Health

Mandy Kloppers

Men’s Health: What is BPH and How to Best Treat It

Certain diseases and disorders are more common in older males. One such disease is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The symptoms of BPH, a disorder that affects the prostate gland, can range from mild to severe. The causes, symptoms, and recommended treatment for BPH are all covered in this article.

Understanding BPH

BPH, short for benign prostatic hyperplasia, refers to a disorder characterized by the enlargement of the prostate gland, which is located below the bladder and surrounds the urethra. When the prostate grows too big, it presses on the urethra, causing urinary symptoms like poor urine flow, urgency, and incontinence. Understanding what is BPH is crucial for men as it is a common condition that affects many as they age.

Causes of BPH

Although the precise cause of BPH is unknown, it is thought to be associated with a man’s changing hormone levels throughout time. Increased levels of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), generated by the prostate gland, are considered the root cause.

Risk Factors for BPH

Age, family history, and certain medical disorders are only a few of the known risk factors for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Men over 50, particularly those with a family history of BPH, have an increased chance of developing the condition. A man’s risk of developing BPH may also increase if he has diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or is overweight.

Diagnosis of BPH

To diagnose BPH, a healthcare provider will typically perform a physical exam, including a digital rectal exam, to assess the size and condition of the prostate gland. Additional tests, such as a urine flow test or a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, may also be performed to help diagnose the condition.

Symptoms of BPH

The symptoms of BPH can significantly impact a man’s ability to operate normally in everyday life and his overall level of enjoyment. The following are some of the most common symptoms that are associated with BPH:

Urinary Symptoms

The majority of men with BPH will experience urinary symptoms. As the prostate gland swells, it can put pressure on the urethra, the tube through which urine leaves the body. The strain on the urinary tract can lead to many urinary symptoms. Males with BPH may have trouble initiating urination, have a weak urine stream, dribbling after urinating, and feel the urgent need to pee often, particularly during sleep.

Sexual Symptoms

Sexual problems are less prevalent than urine problems in men with BPH. Erectile dysfunction, inability to achieve or maintain an erection, and diminished sex desire or libido are all symptoms of BPH in men. The drugs used to treat BPH and the anatomical changes that occur in the prostate gland with age may be linked to these symptoms.

Other Symptoms

Besides the obvious urinary and sexual symptoms, BPH can induce various other, less obvious symptoms. Blood in the urine is one symptom of an infection or other medical problem that may affect men with BPH. Urinary tract infections, characterized by discomfort or burning during urination, a frequent need to pee, and murky or foul-smelling urine, are also associated with BPH.

Treating BPH

Depending on the patient’s symptoms and preferences, there are many ways to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia. Treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) typically involves medication in addition to lifestyle changes.

Lifestyle Changes

If your symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) are modest, changing your way of life may be all that’s needed to control them. Increased nocturnal urination may be a side effect of caffeine and alcohol use, which can irritate the bladder and urethra. Reducing fluid consumption before bed will help alleviate this problem. Being active can help alleviate symptoms by enhancing bladder control and decreasing prostate irritation.

Medications

The most popular medications for treating BPH are alpha-blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. Nevertheless, there are a variety of other pharmaceuticals that can be used. On the other hand, alpha-blockers relax the muscles in the seminal vesicles and the neck of the bladder, whilst 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors stop the production of DHT.

Surgery

Surgery to remove or decrease the size of the prostate gland may be required in more severe cases of BPH. Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and laser treatment are two of the many surgical options for treating prostate cancer.

Conclusion

The prostate gland can be affected by a common illness known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which can result in several unpleasant urine and sexual complaints. While researchers have yet to pinpoint a single reason for BPH, they have found several potential contributors and developed effective treatments ranging from dietary and behavioral adjustments to medication and surgical intervention. If you’re experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms of BPH, it’s essential to speak with your doctor about the best course of therapy for you.