We live in a country of excess where size often matters most. Supersize, grand, max, king size - but is bigger always better? Certainly not when it comes to male health and an enlarged prostate.
Enlarged prostate what we medically call as BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) is a disease of old age, starts presenting usually after 50 years of age. It is non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate which is a walnut sized gland seen in men located beneath the bladder forming a channel through which stored urine in bladder can flow into the urethra. As we grow the prostate also enlarges in size (usually after 50 yrs). This enlarged prostate squeezes or partially blocks the surrounding urethra – the tube that carries the urine from the bladder out of the body. This can lead to bothersome urinary symptoms that may include a weak stream, trouble starting and stopping, the frequent feel to urinate, inability to hold back the urine when desire comes, leaking or dribbling, and the sense that the bladder isn’t empty after urination.
Complete emptying of the bladder may not occur due to obstruction in the flow of urine and as such can make an individual more susceptible to urinary tract infections, bladder stone formation, and if obstruction is prolonged and severe can lead to kidney function impairment.
The symptoms of BPH will often bring patients to their doctor, although the enlarged prostate can also be diagnosed during a routine digital rectal examination (Internal Examination) or ultrasonography. Other common tests used to diagnose BPH include a urinalysis (to check for infection or other causes of BPH-like symptoms); a urine flow study, which uses a device that measure the speed of the stream; a ultrasound, which measures the size of the prostate gland and evaluate the Kidney along with PSA (Blood Test) to rule out cancer.
It is seen that most men feel uncomfortable talking about prostate, since the glands play an important role in sex and urination. Many older men live in this situation believing that it is age related. While it is indeed age related but it could be due to enlarged prostate for which there is relief available through treatment.
“Age is the primary cause for enlargement of the gland. A clinical examination, Uroflow and sonography helps to determine the severity of the problem. Regular medication helps to solve the problem and can prevent dreaded complications and only patient with bothersome symptoms or with some complication related to prostate needs surgery.”
Elderly men should not feel shy to share their urinary problems as prostate enlargement is a common part of ageing alike grey hair or wrinkles. Visit the doctor and regain confidence and lead healthy life again. And remember, earlier you address this, better your chances of relief without surgery.