February 29, 2016
By The Institute for Natural Healing
For most men, the prostate gland goes unnoticed—until there’s a problem. The male (women don’t have a prostate gland) sexual gland plays a role in fertility and urination. Diseases of the prostate can interfere with both functions. The most common prostate problem is benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH for short. This is also referred to as “enlarged prostate.” If a man lives long enough, it is extremely likely he will face this condition. BPH afflicts about 90% of men over the age of 80. It’s common even at much younger ages. At age 50, a man has a 50% chance of having it, according the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
An enlarged prostate can cause great difficulty in urination or cause dribbling after you urinate. The urine stream may be very weak. You may feel the urge to urinate often. This can be a major problem during the night because it can lead to lack of sleep.
Here are the most common signs of enlarged prostate:
- Needing to urinate often
- A weak urine stream of urine
- Straining to start to urinate or attempting to force out urine
- Starting to urinate is difficult
- Incontinence (leakage)
- Frequent urinating at night
- Dribbling following urination
- The sense that your bladder has not emptied after urination
- Pain associated with urination
- Bloody urine
- The sudden urgent need to urinate
Much less common than enlarged prostate is a condition called prostatitis. It is inflammation of the gland. It can be caused by a number of factors, but is most often due to a bacterial infection. The prostate can become inflamed even when no infection is evident. In these cases, no exact cause can be found.
Prostate enlargement usually affects men who are middle age or older. However, prostatitis can strike men of any age. It is most common in men between the ages of 30 and 50.
There are three major types of prostatitis:
Chronic bacterial prostatitis is an infection that recurs. It is difficult to get rid of and keeps coming back. It’s a relatively rare problem but is difficult to treat. Doctors sometime prescribe long-term course of antibiotics. But this can have side effects.
Chronic prostatitis is also called Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. It is more common than chronic bacterial prostatitis. The most noticeable symptom is pain. This can occur in the lower back, the groin area, or at the tip of the penis. Men with chronic prostatitis often have painful ejaculation. Patients may need to urinate often. But when they try, they may pass just a small amount of urine. Standard treatments include a combination of medicines, surgery, and lifestyle changes.
Acute bacterial prostatitis usually is caused by a bacterial infection. At the onset, the symptoms are fever, chills, or pain. Later, it might become painful when you urinate. You may see blood in your urine. It’s important to see your doctor if you suffer these symptoms.
You should see your doctor or urologist if you notice any problems with, or changes to, your usual pattern of urination.
Sometimes simple lifestyle changes can reduce symptoms or even make them disappear. These include controlling how much you drink and avoiding coffee, tea, and alcohol before bedtime.