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Benign prostate hyperplasia: symptoms, grades and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition that refers to the enlargement of the prostate gland in a benign way as we age, which is why almost all men present it. This growth is associated with the presence of male sex hormones and the natural aging process, but in this case it is not a cancerous enlargement. In this case, the prostate gland increases in size but grows towards the inner nucleus of the prostate, which causes a compression in the urethra and leads to symptoms such as difficulties in urinating, frequent urination, discomfort when urinating, feeling that you have not been emptying the bladder, among others. In this FastlyHealarticle, we will explain in detailwhat are the symptoms, grades and treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia so that you can be well informed about this condition.

Causes of benign prostatic hyperplasia

As we have already advanced, benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) can be defined as benign and non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. This enlargement is a process that occurs during all the years of men’s lives due to the presence of male sex hormones or androgens and the natural aging process. In fact, half of men have an enlarged prostate by age 60 and by the time they reach 85 years of age, about 90% of men have this enlarged prostate.

The exact cause of benign prostatic hyperplasia is not known, but it has been suggested that both factors associated with aging and changes in the cells of the testes can influence the enlargement of this gland. Therefore, the chances of presenting this enlargement increase with age.

On the other hand, it is important to note that having benign prostate hyperplasia does not mean having prostate cancer or that the chances of suffering from this disease increase. As its name indicates, in this case, it is a benign growth that occurs as a result of the natural aging process. We can differentiate BPH from prostate cancer by the following:

  • Prostate cancer : this begins in the outer peripheral area of ​​the prostate gland and grows outward, spreading and damaging the adjacent tissue.
  • BPH: Instead, BPH begins in an area inside the prostate, called the transition zone. The growth occurs inwards, which causes the urethra to be constantly compressed and this affects urination, causing the suffering of a series of annoying symptoms, as we will see later in this article. On the contrary, when suffering from prostate cancer, the symptoms usually take longer to appear and initially it is possible that the patient ignores the suffering of this disease.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia: grades

The degrees of benign prostatic hyperplasia are determined based on the size of the gland, and the specialist (urologist) will be able to know what degree of prostatic hypertrophy is presented by performing a digital rectal examination. The degrees that are distinguished are the following:

  • Grade I: occurs when the prostate has enlarged to twice its normal size, going from 20 cubic cm to 40 cubic cm. Usually in these cases the condition can be treated by taking medication.
  • Grade II: occurs when the prostate enlarges to three times its normal size.
  • Grade III: the size of the prostate is up to 4 times its normal size.
  • Grade IV: this grade of prostatic hyperplasia is determined when the specialist is unable to indicate the size and limits of the prostate.

Benign prostate hyperplasia: symptoms

The symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia appear because this enlargement supposes a constant compression of the urethra, which influences the drainage of urine. This can lead to symptoms such as those listed below.

Obstructive symptoms

  • Reduction of the force of urination.
  • Difficulty urinating.
  • Dripping at the end of urination.
  • Sensation of not being able to completely empty the bladder.
  • Inability to urinate

Irritative symptoms

  • Polyakiuria: urinating more often than usual.
  • Waking up several times at night due to the need to urinate.
  • Urination urgency: having to go quickly to the bathroom due to the overwhelming urge to urinate.
  • Pain or discomfort when urinating.

In addition to the above symptoms, the fact that the urine is retained favors the proliferation of bacteria in the urinary tract, which makes it more vulnerable to developing infections. On the other hand, many patients with an enlarged prostate may have blood in the urine , which is due to the rupture of the blood vessels by veins that have been torn or inflamed on the inner surface of the prostate gland.

The symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia can worsen and worsen over time, so it is important to go to the urologist at the first signs and start the treatment indicated in each case. There have been cases in which the retention of urine in the bladder has caused a distention of the latter and subsequent damage to the ureters and the kidney, leading to kidney failure .

Benign prostatic hyperplasia: drug treatment

When the enlarged prostate causes bothersome symptoms and interferes with the flow of urine, the specialist may recommend the start of a treatment with drugs such as the following:

  • Alpha blockers: these promote relaxation of the muscles at the base of the bladder and increase the ability to urinate. Although many men show improvement within a few days or weeks of starting them, these drugs can have certain side effects such as tiredness, dizziness or low blood pressure.
  • Testosterone blockers: can help decrease the size of the prostate and increase the flow of urine. However, they have some significant disadvantages such as that they act more slowly and that in some men (around 4%) they can cause impotence.

It has been suggested that the combination of the above drugs may offer better results in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia than taking them alone.

Benign prostate hyperplasia: surgical treatment

However, when the symptoms cannot be alleviated by taking drugs, the specialist will assess the option of surgical treatment to try to reduce the size of the prostate. Let’s see below what procedures can be used in the operation of benign prostatic hyperplasia:

  • Transurethral resection of the prostate: it is the most widely used procedure and can be used in men with a prostate size smaller than 60 or 80 cubic cm. By inserting an instrument called a rectoscope into the urethra, some cuts are made in the prostate to remove the tissue that is causing the obstruction.
  • Prostate vaporization with thulium or holmium laser : a high-energy laser is used, which is introduced through the urethra and the tissue that is causing the obstruction is vaporized. With this technique, bleeding during the operation is minimal and the patient can leave the hospital two days after the intervention.
  • Open prostatic adenomectomy: it is carried out when the size of the prostate is very large and cannot be removed through the urethra. It is usually done in men with prostates larger than 80-100 cubic cm and who also have large bladder stones.
  • Urethral release: it is suitable for men with a prostate size that does not exceed 60 cubic cm. The intervention is performed on an outpatient basis and does not require general anesthesia. It is performed by introducing the Utolift Device through the urethra and about 2 or 4 implants are placed on the sides of the canal to free it and, thus, calm the symptoms.

Natural treatment for benign prostate hyperplasia

On the other hand, it is very important that the patient with an enlarged prostate modify their lifestyle habits and take into account recommendations such as the following:

  • Stay active and avoid leading a sedentary life.
  • Take care of your diet and avoid eating large or copious meals.
  • Avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages and stimulant substances.
  • Drink plenty of water during the day.
  • Urinate whenever you feel like it and don’t postpone this moment.
  • In the event that urination cannot begin, you must be patient and apply progressive pressure to the abdominal muscles, but in no case should it be done with suddenness or great force.

There are also some natural remedies for benign prostatic hyperplasia that can help relieve symptoms and improve the well-being of the patient. The most recommended are:

  • Infusions of nettle, horsetail, horse chestnut or ginger.
  • Consume pumpkin seeds .
  • Do sitz baths with hot water.
  • Include foods such as garlic, tomatoes, carrots, and avocados in the diet. In the next article we show more good foods for an enlarged prostate .

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Benign prostatic hyperplasia: symptoms, degrees and treatment , we recommend that you enter our category of Male reproductive system .

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