An enlarged prostate is a condition that many men suffer from, but few wish to talk about it.
With the latest statistics showing that by the age of 60, 50% of men will have some symptoms of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia), it’s time to tackle the rising epidemic.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) occurs when the prostate expands to twice or even three times its regular size.
As a result, the growing prostate gland gradually presses against the urethra, restricting urinary flow. This results in a range of urinary problems.
What is the prostate?
The prostate gland is a small organ located between the bladder and the penis. The primary function of the prostate is to secrete the fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. This function is primarily controlled by the male sex hormone “testosterone” produced in the testicles.
The prostate contains 5-alpha-reductase that converts testosterone to the active dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is essential for normal prostate development and function and controls the development of male secondary sex characteristics.
Structurally, the gland has two main parts, including the muscle and glandular tissues. The latter tissue has a lobe that grows throughout a man’s life, causing BPH and the associated symptoms. Further, the glandular part is the source of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) protein that helps liquefy semen and is implicated in prostate cancer.
Common prostate problems
- Prostate enlargement: Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate, is a common condition wherein the prostate gland is bigger in size but not cancerous. In other words, an enlarged prostate is not the same thing as prostate cancer.Evidence shows BPH is one of the most prevalent diseases in aging men, and it is also the primary cause of lower urinary tract symptoms. These include urinary incontinence, frequent urination, urinary urgency, nocturia (urination at night), difficulty starting urination, dribbling, urinary retention, and weak urine flow.
- Prostatitis: Prostatitis is swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland. It is a common condition that can develop in men of all ages. However, the causes of prostatitis are not well understood. Local inflammation that affects the pelvic area causes most of the cases and less common bacterial infection.
- Prostate cancer: Prostate cancer is a malignant growth of cells in the prostate. It is a tumor located in the prostate gland. In a malignant tumor, prostate cancer cells lose their differentiation and characteristics. They activate cell division at an accelerated pace and have no self-restraint. As a result, the prostate grows and keeps growing over time, causing urinary obstruction and other problems.
6 signs of prostate problems and symptoms of BPH
Risk factors for prostate enlargement include; age, ethnicity, family history.
While an enlarged prostate doesn’t necessarily mean you have prostate cancer, it could result from BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia).
An enlarged prostate can result in painful and embarrassing urinary problems. So to give you a hand, here are the 6 signs of prostate problems and symptoms of BPH to watch out for.
- Frequent urge to urinate.
- Need to get up many times during the night to urinate.
- Blood in urine or semen.
- Pain or burning urination.
- Urinary hesitancy
- Urinary retention
1) Frequency and Urgency
Many of us find ourselves woken by an overactive bladder, and while this might happen once in a while, men with an enlarged prostate will experience frequent urination.
If you find that the urge to urinate constantly disrupts your sleep, this might be one of the first signs of prostate problems such as an enlarged prostate. This is called “nocturia” and is when you have to urinate eight or more times per day.
At times, this urge to urinate may be urgent. This is as the enlarged prostate gland puts increased pressure on the urethra and bladder, making it increasingly difficult to hold in urine.
A second common sign to look out for difficulty urinating and urinary hesitancy. As your prostate presses on the urethra, it can block urine from the bladder going out through the penis. This makes it hard to start a urine stream, and you may find yourself with the inability to urinate.
It can also cause a weak or delayed urine stream, especially at the end of urination. We call this “dribbling of urine.”
3) Pain during urination
The pressure on your reproductive organs and urinary tract can be painful. Some men feel the need to push urine out, which makes it even more painful.
In more severe cases, pain may also be due to infection, resulting from an untreated enlarged prostate.
One of the issues with an enlarged prostate is that it can block the flow of urine from the bladder, which prevents it from emptying completely. This increases the chance of bacteria growing, increasing your risk of developing an infection.
Prostatitis, an inflammation of the prostate, is also a form of urinary infection and will need to be treated.
4) Urinary retention
Urinary retention is when you are unable to empty the bladder completely. It is both a symptom and complication of an enlarged prostate. If you experience this issue, it is important to seek immediate medical care. There are two forms of urinary retention — acute and chronic.
Acute urinary retention will last a short period, while chronic urinary retention remains persistent. The doctor will have to insert a tube known as a catheter into the bladder to drain the urine.
If the condition is severe, the urologist may recommend surgery to remove some of the enlarged prostate tissue or to make cuts in the prostate to widen the urethra possibly.
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5) Blood in urine
If you are finding blood in your urine, this could be a possible sign that you have an enlarged prostate. This is known as, and there are two forms.
Microscopic haematuria is when blood is detectable only under a microscope.
Gross haematuria is when the presence of blood in the urine is obvious, and the urine looks red, pink, or brownish.
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine. This usually occurs when control over the urinary sphincter is either lost or weakened.
Treatment for an Enlarged Prostate
As men age, their prostate naturally grows larger, but you should act if you are experiencing these signs of prostate problems. Such enlarged prostate symptoms can affect you physically and emotionally, and if left untreated, result in serious complications.
- Tamsulosin (Flomax).
- Alfuzosin (Uroxatral).
- Doxazosin (Cardura).
- Prazosin (Minipress).
- Silodosin (Rapaflo).
- Terazosin (Hytrin).
They are used to relax muscles around small blood vessels.
However, it is essential to note that they can have adverse side effects. Some of the most common side effects include loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, drops in blood pressure, and headaches/nausea.
Finasteride is a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, meaning it prevents the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase from converting testosterone into DHT.
Avodart works just like Finasteride and is commonly used in combination with alpha-blockers like Tamsulosin. This provides a rapid onset of symptom relief for patients with severely enlarged prostate glands. Such combination significantly improves urine flow and prevents bladder outlet obstruction.
Prostate surgery to remove the prostate gland can treat your symptoms. The intervention will depend on the severity of your prostate symptoms.
Your doctor will help you determine the best surgery based on your circumstances. Common surgeries include:
- Prostate Turp (Transurethral resection of the prostate)
Prostate volume (size) is a critical consideration in selecting the best surgical intervention for your BPH because complications increase with prostate volume.
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Natural supplements for prostate symptoms
Natural supplements have also been shown to be effective in the management of BPH and offering prostate relief.
Saw palmetto is the most commonly used herbal supplement for treating lower urinary tract symptoms.
It works by inhibiting 5 alpha-reductase enzyme activity, an enzyme that converts free testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
A review of 17 double-blinded studies examined the effects of pygeum africanum for treating BPH. The results showed that patients were 35% more likely to show symptom improvement. There was also a reduction in urinary retention, nighttime incontinence, and improved urine flow.
Beta-sitosterol is another supplement that can relieve symptoms associated with BPH.
It can be sound in plants, rice bran, wheat germ, corn oils, soybeans, and peanuts. Herbal extracts like saw palmetto, rye grass pollen, pygeum africanum, and contain beta-sitosterol. These extracts are used for treating BPH, and beta-sitosterol may be the key ingredient.
Clinical trials show beta-sitosterol increases the maximum urinary flow rate by about 45%, and men report improved urinary symptoms.
Get help managing your BPH symptoms
If you are suffering from BPH symptoms, book a free health consultation to speak with one of our expert advisors. This fifteen-minute consult gives you the opportunity to ask questions and receive tailored advice to your concerns.
If you’re experiencing any of these signs and symptoms of prostate problems, natural is the way to go. Not only will natural remedies help to heal your prostate issues and relieve you of uncomfortable symptoms, but they will do so without side effects.
Potent natural extracts such as beta-sitosterol are popular for their healing ability, with studies demonstrating it can improve urinary flow, decrease prostate size, and diminish urine retention.
The challenge with Beta-Sitosterols is getting a significant quantity in combination with the right amount of fatty acids.
Beta-sitosterol compounds are expensive, significantly more so than fatty acids. As a result, many products on the market are upwards of 70% fatty acids, with less than 30% Beta-sitosterol. For Beta-sitosterol to be effective, it needs to be at a ratio of 90% plant sterols to 10% fatty acids, which is exactly the amount in Total Health.
Clinically formulated, Total Health works to combat the root causes of prostate disease, helping to reduce nighttime waking, improve urinary flow and lower PSA in order to get rid of your prostate problems and restore your health.
So, take a look at our reviews to see what our customers think of our products.
Along with the natural supplements discussed, you should have a healthy diet and regular exercise. These will increase your hormone levels and reduce the effect of natural remedies.