What Are the Causes of
an Enlarged Prostate?
It is important to realize that just because you have an enlarged prostate does not mean you have prostate cancer or that you are likely to develop it. The condition of benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH is not life-threatening in and of itself. Even so, it can be extremely uncomfortable and if left untreated could cause bladder failure, kidney damage, bladder damage, bladder stones, urinary tract infections and other medical issues.
BPH is becoming more and more prevalent in men who are over 40. The prostate gland is a little bigger than a peanut and is situated in between the pubic bone and the urethra. When the prostate enlarges, the bladder must work harder to get urine through a thinner urethra. This causes the bladder muscles to be worked more than usual and they become more sensitive. This sensitivity leads to frequent urination. Eventually the bladder gets too stressed to be able to fully empty itself.
The actual reason why an enlarged prostate occurs is unknown. Certain professionals who have studied the condition believe that androgens (testosterone and other hormones with a similar makeup of testosterone) are what lead to BPH. Testosterone is the main androgen and is the essential chemical made by the men and has the most effect on their lives.
The prostate changes testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, which is also called DHT. This androgen causes the prostate’s tissue cells to grow. This is one idea as to why a prostate enlarges. Some other researchers believe that as men get older, their blood vessels weaken which leads to a decreased amount of blood flow and a decreased amount of oxygen. This can cause the prostate to enlarge.
An enlarged prostate can be diagnosed using one of three methods, or a combination of the three. The first is a rectal exam, the second is through blood tests, and the third is through an ultrasound. The rectal exam is always the first method that is used, but a physician cannot always verify whether or not the prostate is enlarged. In addition, the physician could ask for a urine sample to see if an infection could be causing the symptoms.
Prostate cancer has to be ruled out in order to diagnose an enlarged prostate. This means that the physician will have an ultrasound taken of the urinary tract and prostate. He will also order blood tests to see if prostate antigens are at increased levels.
It is very important to get a diagnosis of an enlarged prostate as soon as possible to keep worse conditions from developing. If the bladder is unable to void itself entirely, it can lead to much worse problems as indicated earlier. You can either take medication to treat the condition, or the doctor might recommend surgery.
Typically, the first course of treatment consists of prescription medication unless your situation has deteriorated so much that surgery is the only available remedy. You should contact a doctor immediately if you have any of the symptoms of an enlarged prostate that are discussed here. This is not something you can procrastinate on.