Benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH is a medical term used to describe non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. Generally speaking, it’s not a serious threat to your health. It’s the most common prostate problem older men face. The condition affects around 50% of men between 51-60 years of age and up to 90% of those older than 80. However, it’s rare to see signs of BPH as early as 40 years or younger.
What Causes BPH?
The exact cause of BPH isn’t fully known. It’s thought to be linked to hormonal changes in men as they age. Men produce testosterone throughout their lives, as well as a small quantity of estrogen. With age, however, the proportion of testosterone decreases and that of estrogen increases. Studies have hypothesized that the higher estrogen proportion indirectly promotes prostate cell growth.
Older men who suffer from medical conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, or heart and circulatory disease are considered more likely to manifest early BPH symptoms. A lack of physical exercise or a family history of BPH could also be factors in developing the condition.
Early Signs of BPH
The prostate gland is wrapped around the urethra — the tube that expels urine from the bladder to outside the body. Normally the size of a walnut, it can grow to be as big as an orange. The more it grows, the more it squeezes the urethra, affecting bladder function. Over time, the bladder may weaken and may not be able to fully empty itself. The urine then remains trapped within the bladder. This can lead to problems of the lower urinary tract, as well as cause more obvious physical impediments.
Here are some early and persistent signs of BPH:
- Frequent and urgent need to urinate, every one or two hours. Inability to delay urination.
- Inability to fully vacate the bladder.
- Difficulty initiating urine discharge
- Intermittent urine discharge and a need to stop and start several times while passing urine.
- Pain or a burning sensation while urinating (or after ejaculation).
- Foul-smelling urine or discoloration of urine.
- Having to often wake up at night to pass urine.
BPH is a condition that can affect not just your health but your daily routine as well. If you’re showing any of these symptoms early, get tested for BPH. Your doctor will consult your medical history and may conduct a full physical examination, including a digital rectal exam to assess if you have BPH. They may also choose to conduct other medical tests such as a urinalysis or cystoscopy.
BPH Does Not Mean Prostate Cancer
By definition, benign prostate hyperplasia is not cancerous. Neither is BPH an early sign of prostate cancer. While many of the symptoms are similar, research suggests that having an enlarged prostate doesn’t increase the risk of developing cancer there.
Treatments for BPH
There are a number of treatments recommended for BPH, ranging from medication to minimally invasive procedures and surgery. If you do notice early BPH symptoms, you should have a qualified medical professional diagnose you and suggest the right treatment.
There are also a number of self-help remedies you can try to help manage your prostate health, including a better diet and the right exercise. If you don’t spend a lot of time cooking or can’t always tailor your meals, consider incorporating a health supplement into your diet. Howdy Handsome’s Prostate Support, for example, is a 100% organic formula containing just the right ingredients to provide targeted nutritional support for your prostate. Don’t let a persistent prostate issue disrupt your quality of life. Contact us with more questions about the product or about early signs and symptoms of BPH. Sign up for our newsletter if you’d like more health tips and natural remedies delivered right to your mailbox.