Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland, makes urination difficult and uncomfortable. Your prostate gland is located underneath your bladder and surrounds your urethra, which empties urine from the bladder. As the prostate gland expands, it squeezes the urethra or causes the muscles around the urethra to contract, making it difficult to urinate. Prostate enlargement is very common as men age. Symptoms of prostate enlargement usually develop around age 50. By age 60, most men have some degree of BPH. At age 85, men have a 90% chance of having urination problems caused by BPH.
Symptoms may include: Needing to urinate frequently, Difficulty starting urination, Stopping and starting while urinating, Urinating frequently at night (nocturia),Dribbling after urination ends, Being unable to empty your bladder, Blood in the urine (BPH can cause small blood vessels to burst),Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) Causes Nobody knows the basic cause of BPH. Research shows that testosterone, the male hormone, or dihydrotestosterone, a chemical produced when testosterone breaks down in a man's body, may cause the prostate to keep growing. Another theory is that changes in the ratio of testosterone and estrogen (female hormone) as men age cause the prostate to grow. Scientists are sure, however, that obesity greatly increases the risk of BPH.Some over-the-counter medications for colds or allergies can drastically worsen BPH.
Treatment will depend on your age, overall health, and the severity of your symptoms. BPH symptoms may come and go, so it is important to get regular check-ups to monitor the progression of symptoms. There are many ways to successfully treat BPH, including simple lifestyle changes, herbal remedies, and medications. If no other therapies work and the symptoms are severe enough, several types of surgery may help correct the condition.
According to the researchers, this has important implications for millions of men, who use testosterone supplements to counteract low testosterone. They may be putting themselves at risk for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or simply, prostate enlargement. Building on previous research they conducted with the Tsimane, an isolated indigenous population in central Bolivia, the researchers examined the prevalence of BPH among a group of approximately 350 adult males. Within that group, advanced cases of prostate enlargement were practically non-existent. As a correlating factor, the Tsimane also have relatively low levels of testosterone that remain constant over their lives. "Abdominal ultrasounds show they have significantly smaller prostates -- an age-adjusted 62% smaller prostate size -- as compared to men in the US.," said the paper's lead author Benjamin Trumble from University of California, Santa Barbara. "BPH is not inevitable for Tsimane men," Trumble said. "We also know testosterone and androgens are involved because of studies showing that eunuchs and people who don't have testes have very low rates of BPH," Trumble added. Despite having low testosterone overall, Tsimane men with higher testosterone levels (but still significantly lower than those of men in industrial populations) have larger prostates.
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