The Prostate and Urinary Issues

The Prostate and Urinary Issues 645d504e04e3e.png

The Prostate and Urinary Issues

Many men experience urinary symptoms due to an enlarged prostate, however, many of these men are unaware as to why that is.

In fact, the most common symptoms of an enlarged prostate are urinary issues. These include, but are not limited to frequent urination, having a hard time getting started, having a weak urine stream, peeing in starts and stops, and dribbling when finished.

So why is this?

The answer is- location, location, location.

The prostate is located below the bladder, in front of the rectum, and surrounds part of the urethra. Due to this location, any excessive growth of the prostate can cause issues with urination.

Sometimes these issues are mild, and just a natural part of aging- while other times these issues are more problematic and can only be resolved through treatment.

The problem is, that when the prostate grows too large, it can literally squeeze the urethra, thus causing the bladder to have to work even harder to pass urine.

This squeezing of the urethra, over time, can cause the bladder muscles to become weak, making it harder for it to be emptied. It can also lead to several other troubling symptoms such as:

  • Feeling like you still have to pee even after you just went
  • Having to go too often — eight or more times a day
  • Incontinence (when you don’t have control over when you pee)
  • An urgent need to pee, all of a sudden
  • You wake up several times a night to pee
  • Urinary tract infections, bleeding, bladder damage, and bladder stones

In order to treat urinary issues caused by an enlarged prostate, many men will turn to medication to help reduce these symptoms.

Some of the most commonly used medications are:

  • Alpha-blockers:
    Such as tamsulosin (Flomax) or terazosin (Hytrin).
    These medicines are used to relax muscle tissue
  • 5-Alpha reductase inhibitors:
    Such as dutasteride (Avodart) and finasteride (Proscar).
    These medications are used to shrink the prostate.

Alpha-Blockers are a type of blood pressure medication, that work by “blocking” the hormone norepinephrine (also known as noradrenaline) and thereby prevent the muscles in the walls of veins and smaller arteries from constricting.

Due to their ability to relax the muscles in the prostate and around the bladder, alpha-blockers are often prescribed to help reduce the urinary issues caused by an enlarged prostate.

In clinical studies, alpha-blockers have shown promising results in their ability to improve urinary symptoms related to BPH, and have proven to do so faster than another commonly prescribed medication for BPH, which is 5-alpha reductase inhibitors.

Both normal and abnormal prostate growth is driven by 5-alpha reductase which aids in the formation of dihydrotestosterone, also known as DHT, which is an androgen formed from testosterone.

Administering a 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitor, such as finasteride or dutasteride, can inhibit the production of DHT and result in a decrease in prostate volume. By decreasing the size of the prostate, prostate symptoms such as urinary issues are also decreased.

However, both alpha-blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors come with their fair share of side effects and risks.

In our next article, we will take a look at some of these potential risks, as well as explore some alternatives to medication, such as an extremely effective non-invasive procedure, Prostate Artery Embolization.

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