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All about benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) causes of benign prostatic hyperplasia benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms diagnosis of benign prostate hyperplasia benign prostatic hyperplasia risk factors treatment of benign prostate hyperplasia lifestyle for benign prostate hyperplasia benign prostatic hyperplasia medications BPH alternative medicines BPH surgery BPH gentle surgical treatments when to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia BPH surgery and medication

What causes benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is probably a normal part of the aging process in men, caused by changes in hormone balance and cell-growth factors. Genetics may also play a role. This is especially true for severe BPH requiring surgery in

men younger than 60.

Men who have had their testicles removed do not develop BPH and, after castration, BPH has been observed to regress. In other words, the presence of normally functioning testicles appears to be necessary for the development of BPH. Abnormally growing prostate tissue may use male hormones differently than normal prostate tissue. Although this tissue growth is non-cancerous, as the tumor grows larger it can obstruct the urethra and interfere with the normal flow of urine. Men who are older than 50 have a higher risk of developing BPH. However, why some men have more severe symptoms than others is unknown.

A number of theories have been proposed to explain benign cell growth in older men.

Male Hormones - Androgens (male hormones) most likely play a role in prostate growth. The most important androgen is testosterone, which is produced throughout a man's lifetime. The prostate converts testosterone to a more powerful androgen, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT stimulates cell growth in the tissue that lines the prostate gland (the glandular epithelium) and is the major cause of the rapid prostate enlargement that occurs between puberty and young adulthood. DHT is a prime suspect in prostate enlargement in later adulthood.

Estrogen - Some authorities believe that the female hormone estrogen may also play a role in BPH; some estrogen is always present in men. As men age, testosterone levels drop and the proportion of estrogen increases, possibly triggering prostate growth.

Late Activation of Cell Growth - Another theory focuses on cells in a certain section of the gland that may become active late in life, signaling other prostate cells to replicate or causing them to be sensitive to growth-stimulating hormones.

Defective Cell Death - This theory suggests that a process known as apoptosis, in which cells naturally self-destruct, goes awry and results in cell proliferation.

Blood Vessel Injury - Some experts theorize that the blood vessels in the prostate gland may deteriorate as men age, causing abnormal blood flow and oxygen loss, which would stimulate cell growth. Such a theory is supported by the presence of heart and circulatory problems in many men with BPH.

More information on benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

What is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)? - Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as benign prostatic hypertrophy, is a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland that occurs in almost all men as they age.
What causes benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)?
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is probably a normal part of the aging process in men, caused by changes in hormone balance and cell-growth factors.
What are the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia? - Initial symptoms of BPH include difficulty starting to urinate and a feeling of incomplete urination. Urinary tract infections cause burning or pain during urination, and possibly fever.
How does the doctor diagnose benign prostate hyperplasia? - Patients will be asked about their symptoms and may also be asked to fill out a symptom questionnaire to let the doctor know the nature of the symptoms and how troublesome they are.
Who is associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia? - Age is the major risk factor. A family history of BPH appears to increase a man's chance of developing the condition. Diabetes, in any case, worsens urinary tract symptoms in men with BPH.
How is benign prostate hyperplasia treated? - Treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) focuses on reducing your symptoms. Treatment is based on how severe your symptoms are, how much they bother you, and whether complications are present.
What're lifestyle measures for managing benign prostate hyperplasia? - Certain lifestyle changes can help relieve symptoms and are particularly important for men who choose to avoid surgery or drug therapy. Men with BPH should avoid, if possible, the many medications for colds and allergy that contain decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed).
What kinds of medicines are used for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) treatment? - Alpha-blockers relax smooth muscles, especially in the urinary tract and prostate. They include terazosin (Hytrin), doxazosin (Cardura), tamsulosin (Flomax), and alfuzosin (Xatral). 5-alpha-reductate inhibitors are a group of anti-androgens. In other words, they block male hormones, particularly dihydrotestosterone.
What are alternative medicines for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) treatment? - Some herbal medicines may be helpful, but no one should take any herbal medication or attempt to treat BPH without first consulting a physician.
What kind of surgery is available for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) treatment? - An operation on the prostate will involve the removal of parts of the enlarged tissue. The most effective surgical procedures, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and open prostatectomy, are also the most invasive.
Are there other more gentle surgical treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)? - Microwave thermotherapy reduces the size of the prostate by causing cells in the centre of the prostate to die. Another endoscopic treatment, in which part of the prostate tissue is removed with laser energy.
How to choose between treatment and watchful waiting for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)? - The choice between watchful waiting and treatment usually depends on a number of factors, such as urine flow rates, prostate size, and PSA levels.
How to decide between surgery and medication for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)? - If a man opts for treatment, there are a number of choices. Medications are the best choice for patients with mild symptoms who decide to have their condition treated. Men with moderate to severe symptoms still have good choices among drugs and surgeries.
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