The prostate is a small gland situated at the opening of the bladder. As a man ages, the prostate may grow to twice its original size. Because of its location, an enlarged prostate can affect urine flow.
The most common cause of an enlarged prostate gland is benign prostate hypertrophy also known as BPH. Common symptoms include frequent urination that can disrupt your sleep or urgent need to urinate, trouble starting to urinate, straining to urinate and dribbling after urination. Symptoms like this can compromise quality of life and interfere with sleep.. For example, a sudden urge to urinate and frequent urination can make sleeping through the night or sitting through a movie or sporting event nearly impossible. In addition, an inability to empty the bladder can cause bladder disease, infection and even damage the kidneys.
There are multiple risk factors for BPH including age and family history. You can’t do much about growing older or about the genes which you have inherited. But controlling body weight and making life style changes to avoid diabetes and heart disease could decrease your risk for developing BPH. There is also some evidence that eating foods high in zinc like nuts, having fatty fish like salmon, tuna, herring and eating a colorful rainbow of fruits and vegetables could decrease the risk of developing BPH. One respected medical oncologist put it like this: “what’s good for your heart is good for your prostate.” In other words, a Mediterranean heart healthy diet could help you avoid or lessen the effects of BPH.
Conventional treatment for BPH includes medication and surgery. As far as prescription drugs to treat BPH are concerned, there are two common types: alpha-blockers and 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors. Alpha blockers control symptoms. 5 alpha-actually shrink the prostate gland.
Combination therapy uses both alpha-blockers and 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors. Tadalafil, also known as Cialis, is used for erectile dysfunction but may help shrink an enlarged prostate.
Some men improve after surgery.
Maintain your prostate health like you do your car. Get an annual check-up and be sure to have your doctor look under the hood.