An increase in size of the Prostrate gland with age is known as Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy.
Causes of Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy
The main reason behind the development of BPH is not completely understood. Old age is the only cause why it happens.
90% of men over 80 years of age will have BPH. It has a strong relation with testosterone (Male reproductive hormone known as androgen). Testosterone is converted to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This attaches to the prostate cells and makes it to enlarge.
Symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy
Symptoms usually result due to the enlarged prostate squeezing the urinary passage tract.
- Difficulty to pass urine
- The number of times you pass urine increases.
- A feeling that the bladder is not completely emptied.
- Waking up at night frequently to pass urine.
- Might have urine dribbling at the end of passing urine.
- There might be a delay in starting urine and maintaining the flow.
- If there is a complete obstruction, then you may abdominal pain and pain during urination.
Diagnosing Benign Prostatic hypertrophy
The doctor may insert gloved lubricated finger inside your anus and feel for any enlarged mass. Usually prostate is not palpable. But it is in case of enlarged prostates.
He may take some blood tests. PSA or prostate specific antigen is something which rises in blood if you have BPH.
An ultrasound can be taken which can give a clear radiographic impression of the size of the prostate. Hence it can be made out if it is enlarged.
Treatments for BPH
Alpha blockers are a group of medicines which block an enzyme which is responsible for conversion of testosterone to DHT (as said earlier). Hence this would stop the enlargement of prostate. But this only helps in mild cases.
The gold standard surgery for BPH is to remove the part the prostate obstructing the urethra. The name of the procedure is TURP(Trans urethral Resection of Prostate).
There is no known scientifically proved ways to prevent BPH in Old age.