Lowering your intake of caffeine and alcohol can improve your prostate health.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Ranveer Singh/Instagram*
As men get older, their body changes in ways one can't always control.
For most men, one of those changes come with the growing prostate. Aging men tend to have larger prostates than younger men.
Enlargement of the prostate that is not a result of cancer is called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).
The incidence of BPH, one of the most common conditions affecting adult men, increases dramatically after the age of 50!
BPH also called prostate gland enlargement, is a common condition as men get older.
Common signs and symptoms of BPH include:
- Frequent or urgent need to urinate
- Increased frequency of urination at night (nocturia)
- Difficulty starting urination
- Weak urine stream or a stream that stops and starts
- Dribbling at the end of urination
- Inability to completely empty the bladder
Less common signs and symptoms include:
- Urinary tract infection
- Inability to urinate
- Blood in the urine
Prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) are common prostatic diseases; that affects millions of men worldwide.
But it is important to note here that BPH isn't prostate cancer and doesn't make you more likely to get it.
The size of your prostate doesn't necessarily determine the severity of your symptoms.
Some men with only slightly enlarged prostates can have significant symptoms, while other men with much-enlarged prostates can have only minor urinary symptoms.
In some men, symptoms eventually stabilise and might even improve over time.
According to Dr Anup Ramani, consultant urologist, Saifee Hospital and Lilavati Hospital, "An enlarged prostate directly affects a man's ability to urinate as there is increased pressure on the bladder or the bladder becomes more irritable -- this makes the urge to urinate stronger. Additionally, the bladder cannot empty itself as efficiently, meaning that it is not long after going to the toilet that you find yourself having to go again."
Effects of enlarged prostate
- A frequent need to urinate
- A feeling of not emptying the bladder
- Intense urges to urinate
- A weak urine stream
Problems starting or stopping urination
In general, the prevalence of BPH increases with increasing age, with the highest prevalence in participants aged 70 and above.
According to a study conducted on 1997, India's prevalence by age is 25 per cent for 40 to 49 (years); 37 per cent for 50 to 59 (yrs); 37 per cent for 60 to 69; 50 per cent for 70 to 79.
With aging, prostatic diseases occur simultaneously which is an important factor in the deterioration of the quality of life of men.
Consider the importance of good sleep that has only begun to be understood.
It has been known for many years that a good night's sleep is important, with 7 to 8 hours endorsed for adults.
Disturbed sleep can mean many things but it is often equated with insomnia, which is clinically defined as persistent difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep, or non-restorative sleep, that causes significant daytime distress and impaired social or occupational functioning.
Nocturia is the medical term for needing to urinate excessively during the night, often leading to disrupted sleep.
Primarily, people find getting up to go to the toilet, they struggle to get back to sleep again, only to wake up shortly after to go to the toilet again. This cycle throughout the night leads to loss of sleep, lethargy, and tiredness throughout the day.
Prostatitis and BPH are representative diseases that develop in the prostate; they are closely associated with the male, and they exert significant effects on quality of life.
In addition, deterioration of the quality of life caused by prostate diseases may be affected not only by the prostate diseases themselves but also by the sexual dysfunction caused by the prostate diseases secondarily.
Furthermore, sexual dysfunction may develop as a side effect after treatment of prostate disease; thus, consideration of these points at the time of treatment of prostate disease is required.
Therefore, therapies suitable to each condition should be selected with an understanding of the close association of prostate diseases and associated sexual dysfunction with the quality of life of males.
You may want to start with things you can control.
- Do exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles
- Lower the amount of fluid you drink, especially before you go out or go to bed
- Drink less caffeine and alcohol
For mild to moderate BPH, your doctor might suggest medicines.
According to Dr Anand Uttare, consultant urologist, MIB Hospital, "Many men will develop an enlarged prostate as they age, because the gland does not stop growing throughout their lifetime. As men age, they should get regular prostate screenings to check for BPH/Prostate cancer.
"If you're having urinary problems, discuss them with your doctor. Even if you don't find urinary symptoms bothersome, it's important to identify or rule out any underlying causes."
"Untreated, urinary problems might lead to obstruction of the urinary tract. It is critical to consult your doctor and it is important to avoid shying away from the issue."
"Your doctor can help you choose the best care based on your age, health, and how the condition affects you."
There is a need to introduce targeted screening or smart screening in India to diagnose prostate cancer in early stage and cure the disease.
All patients attending Urology OPDs for urinary complaints should undergo yearly PSA and Digital rectal examination after 50 years and 40 years with the family history of prostate cancer.
Lead image used for representational purposes only.