Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) | Cause, symptoms, Lab tests and Diet | Homeopathic medicines

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         The prostate is a small gland present in men, located just below the bladder. The prostate encloses the urine passage (urethra) and is usually about the size of a walnut. Although men have a prostate all their lives it usually begins to enlarge at mid-life. As men age, the prostate continues to grow and may push in on the urine passage. A prostate gland that is larger than normal is said to be hypertrophic, and the condition is called benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). An enlarged prostate does not indicate prostate cancer. The enlargement caused by aging is inevitable, but suffering from symptoms of an enlarged prostate is not.
Benign means non-cancerous. Many things, including prostate cancer and prostatitis can cause an enlarged prostate. The front of your prostate surrounds your urethra – the tube that carries urine from your bladder and out through your penis. Any change in the size or shape of your prostate can narrow this tube, making it difficult for you to pass urine.
If you have BPH, a rapid growth in the cells in your prostate can lead to growth of your prostate gland. Not all men with BPH will develop an enlarged prostate.

Causes and Risk Factors of BPH
Age:

The half-century mark seems to be the tipping point when it comes to greater risk of developing BPH.  While slightly more than 20 percent of American men ages 40 to 49 have symptoms of BPH, this figure rises to 35 percent among men 50 to 59, 58 percent in the 60 to 69 age group, and 84 percent in men age 70 and older.  Factors that may contribute to the age-related risk of developing BPH include changes in hormone levels and damage to the blood vessels that supply the prostate and surrounding structures.

Family history:

Men who have a close male relative (father, grandfather, brother, son) who have BPH have an increased risk of getting the disease.

 Excessive DHT:

DHT is the acronym for dihydrotestosterone, a substance that is the result of a conversion of testosterone by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. BPH is an “androgen-dependent disease,” which means it is influenced by the male hormone (androgen) testosterone. The prostate will not grow unless it is “directed” to do so by testosterone, which is made mainly by the testes

Elevated estradiol:

It’s natural for men to have some of the female hormone estrogen (in the form of estradiol). The proper balance of estrogen-to-testosterone in men is important for a healthy sex drive, to enhance brain function, protect the heart, and strengthen the bones. When estradiol levels are too high, however, and the ratio is out of balance, men can experience fatigue, increased body fat, loss of libido and an enlarged prostate. An imbalance between estrogen and testosterone increases DHT activity, and thus encourages prostate cells to grow.

Being overweight, especially around the midsection, raises the risk of excessive prostate growth. The link between obesity and BPH may be related to the reduced testosterone levels seen in the obese. Also, a drop in testosterone means there’s an accompanying rise in estrogen levels, which can increase the activity of DHT and thus prostate growth.

Having diabetes increases the risk of developing BPH, perhaps significantly. The diabetes-BPH link may also be related to the damage that diabetes does to blood vessels. If the vessels that service the prostate are damaged, an enlarged prostate may be the result.

High “Bad” Cholesterol:

Those who had higher levels of the notorious “bad” cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), were more likely to develop BPH than men who had normal LDL levels. (Parsons 2008) When the researchers divided the men into three groups (high, medium, low), those with “high” LDL levels were four times more likely to have BPH than those in the “low” group.

High blood pressure:

Although no one is exactly sure how high blood pressure may trigger or worsen BPH, researchers have found a link between hypertension and BPH.

Sedentary lifestyle:

A lack of exercise may increase your chances of developing BPH, possibly because exercise helps fight obesity, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and other risk factors associated with BPH.

Poor diet:

According to a 2008 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, consuming greater amounts of vegetables and lesser amounts of fat and red meat may reduce the risk of developing BPH.
  • weak urine stream
  • hesitancy when starting to urinate
  • stopping and starting of urine stream
  • sensation of incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • frequent daytime urination
  • recurrent urinary tract infections
  • urgency with or without leakage of urine
  • getting up at night to urinate
  • Urinary retention
  • Painful urination
  • Problems in ejaculation

Signs

    On Digital Rectal Exam

Findings suggestive of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
  1. Symmetric prostatic enlargement
  2. Smooth
  3. Firm but elastic 

Lab Tests Used to Diagnose BPH

Several tests help the doctor identify the problem and decide whether surgery is needed. The tests vary from patient to patient, but the following are the most commonly used tests to diagnose BPH and other problems in the urinary tract:

  • Digital rectal exam
  • Prostate specific antigen test (PSA test):-
PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen and is a protein enzyme made in your prostate gland
  • Rectal ultrasound
  • Urine flow study
  • Cystoscopy.
Digital Rectal Exam (DRE)

This exam is usually the first test performed. The doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum and feels the part of the prostate next to the rectum. This exam gives the doctor a general idea of the size and condition of the gland.


Risk Analysis and PSA Range
- Normal: 0-4 ng/ml
- Slightly Elevated: 4-10 ng/ml
- Moderately Elevated: 10-20 ng/ml
- Highly Elevated: 20+ ng/ml


Complications of BPH

BPH Can Cause Complications—But Not Prostate Cancer
Enlarged prostate (BPH) is not a form of prostate cancer and does not lead to prostate cancer. Thus, BPH is not life-threatening. However, as many men know, BPH may be lifestyle-threatening and can cause great discomfort, inconvenience, and awkwardness.
In some cases, men can develop medical complications if the growth of the prostate causes the urethra, which passes through the prostate on its way from the bladder to the penis, to become blocked. These complications include:
•  Acute urinary retention, which is a condition that results in a complete inability to urinate. A tube called a catheter may be needed to drain urine from the bladder.
•  Chronic urinary retention, which is a partial blockage of urine flow that causes urine to remain in the bladder. In rare cases, this may lead to kidney damage if it goes undiagnosed for too long.
•  Urinary tract infection, which can cause pain or burning during urination, foul-smelling urine, or fever and chills.
Other complications from BPH may include bladder stones or bladder infections.
Having an enlarged prostate (BPH) does not directly affect the mechanics of sexual function. However, it is common for the symptoms of BPH and sexual dysfunction to occur at the same time.


Managing your BPH

Dietary Guidelines for Prostate Health

So to reduce symptoms, incorporate these factors in your daily diet:
  • increase intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, soy, and green tea, foods rich in omega 3 oils (cold-water fish – salmon, sardines, mackerel) and in zinc (raw pumpkin seeds for omega-3 and zinc)
  • reduce foods high in fat and cholesterol (butter and margarine, beef and
    whole milk), sweet foods, and refined carbohydrates (white bread and white-flour pasta)
  • avoid or decrease intake of alcohol, coffee, and beer, particularly after dinner, and tobacco
  • taking saw palmetto* supplements may benefit the prostate
* Saw palmetto (Serona repens) is a type of palm tree, also known as the dwarf palm. Its primary medicinal value is in the oily compounds found in its berries. Most dietary supplements are composed of an extract or powder derived from the berries. Saw palmetto is believed to inhibit the actions of testosterone on the prostate that causes prostate enlargement.


Homeopathic medicines


         As I always say, for better results your complete history is important.  A patient cannot take homeopathic medicine by their own. There are many so many medicines for BPH. A homeopath will be individualizing you to get a proper single constitutional medicine by detailed case taking. I am figuring out some of the medicines which matches the symptoms of BPH.

Sabal serrulata :
 this medicine has been recommended for various prostatic troubles, but its homoeopathic use seems confined to acute cases of enlarged and inflamed prostate, the gland is hot, swollen and painful, here also come in our regular inflammation polycrests , such as "Aconite" and "Belladonna" .Sabal is not altogether useless in senile hypertrophy, the writer has seen a marked palliative action in several cases and avoidance of surgical interference .

Lycopodium :
 Pressure in the perineum near anus while urinating. It is a hot and right sided remedy. Melancholy, afraid of being alone. Headstrong and haughty when sick. Apprehensive.  

Conium :
This remedy is useful in chronic hypertrophy of the prostate with difficulty in voiding urine, it stops and starts and there is an accompanying catarrh of the bladder. The suitability of conium to the complaints of the aged should be considered. Depressed, timid  with weak memory.

Chimaphilla :
 Gives occasional good results in relieving the tenesmus, frequent urination and general discomfort due to prostatic hypertrophy, Spongia is also a remedy for this condition .

Thuja :
 Frequent pressing to urinate with small discharge, patient strains much, stitches from rectum into bladder, discharge of prostatic juice in the morning on awaking.
Ferrum picratum :
is one of the best medicines for prostatic enlargements in the aged .

Constitutionally Calcarea carb, carcinosen, Phosphorus, baryta carb, aurum met, Sulphur, lachesis, Ars alb and silicea can be thought of.

source:

www.fpnotebook.com
en.wikipedia.org
www.med.wayne.edu
www.prostate.net

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