Your prostate is a small, not well known part of men’s reproductive system that serves a very important purpose: to nourish semen and lubricate the urethra so sperm can travel outside of the body. It works with the penis and testicles to help make inseminating eggs possible, but it’s also in close proximity to other organs in your urinary system, such as your bladder. As men get older, the risk of problems with this organ increases, leading to the possibility of conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as BPH or enlarged prostate.
While the causes of this condition are not completely understood, diabetes can raise your chances of dealing with it. To understand the connection between the two very different conditions, let’s examine enlarged prostate, what diabetes can do to affect it, and how it may be treated.
If you live in the Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, or South Florida area and you’re struggling with the signs of enlarged prostate or other conditions affecting your urinary or reproductive systems, Drs. Craig Herman, Steven Kester, and the Urology Center of Florida can help.
Understanding enlarged prostate
This small — about the size of a walnut —organ is tied to your urinary system in a few ways: It is located just below the bladder and the urethra, through which semen and urine travel to leave the body, goes through the middle of it. An enlarged prostate can present several urinary problems, including difficulty starting to pee, incontinence (leaking of urine), pee that changes color or has a smelly odor, dribbling while urinating, and difficulty emptying your bladder.
As mentioned earlier, experts are not certain of the actual cause of this condition, but the current belief is that it is tied to a decrease in testosterone in your body while estrogen levels stay the same. These changes often happen as men age and are suspected to cause growth in prostate cells, leading to this condition.
How diabetes affects BPH
Diabetes causes several problems, including damaged blood vessels, impeded blood flow, and nerve damage. Because its damage can spread to so many areas throughout the body, some of its symptoms can make the symptoms of BPH even worse. The exact connection between the conditions is unclear, but studies show that those with diabetes and BPH deal with worse symptoms than men with just one of the conditions, including a slower rate of urine flow.
Another possible link between diabetes and BPH is the presence of insulin-like growth factor (IGF). IGF is present in prosthetic tissue, and since diabetes disrupts the balance of insulin in the body, the two are thought to have a common link. Diabetes can also increase the risk of older men dealing with BPH and urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Mild symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia can be managed by a range of medications that can help to reduce the tension in your urethra and decrease production of DHT, a hormone that can affect the growth of the prostate gland. There are also minimally invasive options, but if the problems are severe, surgical choices like transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP), transurethral electrovaporization, and GreenLight™ lasers can be used.
If you're struggling with both conditions, getting your diabetes under control is important both for your health and reducing a number of different symptoms. If you have BPH with or without diabetes, call or email to make an appointment with Urology Center of Florida today to get relief.