The difference between acute and chronic inflammation of the prostate
A WORD ABOUT THE PROSTATE
The prostate is a gland that is part of the male reproductive system and is important for the normal sexual function of men. This chestnut-shaped gland protects the genital tract of men from infections, is important for the normal age and function of sperm until fertilization and plays an important role in both erection and ejaculation.
During a man’s life, from birth to his later years, he goes through a series of physiological changes which can affect the quality of life of a man. Also, the prostate can be affected by changes which can cause a series of inconveniences which men can face for years and depending on the timelines of medical intervention and the advanced stage of the disease, problems with the prostate can persist permanently.
The prostate of a sexually mature man looks and is the size of a chestnut. At birth, it is the size and appearance of a bean, it grows gradually until puberty, while during puberty it grows more intensively and reaches its physiological shape and size very quickly.
Until a man’s forties, generally no changes occur and later a physiological enlargement known as benign prostate enlargement occurs. Such changes are expected in people over 60 years old while they are almost inevitable in those over 80 years old.
Prostate diseases are the most common causes of poor health in men, and as we mentioned, prostate enlargement, which can further develop into bigger problems, is one of the problems that occur in this gland.
Prostate problems in men are among the most common health problems faced by men so it is assumed that every man faces a prostate problem at least once in his life. The most serious form of cancer in men is the one that affects the prostate and of the problems that affect the prostate here we will talk more about acute and chronic inflammation of the prostate.
WHAT IS PROSTATITIS OR INFLAMMATION OF THE PROSTATE?
It could be said that inflammation of the prostate gland is one of the most common diagnoses when it comes to prostate problems.
Inflammation of the prostate can have several causes and almost all changes in the prostate can lead to inflammation, acute or chronic.
Thus, the most common warning signs that something is wrong with the prostate usually point to inflammation of the prostate. Some of these symptoms are burning during urination, pain in the genital area and pain during sexual intercourse, both during erection and ejaculation.
Prostate problems in the form of inflammation, unlike other changes in the prostate, can also affect younger men, and that is why it is important not to ignore the symptoms, but to have every change washed away and checked by a doctor in addition to mandatory preventive examinations.
We can distinguish between two forms of inflammation – acute and chronic, of which the acute is easier to notice due to its more pronounced clinical picture, while the chronic inflammation can be ignored for years.
WHAT IS CHRONIC PROSTATIC INFLAMMATION?
Each type of inflammation presents special challenges.
The problem with chronic inflammation of the prostate is that the symptoms that occur are non-specific, which are of lower intensity than in acute inflammation which occur gradually and because one of the main indicators of some inflammation is absent – elevated body temperature. Because of all this, patients ignore the symptoms for a long time, attribute them to some other problems, hope that they will go away on their own and, in general, do not treat the inflammation.
Most often, chronic inflammation of the prostate occurs as a result of inadequate treatment of acute inflammation of the prostate, and very often it is a consequence of inflammatory processes that occur in the urethra and urinary bladder.
When the causative agent of inflammatory processes is bacteria, the treatment process is less complicated thanks to easier diagnosis because it is easier to isolate the pathogen and thus to find adequate antibiotic therapy.
In non-bacterial infections, the causative agent cannot be isolated. Non-bacterial inflammation of the prostate is similar to acute prostatitis and in almost two-thirds of cases the symptoms are similar only less intense and without elevated body temperature.
It can be bacterial when the causative agent is clearly detected and non-bacterial, where the causative agent cannot be isolated.
The most common causes of prostate inflammation caused by bacteria are:
These microorganisms are transmitted by unprotected sexual relations in a group of five cases and in chronic inflammation they appear as pathogens. Often, chronic inflammation can be caused by Pseudomonas and Escherichia coli.
In addition to bacterial infection, chronic inflammation of the prostate can also be caused by autoimmune diseases and injuries in the area of the prostate and prostatitis can also occur as a result of gout, stones in the prostate, narrowing of the urethra, tumors, benign prostatic hyperplasia and even viral and fungal infections. Inflammation can also be caused by certain activities, some health conditions as well as interventions by doctors, such as the placement of a catheter.
Causes can be injuries to the urinary system, some urinary tract infections, urination disorders, etc excessive sexual activity, as well as anal sex, excessive use of alcohol or a fixed body position that is specific to riders, cyclists or people who work in a sitting position for several hours continuously (drivers, people who do office work and the like).
SYMPTOMS OF CHRONIC INFLAMMATION OF THE PROSTATE
As we said, the symptoms of chronic inflammation of the prostate are not intense and for those who are used to seeing a doctor only when the condition of a disease worsens, without the habit of regular or occasional preventive examinations, the symptoms of chronic prostatitis are easily ignored and with inconvenience which causes this condition man learns to live. It is not necessary to emphasize how wrong this is first of all because this situation will not resolve itself and will most certainly only worsen over time. Therefore, the symptoms of prostatitis should not be ignored, but should be understood as an alarm for an urgent visit to the urologist.
What is the first sign which represents discomfort, which is as bearable as it is, is a slight pressure and tension that is felt in the lower part of the abdomen and it spreads towards the testicles and the inner side of the thighs. The pain intensifies when the patient sits so the dull pain is particularly unpleasant and irritating. Symptomatology is manifested by mild pressure and tension in the lower abdomen that spreads to the testicles and inner thighs.
As a symptom, some patients also experience nighttime urination, pain and discomfort in the rectum during bowel movements. Laxity and general weakness can also occur which can be attributed to other diseases, if they are not accompanied by some symptoms that are more suggestive of prostatitis. Among the quite concrete symptoms are disturbances in the sexual function of men, such as erection, and especially painful ejaculation (ejection of seminal fluid).
Basically, almost all problems that can arise during sexual activities in a man point to some problem with the prostate. Symptoms include painful and difficult urination, tension in the bladder and the feeling that the bladder is not completely empty even after urination. Rarely, blood in the urine and ejaculate can also occur. Cold, and especially alternating exposure to hot and cold, as well as excessive use of alcohol, can worsen the condition and intensify the symptoms.
If prostatitis is not treated exclusively with the professional guidance of a urologist, the disease can become complicated and cause frequent urinary infections, which occur again and again as well as inflammation of the testicles or stones in the prostate. Untreated chronic inflammation of the prostate leads to sterility and conditions that in many ways worsen the quality of life of men.
TREATMENT OF CHRONIC INFLAMMATION OF THE PROSTATE
A prerequisite for the successful treatment of chronic prostatitis is certainly a well-established diagnosis. An anamnesis based on information about previous inflammatory processes of the prostate and urinary tract is the first step and the diagnosis is confirmed by a rectal examination that examines the sensitivity of the prostate.
Before and after this examination, which is also called prostate massage, urine samples are taken. Laboratory analyzes can determine the presence of bacteria, while endoscopy, immunological analyses, biopsy and ultrasound of the prostate are used for non-bacterial inflammations.
When the presence of bacteria is proven, treatment with antibiotics is carried out based on the antibiogram. In contrast to the treatment of acute prostatitis, which quickly improves the clinical picture, chronic inflammation of the prostate requires long-term and, above all, persistent treatment.
This is primarily important because chronic prostatitis that is not treated or not treated to the end can lead to sterility in the last case, but the state of the disease itself causes a number of inconveniences – from impaired potency to complications that most often affect the urinary tract in the form of infections. The treatment can last up to three months and in addition to the targeted therapy with antibiotics, the symptoms of the disease are also treated.
On the other hand, chronic prostatitis, which is not caused by bacteria, is usually treated symptomatically and in addition to a wide range of drugs that affect numerous symptoms, physical and psychological therapy provided to the patient is also important.
In addition to the usual therapy there are additional methods, precautions, dietary regimens and recommended activities that can help improve or relieve the condition caused by chronic prostatitis. Prostate massages are recommended which help to expel the fluid that causes inflammation and warm baths can also relieve the discomfort. Anti-stress therapies, moderate but regular physical activity, reduced intake of spicy and acidic foods, and a life without alcohol are also recommended.
WHAT IS ACUTE INFLAMMATION OF THE PROSTATE?
Acute inflammation of the prostate occurs suddenly, which is why it is called acute.
In contrast to chronic inflammation, which can produce unpleasant but tolerable symptoms for years, and even not produce visible symptoms, it is impossible not to register an active prostatitis and especially we cannot ignore it.
Acute inflammation of the prostate also occurs in younger men, unlike other prostate problems that are characteristic of middle-aged and older men. The causes of acute prostatitis are the same as those of chronic inflammation. Therefore, it can be biological agents, such as bacteria, viruses and fungi or mechanical injuries caused most often during some medical interventions (catheter placement) or some other injuries.
Also, the cause can be autoimmune diseases or a large blood supply to the prostate which occurs in cyclists, horse riders or men who frequently perform activities in a sitting position continuously for several hours.
SYMPTOMS OF ACUTE INFLAMMATION OF THE PROSTATE
Symptoms of acute prostatitis appear intensively and suddenly. Severe pain above and below the genital organ as well as pain in the back and lower abdomen are characteristic of acute prostatitis. Typical symptoms are frequent urination and in small amounts and especially the frequent need to urinate at night. Bloody and even purulent discharge from the urethra may also occur.
Symptoms can include an elevated body temperature which rises sharply even up to 39 degrees and this condition is also characterized by a feeling of fatigue, general malaise, weakness, nausea, a feeling of chills and shivering (fever) as well as a headache.
In the majority of cases, the prostate is enlarged in acute prostatitis and increased swelling can affect the flow of urine causing urinary retention and unpleasant accumulation in the bladder which irritates. Very often, the pain that occurs is so severe that it hinders or completely prevents movement and it typically occurs in the area between the testicles and the anal opening spreading inwards. Pain can also occur in the area of the small pelvis, and it can intensify during bowel movements.
ACUTE INFLAMMATION OF THE PROSTATE TREATMENT
The diagnosis of acute inflammation is much simpler than chronic inflammation of the prostate primarily because the clinical picture is much clearer and more impressive. Here, the diagnosis is made on the basis of the patient’s examination, primarily a rectal examination, which palpates the prostate and determines its condition, i.e. whether the prostate is enlarged and how it reacts to touch.
Laboratory analyzes are also carried out in order to determine the causative agent. Analysis of urine culture and prostate secretions is important.
As the symptoms of acute inflammation are usually violent, and the firstly is an elevated body temperature, the treatment first takes place in the direction of suppressing the symptoms. It is very important to lower the temperature, to rest in bed and to drink large amounts of fluids in order to compensate for the loss due to the increased temperature. In parallel with symptomatic therapy, therapy is applied based on the causative agent confirmed in the laboratory.
The treatment of acute inflammation of the prostate takes less time than the treatment of a chronic condition, but it must still last at least a month and must not be stopped prematurely. This is particularly important because an untreated acute infection leads to a chronic condition which then requires far greater persistence in treatment and above all means prolonging the discomfort that every problem with the prostate causes. The good side of prostate treatment is that the results of the treatment and changes for the better are visible very soon after the diagnosis and the start of the treatment.
Acute prostatitis can affect both a young man in his 20s and a man in his 50s and the risk factors are the same as in chronic prostatitis, excessive sexual activity, as well as unprotected sexual intercourse during which you expose yourself to infections that will also affect the prostate, excessive physical activity , as well as its complete absence, excessive consumption of alcohol and food that is very spicy and finally engaging in activities and jobs that are a risk for prostate inflammation, cycling, horse riding, professional drivers and any reason that requires excessive sitting.
In both acute and chronic inflammation of the prostate it is important to start the treatment on time and to be consistent in the application of the therapy under the strict supervision of a doctor in the field of urology. Also, every man should stick to preventive examinations and control his health outside of situations that require treatment.
We suggest you also read “how water, beer or other alcohol affect the prostate“!