Know all about enlarged prostate (BPH) - Alert for men nearing fifty years!

Enlargement of Prostate is common in men above 50 in the second half of their life with more than 50% of males getting affected. The problem is acute in men over the age of 75 years with incidence of 90% or even more. In medical terminology it is known as BPH, benign prostatic hyperplasia which is nothing to do with females. It is limited to males only. This article suggests all men above the age of 45 to go for annual check-up in shape of ultrasound so as to take preventive measures.

Major Symptoms of enlarged Prostate

Urinating frequently, especially at night, is one of the foremost noticeable problems. Despite the feeling that you need to urinate, when you urinate there are only a few drops. While you think you have finished but it is not so. Your urinary bladder is not emptied. The urge to urinate is weakened or even interrupted. The urinary bladder takes longer time to get emptied as compared to young age, when prostate used to be normal in size ending up in tickling or droplets of urine in addition to feeling of incomplete bladder emptying, pain and/or burning sensation during urination.

Cause of BPH (Prostate Enlargement) and related problems

Enlarged ProstateBefore we discuss the causes of BPH and related problems let us have first hand information of about Prostate gland. It is ring like structure surrounding Urethra (urinary passage). The bladder starts directly from the output as can be seen the image. With the ageing process the human organs under go changes and Prostate gland is not an exception. It starts getting enlarged due to the following causative factors:
    1. After the age of about 40 years, with the onset of normal ageing process of the body starts caused by hormonal changes and other various factors, starts a gradual growth of the glandular tissue (gland tissue converts to a glandular form) of the prostate obstructing the urinary passage with almost all men getting affected at one stage or the other in their second half of their life.
    1. The problem gets noticed when the urethra (urinary passage) is obstructed to the extent that it induces discomfort while urinating resulting into swelling which further aggravates the condition by compressing urethra (urinary passage).
    1. When compression of urethra increases due to enlargement of the prostate gland, the muscles of urinary bladder feels more pressure as I can explain that narrow the tube or pipeline more will be the pressure due to narrow passage.
    1. At one point of time with the advancement of BPH disease it is no longer possible to get the urinary bladder completely emptied resulting into starting of the real problem.
    1. With the passage of time when the disease advances more and more quantities of residual urine get remained in the bladder allowing the bacteria, which were, so far being flushed out during urination, to invade the urinary track.
    1. Such bacteria start multiplying rapidly triggering pain in the bladder, kidney and resultant is prostate inflammation.
    1. If ignored, the condition can worsen to urinary tract infections with signs of fever, shivering along with many more complications.
    1. It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor or an Urologist (a specialist in urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases) immediately.

    Annual Health Check up must include Screening for early detection of enlarged prostate

    Every individual, even the healthy one, should go for annual health check up consisting of following pathological tests:
    1. CBC, Complete Blood Counts to know the quantification of Hb, TLC and Platelets.
    1. Lipid Profile to know the cardiovascular health.
    1. Renal Profile to know the health of Kidneys.
    1. Liver Profile to know the level of liver enzymes and protein levels necessary for good health and living.
    1. Thyroid Profile to check for hormonal changes which can affect the whole metabolic system of the body.
    1. HB1AC (Diabetic Screening) for knowing the average level of Blood Glucose.
    1. ECG to know about the functioning of the heart. ECG can forewarn about blockades of the arteries of the heart and poor pumping of blood by the heart which may indicate the need for a Pacemaker.
    1. Ultrasound of complete abdomen, which can detect gall bladder stones and kidney stones.
    1. Chest X-Ray, Urine Complete.
    or any other investigation as per clinic conditions is recommended every year after one attains the age of 50 years but screening of the prostate after the age of 45 years should be matter of routine for every man irrespective of the fact if he has any indications or not. But I have seen that due to busy schedules it is 15 to 25 percent men, who take this advice seriously. Earlier the diagnosis of the problem, you get alerted timely to start treating the disease at earlier stage. The progression of the disease can be checked through earlier diagnosis followed by treatment along with preventive measures as suggested by your urologist. The enlargement of prostate can be benign or cancerous (malignancy). Consult your doctor who is the competent authority to determine it.

    What to do if you have enlarged prostate

    Herbal and Dietary Controls

    • Plant Oils: Sometimes herbal products have been found to soothe the symptoms of prostate enlargement or even eliminate it. Diets rich in phytosterol, which is very similar to cholesterol, also known as plant sterols, are not only helpful to lower LDL cholesterol but also help in reduction of inflammation of prostate to slow down the long term growth of the prostate. Plants oils like sesame oil, corn oil, canola and olive oils are highly concentrated source of phytosterols but they need to be unrefined in order to preserve heart friendly compounds.
    • Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds are also an excellent source of phytosterols, as per Linus Pauling Institute. Snacks of pistachios and sunflower seeds contain the highest amount of phytosterols. Similarly sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, almonds and wheat germ provide rich source of phytosterols.
    • Medical Treatment: If non-prescription natural dietary and herbal treatment does not give the desired results, then your Urologist may prescribe medicines or may even recommend surgery. The doctor's advice is urgently required if blood is present in the urine, you experience painful urination or you still have the urge to urinate despite it being impossible due to urine retention in the urinary bladder.

    How can you help yourself to minimize the suffering from enlarged prostate

    If you are having enlarged prostate problem then it is recommended that sitting for long periods should be avoided. You should take a break by standing or walking in between prolonged sittings. You need not suppress the urge to urinate so as to prevent filling of urinary bladder beyond capacity in such a way that it gets stretched. As already recommended a balanced diet with lot of fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be taken whereas fats should be in the form of vegetable oils (as discussed above) with a high content of phytosterols.

    More knowledge about prostate - Key to Live Longer

    Prostate gland, having size of chestnut, is one of the male sexual organs providing prostatitis fluid, (produced and stimulated by the male hormone testosterone), which nourishes the sperms.


    The article does not provide or contain medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here.

    Author acknowledges the source of the free image in public domain at Wikipedia:

  • Comments

    Author: J.B.Gupta27 Apr 2014 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 3

    Thanks for the timely warning by the author. Acting on the advice by the author I got ultrasound scan for lower abdomen and the doctor advised me that my Prostate is mildly enlarged. He advised me certain precautions like not sitting on chair for long time, wearing of comfortable undergarments etc. etc.

    Author is requested to provide more Tips on how to avoid BPH.

    Author: Ajesh Kumar24 Sep 2014 Member Level: Gold   Points : 6

    Prostrate problem has been very wide spread and people are just not aware of it. It is also a matter of stress, as ignorance adds to feeling shy and insulted to talk about it openly.
    I think this is also a life style disease. Our food habits have changed. It is no more healthy. Our work style also has changed. Most of us do works that require us to sit for long time. Probably, this is adding to our troubles.
    In metros and other developed cities, fraudulent advertisements try to push untested alternative medicine for such problems. This will only increase the severity of the situation.
    It is in this context that this article is very significant for a contemporary problem. As the author said, it is always good to do a proper body check up every 4 years beyond the age of 40. Early detection of problems will trigger individuals to rethink on their health practices and change their life style.

    Author: Natarajan02 Oct 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 6

    Nice article about prostate trouble in men. Most often the symptoms are so subtle that initial diagnosis is usually delayed.

    Some red flags for prostatic enlargement to watch out for:
    1.Delay in the start of flow of urine
    2.Reduction in the speed with which the urine flows out
    3.Longer time spent to complete the act of passing urine
    4.Needing to go more often to the washroom (similar to diabetes)
    5.Waking up in the night more often to empty the bladder
    6.Increase in the amount of abdominal pressure (straining) needed to start and complete the act of passing urine.
    7.Recurrent urinary infections

    If any of the above are noted in men between 40-50 years of age, it's worthwhile to get yourself checked by a surgeon or a urologist.

    Arriving at the diagnosis
    This is often based on the history given and clinical examination. The next is an ultrasonographic assessment of the prostate, amount of urine in the bladder before and after passing urine (more urine left in the bladder after passing urine is an indirect evidence that the prostate is likely to be enlarged). Lastly, urine flow calculations are made to have an accurate assessment of the degree of prostatic enlargement

    Some individual can have urinary outflow obstruction with the prostate size being normal on ultrasound. Here uroflowmetry helps to arrive at a diagnosis.

    There are many medications (which in simple terms relax the muscles of the prostate and the bladder neck )that are used in the patient with prostatic enlargement. These need to be prescribed after a formal assessment by a qualified specialist.
    When it comes to the point of surgery, the prostate gland is removed endoscopic means (like minimally invasive surgery) and nowadays laser and robotic prostatectomy is also being done safely.

    I don't think men can avoid prostatic enlargement but certainly, we can avoid potential long-term complications affecting the bladder and kidneys, if we seek medical help sooner.