Q: What is the cause of enlargement of prostate?
A: The prostate gland is a small organ located just below the bladder. It produces semen and the urethra which transports urine from the bladder and semen from the prostate, passes through the prostate. This organ grows throughout a male’s life and sometimes grows so big that it blocks the flow of urine from the bladder. This condition is known as Benign Prostatic Enlargement or Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. This is more likely to happen as people age and when there is a family history.
The symptoms of this include
• Feeling like urinating very frequently
• Feeling the need to urgently urinate
• Not being able to start urinating immediately despite the urgency
• Straining at urine
• When the person does start urinating, the flow trickles
• Feeling that the bladder was not completely emptied
• Urinary tract infections due to the fact that there is always urine in the bladder encouraging the growth of micro-organisms
• Bladder stones
• With time, kidney function becomes reduced
These are some of the symptoms that may bring the person to the hospital. The doctor will perform a detailed examination which include a rectal examination. Tests like Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) assay, prostate biopsy (taking a piece of the prostate and examining it) etc will form part of the array of tests to be done.
Treatment modalities include medications and surgery. The doctor will determine which works best for you.
Prostate-friendly diets include loads of fruits and veggies and less fat in the diet. Exercising daily and limiting alcohol intake are also thought to be helpful.