How Will Your Doctor Diagnose A Prostate Infection
A prostate infection diagnosis is based on your medical history, a physical exam, and medical tests. Your doctor can also rule out other serious conditions such as prostate cancer during the exam. During a physical exam, your doctor will conduct a digital rectal exam to test your prostate and will look for:
- enlarged or tender lymph nodes in the groin
- swollen or tender scrotum
Your doctor may also ask about your symptoms, recent UTIs, and medications or supplements youre taking. Other medical tests that can help your diagnosis and treatment plan include:
- urinalysis or semen analysis, to look for infections
- a prostate biopsy or a blood test for prostate-specific antigen
- urodynamic tests, to see how your bladder and urethra store urine
- cystoscopy, to look inside the urethra and bladder for blockage
Your doctor may also order an ultrasound to get a closer look. The cause will help determine the correct course of treatment.
What The Research Says
A recent study has also evaluated a possible connection. The authors explored the link between prostate enlargement and vitamin D. They did it through the hormone testosterone. Their results show that higher vitamin D levels in the blood reduce the PSA levels. They also hypothesize that testosterone levels and function depend on vitamin D status. If thats the case, low vitamin D levels would also have a hormonal consequence that explains BPH and BPH symptoms .
Other studies explored a more direct association between the prostate tissue and vitamin D. Interestingly the prostate epithelial cells can activate vitamin D. Moreover, these cells have a vitamin D receptor, even prostate cancer cells. Upon binding, vitamin D sends signals to control the proliferation of cells.
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How Is Bph Treated
In some cases, in particular where symptoms are mild, BPH requires no treatment. At the opposite extreme, some men require immediate intervention if they cannot urinate at all or if kidney/bladder damage has occurred. When treatment is necessary, many men will simply require daily medication. If this fails to completely treat the symptoms, or if there are signs of damage from BPH, the doctor may recommend minimally invasive endoscopic surgery . Or, in some cases, traditional surgery may be recommended.
- Drug treatment: The FDA has approved several drugs to relieve common symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate, including drugs that inhibit the production of the hormone DHT and drugs that relax the smooth muscle of the prostate and bladder neck to improve urine flow.
For surgery, there are many procedures to choose from, and the choice depends largely on your specific prostate anatomy, and surgeon preference and training. These procedures all have a common goal of widening the urethral channel as it passes through the prostate. Procedures include the following:
How Do I Know If My Prostate Is Enlarged
If your prostate is enlarged, it may not be a sign of cancer, but it is something that you should discuss with your doctor. Many of the symptoms of an enlarged prostate tend to relate to urination. If you are concerned about an enlarged prostate, here are 7 symptoms to look for:
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Causes Of Benign Prostate Enlargement
The exact cause of benign prostate enlargement is unknown, but research suggests that hormones probably play an important role in the condition’s development.
Hormones are powerful chemicals that can have a wide range of effects on the cells of the body.
One theory is that as some men get older, the levels of a type of hormone called dihydrotestosterone increases, which may stimulate the growth of the prostate.
Another theory suggests that two hormones, testosterone and oestrogen, play a role. Younger men produce high levels of testosterone and much smaller levels of oestrogen. But as men get older, their levels of testosterone decrease, which means they then have a higher proportion of oestrogen in their body. It’s been suggested that the relative increase in oestrogen may stimulate prostate growth.
How Might An Enlarged Prostate Affect My Life
Having an enlarged prostate affects men in different ways. Some men can manage mild symptoms and dont need treatment. Other men find they need to stay near a toilet. This can make it difficult to work, drive, be outdoors and attend social events. If you need the toilet a lot during the night, this can affect your sleep and make you feel more tired during the day.
Some men with an enlarged prostate find their symptoms improve over time without treatment. But for most, the symptoms will stay the same or slowly start to cause more problems over time unless they have treatment.
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Enlarged Prostate Treatments In The Pipeline
Researchers continue to investigate new therapies for enlarged prostates. “Another category of drugs is under development,” says Slawin. “We’ve come a long way in treating BPH. It’s no longer the life-threatening disease it once was. Now, in treatment, we’re working on quality of life issuesÃ¢â¬Â¦ reducing side effects of treatment.”
Also being studied is a procedure called water-induced thermotherapy , an experimental procedure that involves destroying excess prostate tissue utilizing heated water and an air-filled balloon, which protects normal prostate tissue. The procedure is performed with only local anesthesia. Results may not be fully apparent for three to four months. However, preliminary studies examining WIT have shown positive results, with a near doubling in urine flow. However, the American Urological Association has not thus far endorsed WIT as a viable treatment option for symptoms of BPH.
Is Treatment Always Necessary
No. In most cases, an enlarged prostate does not do any damage or cause complications. Whether treatment is needed usually depends on how much bother the symptoms cause. For example, you may be glad for some treatment if you are woken six times a night, every night, with an urgent need to go to the toilet. On the other hand, slight hesitancy when you go to the toilet and getting up once a night to pass urine may cause little problem and not need treatment.
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Enlarged Prostate Beware Of These Dangerous Drugs
If you walk into your doctors office with symptoms of an enlarged prostate, chances are youll walk out with a hormone-based drug.
These medications are a standard treatment. They include the drugs Avodart and Proscar. But a new study shows that when you take them, its likely youll only be trading one health problem for another.
The research shows the medications can lead to type 2 diabetes, high levels of bad cholesterol, liver disease, and worsening erectile dysfunction.1
Boston University School of Medicine scientists looked at 460 men treated for enlarged prostate.
Half were prescribed Avodart . It uses hormones to reduce the size of the prostate. This in turn improves urinary function.2
The other half were prescribed Flomax , a non-hormonal alpha blocker. It doesnt shrink the prostate. Instead, it works by causing the smooth muscle tissue of the gland to relax. This makes urination easier.3
After a follow-up of 36-42 months, the researchers performed blood tests and assessed prostate size and function. Compared to Flomax, they found that Avodart was associated with an ongoing rise in blood sugar levels, and an increase in LDL bad cholesterol levels. It also increased markers for liver disease.
Men on Flomax experienced smaller but still significant side effects. Their cholesterol also went up. But their good HDL levels went up along with their LDL.
The study appears in the journal Hormones Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigations.
Personal And Family Medical History
Taking a personal and family medical history is one of the first things a health care provider may do to help diagnose benign prostatic hyperplasia. A health care provider may ask a man
- what symptoms are present
- when the symptoms began and how often they occur
- whether he has a history of recurrent UTIs
- what medications he takes, both prescription and over the counter
- how much liquid he typically drinks each day
- whether he consumes caffeine and alcohol
- about his general medical history, including any significant illnesses or surgeries
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Ejaculation Is A Potential Cause Of Mildly Elevated Psa
“Ejaculation can cause a mild elevation of your PSA level, and so can having a digital rectal exam,” says Milner. “These types of PSA elevations are usually not enough to make a significant difference unless your PSA is borderline. PSA should return to normal in two to three days.”
To avoid this type of elevation, doctors will usually draw blood for a person’s PSA level before doing a rectal exam. Ask your doctor if you should avoid ejaculation for a few days before a PSA test.
What Causes Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
The cause of benign prostatic hyperplasia is not well understood however, it occurs mainly in older men. Benign prostatic hyperplasia does not develop in men whose testicles were removed before puberty. For this reason, some researchers believe factors related to aging and the testicles may cause benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Throughout their lives, men produce testosterone, a male hormone, and small amounts of estrogen, a female hormone. As men age, the amount of active testosterone in their blood decreases, which leaves a higher proportion of estrogen. Scientific studies have suggested that benign prostatic hyperplasia may occur because the higher proportion of estrogen within the prostate increases the activity of substances that promote prostate cell growth.
Another theory focuses on dihydrotestosterone , a male hormone that plays a role in prostate development and growth. Some research has indicated that even with a drop in blood testosterone levels, older men continue to produce and accumulate high levels of DHT in the prostate. This accumulation of DHT may encourage prostate cells to continue to grow. Scientists have noted that men who do not produce DHT do not develop benign prostatic hyperplasia.
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Treating Benign Prostate Enlargement
Treatment for an enlarged prostate is determined by the severity of your symptoms.
If you have mild to moderate symptoms, you won’t receive any immediate medical treatment, but you’ll have regular check-ups to carefully monitor your prostate.
You’ll probably also be advised to make lifestyle changes, such as limiting your caffeine and alcohol intake, and exercising regularly, to see if they improve your symptoms.
As well as lifestyle changes, medication is usually recommended to treat moderate to severe symptoms of benign prostate enlargement. Finasteride and dutasteride are medications that are commonly used. They block the effects of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone on the prostate gland, which can reduce the size of the prostate and improve associated symptoms.
Alpha blockers may also be prescribed. They help to relax your bladder muscles, making it easier to pass urine. Tamsulosin and alfuzosin are two alpha blockers commonly used to treat benign prostate enlargement.
Surgery is usually only recommended for moderate to severe symptoms of benign prostate enlargement that have failed to respond to medication.
Read more about treating benign prostate enlargement
What Are The Symptoms Of Bph
If you have BPH, you might not have any noticeable symptoms. However, a common symptom is a change to your urination, because BPH affects the part of the prostate that surrounds the top part of the urethra.
Lower urinary tract symptoms is a common term used to describe a range of urination symptoms. LUTS linked to BPH can cause some discomfort, or block the urine passage, but you might have other symptoms as well. It can be hard to start urinating, or the flow slows to a dribble. Other symptoms include urgent, frequent and painful urination.
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How To Avoid Prostate Problems With Cucurmin
In a series of articles published in the journal Nature and others, Dr. Dorai evaluated the topic thoroughly. The articles mentioned 4 different reasons why curcumin is a potential agent to help avoid prostate problems:
- It induces apoptosis: This is cellular death, which is a natural body response. It is lost in prostate cancer and BPH. But curcumin is capable of increasing the rate of apoptosis in prostate tissue .
- It reduces tyrosine kinase activity: In this regard, it acts similar to a prostate cancer drug called tyrosine kinase inhibitors. This reduces the cell signals that favor prostate overgrowth .
- It inhibits proliferation and angiogenesis: This function of curcumin is particularly important in patients with prostate cancer. Curcumin slows down cell proliferation but also contributes in another aspect. It wont allow cancer to build new blood vessels to keep on growing. This inhibits angiogenesis and prevents more advances in phases in prostate cancer .
- It reduces the rate of bone metastasis: The effect from these foods does not have to do with helping to shrink the prostate gland, but it is very important, too. Prostate cancer cells mimic bone cells and cause bone metastasis. But curcumin interferes with this property and may reduce the rate of bone metastasis .Thats why a 2016 review on the topic revisited each one of these mechanisms and recommended curcumin as a side therapy in patients with prostate cancer and other prostate health issues .
What Is Bph And How Does It Affect Me
The prostate gland surrounds the urethra and assists in reproduction. As a man ages, the prostate gets larger and begins to put pressure on the bladder and urethra, causing uncomfortable symptoms. It may be responsible for blocking the flow of urine out of the bladder, and can cause issues in the bladder, urinary tract, or kidneys.
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What Are The Treatment Options For Prostate Enlargement
Enlarged Prostate Management Options
Each treatment option for an enlarged prostate has various benefits, risks and consequences. In collaboration with health.org.uk, we’ve put together a summary decision aid that encourages patients and doctors to discuss and assess what’s available.
No treatment is likely to clear all symptoms totally, although symptoms can usually be greatly improved with treatment. The treatments considered usually depend on how severe and bothersome your symptoms are.
What Causes An Enlarged Prostate
Scientists believe hormones play a significant role in developing BPH, but they have different theories about which hormones are most responsible.
The first theory suggests testosterone and estrogen impact BPH the most. When testosterone levels drop with age, a greater proportion of estrogen exists in your system. And its this higher percentage of estrogen that indirectly increases prostate cell growth.
The second theory proposes that the male hormone dihydrotestosterone is the critical factor. Its converted from testosterone and is involved in prostate development and growth. Your body continues to produce DHT even as testosterone levels drop.
As high levels of DHT accumulate in your prostate, it encourages growth. Men who dont produce DHT or produce in smaller quantities are not as likely to develop an enlarged prostate.
Both theories may contribute to the development of BPH.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Enlarged Prostate
When the prostate becomes enlarged, it can block the urethra and impair bladder function. Symptoms that may indicate this is happening include:
- Urinating many times a day and being unable to hold off urination
- Problems starting a urine stream or a weak or interrupted stream, followed by dribbling at the end
- Waking at night to urinate and accidental loss of urine
How Is Bph Diagnosed And Evaluated
Early diagnosis of BPH is important because if left untreated it can lead to urinary tract infections, bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones and incontinence. Distinguishing BPH from more serious diseases like prostate cancer is important.
Tests vary from patient to patient, but the following are the most common:
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Can I Do Anything To Prevent Bph
We dont know what causes BPH or how to prevent it. But we do know that lifestyle changes can help to stop the symptoms getting worse, and might even help to improve things. You could think about:
Reducing or cutting out caffeine and alcohol, which irritate the bladder
Avoiding things that make you constipated
Reducing your weight
Controlling diabetes and blood pressure
Although it can be difficult to talk about your prostate, its important to see your doctor if you start noticing any symptoms.