Enlarged prostate – A common health problem in men
As we age, health issues do continue to bother us. Some health problems are only experienced by men only, some only by women while there are certain common health conditions as well. A very common health problem which affects only men is the enlarged prostate. As men age the percentage of men suffering from this problem increases.
What is the prostate gland and why enlarged prostate occurs
As our every body part is entrusted with some important function, the prostate is also responsible for the production of the fluid which takes the sperm out of the body during ejaculation. This prostate is found around the urethra. This prostate gland grows in size as men ages. If we talk about the size, we could well say that normally the size of the prostate is about the walnut but with the growing age it increases in the size of the apricot.
What is so big about the growing size of the prostate? Well the increase prostate size affects the urine flow making it weak and slow. The doctors call this situation as benign prostatic hyperplasia. The good news is that it is neither cancerous nor it puts you at risk for developing prostate cancer.
Though the factors which cause enlarged prostate are not clear yet but some doctors believe that growing old and certain testicle functions. Those men who have got their testicles removed at a very young age are ruled out from developing enlarged prostate problems.
Some explanations which exist about enlarged prostate are:
- Decreased testosterone levels: with the growing age the amount of testosterone produced in the blood decreases and this in turn increases the estrogen levels too and they both are believed to aid the prostate growth.
- Genetics: if there is some abnormality in the gene structure inside the prostate cells, it is too believed to become activated later in the stage and thus causing the enlarged prostate.
- Increased DHT level: the prostate also obtains a substance called dihydrotestosterone from the testosterone but as a man ages, the blood testosterone level drop but this has no effect on the DHT production. So this DHT builds up in the prostate and this could promote the growth of prostate cells.
The diagnosis and treatment: the physician would advise you to undergo certain test but this would be only after the physical examination and listening to the symptoms observed by you. If you experience difficulty while urinating and there is some itching too accompanied with pain then probably you should visit your doctor. Depending on your symptoms and conditions the tests could involve rectal exam, urinalysis, blood test, ultrasound exam, and cystoscopy and urine flow exam.
Though there is surgery as a treatment option but there is no guarantee that it would not reappear. But you could not ignore the prostate problem as it could lead to urinary tract infections, stones in the kidney and bladder and in worse cases damage the kidney.