Your enlarged prostate gland could just be a symptom – the cause may be more serious than you think.
The prostate is a walnut-sized globular gland placed behind the urethra and below the bladder in men. This gland plays an important role in the male reproductive system. The prostate goes through two natural growth spurts in the course of a human life. Around puberty, the prostate actually doubles in size! After this, the gland starts to grow again around the age of 25 years. While it is generally not something to worry about, the problem arises when the layer of tissue surrounds the two lobes of the prostate stops growing. As this layer hardens, the enlarging prostate continues to press against the urethra. Around the age of 45 years or so, many men experience mild to severe discomfort and urinary interference due to the growth of the prostate gland.
While the enlargement is generally harmless, there are a few cases wherein your enlarged prostate gland is simply the symptom of a deeper, underlying condition.
BPH is the most common cause of an enlarged prostate, so much so that the names are used synonymously most of the time. Generally seen in older men, BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland.
As the name suggests, BPH is benign. This means that the condition cannot move and spread into parts of your body. However, this doesn’t mean that it cannot wreak havoc exactly where it is. BPH often results in severe enlargement of the prostate gland. As the prostate becomes big, it begins to push against the urethra leading to a host of urinary problems. If the gland enlarges too much, the flow of urine out of the body may be stopped completely. In such a case, the urine then flows back into the kidneys, leading to dangerous illnesses such as kidney infections, painful kidney stones, and in some severe cases, the complete malfunctioning of the kidneys.
If you are having trouble passing urine, get to your physician immediately. BPH may be treated with medications that are aimed at reducing the enlargement of the prostate gland. As the swelling reduces, the flow of urine out of the body resumes. In some cases, your physician might need to insert a catheter and drain out the urine from your body. If medications do not prove effective in easing a severe obstruction, surgery may be your best option.
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