The Prostate Gland Naturally Enlarges With Age
As a man ages, his prostate gland naturally grows bigger. Over 50% of men over the age of 60 have an enlarged prostate. The medical term for this is: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). 90% of men at age 85 show signs of an enlarged prostate, yet only one-third of men notice these symptoms.
The normal function of the prostate is to provide fluid for semen.
There is no known cause for an enlarged prostate, but some experts speculate that it may be caused by the hormones testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and estrogen.
Symptoms of an Enlarged Prostate
There are certain symptoms of an enlarged prostate:
- Increased Frequency to Urinate – As the prostate gets larger, it presses on the man’s urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out of a man’s body. This pressure on the urethra causes more trips to the bathroom, regardless of the amount of urine.
- Harder to Urinate – As the prostate gland gets larger, it is hard to push urine through. The desire to urinate may still be there, but the actual flow may be weaker. Dribbling may also occur.
- Unable to Urinate – Severe blockage of the urethra will completely block a man’s urethra. This is dangerous, because it can lead to kidney damage. If you find yourself unable to urinate, it is recommended to go to the Emergency Room immediately if you cannot reach your family physician.
Is It an Enlarged Prostate or Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer and an enlarged prostate share many of the same symptoms. That’s why it is important to see a Doctor in the early stages when symptoms first become noticeable.
An enlarged prostate does not indicate that you have prostate cancer, and it does not increase your odds for prostate cancer. It is important not to self-diagnose, and to get checked out by a physician to properly rule out prostate cancer.
How is an Enlarged Prostate Diagnosed?
A doctor may do the following to check your prostate:
- A digital rectal exam
- Lab tests on urine and/or blood
- Perform an ultrasound
- A study on your urine flow
- A cytoscopy may be performed to view the urethra and bladder
Treatment for an Enlarged Prostate
Prescription Medicine – Doctors will often prescribe medicine in the form of alpha blockers to reduce the size of the prostate quickly. The symptoms can still return, and then Doctors may consider a prescription containing 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors. Some Doctors will prescribe Avodart and/or Proscar, which have the 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors.
There are very few side effects from Avodart and Proscar, but they could increase or decrease the man’s sex drive. These medicine can also affect the patient’s blood pressure.
Surgery – If the alpha blockers do not reduce the size of the prostate, surgery is then considered.
Depending on the symptoms, your doctor may not feel that immediate action is needed. Mild cases of an enlarged prostate do not warrant prescriptions, as long as prostate cancer is ruled out. Up to one-third of enlarged prostate cases clear up without any medical action taken.
Supplements — There are also many nutritional supplements on the market designed to combat the causes of BPH. Which prostate supplement is right for you? Click here to see the best one we’ve found.