28 September 2018
As we get older our bodies can sometimes make life a little uncomfortable. One of those ‘things you live with’ could be BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia, a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland, affecting more than 50% of men over the age of 60. Over the age of 80 about 90% of males are affected. Symptoms may include frequent urination, trouble starting to urinate, a weak stream, retention of urine, inability to urinate, or loss of bladder control.
It has been said that BPH is so common, all men will suffer with an enlarged prostate, if they live long enough. But not addressing the symptoms can lead to urinary tract infections, blood in the urine, and possible kidney damage. And it’s not just the physiological effect of the issue – the psychological effects on those affected and their partners can take its toll, as the midnight trip to the bathroom disturbs sleep.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing these issues you should be seeking treatment.
Here are five reasons why you should be talking about BPH:
1. It is not fully understood what causes BPH though the mechanism is well researched. Experts agree that a family history, obesity, type 2 diabetes, not enough exercise, and testosterone levels, influence its development. Men who have had their testicles removed at a young age do not develop BPH. Similarly, if the testicles are removed after a man develops BPH, the prostate will begin to shrink in size.
2. Many men assume that urinary problems are part of the aging process and therefore accept the symptoms. However, if left untreated, BPH can cause complications that are not just irritating, but can cause serious health issues.
3. BPH is not cancer and it does not raise your risk for prostate cancer. While the two conditions are separate, they can occur together. Therefore, it is important for your consultant to perform thorough tests to determine an exact diagnosis.
4. Ignoring the symptoms of BPH can lead to blood in the urine, a situation which requires immediate medical attention. Known as gross hematuria, blood in the urine is caused by the dilated veins on the surface of the prostate gland. If you can see this blood with the naked eye, make an appointment to see your GP.
5. Microorganisms are especially likely to multiply and cause infection in stagnant urine within the bladder. Add to this situation the formation of bladder stones, which may occur when the bladder contents becomes concentrated and a painful situation can result. Symptoms occur when bladder stones irritate the lining of the bladder or obstruct the flow of urine from the bladder. These symptoms can include:
• Abdominal pain and pressure
• Abnormally coloured or dark-coloured urine
• Blood in the urine
• Difficulty urinating
• Frequent need to urinate
• Inability to urinate unless in certain positions
• Interruption of the urine stream
• Pain or discomfort in the penis
• Urinary tract infection
• Painful urination
Here at Spire Dunedin we work with Consultant Urologist Omer Karim and Consultant Radiologist Mark Little to offer the latest treatments for BPH and prostate issues. Read more online today about how we can help you enjoy life more.