How to identify the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition where there is an increase in organ size. This disease affects most men, especially the elderly, and is directly associated with advancing age. But, despite being quite common, most people are not familiar with the disease.

With that in mind, we created this post to explain a little more about the problem and how to identify the symptoms of BPH. Check out.

What are the characteristics of the disease?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia – or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – is characterized by nodular growth of the prostate, that is, the prostate enlarges. This condition, although it seems serious, is not cancer and does not cause the disease.

Because it is located below the bladder, the enlarged prostate can compress the urethra, making it difficult to pass urine and decreasing its caliber. Therefore, it is common for men with BPH to have more infections and kidney stones, because the urine is stagnant.

What is the incidence rate in men?

The prostate grows throughout a man’s life: this process begins at puberty and returns at age 25. It is believed that around 50% of men over 50 and 90% over 90 are affected by BPH .

This is a common disease and is proportional to the patient’s age. Symptoms do not usually appear before the age of 40, and at least one third of men with symptoms tend to have disorders of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

What are the main causes and risk factors?

It is not known why the prostate continues to grow throughout a man’s life – hormones present in the male body can have an influence. Thus, the causes of benign prostatic hyperplasia have not yet been discovered, but it is known that some risk factors contribute to its appearance, such as age, presence of high levels of male hormone (testosterone), family history and genetic changes.

What are the main symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia?

Despite not being a disease considered malignant and not related to cancer, BPH, when not treated correctly, can develop complications that affect the patient’s quality of life. Below are the main symptoms to help identify the disease.

Difficulty urinating

As mentioned, an enlarged prostate can affect the functioning of the bladder and urethra. With the pressure on the urethra due to hyperplasia, the bladder muscles end up having to work extra to work.

This problem can cause one of the main symptoms, which is difficulty in urinating. This way, there is a longer delay for the pee to leave and a decrease in the flow. It is common to feel that there is still urine in the bladder, even if you have just urinated.

Urine retention

It is also common that after urination a man still feels the urge to urinate. This is because as the flow of urine is weaker and longer, the pee present in the organ may end up not coming out entirely and be retained. It is common that in order to eliminate this liquid, the individual ends up going to the bathroom frequently and several times over a short period of time.

Excessive urination during the night

This is the most common symptom of benign prostatic hyperplasia. As during the day, at night, the urge to urinate may be greater, disrupting sleep. This excess of urination happens because the prostate presses on the bladder, which causes the organ to work twice as much, as explained above.

Because of the pressure, the bladder muscles struggle to release and send urine out of the body. Eventually, the organ starts to contract, even if it has only a small amount of pee, making the urge to go to the bathroom more frequent.

Urinary flow interrupted

One of the most dangerous symptoms of BPH is interrupted urine flow. It happens when the prostate grows so big that it blocks the urethra, making the man unable to urinate. If the bladder muscles become too weak or infections occur, this problem can also develop.

Inability to urinate can permanently damage your bladder or kidneys. In such cases, it is necessary to seek an emergency department urgently.

Presence of blood in the urine and pain and burning sensation when urinating are other symptoms that can arise with BPH. It is always important to be attentive when the signs appear (and in their evolution) to assist in the diagnosis.

What are the possible complications?

In advanced cases, where the patient did not seek medical help at the beginning or the treatment was not done correctly, there may be complications. Adverse events include overflow incontinence , prolonged urinary retention and kidney damage. It is important to remember that only a small number of men with BPH tend to have more serious problems and, through correct treatment, the chances of worsening are minimal.

How is diagnosis and treatment done?

The diagnosis of BPH is made from the symptoms, analysis of family history and exams requested by the doctor. They can be:

  • ultrasound;
  • digital rectal examination (which assesses the size and shape of the prostate);
  • study of urine flow;
  • prostate biopsy;
  • cystoscopy (which looks inside the bladder).

After diagnosis, a treatment is developed based on the size of the prostate, the level of progress of the problem, the intensity of the symptoms and possible complications. Patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia at an early stage can be treated only with the use of medications and lifestyle changes.

For more advanced cases, the use of drugs is indicated, but surgery may be necessary to remove part of the prostate. Among the drugs prescribed are medicines for urine flow and to stop the growth of the prostate.

Prevention is always the best treatment for any disease. Therefore, preventive exams help to discover health problems early and prevent complications from developing. It is important to note that, for a diagnosis and quality treatment, medical monitoring  is essential.

So, what did you think of our information on how to identify the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia? Was the data useful? Take advantage and contact us so that we can help you find the best solution for you.

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