Diagnosis Of An Enlarged Prostate
In order to establish the possible underlying causes for an enlarged prostate, doctors will perform a variety of tests.
Tests which are commonly used to find the cause of an enlarged prostate include:
- A digital rectal exam. A physician or nurse will insert a gloved finger into the patientâs rectum to digitally examine the prostate for swelling and/or enlargement.
- Swab tests for urethral discharge or urine. To determine underlying conditions such as STIs/STDs and urinary tract infections. A swab of discharge or urine is taken and sent to a medical laboratory for culturing, so that any microorganisms are identified.
- Urinalysis. A urine sample is sent to a medical laboratory for analysis and may be tested for urea nitrogen or creatinine, among other things.
- Blood tests. A sample of blood is sent to a medical laboratory for analysis, which may include tests for creatinine or blood urea nitrogen, as well as antibodies and infectious agents.
- Prostate-specific antigen test. A blood sample is sent to a medical laboratory to be tested for prostate-specific antigen , an enzyme produced by cells in the prostate. A change in PSA levels can indicate that there is a problem with the prostate.
If patients are referred to a urologist, they may have further tests, including:
Before referring the patient for tests, the physician may also ask questions in order to determine the possible causes of the discomfort, their severity, and their duration. Such questions may cover:
Symptoms Of An Enlarged Prostate
Because the prostate is positioned so close to the bladder, penis and rectum, most disorders which cause enlargement of the prostate share several basic symptoms. These include:
- An urgent, at times uncontrollable, need to urinate, which may lead to incontinence if the person canât make it to the bathroom in time
- Trouble urinating
- Sexual problems and loss of sex drive
- Postcoital pain
In the case of prostate cancer there may be no immediate symptoms, or there may be urinary symptoms like those listed above. In addition, there may be symptoms such as:
- Hematuria or blood in semen
- New onset of erectile dysfunction
- Back, especially lower back, hip or pelvic pain
- Unexplained weight loss
Good to know: A lot of the urinary symptoms above could also be caused by diabetes or may be related to the use of certain medications. If any of these symptoms are detected, it is of paramount importance that a physician is consulted and the cause diagnosed, so that appropriate next steps can be taken.
Worried you may have an enlarged prostate? Start your free symptom assessment in the Ada app.
Using Palliative Care To Ease Discomfort
For both urinary and bowel incontinence that is caused by compression of nerves in the spinal cord as a result of prostate cancer that has spread to the spine or bones, palliative treatments for metastasized cancer may be of use. These treatments include radiotherapy, medication, or surgical removal of spinal cord tumors. However, these treatment options are not indicated for every situation. Your doctor will help you determine what path is right for you and to improve your quality of life. As always, coping with quality of life symptoms like these can take a toll on an individual or their caretaker both mentally and physically. For this reason, it can be a good idea to consult a therapist or counselorif needed for extra support.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Prostatitis
These are the most common symptoms of prostatitis:
- Need to urinate often
- Burning or stinging while urinating
- Pain when urinating
- Less urine when you urinate
- Rectal pain or pressure
- Fever and chills
- Pain in your lower back or pelvis
- Discharge through the urethra during bowel movements
- Erectile dysfunction or loss of sex drive
- Throbbing sensations in the rectal or genital area
The symptoms of prostatitis may look like other medical conditions or problems. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Symptoms For Acute Bacterial Prostatitis
If you have acute bacterial prostatitis the symptoms usually develop very quickly. They include:
- a high temperature , feeling feverish, sweating, chills and shivering
- pain in the area between your testicles and back passage , the skin around your testicles , your penis, lower back, muscles or joints in your pelvic area, inner thighs, and sometimes in your back passage
- needing to urinate more often, especially at night
- a sudden urge to urinate
- pain when urinating
- difficulty urinating.
About 1 in 10 men with this type of prostatitis find they suddenly and painfully cant urinate. This is called acute urine retention. It needs treating straight away, usually at a hospital. The doctor or nurse will pass a thin, flexible tube called a catheter up your penis into your bladder to drain the urine. Or they might pass the catheter through the wall of your stomach area . This will help drain urine from your bladder.
It is very important to seek medical advice immediately if you think you might have acute bacterial prostatitis and have a high temperature. It needs treating straight away.
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Does Ibuprofen Reduce Prostate Swelling
Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, are often used to treat arthritis inflammation. Their anti-inflammatory effect may also help an enlarged prostate. Daily aspirin, which is also an anti-inflammatory drug, is commonly used to help decrease the risk of heart disease and heart attack.
Treatment For Benign Prostate Hyperplasia
Treatment for benign prostate hyperplasia can involve:
- Lifestyle changes, such as limiting a night-time consumption of liquids, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, avoiding medication such as diuretics, decongestants and antihistamines and getting more exercise, as well as dietary improvements, such as eating more fibre, avoiding artificial sweeteners and sweetened beverages.
- Medication, such as alpha-blockers or 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors.
- Interventions, such as the UroliftÂ® system, a non-surgical proprietary device that uses tiny implants to lift the prostate away from the urethra and thereby relieve BPH symptoms that result from pressure on the urethra.
- Surgical procedures, such as a prostatectomy , transurethral microwave thermotherapy , prostate laser, and Transurethral Resection of the Prostate .
- Herbal prostate treatments, such as saw palmetto extract. Saw palmetto extract is made from the fruit of the saw palmetto, which is native to the southeast and Gulf coasts of North America and may potentially assist in reducing urinary frequency and increasing urinary flow.
Treatment of prostate cancer can involve:
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What Are The Diseases That Cause The Prostate To Enlarge
There are at least seven diseases affecting the prostate.
Prostate Problems / Cancer Specialist San Jose And Los Gatos
Dr. Gholami has performed thousands of laparoscopic and/or robotic procedures since 2000. He has been performing laparoscopic prostatectomies longer than > 98 % of practicing urologists. Additionally, Dr. Gholami is an expert in laparoscopy so that he can perform highly complex laparoscopic procedures done by very few surgeons worldwide.
It seems that most of the men I know are having problems with their prostate. A few even have cancer and the rest are worried about whats in store for them.
Its true that prostate problems are very common after age 50. And the older men get, the more likely they are to have such problems. Most prostate problems are not cancer. Still, prostate cancer does affect a lot of men.
The prostate is a gland. It makes fluid that becomes part of semen, the white fluid that contains sperm. The prostate lies low in the body in front of the rectum and below the bladder . It surrounds the tube that carries urine away from the bladder .
When youre a young man, your prostate is about the size of a walnut. It slowly grows larger as you get older. If the prostate gets too large, it can cause urinary problems. Infection or cancer in the prostate can also cause urinary and other problems. Often, men notice symptoms themselves, and sometimes their doctor finds something during a routine check-up.
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What Are Prostatitis Symptoms
If you have the asymptomatic type of prostatitis, there will be no symptoms. The inflammation may be noticed by your doctor if you are having other tests. For other types of prostatitis, symptoms may include:
- A burning sensation or when you urinate
- Hesitation when urinating, or having difficulty starting the stream or maintaining it
- Frequent and urgent need to urinate, especially at night
- Painful ejaculation
- Pain in the testicles, penis or perineum, the area between your rectum and testicles
- Pain in the lower back or abdomen
Losing Control Of Your Bowels
It has been estimated that bowel problems, including diarrhea, constipation, incontinence, increased flatulence, rectal bleeding, and increase in the urgency or frequency of bowel movements can occur to up to 20% of all individuals who undergo radiotherapy. Although incontinence, or losing control of your bowels, is in this category, is not as common as the other symptoms in this group. It is also potentially can be one of the hardest of these symptoms to manage. Currently, there are very few treatment options available for total bowel incontinence. Losing control of your bowels as a result of spinal cord compression or prostate cancer treatment may or may not be reversible, and can range from leaking small amounts of feces to total loss of bowel control.
In some instances, bowel control will be regained after treatment and post-recovery. But if this process isnt occurring as fast as anticipated, or isnt happening at all, there are a few lifestyle changes that can help manage bowel incontinence. Many of these are similar to options used for urinary incontinence, and include:
- Anti-diarrheal agents
- Avoiding foods that may irritate the digestive system
- Creating a bowel movement schedule and retraining your bowels
In rare instances, it may be possible to have surgery for bowel incontinence, including anal sphincteroplasty or anal sphincter repair, depending on the underlying cause of the incontinence.5-7
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So Where Does The Prostate Fit In
The bowel is located right next to the prostate. If an overabundance of toxins seep into the nearby tissues, the toxins will directly impact the prostate. If they get into the prostate, they can cause inflammation and pain.
When the bowel is full, it can exert pressure on the prostate and the bladder. The straining required to defecate affects the pelvic muscles, which are important in bowel movements and bladder control. This can prevent the bowel and bladder from filling properly and cause them to contract when they shouldnt.
A large quantity of feces in the bowel can also prevent the bladder from voiding completely. Add this to the urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate, and you might end up practically living in the bathroom.
Constipation, combined with an enlarged prostate, often gives rise to elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen .1
Produced by the prostate, PSA is a protein found in sperm and, in lesser quantities, in blood. Abnormally high levels of blood PSA can indicate the presence of prostate cancer or some other prostate condition. The PSA test used to detect prostate cancer can be affected by constipation, which is something you clearly dont need. However, once the constipation is relieved, PSA levels returns to normal.
The Relationship Between Constipation And The Prostate Is Kind Of Like The Old Chicken And Egg Conundrum
The egg: Constipation, aka the build-up of feces in the intestine , can put pressure on the bladder and the prostate, which can cause symptoms resembling those associated with an enlarged prostate. The chicken: an enlarged prostate can put pressure on the rectum and cause constipation. But wait, theres more
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How Is Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome Managed Or Treated
Prostatitis treatments vary depending on the cause and type. Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis doesnt require treatment.
For chronic pelvic pain syndrome , your healthcare provider may use a system called UPOINT to classify symptoms into six categories. Your provider uses multiple treatments at the same time to treat only the symptoms youre experiencing.
Approximately 80% of men with CPPS improve with the UPOINT system. The system focuses on these symptoms and treatments:
- Urinary: Medications, such as tamsulosin and alfuzosin , relax muscles around the prostate and bladder to improve urine flow.
- Psychosocial: Stress management can help. Some men benefit from counseling or medications for anxiety, depression and catastrophizing .
- Organ: Quercetin and bee pollen supplements may relieve a swollen, inflamed prostate gland.
- Infection:Antibiotics kill infection-causing bacteria.
- Neurologic: Prescription pain medicines, such as amitriptyline and gabapentin , relieve neurogenic pain. This pain can include fibromyalgia or pain that extends into the legs, arms or back.
- Tenderness: Pelvic floor physical therapy may include myofascial release . This therapy can reduce or eliminate muscle spasms.
More Information About Prostatitis
The following is an English-language resource that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of this resource.
Prostatitis Foundation: This organization provides access to relevant publications , patient testimonials, a list of providers who treat prostatitis in the United States and the United Kingdom, and access to third-party prostatitis-based web sites in French, Swedish, and Italian.
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Aim For Regularity For The Prostates Sake
The first step to relieving constipation is to improve your diet. Ideally, avoid processed foods high in sugar, salt, saturated or trans fats, and basically any foods that are difficult to digest or eliminate.
Drink a lot of water and avoid coffee and soft drinks.
Adopt a fibre-rich diet:
- Green vegetables , especially broccoli, kale, spinach and leek
- Dried fruits, including prunes, raisins, figs, mangoes and dates
- Prune juice
- Whole grains: in bread, breakfast cereals and pasta. Plain oatmeal is an excellent choice for breakfast. Wheat, which is ubiquitous, can be replaced by quinoa or millet to good effect.
- Choose whole-grain rice instead of white rice.
- Flax seed doesnt look like much, but when taken with water, its mucilage content helps clear the intestines. It also comes in the form of a laxative supplement.
- Beets ahoy! Delicious, rich in fibre and vitamins, beets help relieve constipation.
Be good to your intestinal flora. Because it plays a vital role in the digestive process, it is important to foster the growth of the good intestinal bacteria that make up the flora to prevent and relieve constipation. Prebiotic foods like onions, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, chicory, garlic and bananas nourish these good bacteria. Theres nothing too exotic about it. Using Molkosan whey extract is another way to create an environment whose pH fosters the growth of good bacteria. Thats how Molkosan promotes regularity.
Management Of Bowel Dysfunction
Short of treating individual symptoms as needed, there are few, if any, treatment options for bowel dysfunction following radiation therapy. Laser therapy can stop rectal bleeding caused by radiation. Anti-diarrheal agents can help with loose bowel movements. Increasing fiber intake through whole grains, fruits and vegetables, or fiber supplements can also help.Avoiding foods that might irritate the gastrointestinal tract is important, but complete elimination of fibrous, bulky foods can lead to constipation and straining, which in turn can exacerbate rectal bleeding.
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Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: A Common Part Of Aging
It is common for the prostate gland to become enlarged as a man ages. Doctors call this condition benign prostatic hyperplasia , or benign prostatic hypertrophy.
As a man matures, the prostate goes through two main periods of growth. The first occurs early in puberty, when the prostate doubles in size. At around age 25, the gland begins to grow again. This second growth phase often results, years later, in BPH.
Though the prostate continues to grow during most of a mans life, the enlargement doesnt usually cause problems until late in life. 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, causing the gland to press against the urethra like a clamp on a garden hose. The bladder wall becomes thicker and irritable. The bladder begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination. Eventually, the bladder weakens and loses the ability to empty itself, so some of the urine remains in the bladder. The narrowing of the urethra and partial emptying of the bladder cause many of the problems associated with BPH.
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