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Monday, May 14, 2012

Avoiding Prostate Problems

Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) or an enlarged prostate occurs when, in response to hormone, such as testosterone, the cells in the inner core of the prostate gland grow and form fibrous nodules.  These nodules put pressure on the urethrae causing pain and problems urinating.

If left untreated BPH can lead to prostatitis, and in severe cases, the bladder’s inability to empty completely can cause infection to spread in the bladder and even to the kidneys, possibly causing kidney damage.  BPH will affect an astonishing 50% of men during their lifetimes.


Symptoms of an enlarged prostate include the following:
  • A need to pass urine frequently
  • Pain, burning, difficulty in stopping and starting urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • A weak urine flow
  • Night-time wakening to empty the bladder
  • A constant feeling that the bladder isn’t completely empty


Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland that is usually caused by a bacterial infection that has spread from another part of the body.  Prostatitis can develop suddenly as with acute prostatitis, or gradually build up over an extended period of time as with chronic prostatitis.

Acute prostatitis – develops suddenly and is generally caused by a bacterial infection of the prostate brought on by e-coli, certain sexually transmitted diseases or sexual contact with an infected person, a urinary tract infection, urethritis, epididymitis, urethral instrumentation, trauma, bladder outlet obstruction, or an infection elsewhere in the body.

Acute prostatitis is more common in men aged 20-35, men with multiple sex partners, and men who engage in high-risk sexual behaviours.


Symptoms of acute prostatitis may include:
  • Chills
  • Fever associated with lower abdominal discomfort or perineal pain
  • Pain and/or burning with urination, ejaculation, or a bowel movement
  • Urinary retention
  • Blood in the urine and/or semen
  • An increased need to urinate
  • Testicle pain
Chronic Prostatitis

Unlike acute prostatitis, chronic prostatitis develops gradually, continues for a prolonged period of time, and may have subtler symptoms. Chronic prostatitis will develop from an acute prostatitis bacterial infection that keeps recurring or from a urinary tract infection, urethritis, or epididymitis.

Chronic prostatitis is more common in men aged 30 to 50 and is thought to also be associated to hormonal changes of aging and also certain lifestyle influences (excessive alcohol drinking, perineal injury, certain sexual practices).


Symptoms of chronic prostatitis include:
  • A history of recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Lower back, perineal, pelvic floor, or testicular pain
  • Pain and/or burning with urination, ejaculation, or with a bowel movement
  • Blood in the urine
  • Incontinence
  • Abnormal urine color

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a malignant growth in the outer zone of the prostate gland, is the most common form of cancer among men. This disease is most common in older men, with 80% of cases of prostate cancer occurring in men over age 65. African American men, men with a family history of prostate cancer or a history of venereal disease, men with recurring prostate infections, men who have taken progesterone, and men with a high-fat diet run the highest risk of developing prostate cancer.

  • Pain and/or burning with urination
  • Frequent urination
  • A decrease in the amount and power of urine flow
  • Blood in the urine
  • An inability to urinate which occurs when the urethra becomes completely blocked or when the cancer spreads to the bladder and ureters
  • Lower back, pelvic, or supra-pubic pain caused by affected nerves or by the spread of the cancer to the bones
The specific cause of most of these problems is unknown, although they may be related to hormonal changes brought on by aging.  As a man ages, an increased amount of hormones, such as estrogen and prolactin decrease the rate at which testosterone and the dihydrotestosterone (DHT) into which testosterone is converted by 5-alpha-reductase are eliminated from the prostate.  This excessive accumulation of DHT is thought to be responsible for the problems of the prostate gland.

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