What Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH? | Everyday Health

What Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH? | Everyday Health

Doctors advise men to seek medical care if they experience the above complications. (6)
How Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Diagnosed?
Diagnosis of BPH begins with your doctor getting your personal and family medical history. Your doctor will inquire about your:
Symptoms, including when they began and how often they occur
History of urinary tract infections
Medication you take
Liquid drinking habitats, including often you drink caffeine and alcohol
General medical history, including significant illnesses or surgeries
Next, your doctor will give you a physical exam. She will tap on specific areas of your body and look for signs of discharge from your urethra, and assess for swollen or tender groin lymph nodes, and a swollen or tender scrotum.
Your doctor will also conduct a digital rectal exam, in which she inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum to feel your prostate. This exam allows a doctor to feel if a prostate is enlarged and potentially discover lumps or bumps that may be associated with prostate cancer.
Your doctor may also one or more medical tests, such as:
Urinalysis (urine test) to detect infections
Urodynamic tests to determine issues with urine flow, pressure in the bladder during urination, and how much urine remains in the bladder after urination
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test to detect elevated PSA levels, which may indicate BPH or prostate cancer
Cystoscopy — in which a tube-like instrument is inserted into the urethra — to detect blockages in the urethra or bladder
Image tests of the bladder, including ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (2,6, 11 )
Treatment for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Depending on the severity of symptoms, there are a variety of ways that BPH can be managed and treated.
Lifestyle Changes for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
If you have only very mild symptoms from BPH, your doctor may recommend certain lifestyle changes to manage your BPH. These include:
Reducing your liquid intake, especially before leaving the house or sleeping
Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and certain medication ( decongestants , antihistamines , antidepressants , and diuretics ) that may make you urinate more
Training the bladder to keep urine flowing longer
Exercising your pelvic floor muscles
Preventing or treating constipation
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Medication
If you have mild to moderate BPH, your doctor will likely prescribe one or more drugs to stop the growth of or shrink the prostate and reduce symptoms.
Alpha blockers are a type of medication that relax the smooth muscles of the bladder neck and prostate, helping to improve urine flow and reduce blockage. These medicines include Uroxatral (alfuzosin) , Cardura (doxazosin ), Flomax (tamsulosin ), and Rapaflo (silodosin) .
Typically prescribed for erectile dysfunction, phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors like Cialis (tadalafil ) can help reduce lower urinary tract symptoms by relaxing smooth muscles.
Another type of drug called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors —  Proscar and Propecia (finasteride)
Avodart (dutasteride) — can slow and even reverse prostate growth by blocking the production of DHT. (6,  12 )
Nonmedication Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Treatment Options
If you have moderate to severe BHP, you're unresponsive to medication, or you have BPH complications, your doctor will likely opt for minimally invasive treatments or surgery.
Minimally invasive procedures, which can destroy enlarged prostate tissue or widen the urethra, include:
Transurethral microwave thermotherapy
Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA, which the Urology Care Foundation does not recommend )
Surgery may be necessary if medication and minimally invasive procedures are ineffective. Surgical procedures for BPH include:
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)
Laser surgery
Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP) (2,6,10,12)
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Prevention
There is no definitive way to prevent BPH, but you can potentially reduce your chances of getting it by managing certain BPH risk factors.
For example, remaining active and losing weight may help reduce your chances of getting BPH. Having too much body fat can increase hormone levels, which may stimulate the growth of prostate cells and lead to BPH. (2)
A literature review published in November 2018 in the World Journal of Urology also found that diet may play a role in the development and prevention of BPH.
For example, one study found that eating a lot of fat and red meat or too little protein and vegetables is associated with an increased risk of BPH. Additionally, vegetables, flaxseed, and vitamin D may be associated with a reduced risk of BPH.
But more research is needed to fully reveal the effects of diet on BPH development and prevention, according to an article published in November 2018 in the World Journal of Urology. ( 13 )
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