1997). Benign prostatic hyperplasia. Retrieved January 29, 2003, from edic.med.uth.tmc.edu/ptnt/00001362.htm.