Prostate gland enlargement also called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) or Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy is simply a condition in men where the prostate gland gets bigger.
The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland that forms part of the male reproductive system. The gland is made of two lobes, or regions, enclosed by an outer layer of tissue. It is located in front of the rectum and just below the bladder, where urine is stored. The urethra, the canal through which urine passes out of the body, goes right through the center of the prostate so that as the gland gets bigger, one of the most common signs of BPH is that it begins to block (obstruct) urine flow.
Scientists do not know all the functions of the prostate, but one of its main roles is that it produces most of the fluid in semen, the milky-colored fluid that nourishes and energizes sperm and that it squeezes the semen into the urethra during sexual climax (orgasm).
Most men have continued prostate growth throughout life, but the most significant growth can be pinpointed to occur at two periods: early in puberty, when the prostate doubles in size and then at about age 25.
BPH rarely causes symptoms before age 40, but more than half of men in their sixties and as many as 90 percent in their seventies and eighties have some symptoms of BPH.
As the prostate enlarges, the layer of tissue surrounding it stops it from expanding outwards.
This causes the gland to press against the urethra and the bladder. The bladder wall gets irritated and becomes thicker over time, and is prompted to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine. This leads to more frequent urination. Eventually, the bladder weakens and loses the ability to empty itself fully. The narrowed urethra and partial emptying of the bladder cause many of the problems linked to BPH.
The actual cause of prostate enlargement is unknown. It may however be due to:
Factors linked to aging such as changes in the balance of sex hormones as men grow older. Throughout their lives, men produce both testosterone, an important male hormone, and small amounts of estrogen, a female hormone. As men age, the amount of active testosterone in the blood decreases, leaving a higher proportion of estrogen. Studies done on animals have suggested that BPH may occur because the higher amount of estrogen within the gland increases the activity of substances that promote cell growth.
The testicles that also affect hormonal changes directly, but which themselves, may play a role in the growth of the gland. Men who have had their testicles removed at a young age (for example, as a result of testicular cancer) do not develop BPH. Similarly, if the testicles are removed after a man develops BPH, the prostate begins to shrink in size.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels. DHT is a substance that is derived from testosterone in the prostate and which may help to control the growth of the gland. Some research has indicated that even with a drop in the blood's testosterone level, older men continue to produce and accumulate high levels of DHT in the prostate. This accumulation of DHT may encourage the growth of cells. Scientists have also noted that men who do not produce DHT do not develop BPH.
Many symptoms of BPH stem from:
Less than half of all men with BPH have no symptoms of the disease and for those who do, the symptoms vary. The most common symptoms, however, involve changes or problems with urination, such as:
The size of the prostate doesn't necessarily determine the severity of symptoms. Some men with only slightly enlarged prostates have significant symptoms. On the other hand, some men with very enlarged prostates have only minor urinary symptoms. In some men, symptoms eventually stabilize and may even improve over time.
If the bladder is permanently damaged, treatment for BPH may be ineffective. When BPH is found in its earlier stages, there is a lower risk of developing such complications.
If you are one of those persons who continue to suffer from this disease despite the best efforts of your doctor, it is time to consider the use of a Herbal tea drink. Talk to your doctor and then talk to us.
For further reading and research into the causes and nature of Enlarged Prostate Glands, you may visit the links below, among others.