BENIGN ENLARGEMENT OF PROSTATE/ BENIGN PROSTATIC HYPERPLASIA
WHAT IS BEP/BPH
The prostate is a small, muscular gland in the male reproductive system. It is about the size of a walnut and weighs about an ounce. The prostate is found below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds urethra and makes most of the fluid in semen. The muscular action of the prostate helps propel the fluid and semen through your penis during sexual climax.
Enlargement of the prostate is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It occurs when the cells of the prostate gland begin to multiply. These additional cells cause prostate gland to swell, which squeezes the urethra and limits the flow of urine.
SYMPTOMS OF BPH
As the prostate enlarges, it presses against the urethra. The bladder wall becomes thicker. The bladder weakens and may not be able to empty fully, leaving some urine in the bladder.Need to pass urine often is a common symptom of BPH. If BPH becomes severe, one might not be able to urinate at all.
The severity of symptoms varies, but symptoms tend to gradually worsen over time. Common signs and symptoms of BPH include:
- Frequent or urgent need to urinate
- Increased frequency of urination at night
- Difficulty starting urination
- Weak urine stream or a stream that stops and starts
- Dribbling at the end of urination
- Inability to completely empty the bladder
Less common signs and symptoms include:
- Urinary tract infection
- Inability to urinate
- Blood in the urine
Risk factors for prostate gland enlargement include:
- Aging. Prostate gland enlargement rarely causes signs and symptoms in men younger than age 40. About one-third of men experience moderate to severe symptoms by age 60, and about half do so by age 80.
- Family history. Having a blood relative, such as a father or a brother, with prostate problems means you’re more likely to have problems.
- Diabetes and heart disease. Studies show that diabetes, as well as heart disease and use of beta blockers, might increase the risk of BPH.
- Lifestyle. Obesity increases the risk of BPH, while exercise can lower your risk.
Diagnostic methods for prostate gland enlargement include
- Urinalysis: Your urine is checked for blood and bacteria.
- Prostatic biopsy: A small amount of prostate tissue is removed and examined for abnormalities.
- Urodynamic test: Your bladder is filled with liquid via a catheter to measure the pressure of your bladder during urination.
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test: This blood test checks for cancer of the prostate.
- Post-void residual: It measures the amount of urine left in your bladder after urination.
- Cystoscopy: This is the examination of your urethra and bladder with a tiny lighted scope that is inserted into your urethra
- Intravenous pyelography or urography: This is an X-ray exam or CT scan that is done after a dye is injected into your body. The dye highlights your entire urinary system on the images produced by the X-ray or CT.
- Ultrasounds look inside the body to see the size and shape of the prostate.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) for more detailed scans. These are done if surgery is necessary to reopen the flow of urine. These scans provide a very clear image of the prostate and surrounding area. It shows exactly how and where the prostate is enlarged.
Medical management ofprostate gland enlargement include medications that stop the growth of or shrink the prostate or reduce symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia
- alpha blockers
- phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors
- 5-alpha reductase inhibitors
- combination medications
But some of these medicines have certain side effects.
Surgery to remove enlarged prostate tissue includes
- transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)
- laser surgery
- open prostatectomy
- transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP)
Role of herbal medicines in BPH
Ayurved has described many herbs which effectively correct the prostate enlargement. Herbs such as Soy (Glycine soja), Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris), Guduchi( Tinospora cordifolia) have Anti-inflammatory, Anti proliferative and Antioxidant properties.
They also help to restore hormonal levels, reduce obstruction and regularize urine flow.
Herbs for BPH
Soya has isoflavones, which have an inhibitory effect on growth of prostatic tissue and reduce obstruction in the flow of urine.
Saw palmetto improves the urinary output and flow and relieves the feeling of incomplete emptying , weak flow etc in patients of BPH.
Kanchanar has antiinflammatory properties which help reduce prostate enlargement and ease the flow.
Varun has antioxidant and diuretic properties which improves urine output and maintains prostate health.
ROLE OF YOGA, DIET AND LIFESTYLE CHANGES IN DEALING WITH BPH
With increasing incidence of BPH patients and limitations of conventional treatments, it is essential to have a comprehensive approach in the treatment of BPH. Certain changes in diet and lifestyle can help control the disease process.
- Reducing your stress level, as nervousness can increase the frequency of urination
- Exercising for pelvic floor muscle regularly, as a lack of exercise can aggravate your symptoms
- Learning and practicing Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles
- Keeping warm, since being cold can make symptoms worse
- Lower the amount of fluids you drink, especially before you go out or go to bed.
- Urinating as soon as you feel the urge
- Going to the bathroom to urinate, even when you don’t feel the urge
- Avoiding over-the-counter decongestants or antihistamine medications, which can make it harder for the bladder to empty.
Diet Tips for BPH
Avoid eating excess oily , spicy and bakery food products.
Have an adequate amount of water regularly.
Do not drink excess water at night.
Restrict the intake of caffeine and aerated drinks
Have fresh fruits and vegetables regularly
Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, cabbage etc are known to maintain prostate health.