Help for Enlarged Prostate (BPH):
Symptoms, Causes and Treatments
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Prostate enlargement.....one situation where bigger is not better.
There probably isn't a man alive who doesn't have some concern about prostate problems as he ages or looks toward the future. After all, the statistics are pretty grim.
Most the information I've come across says that almost every man over the age of 60 will develop some type of prostate problem.
But what constitutes real prostate gland problems and what is just considered normal changes in the prostate gland as a man ages?
It's not as easy as noticing a little increase in prostate size because some enlargement of the prostate gland is normal, as a man gets older. So when does prostate size become a health concern? Read more.
The name given by physicians for enlarged prostate is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or benign prostatic hypertrophy.
As a man matures, the prostate goes through two main periods of growth. The first occurs early in puberty, when the prostate doubles in size. At around age 25, the gland begins to grow again. This second growth phase often results, years later, in BPH, or benign prostatic hypertrophy.
Though the prostate continues to grow during most of a man's life, the enlargement doesn't usually cause problems until late in life. BPH rarely causes symptoms before age 40, but more than half of men in their sixties and as many as 90 percent in their seventies and eighties have some symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy.
As the prostate enlarges, the layer of tissue surrounding it stops it from expanding, causing the gland to press against the urethra like a clamp on a garden hose.
The bladder wall becomes thicker and irritable. The bladder begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination.
Eventually, the bladder weakens and loses the ability to empty itself. Urine remains in the bladder. The narrowing of the urethra and partial emptying of the bladder cause many of the problems associated with BPH.
Many people feel uncomfortable talking about the prostate, since the gland plays a role in both sex and urination. Still, prostate enlargement is as common a part of aging as gray hair.
As life expectancy rises, so does the occurrence of BPH. In the United States alone, 375,000 hospital stays each year involve a diagnosis of BPH.
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