What is BPH?
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the medical term used to describe an enlarged prostate. It means a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland.
- Benign – non-cancerous
- Prostatic – to do with the prostate gland
- Hyperplasia – an increase in the number of cells
What causes a BPH or enlarged prostate
There are two risk factors:
- Age: The risk of developing enlarged prostate increases as men get older.
- Hormone levels: The balance of hormones in the body changes as you get older and this may cause the prostate gland to grow.
Who is more likely to develop BPH?BPH affects about 50% of men between the ages of 51 and 60 and up to 90% of men older than 80. Men with family history of BPH, obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, lack of physical exercise and having erectile dysfunction are more likely to develop BPH.
What are the symptoms of BPH?An enlarged prostate can cause your urethra to narrow, causing symptoms such as:
- a weak urine flow
- needing to urinate more often, especially at night
- a feeling that your bladder has not emptied properly
- difficulty starting to urinate
- dribbling urine
- needing to rush to the toilet
- Blood in urine.
How does BHP affects quality of life?Many men find that having to get up and go to the toilet at night is the most troublesome aspect of this condition, as it makes them tired during the day. Having to urinate frequently during the day, sometimes with a sense of urgency, can also be tiring for patients and can make travelling or attending events, such as the theatre or cinema rather difficult.
What are common diagnostic tests for BPH?
- Transrectal Ultrasound
- Urine test
- Blood test
- PSA test
- Urodynamic test
What are the different treatment options available for BPH?There are three main types of treatment for enlarged prostate like lifestyle changes, medicines and surgery
What advice should be given to BPH patients related to lifestyle changes?
Lifestyle changes include:
- Drinking less alcohol, caffeine, artificial sweeteners and fizzy drinks
- Drinking less in the evening
- Eating more fruit and fibre
- Emptying bladder before long journeys