What Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and How to Treat It
Benign prostatic hyperplasia also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or just BPH, is an enlargement of the prostate that occurs naturally with age in most men, being a male problem that is quite common after the age of 50.
Generally, the hyperplasia of the prostate is identified when there are symptoms such as will frequent to urinate, inability to completely empty the bladder, or the presence of a stream of weak urine. However, it is necessary to make evaluation with a urologist to screen for other problems that could cause similar symptoms, such as infection of the prostate or even cancer.
Depending on the degree of change of the prostate and the symptoms, the treatment can be done only with the use of drugs or might need surgery, and to select the best option it is important to talk with the doctor.
The main symptoms
The most common symptoms in cases of benign prostatic hyperplasia usually include:
- Will frequent and urgent need to urinate;
- Difficulty to start urinating;
- Waking often during the night to urinate;
- Stream of urine a weak or so and then resumes;
- Feeling the bladder is still full after urinating.
These symptoms often arise after the age of 50 and it is common that will aggravate over time, according to the increase of the size of the prostate gland, which ends up squeezing the urethra and affecting the urinary system.
However, it is also possible that the severity of the symptoms is not directly related to the size of the prostate, as there are several men that have the symptoms are very marked even with a slight increase of the prostate.
How to confirm the diagnosis
Since there are many urinary problems that can cause symptoms similar to those of enlarged prostate, such as urinary tract infection, inflammation of the prostate, kidney stones or even cancer in the prostate, it is very important to consult a urologist.
The doctor, after assessing the symptoms and the history of man, you can usually ask for several tests such as ultrasound, rectal, urine test, PSA test or a biopsy of the prostate, for example, to rule out other problems and confirm the benign prostatic hyperplasia.
What causes prostatic hyperplasia
There still isn’t a question specific to justify the increase of the size of the prostate, however, it is possible that benign prostatic hyperplasia is caused by a gradual growth of the gland that happens by the hormonal change that the man is posing with the natural aging process.
However, there are known some factors that appear to increase the risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia:
- Have more than 50 years;
- Have a family history of problems in the prostate;
- Have heart disease or diabetes.
In addition, physical exercise also seems to be one of the factors that increases the risk of hyperplasia of the prostate. Thus, men are obese or overweight have a greater risk of developing BPH.
How is it treated
The treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia varies with the size of the prostate gland, the age of man and type of symptoms. So, the best form of treatment should always be discussed with the urologist. Some of the most commonly used forms are:
- Remedies for benign prostatic hyperplasia
This type of treatment is usually used in men with mild to moderate symptoms and may include the use of different medications, such as:
- Alpha blockers, such as Alfuzosin or Doxazosin: relax the muscles of the bladder and the fibers of the prostate, facilitating the act of urinating;
- Inhibitors of 5-alpha-reductase inhibitorssuch as Finasteride or Dutasteride: reduce the size of the prostate by inhibit some of the hormonal processes;
- Acting: it is a remedy much used for erectile dysfunction, but may also reduce the symptoms of prostatic hyperplasia.
These drugs can be used separately or in combination, depending on the type of symptoms.
- Therapies, minimally invasive
The therapies that are minimally invasive are used especially in cases of men with symptoms mild, moderate or severe, which showed no improvement with the remedies indicated by the physician.
There are several of these techniques, but they all can cause other complications such as retrograde ejaculation, increased difficulty urinating, bleeding in the urine, recurrent urinary infection, or even erectile dysfunction. Thus, we should discuss all the options with the urologist.
Some of the techniques most used are the Incision transurethral of the prostate, Thermotherapy transurethral microwave Therapy, laser, or the Lifting prostate, for example.
The surgery is usually done to remove the prostate and to definitely solve all the symptoms, being advised when any of the other forms of treatment presented results, or when the prostate gland has a weight greater than 75 grams. This surgery can be done laparoscopically or, classically, through a cut in the belly.