What is BPH?
This is simply when the prostate becomes so big or enlarged for its own good & when this happens, it starts blocking/compressing the urethra (tube inside the penis where both urine & semen comes out from). Most people just call this ‘Prostate’. The prostate is not a disease. It is normal for you to have a prostate as a man. So if someone says you have a Prostate & you are a man, do not say God Forbid.
It has been estimated that BPH increases with age
- Men aged 45-60 years : 50%.
- Men aged 65 – 80 years : 88%.
Also incidence of symptomatic onset is related to ethnicity;
- African American men: onset age at 60 years.
- Caucasian men: onset age 65 years.
Causes of BPH
- BPH is probably a normally part of the aging process in men
- Changes in hormone balance.
- Changes in cell growth.
- Family history of BHP: clinical BPH appears to run in families. If one or more first degree relatives are affected, an individual is at greater risk of being afflicted by the disorder.
- Diet: large amount of vegetables and soy products in the diet may explain the lower rate of BPH in the orient when compared to westernized countries.
- Erectile dysfunction
- Lack of physical activity
- Increasing age
Signs and Symptoms
- Many men with BPH have no symptoms. When symptoms (lower urinary tract symptoms) occur, they may range from mild to serious and disruptive. Your symptoms may become worse during cold weather or as a result of physical or emotional stress.
- The symptoms of BPH may involve problems emptying the bladder or problems with bladder storage. They include:
- Urinary frequency
- Incomplete bladder emptying
- Urinary urgency
- Decreased force of stream
- Straining – the need to strain or push to initiate and maintain urination in order to more fully evacuate the bladder
- Dribbling- the loss of small amount of urine due to poor urinary system
IS BPH A TYPE OF CANCER?
BPH is completely benign. It is not a precursor to prostate cancer. But prostate cancer may cause symptoms similar to those of BPH.
Non Pharmacological Treatments.
- Avoiding drinks that are diuretics because they increase the amount of urine released by the body.
- Limiting the amount of fluids you drink in situations where needing to go to the toilet may be inconvenient.
- Doing exercises to train your bladder to hold more urine.
- Using double- voiding technique when urine: after urinating, you wait a moment and try again to see if more urine comes out.
- α1- adrenoceptor – blocking agents
- 5α- reductase inhibitors
Remember, BPH is part of the natural aging process, like getting gray hair or wearing glasses. BPH cannot be prevented. BPH can be treated.