Experts estimate that every man faces a prostate problem at least once in his life. This risk is believed to increase with age.
The prostate is an organ unique to men and is part of their reproductive tract. This gonad has an important role in the normal functioning of the reproductive tract in men during sexual intercourse by producing substances that enter the composition of the ejaculate (male seminal fluid or sperm). This organ also plays an important role in protecting the male genital organs from infections.
The prostate is located in the small pelvis, under the bottom of the bladder, at the end of the large intestine (rectum) and anatomically surrounds the urethra (or it is said that the urethra passes through the prostate) which conducts urine from the bladder to the tip of the penis where it is excreted externally. With its shape and size, the prostate resembles a chestnut, which is why it is also called a chestnut tree.
Given that two ureters pass through the prostate in addition to the urethra, which are the final parts of the ejaculatory ducts, it can be said that it is the place of intersection of the urinary tract and the path through which the sperm leaves.
Together with the seminal vesicles, the prostate participates in the creation of seminal fluid, which facilitates the movement of spermatozoa, creates a favorable PH value of the environment for spermatozoa and with numerous nutrients plays an important role in the movement and maintenance of spermatozoa in life.
Many substances from the seminal fluid are also important for erection and ejaculation, so problems with these functions of the male genital organs are most often recognized in the improper function of the prostate.
During the different stages of a man’s life, this gland under the influence of testosterone goes through several stages during which it changes, first of all, its size. Some changes in the size of the prostate represent a physiological phenomenon that is attributed to a certain stage of the development of the male organism but when these changes (which is usually enlargement) exceed the physiological limits, then we have a problem that can significantly affect the quality of life of a man.
The prostate has the shape and size of a chestnut, but this is characteristic of already mature men. A man is born with a prostate the size of a bean, it grows slowly until puberty, and in this turbulent period of a man’s life it suddenly increases and reaches its normal size and shape, which remains until the man’s forties when changes occur again.
Namely, then the proliferation of prostate cells begins and this benign enlargement of this gland is called an adenoma. This enlargement usually does not present any problem and goes unnoticed by many but it also happens that changes of this type go beyond the physiological framework and cause a problem in the functioning of the prostate.
Men who engage in jobs that involve long periods of sitting are at the highest risk of prostate disease in the form of benign prostate enlargement. Getting up and walking often can be helpful in preventing this condition. The situation is similar with athletes such as, for example, horse riders and cyclists.
Insufficient sun exposure, stress, urinary retention (delayed emptying) or uncontrolled sexual activity are some of the risks that lead to problems with the prostate.
ENLARGED PROSTATE SYMPTOMS
Prostate enlargement occurs in many men as early as the age of 35 and it is most often a benign enlargement called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH. Accumulation of cells, i.e. enlargement of the prostate, occurs due to the increased reproduction of the cells of this gland under the influence of testosterone, whereby old cells do not die. This increase affects the bladder and the urinary system as a whole and if mild symptoms occur that are not treated the condition can worsen significantly.
As the urethra narrows and urination becomes difficult, the muscles of the bladder contract strongly and weaken over time due to this effort, which leads us to the first symptoms of an enlarged prostate:
- delayed urination
- frequent urination at night
- inability to urinate or a weak stream
- retention of urine in the bladder
- inability to completely empty the bladder
- uncontrolled urination
- uncontrolled stream of urine
- the appearance of blood in the urine
- pain when urinating or a strong and sudden urge to urinate.
Symptoms appear gradually, so it is not unusual for prostate problems to be suspected only after several years of living with complaints. Certainly, as soon as there is even a minimal suspicion, consult a doctor, because any delay can potentially lead to complications, which can cause a series of inconveniences.
Thus, bladder retention can occur when there is a complete blockage of urine and the inability to urinate, as well as chronic retention which is the inability to empty the bladder completely. Here, the urge to urinate constantly occurs which is a sign that our bladder is not emptying properly.
This condition can complicate the healing process because the retained urine accumulates bacteria that cause infections.
ENLARGED PROSTATE PAIN
All disorders in the prostate structure can cause pain. Whether it is a benign enlargement, prostatitis or prostate cancer, pain or an unpleasant pain-like sensation is an accompanying symptom of these condition.
It is considered that people who have an enlarged prostate, that is, frequent inflammations, are already in the risk group of the disease. Other risk factors are age, genetics, but also the influence of the environment, i.e. the action of toxins and chemicals. Even benign prostatic hyperplasia can be a cause of prostate pain.
The most common consequence of an enlarged prostate is difficulty urinating.
The pain that occurs with an enlarged prostate is most often described by patients as pain under or behind the genital organ and sharp and very strong pain in the lower back and in the lower abdomen may occur. Pain often accompanies urination and it is usually a sharp and severe pain or a form of unpleasant burning sensation in the area of the penis and genitals. Pain during ejaculation is also a sign of prostate disease.
ENLARGED PROSTATE IN YOUNG PEOPLE
Problems with the prostate most often occur in men after the age of forty (statistics say that almost 80% of men at that age have a problem with an enlarged prostate) while they are almost inevitable conditions in men after the age of 80. However, it is not uncommon for prostate problems to occur in younger men as well.
ENLARGED PROSTATE CAUSES
The exact cause of prostate enlargement is not known but it is believed that male sex hormones, primarily testosterone, have a favorable effect on the process of prostate enlargement creating a favorable atmosphere for the reproduction of its cells.
The cause of hyperplasia is not known but there is a belief that it is caused by male sex hormones which either stimulate the formation of benign hyperplasia or simply create a favorable atmosphere in the body for that process.
It is also believed that jobs that involve a predominantly sitting position have an impact on prostate problems. That is why office workers, those who spend a lot of time at the computer, professional drivers and some athletes such as cyclists or horse riders are at a higher risk of prostate disease. Also, jobs that involve a constant change in air temperature (hot-cold) are not desirable, especially for older men.
Excessive sexual activity can also cause prostate enlargement.
ENLARGED PROSTATE SURGERY
Surgery is one of the possible ways to treat urinary difficulties in benign prostatic hyperplasia. In this case, minimally invasive transurethral resection of the prostate is used. This undertaking is applied to prevent further complications of urinary retention in the bladder caused by the enlargement of the prostate and drug treatment does not give the desired results. Thanks to modern medicines, good results are achieved in reducing prostate enlargement as well as in facilitating urination.
Thus, surgical interventions are postponed or even completely eliminated as an option in treatment. However, the advice of experts is that you should not run away from the possibility of surgical intervention and problem solving at the age of a man when his overall state of health allows such an intervention. No medicine has the power to shrink the prostate or change its shape. They can only stop further growth and facilitate urination.
Surgical intervention is indicated in the case of repeated inability to urinate, bleeding from the prostate, repeated infection of the urinary tract due to enlargement of the ureteral outlet ducts, when the bladder is constantly full and the patient does not feel the need to urinate.
These complications suggest that the ideal moment for surgical treatment has passed and that it is inevitable to do so at that moment. However, you should think about surgery at the right time and if experts recommend it, you should not shy away from it.
INCREASED PROSTATE DIMENSIONS
Prostate size is not the same throughout life. A man is born with a prostate the size and appearance of a bean. Until puberty, it increases slowly, while at puberty it starts growing suddenly and reaches a size that it retains until the forties of life.
The dimensions of such a prostate are about 3,5 x 4,5 x 2,5 cm and the weight of a normal prostate is between 16 and 22 grams. In a young man the weight is about 20 grams.
After the forties, increased proliferation of prostate cells begins, and the slower death of the elderly, so the prostate grows again, which is called benign prostate enlargement.
ENLARGED PROSTATE NUTRITION
It would be good if a healthy diet was a measure to prevent all diseases, but unfortunately, we only worry about it when we get sick.
Foods rich in zinc are important for a diseased prostate, which is important both for the treatment and prevention of all prostate diseases. That is why, for example, recommends pumpkin seeds with honey or milk. This mineral is also found in nuts, eggs, oysters and oats are also rich in it, as are legumes, turkey and red meat and goat’s milk.
In addition to zinc, selenium is also important for the treatment of the prostate, the lack of which can cause sterility in men. Selenium is the most abundant in Brazil nuts. It is also found in liver, oats, brewer’s yeast, egg yolk, soy, garlic, fish, butter and seafood. Tuna and cod are rich in selenium and it is also found in sunflower seeds. The antioxidant quarcetin, which is found in apples, citrus fruits and grapes is also important for the prostate and red berries, olive oil and herbal teas. Foods rich in vitamin A such as carrots, as well as omega 3 fatty acids such as linseed or linseed oil are also welcome. Lycopene, which is found in cooked tomatoes is also important for the prostate and sesame is also healthy. Pomegranate, banana and avocado are also recommended and dried fruit is also useful for prostate diseases.
Finally, it is important to drink plenty of water, from 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, which is important for urine excretion.
ENLARGED PROSTATE TREATMENT
Problems with the prostate most often occur in men at a more mature age primarily because the body’s elasticity is lost and with weight gain comes pressure on the pelvis which does not please the prostate. It is interesting that in addition to excessive sitting, which damages the prostate, excessive physical activity is also not recommended because the upright position also puts pressure on the pelvis.
It is bad for the prostate and exposure to the cold, especially in the cold months, and particularly risky occupations such as working in a cold store.
Problems with the prostate can also be caused by sexually transmitted infections and some diseases of the digestive or respiratory system, insufficient emptying of the colon, because a full colon also puts pressure on the prostate, while an unhealthy diet, alcohol and cigarette consumption increase the chances of men having prostate problems.
Unfortunately, the first symptoms are not so visible so we ignore prostate disease and often start treatment months, even years late. It is important to contact the doctor as soon as you feel pain, regardless of its intensity, in the prostate area, in the lower abdomen, in the back or in the pelvis, because this pain is an indicator that something is wrong with the prostate.
During the examination the doctor will see if it is a urinary infection or another disease of the urinary tract because these diseases also have symptoms that are similar to the symptoms of prostate disease.
The diagnosis requires a detailed history, an ultrasound examination of the prostate, a digitorectal examination of the prostate (examination of the prostate with a finger through the colon, based on this examination the size and softness of the prostate is felt and a conclusion is drawn), laboratory analyzes of blood and urine and other imaging such as cystoscopy and cystourethrogram.
Treatment can go in two directions: drug treatment and surgical intervention. For drug treatment medications are used that relax the wall of the urinary bladder, thus enabling the unhindered flow of urine, as well as those drugs that stop further enlargement of the prostate. The surgical method is used to deal with the consequences of prostate enlargement and is most often used as a last option and unfortunately, often when there are no other options left which should not be the practice.
There are several surgical procedures that are applied:
- cystoscopy – imaging of the urinary bladder by entering through the urethra with a cystoscope
- transurethral resection of the prostate – treats an enlarged prostate
- laser prostatectomy – has the same effect as the previous method
- transurethral prostate incision – involves cutting the prostate instead of removing prostate tissue and these incisions reduce pressure on the urethra, making it easier to urinate (with this method, patients go home the same day after surgery and wear a catheter for a day or two).