Benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms, benign prostatic hyperplasia causes
September 14, 2011
Benign Prostate Hyperplasia Symptoms - Frequent Urination and Urgent Urination
The prostate gland is a walnut shaped gland that surrounds the urethra like a doughnut and produces the seminal
fluid that carries the sperm. When the prostate gland enlarges, it tends to compress the urethra, narrowing its
diameter and creating symptoms such as restrictive urine flow. Other annoying symptoms of an enlarged prostate
are frequent and sometimes painful urination, nighttime urination (nocturia), difficulty in starting and stopping
urination, and a feeling that the bladder is not really empty. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a common
occurrence in almost all men over 50.

The Prostate Gland
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that forms part of the male reproductive system. The gland is made of two
lobes, or regions, enclosed by an outer layer of tissue. As the diagrams show, the prostate is located in front of the
rectum and just below the bladder, where urine is stored. The prostate also surrounds the urethra, the canal through
which urine passes out of the body.

One of the prostate's functions is to squeeze fluid into the urethra as sperm move through during sexual climax. This
fluid, which helps make up semen, energizes the sperm and makes the vaginal canal less acidic.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Causes I
It is common for the prostate gland to become enlarged as a man ages. Doctors call this condition benign prostatic
hyperplasia (BPH), or benign prostatic hypertrophy. Normal urine flows from the kidneys through the ureters to the
bladder. Urine then passes out of the body through the urethra, which is surrounded by the prostate.

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 benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Though the prostate continues to grow during most of a man's life, the enlargement doesn't usually cause problems
until late in life. benign prostatic hyperplasia 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

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, so some of the urine remains in the bladder. The narrowing of
the urethra and partial emptying of the bladder cause many of the problems associated with benign prostatic

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 benign prostatic hyperplasia. In the United States in 2000, there were 4.5 million visits to physicians
for benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia causes II
The benign prostatic hyperplasia cause is not well understood. No definite information on risk factors exists. For
centuries, it has been known that benign prostatic hyperplasia occurs mainly in older men and that it doesn't develop
in men whose testes were removed before puberty. For this reason, some researchers believe that factors related to
aging and the testes may spur the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Throughout their lives, men produce both testosterone, an important male hormone, and small amounts of estrogen,
a female hormone. As men age, the amount of active testosterone in the blood decreases, leaving a higher
proportion of estrogen. Studies done on animals have suggested that benign prostatic hyperplasia may occur
because the higher amount of estrogen within the gland increases the activity of substances that promote cell

Another theory focuses on dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a substance derived from testosterone in the prostate, which
may help control its growth. Most animals lose their ability to produce DHT as they age. However, some research has
indicated that even with a drop in the blood's testosterone level, older men continue to produce and accumulate high
levels of DHT in the prostate. This accumulation of DHT may encourage the growth of cells. Scientists have also
noted that men who do not produce DHT do not develop benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Some researchers suggest that benign prostatic hyperplasia may develop as a result of "instructions" given to cells
early in life. According to this theory, benign prostatic hyperplasia occurs because cells in one section of the gland
follow these instructions and "reawaken" later in life. These "reawakened" cells then deliver signals to other cells in
the gland, instructing them to grow or making them more sensitive to hormones that influence growth.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms I
Benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms stem from obstruction of the urethra and gradual loss of bladder function,
which results in incomplete emptying of the bladder. The symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia vary, but the
most common ones involve changes or problems with urination, such as

* a hesitant, interrupted, weak stream
* urgency and leaking or dribbling
* more frequent urination, especially at night

The size of the prostate does not always determine how severe the obstruction or the symptoms will be. Some men
with greatly enlarged glands have little obstruction and few symptoms while others, whose glands are less enlarged,
have more blockage and greater problems.

Sometimes a man may not know he has any obstruction until he suddenly finds himself unable to urinate at all. This
condition, called acute urinary retention, may be triggered by taking over-the-counter cold or allergy medicines.
Such medicines contain a decongestant drug, known as a sympathomimetic. A potential side effect of this drug may
prevent the bladder opening from relaxing and allowing urine to empty. When partial obstruction is present, urinary
retention also can be brought on by alcohol, cold temperatures, or a long period of immobility.

It is important to tell your doctor about urinary problems such as those described above. In eight out of 10 cases,
these symptoms suggest benign prostatic hyperplasia, but they also can signal other, more serious conditions that
require prompt treatment. These conditions, including prostate cancer, can be ruled out only by a doctor's

Severe benign prostatic hyperplasia can cause serious problems over time. Urine retention and strain on the
bladder can lead to urinary tract infections, bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones, and incontinence-the inability
to control urination. If the bladder is permanently damaged, treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia may be
ineffective. When benign prostatic hyperplasia is found in its earlier stages, there is a lower risk of developing such

Benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms II
You may first notice benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms yourself, or your doctor may find that your prostate is
enlarged during a routine checkup. When benign prostatic hyperplasia is suspected, you may be referred to a
urologist, a doctor who specializes in problems of the urinary tract and the male reproductive system. Several tests
help the doctor identify the problem and decide whether surgery is needed. The tests vary from patient to patient,
but the following are the most common.

Digital Rectal Examination (DRE)
This examination is usually the first test done. The doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum and feels the part of
the prostate next to the rectum. This examination gives the doctor a general idea of the size and condition of the

Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test
To rule out cancer as a cause of urinary symptoms, your doctor may recommend a PSA blood test. PSA, a protein
produced by prostate cells, is frequently present at elevated levels in the blood of men who have prostate cancer.
The FDA has approved a PSA test for use in conjunction with a digital rectal examination to help detect prostate
cancer in men who are age 50 or older and for monitoring men with prostate cancer after treatment.

Rectal Ultrasound and Prostate Biopsy
If there is a suspicion of prostate cancer, your doctor may recommend a test with rectal ultrasound. In this
procedure, a probe inserted in the rectum directs sound waves at the prostate. The echo patterns of the sound
waves form an image of the prostate gland on a display screen. To determine whether an abnormal-looking area is
indeed a tumor, the doctor can use the probe and the ultrasound images to guide a biopsy needle to the suspected
tumor. The needle collects a few pieces of prostate tissue for examination with a microscope.
Urine Flow Study

Your doctor may ask you to urinate into a special device that measures how quickly the urine is flowing. A reduced
flow often suggests benign prostatic hyperplasia.

In this examination, the doctor inserts a small tube through the opening of the urethra in the penis. This procedure is
done after a solution numbs the inside of the penis so all sensation is lost. The tube, called a cystoscope, contains a
lens and a light system that help the doctor see the inside of the urethra and the bladder. This test allows the doctor
to determine the size of the gland and identify the location and degree of the obstruction..

Acknowledge and Comments
The content of this article is mainly extracted from NIH Publication No. 07-3012. NIH is devoted to support research
and development of medicine for various diseases. It has made significant contributions to human health. There are
also some other causes for frequent / urgent urination such as
diabetes. Patients must consult with their doctors for
details. Relevant articles:
Frequent Urination / Urgent urination or HERBS FOR SUPPORTING PROSTATE HEALTH
Benign Prostate Hyperplasia Treatment. Saw Plametto  Lycopene  Watermelon  Nettle    

Good Health
David, September 14, 2011
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