Adults between the ages of 45 and 65 are considered to be middle aged, and once men reach this age threshold their risk of specific conditions increase. Around this time the chances of heart disease, colorectal cancer, erectile dysfunction, and prostate problems are much higher than for younger adults, and the chances worsen as you get older. A common prostate problem for men is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, also called enlarged prostate), which occurs when the prostate increases in size and can lead to a variety of urinary tract problems.
Treating this condition is a matter of catching it early, which can be accomplished if you know your risk factors for the condition. Let’s look at what this condition is, its causes and symptoms, and its common risk factors to help you detect symptoms early and get treated to avert complications.
Men living in the Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, and South Florida area dealing with an enlarged prostate or other problems affecting the urinary tract can find help with Drs. Craig Herman and Steven Kester and their dedicated medical team at Urology Center of Florida.
Defining benign prostatic hyperplasia
Your prostate, also called your prostate gland, is a small, rubbery, and ping pong-ball sized organ located between the base of your penis and your rectum. It’s responsible for semen production, which helps the sperm from your testicles survive the journey out of your penis. Your bladder is located just above your prostate, and if the prostate gets larger, it can inhibit your bladder's ability to hold urine properly and affect other parts of your urinary system.
This condition has similar symptoms to those of prostate cancer, but cancer runs the risk of spreading to other tissues and organs and more frequently comes with bleeding while urinating. The benign part of BPH indicates the condition is not cancerous.
Causes and symptoms
The overall cause of this illness is not entirely understood, but the working theory is a connection to the decrease of testosterone that comes with getting older. The decrease could cause enough hormone changes to cause the prostate to swell. As you get older, you also gain higher levels of dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, a more potent type of testosterone that can increase the size of your prostate.
Enlarged prostate often comes with symptoms like dribbling while urinating, difficulty urinating, urinary incontinence, urinary urgency, being unable to empty your bladder while urinating, and urine with an odd color or smell.
Common risk factors
There are several risk factors for getting BPH outside of changes from getting older, including a family history of the condition (if your father had it there’s a good chance you may develop it), a sedentary lifestyle, being overweight, and having issues with erectile dysfunction. There’s no guaranteed way of preventing this condition, but making changes like improving your diet, getting more exercise and shedding some pounds can help. Complications from leaving this ailment untreated include being unable to urinate, urinary tract infections (UTIs), bladder stones, bladder damage, and kidney damage.
BPH can lead to some unpleasant and potentially life-threatening problems, but it can be treated, and we can help. If you’re showing signs of benign prostatic hyperplasia, make an appointment online or over the phone with Drs. Herman or Kester and the medical team at Urology Center of Florida today.