The prostate is an organ that is only found in the male body and plays important parts in various systems of the body. This gland is part of the male reproductive system and is responsible for the secretion of prostate fluid. Prostate fluid, in turn, is an essential part of semen, the fluid that is responsible for reproduction. Livescience explains that the enlarged prostate gland weighs approximately 20 grams and is similar in size to a small apricot. It is found underneath the bladder and surrounds the male urethra.
In some cases, the prostate may become enlarged and start to cause certain problems with both the reproductive health of the affected male, as well as his urinary tract. The symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate can be unpleasant and even painful sometimes.
An enlarged prostate may be caused by different factors. It does not always signal the development of a serious problem, such as prostate cancer, but it is still important for a patient to obtain a medical examination to rule out the possibility of cancerous cells growing into a tumor in the prostate.
Complications And Potential Causes Of An Enlarged Prostate
When the prostate becomes enlarged, it is usually a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia that is to blame. Prostate enlargement may not be noticed during its early stages but may become problematic as the situation develops and becomes more severe. It is important to know that the prostate naturally continues to grow somewhat during a man’s lifespan – this is considered normal. When the prostate grows too large, however, it may develop benign prostatic hyperplasia.
While research has been conducted continuously on this condition, it is still not entirely known why the prostate grows too large in some men. According to Mayo Clinic, scientists have discovered that the changes in the production of certain sex hormones in older men might contribute to this particular problem.
Since the prostate surrounds the tube that is responsible for transporting, known as the urethra, complications with a man’s urinary flow may develop when the man’s prostate becomes enlarged. This is the most significant complications that an enlarged prostate may have for a male patient. In some cases, the flow of urine may even be blocked completely – in which treatment would be necessary to avoid further complications.
Another complication of an enlarged prostate is bladder stones. This is a condition where stones form in the bladder due to the man being unable to empty his bladder during urination. This complication can cause irritation in the bladder, as well as lead to blood being present in urine. Urine flow may also be blocked by bladder stones. Untreated, this complication can cause serious infections to develop in the bladder and urinary tract.
Treatment is possible. However – even some of the natural treatment options work effectively for improving the symptoms. Nature has given us natural ways to increase stamina, boost mental agility, reduce inflammation and treat almost every disease – including benign prostatic hyperplasia; thus opting for a natural treatment option is often a preferred choice amongst a person who is in the very early stages of the disease.
Symptoms Of An Enlarged Prostate
In early stages, an enlarged prostate usually does not cause any significant symptoms. There are, however, some signs that people should look out for which may signal the enlargement of their prostate. Health Line explains that the symptoms often tend to present themselves as the man ages and usually gets worse with older age. Urinary symptoms are the most common issues that people experience when their prostate starts to grow too big.
Frequently having to urinate, as well as constantly having an urgent need to urinate are two particularly common symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Men may also find that it becomes more difficult to urinate when they do go to the bathroom. An enlarged prostate can also cause men to experience pain in the particular area while they urinate. In some cases, men also experience pain when they ejaculate.
It is also important to pay attention to some of the more serious symptoms that may be caused by the condition as it may signal a particular complication being caused by the fact that the prostate is blocking the urinary tract and placing excessive pressure on certain parts of the urinary tract and reproductive system.
When urine gets darker and has a different smell than usual, it might signal an infection in the urinary tract. Men with an enlarged prostate are at a higher risk of urinary tract infections as pressure placed on the urethra often causes insufficient bladder emptying, which may result in the buildup of bacteria in the area. When blood is found in urine, it is also a definite call for concern and a doctor should be consulted should this particular symptom be experienced.
Diagnosis And Treatment
Diagnosing the enlargement of a prostate early is important as this can lead to more effective treatment measures being carried out by the patient and his healthcare provider; thus reducing the rate at which the prostate grows. When diagnosed and treated earlier on, further complications, such as a complete blockage of the urinary tract, can often be prevented.
As we have mentioned earlier, a particular problem with an enlarged prostate is the fact that it often does not cause symptoms during its earlier stages. For this reason, the condition is often diagnosed later on when it starts to place excessive pressure on the urinary tract and bladder. Early diagnosis is, however, possible if a man attends to their general well-being adequately.
The first step to diagnosing an enlarged prostate is usually a digital rectal examination. During this examination, the doctor will enter a finger inside the rectum of the male patient to feel their prostate through the rectum’s wall. The doctor will be concerned if the patient’s prostate is larger in size than what is normal for their particular age. Doctors may also identify additional problems, such as hard areas on the prostate, during this examination.
Prostate Cancer UK explains that additional steps may also be taken to diagnose an enlarged prostate. The doctor will usually start by asking the patient about any particular symptoms they may be experiencing. A urine test, blood test, and a bladder diary may also be requested to more accurately diagnose the condition and to provide an appropriate treatment plan for the patient.
Enlarged Prostate Prognosis
Once an enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, has been diagnosed, a patient should opt for treatment to assist with reducing the size of their prostate and to help them manage the symptoms they are experiencing. There are numerous treatment options available to patients with an enlarged prostate – the treatment options administered to each patient will depend on their particular condition, including whether or not they are experiencing any symptoms, the size of their prostate and whether any complications have developed.
When an enlarged prostate is treated promptly, a patient can live a normal life without having to constantly worry about potential complications. Most symptoms can also be addressed through the treatment methods that are available in modern medicine. Untreated, however, a patient’s quality-of-life may be affected adversely by urinary retention, urinary tract infections and many other complications may develop. Kidney damage may also be acquired when an enlarged prostate is not treated.
The prostate plays a vital part in the reproductive system and sits in such a position that an enlargement causes strain to be placed on the bladder and the urethra. An enlarged prostate may cause numerous symptoms with a patient’s urinary tract and could lead to severe infections and even damage to the kidney should it be left untreated. Thus, treatment should be administered promptly to ensure the patient is able to reduce the severity of the symptoms and keep the condition under control.