As men get older, their body changes in ways one can’t always control. For most men, one of those changes comes with the growing prostate. Aging men tend to have larger prostates than younger men. When the country is celebrating prostate cancer awareness month this September, it is important to know more about it
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 stabilize and might even improve over time.
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 (UTI)
- Inability to urinate
- Blood in the urine
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
According to Dr Jaydeep Date, “An enlarged prostate directly affects a man’s ability to urinate as there is increased pressure on the urethra 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”.
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 In 1997, India’s prevalence by age is 25% for people;e aged between 40-49; 37% for people aged between 50–59; 37% for people aged between 60–69, and 50% for people aged between 70–79.
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 7-8 hours recommended 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.
Elaborating on this Dr Date, said, “Many men will develop an enlarged prostate as they age, because the gland does not stop growing throughout their life time. As men age they should get regular prostate screenings to check for BPH/prostate cancer. The age specific PSA range is lower in India than western countries. The prostate cancer in India is still being diagnosed in late stages”
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.