Is an enlarged prostate a serious medical condition? If you are male, 60% of you will have symptoms of an enlarged prostate over the age of 60. 90% will have symptoms by age 85. This adds up to fourteen million Americans with an enlarged prostate, and although this seems fairly common, don’t be fooled into thinking it cannot ever become serious. It can be.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
An enlarged prostate is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. Many men have BPH but with no symptoms even into their senior years. Other men can begin having symptoms early in life. How the symptoms affect your life is of key importance. Once you notice a change in frequency, or amount of urine you pass, you should seek help from Dr. Steven Gange.
Note also the word benign, meaning there is no cancer present, but there are circumstances where a man can have more than one type of condition.
Paying attention to the following symptoms is essential:
- Frequent urination sometimes every hour
- Feeling of needing to urinate or urgency
- A weak stream or dribbling
- Waking up at night to pee
- Trouble starting to urinate
These symptoms can also indicate other medical conditions like an infection, so they should be checked out.
Ignoring Your Symptoms Can Cause Complications
Many men find that their symptoms come on so gradually, they don’t even notice them or they simply adapt to them. Many times others notice changes and will point them out. However you acknowledge you have the above symptoms, do not ignore them or they could become a serious medical condition.
With time and no treatment, BPH can obstruct the bladder from emptying completely which can lead to your bladder not functioning properly. A failed bladder may result in you not being able to urinate at all. This is a medical emergency and needs immediate treatment. Even if this is corrected, you might still need a catheter to urinate.
Another complication from untreated BPH is a backup of urine resulting in kidney problems. Once that occurs you may need dialysis or a transplant.
Improving An Enlarged Prostate And Its Symptoms
There are some lifestyle changes men can make which will help to reduce symptoms of BPH. Losing weight, cutting back on caffeine and alcohol, exercising regularly, and limiting spicy foods can help to improve your symptoms.
In addition to lifestyle changes, your physician may decide to do active surveillance and carefully monitor your symptoms.
There are prescription medications for reducing symptoms, and if that is unsuccessful, your physician may recommend less invasive surgery.
Don’t let an enlarged prostate become a serious medical condition. Contact Dr. Steven Gange at (801) 993-1800, or request an appointment online, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.