Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a state that distresses the prostate gland located in the middle of the urethra and the bladder. Each year added to a man’s age causes the prostate to grow larger in size. As it enlarges it applies pressure on the urethra causing the flow of urine to be less forceful than what is expected. Take a closer look at the word “benign” which suggests that this condition it is not a result of cancer or any other infection. The word “hyperplasia” on the other hand means enlargement. There are two ways by which a prostate may enlarge. The first is by the growth of cells in locations surrounding the urethra thus causing a part to be squeezed. The second manner is middle-lobe prostate growth which is a condition when growth takes place inside the bladder and urethra often resulting in surgery.
The cause of this problem has not been discovered although there are findings that point to the possibility that BPH is linked to hormonal changes as men grow old. The hormone testosterone, created by the testes, may be altered into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and estradiol. When the level of dihydrotestosterone rises, testosterone may also rise leading to hyperplasia. The reason why DHT increases in quantity remains a subject of research.
How would one know if they are suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia? Here are some signs and symptoms to watch out for:
The presence of blood in the urine
Experiencing dribbling just after voiding
Constant feeling that the bladder is not fully emptied after urination
Frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate particularly at night time
Weak urine stream
Always experiencing a leakage of urine
For severe cases, a person may experience the condition of acute urinary retention which is the inability to urinate. This may be triggered by alcoholism, long periods of inactivity, and postponing urination for long periods. It may also be caused by allergy, cold temperatures, or cold medications that contain antihistamines or decongestants.
When these symptoms are present a doctor’s advice is needed as soon as possible. A digital rectal examination can be done and only takes a minute. The doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum in order to examine the prostate gland. The American Urological Association BPH Symptom Index Questionnaire (AUA) can also be given to establish the gravity of the urinary problem. The patient answers a series of questions to reveal the condition of benign prostatic hyperplasia, but the AUA questionnaire is not considered a viable substitute for a doctor’s examination. If you obtain a score of 0 to 7, then the problem is still mild; 8 to 19 is a moderate condition, and 20 to 35 is severe.