Hyderabad, November: Like women who are affected by menopause as they age, men too are affected by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), where the prostate grows abnormally. Informs Dr. G Srinivas, senior urologist, Star Hospitals. Hyderabad “BPH is a very common phenomenon with aging. By 60 years of age, more than 50 per cent of men develop BPH and by age of 85 years, nearly 90 per cent of men will have it.” The month of November is observed as men’s health awareness month.
Enlargement of the prostate gland leads to difficulty in urinating, increased frequency of urination and/or a sensation as if the person wants to pass urine, but when tries is unable to pass urine satisfactorily. “Inability to completely empty the bladder and many such urinary problems can irritate the man and take a toll on his normal health.” informs Dr. P. Vamsi Krishna, senior Urologist, Yashoda Hospital, Somajiguda.
Experts say that the enlargement of the prostate is slowly becoming as common as heart disease or diabetes. It is observed that fifty percent of men over fifty and 60 percent of men over sixty get up more than twice a night to pee due to an enlarged prostate. “If BPH causes obstruction of the bladder and remains untreated, complications such as recurrent urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and chronic kidney disease can ensue.” cautions Dr. G Srinivas
Digital rectal exam (DRE) and the prostate-specific antigen test (PSA test) are the two tests that are critical to detect if a person is at a higher risk of prostate diseases. Many men with BPH will have elevated PSA levels.
Indian men are quite ignorant about their health conditions. They tend to ignore small changes or symptoms that they observe. “Men in their 40s or older are hence encouraged to take their prostate health checkup once a year because excessive drinking and caffeinated beverages can irritate the bladder and exacerbate the disease.” Says Dr. P. Vamsi Krishna
Losing and maintaining weight and eating a more plant-based diet with less emphasis on red meat may help prevent BPH. Physical activity is also highly recommended to help a man reach a healthy body weight and to keep hormone levels in check.