Benign Prostratic Hyperplasia
Benign prostratic hypertrophy or BPH is a condition, which generally occurs with age. In this condition, the prostrate gets bigger than normal. This leads to the urethra getting squeezed and limiting the flow of urine from the body. An enlarged prostrate is often the underlying cause for older people to wake up frequently at night to visit the washroom.
BPH is not a very serious condition and may often go away on its own. However, there are certain treatments available for people suffering from chronic forms of the disease. Most people suffer from the misconception that BPH is a form of prostate cancer or that the disease increases the risk for the same. However, BPH is a very common disorder that does not have any connection with cancer or the chances of getting afflicted with cancer of the prostrate.
There is no consensus when it comes to the question of what causes the disorder. Most doctors feel that the hormonal changes related to old age bring about the enlargement of the prostrate. The prostate in men starts to grow by the age of 25 and continues to grow till their death. However, BPH is caused in only some men and not all.
The treatment for BPH includes several options and not every course of treatment is suitable for all patients. Primarily, BPH is treated by three courses, which include watchful waiting, medication and surgery. Watchful waiting is chosen for patients with mild enlargement and symptoms, while the medications are used for people with moderate symptoms. Surgery is the very last option and is only used if medications are unable to offer any relief.
Watchful waiting is the procedure where you ask a physician to keep an eye on your prostate if you suspect that you suffer from BPH. Under such a condition, yearly examination of the prostate is recommended. However, you may need to visit the doctor sooner, if you feel a shift in the symptoms of the disorder. Doctors also recommend making some lifestyle changes in such instances. These changes may involve drinking less fluids before bedtime and ingesting less caffeine and alcohol.
If the problem does not go away with lifestyle changes, you may need medications and supplements. Alpha blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors reduce the size of the prostate and facilitate the movement of urine through the urethra. Supplements such as Beta-sitosterol and rye grass are also used often to help deal with BPH.
Surgery is the last option, in case the condition is not alleviated by the medications and the supplements. In most instances, a minimally invasive surgery is conducted to help the urine pass from the urethra even when the prostate is large in size.
If you develop an issue where you need to go to the bathroom often or feel that your bladder is still full just after visiting the loo, you may be suffering from BPH. In such a case, visit a doctor and start the watchful waiting procedure. If this does not alleviate the symptoms, you may be eligible for the medications and supplements treating the same.
People who do not show any symptoms of BPH, do not require the treatment. Often, older men may have a large prostate, but may not suffer from any of the symptoms commonly found in men with BPH. In these cases, treatment is not recommended.
There can be many side effects of the BPH medications. For instance, the Alpha blockers used to relax the muscles in the urethra can lead to dizziness, fainting, fatigue, retrograde ejaculation and even nasal congestions. These drugs can also lead to erectile dysfunction and reduction of libido.
Similarly, the 5-alpha reductase inhibitors can also lead to erectile dysfunction and reduced sexual prowess. So, consult a doctor prior to taking any medication for the BPH. If you feel that any particular medicine is causing complications, talk to the physician and try to find an alternative medication that does not have the same side effect.
There are no guidelines as such that you need to follow after the treatment for BPH. However, doctors usually recommend avoiding fluids before sleep at night. Patients are also asked not to drink too much caffeine and alcohol if they suffer from the condition.
The cost for treatment usually depends on the course followed. So, if you suffer from moderate symptoms, you may have to spend anywhere between Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,500 for the treatment. However, in case of surgery, the cost may range anywhere between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 25,000 in India.
The results of the treatment are not permanent, as medications cannot cure BPH. The treatment only helps to control the symptoms and deal with them. So, if a patient stops the medication, they may relapse and their symptoms may return.