Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a condition that occurs when the prostate enlarges, potentially slowing or blocking the urine stream. Other names for benign prostatic hyperplasia include benign prostatic hypertrophy, an enlarged prostate, and BPH. BPH occurs only in men; approximately 8 percent of men aged 31 to 40 have BPH. In men over age 80, more than 80 percent have BPH.
Many men with BPH have no symptoms. In men with symptoms, the most common include needing to go to the bathroom frequently (during the day and night), a weak urine stream, and leaking or dribbling of urine. These symptoms are called lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). For men with bothersome symptoms, treatment with one or more medicines or surgery is available.
Symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
The obstructive (problems with urethra and urination) symptoms of BPH are:
difficulty initiating a urine stream
a hesitant, interrupted and weak stream
urgency and leaking or dribbling
blood in the urine
As the urethra becomes narrower, the bladder wall becomes thicker and the bladder itself becomes smaller, causing:
more frequent urination
a sudden strong urge to urinate, especially at night
urge incontinence - (occurs when bladder muscles are too active. People with urge incontinence lose urine as soon as they feel a strong desire to go to the bathroom.)
The size of the prostate does not always determine how severe the obstruction or the symptoms will be. Some men with greatly enlarged glands have little obstruction and few symptoms, while others whose glands are less enlarged may have more blockage and greater problems.
Causes and Risk Factors of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
As the urethra is squeezed more tightly by the enlarged prostate, the bladder may not be able to completely empty. Rarely, this blockage may cause repeated urinary tract infections and start the process of bladder or kidney damage. It may also cause acute urinary retention (a sudden inability to urinate ) which requires a visit to the emergency room.
The cause of BPH is not well understood, but researchers theorize that BPH could be caused by:
the aging process
testosterone levels - As men age, the amount of active testosterone in the blood decreases, leaving a higher proportion of estrogen. Studies with animals suggest that BPH may occur when a higher amount of estrogen (in the gland) increases the activity of substances that promote cell growth.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) - DHT is a substance derived from testosterone in the prostate, which may help control its growth. Most animals lose their ability to produce DHT as they age, however, some research indicates that with a drop in blood testosterone level, older men continue to produce and accumulate high levels of DHT in the prostate. This accumulation of DHT may encourage the growth of cells. Scientists have also noted that men who do not produce DHT do not develop BPH.
cell "instructions" - Some researchers suggest that BPH may develop as a result of "instructions" given to cells early in life. According to this theory, BPH occurs because cells in one section of the gland follow these instructions and "reawaken" later in life. These "reawakened" cells then deliver signals to other cells in the gland, instructing them to grow or making them more sensitive to hormones that influence growth.
Read more on Treats Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Naturally
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)-associated lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are highly prevalent in older men. Medical therapy is the first-line treatment for LUTS due to BPH. Alpha-adrenergic receptor blockers remain one of the mainstays in the treatment of male LUTS and clinical BPH. They exhibit early onset of efficacy with regard to both symptoms and flow rate improvement, and this is clearly demonstrated in placebo-controlled trials with extensions out to five years.
These agents have been shown to prevent symptomatic progression of the disease. The aim of this article is to offer a critical review of the current literature on silodosin, formerly known as KMD-3213, a novel alpha-blocker with unprecedented selectivity for a1A-adrenergic receptors, as compared with both a1B- and a1D -adrenoceptors, exceeding the selectivity of all currently used a1-blockers, and with clinically promising effects.