News

Prostate Enlargement: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: A Common Part of Aging


It is common for the prostatitisradicalcure.com/a/Prostatitis/2010/0619/18.html' target='_blank'>prostate gland to become enlarged as a man ages. Doctors call this condition benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or benign prostatic hypertrophy.


As a man matures, the prostate goes through two main periods of growth. The first occurs early in puberty, when the prostate doubles in size. At around age 25, the gland begins to grow again. This second growth phase often results, years later, in BPH.


Though the prostate continues to grow during most of a man's life, the enlargement doesn't usually cause problems until late in life. BPH rarely causes symptoms before age 40, but more than half of men in their sixties and as many as 90 percent in their seventies and eighties have some symptoms of BPH.


Many people feel uncomfortable talking about the prostate, since the gland plays a role in both sex and urination. Still, prostate enlargement is as common a part of aging as gray hair. As life expectancy rises, so does the occurrence of BPH. In the United States in 2000, there were 4.5 million visits to physicians for BPH.


Why BPH Occurs?


The cause of BPH is not well understood. No definite information on risk factors exists.


Throughout their lives, men produce both testosterone, an important male hormone, and small amounts of estrogen, a female hormone. As men age, the amount of active testosterone in the blood decreases, leaving a higher proportion of estrogen. Studies done on animals have suggested that BPH may occur because the higher amount of estrogen within the gland increases the activity of substances that promote cell growth.


Another theory focuses on dihydrotes tosterone (DHT), a substance derived from testosterone in the prostate, which may help control its growth. Some research has indicated that even with a drop in the blood's testosterone level, older men continue to produce and accumulate high levels of DHT in the prostate. This accumulation of DHT may encourage the growth of cells. Scientists have also noted that men who do not produce DHT do not develop BPH.


Some researchers suggest that BPH may develop as a result of “instructions” given to cells early in life. According to this theory, BPH occurs because cells in one section of the gland follow these instructions and “reawaken” later in life. These “reawakened” cells then deliver signals to other cells in the gland, instructing them to grow or making them more sensitive to hormones that influence growth.


Treatment


Men who have BPH with symptoms usually need some kind of treatment at some time. However, a number of researchers have questioned the need for early treatment when the gland is just mildly enlarged. The results of their studies indicate that early treatment may not be needed because the symptoms of BPH clear up without treatment in as many as one-third of all mild cases. Instead of immediate treatment, they suggest regular checkups to watch for early problems.


The types of treatment that are most commonly used for BPH are: drug treatment, minimally invasive therapy, and surgical treatment. Different treatment is appropriate for different people.

 


Dos and Don'ts


Since many people try to do too much at the beginning of treatment and then have a setback, it is a good idea to talk with your doctor before resuming your normal routine. During this initial period of recovery at home, avoid any straining or sudden movements that could tear the incision. Here are some guidelines:

• Continue drinking a lot of water to flush the bladder.
• Avoid straining when having a bowel movement.
• Eat a balanced diet to prevent constipation. If constipation occurs, ask your doctor if you can take a laxative.
• Don't do any heavy lifting.
• Don't drive or operate machinery.

Pre:Acupuncture for cystitis in women

Next:High Medicare Drug Spending Not Correlated With Better Care

New Comment ()

Submit Comment



Click me to change the verification code

Related Articles