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BPH (Enlarged Prostate, Prostatic Hyperplasia)

If you’re getting up at night to use the bathroom, it can be really frustrating to deal with symptoms like lack of sleep, feeling like your bladder isn’t empty, or having a hard time urinating. The only thing more frustrating than the feeling that you “have to” go to the doctor is letting that thought get stuck in your mind while you avoid the issue, hoping it will just get better on its own.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone! In fact, BPH is known to affect up to 90% of men of advanced age – but there is good news.

Symptoms like these are completely treatable through medications and lifestyle modifications. So, the question is – how long are you willing to wait for relief?

Call today to set up your appointment with one of the specialists at Advanced Urology and get back to feeling more comfortable and getting more sleep – sooner than later!

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ABOUT BPH (ENLARGED PROSTATE) CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS

Enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) generally interferes with the process of urination and can cause discomfort. If you’ve experienced difficult or uncomfortable urination, you may be feeling worried. Perhaps you’ve even researched “prostate enlargement treatment near me.” Advanced Urology is here for you.

Treatment of enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) often targets relieving discomfort and preventing an escalation of the condition. If left untreated, BPH can affect the bladder, urethra, or the kidneys—these structures make up the urinary tract. It is, therefore, important that you contact your doctor immediately if you experience any discomfort while urinating. Further tests will either confirm the condition or rule it out altogether.

Prevalence

BPH develops when non-cancerous nodules begin to grow in the prostate gland. This causes the gland to expand, a process that in turn constricts the urethra tube passing through it. BPH is a progressive condition where the gland increases in size over time. Statistics show that at 40 years, 20 percent of men will experience an enlarged prostate. This figure grows to 70 percent and 90 percent of men aged 60 and 80, respectively. This high prevalence rate coupled with a lack of pathological factors linked to it seems to indicate that BPH is simply an age-related occurrence, rather than a disease-related one.

Progression

If you are a man over the age of 40, it is highly likely that you may experience an enlarged prostate. This may start with mild symptoms that come and go and it may not be any cause for alarm. These mild symptoms can be managed with medication (such as alpha blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors) and a blend of lifestyle and behavioral changes. Over time, your prostate may continue to enlarge and cause more acute symptoms. When this happens, it may be time to consider other forms of treatment, including minimally invasive surgery or combination drug therapy.

Causes

It is not entirely clear what the causes of BPH are. It is thought that as men age, changes in sex hormones may be responsible for the gradual enlargement of the prostate. However, there are some risk factors that are associated with BPH.

These include:

  • Age – If you are over 40 years, you run a higher risk of getting BPH.
  • Genetics – If you have a close relative like a brother or father with BPH, you may be genetically predisposed to get the condition.
  • Medication for low testosterone– If you use testosterone or other hormone supplements, they may cause your prostate to enlarge.
  • Lifestyle – Obesity can increase the risk of BPH.
  • Medical complications – Conditions like urinary tract infections (UTIs), prostatitis, urethral stricture, kidney stones, and prostate or bladder cancer can also worsen or lead to BPH.

Prevention

Prevention of BPH involves a combination of living a healthy lifestyle and regular checkups. While these measures, in a strict sense, will not prevent BPH, they will help delay or prevent further prostate enlargement.

How to prevent BPH:

  • Exercise – Regular exercise has been shown to improve blood flow and regulate hormones.
  • Diet – Foods that improve prostate health include berries, oily fish, nuts, legumes, green tea, and watermelon.
  • Avoid caffeine-rich beverages – These have been shown to overwork your kidneys and to irritate bladder and urethra linings.

 

Healthy Lifestyle Tips for Living in Atlanta with BPH (Enlarged Prostate)

If you have been diagnosed with BPH in Atlanta, there are some steps you can take to prevent further enlargement of your prostate or reverse the effects.

Healthy lifestyle tips for living with BPH include:

  • Limit evening beverages – To avoid exerting pressure on your bladder and prostate while you sleep, limit your fluid intake two to three hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine – This can increase the amount of urine produced, which can worsen your symptoms.
  • Monitor medications – Drugs like antihistamines and decongestants have been shown to tighten muscles surrounding the urethra, which may make it harder to urinate.
  • Go often – Do not wait to feel pressed. Go whenever you feel the slightest urge.
  • Plan your bathroom visits – Try and schedule your urination times so you can empty your bladder before it gets full. This will also train your mind to go at these regular intervals.
  • Be active and eat well – A healthy lifestyle is the foundation of a healthy body.
  • Stay warm – When you are cold you tend to feel the urge to urinate more often. Staying warm can help reduce this frequency.

How to Know When to See a Doctor for an Enlarged Prostate

Symptoms

If you are worried you may have BPH, you may have begun researching “BPH treatment near me.”

There are some signs and symptoms you can look out for before seeing a doctor in Atlanta for BPH treatment.

BPH signs and symptoms include:

  • Have a frequent urge to urinate
  • Nocturia (urinating a lot at night)
  • Finding it hard to start urinating
  • When urinating, the urine stream is weak or starts and stops
  • Dribbling after finishing urinating
  • Inability to completely empty the bladder

If you have any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately for further tests. It is important, to note, however, that multiple factors can give rise to these symptoms. As such, you should avoid self-medicating, even if the symptoms are mild and intermittent.   The symptoms could be the signs of more serious conditions such as a prostate infection or prostate cancer.

What to Expect When Seeking Treatment for BPH (Enlarged Prostate)

Diagnosis

Diagnosis and treatment of BPH depend on the level of enlargement, other conditions you may be receiving treatment for, and prior treatment of the same condition.

Some diagnostic approaches you will encounter include:

  • Digital rectal exam – The doctor will use a finger inserted into your rectum to examine your prostate size.
  • Urinalysis – A urine sample will be tested to rule out any other causes.
  • Blood test – This is used to rule out any kidney problems.
  • PSA test – A prostate-specific antigen test checks the possibility of the symptoms being due to prostate cancer.

Treatment Options

Once diagnosed, the doctor will provide you with treatment options. These will depend on your age and health, prostate size, and severity of symptoms. If your prostate is not very enlarged, you may be given BPH medication or office-based treatments such as prostatic lift (Urolift) or steam vaporization (Rezum), to manage the symptoms. If your prostate is very enlarged, surgical treatment may be recommended. There are, however, other treatments available that include transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT), laser therapy, among others.

Better Outcomes

CAUSES & SYMPTOMS

Benign prostatic hyperplasia — in layman’s terms it is the enlargement of the prostate. The reason for that is usually that the cells in the prostate gland have begun to multiply. Due to the rapid production of these cells, the prostate gland swells up. This can often result in hindrance of the flow of urine by squeezing the urethra.

BPH is common among men who’re older than 50. It is important to note that BPH is not the equivalent of cancer and doesn’t correlate with the risk of cancer either. There are symptoms that are easily identified and can be treated.

Symptoms of BPH

There are some easily identifiable symptoms that can be used to figure out exactly what’s wrong with a person and get timely medical attention. The most obvious and common symptom is the enlarged prostate. As mentioned earlier, the enlarged prostate results in blockage of the flow of urine. This results in an excess of urine building up in the bladder. A person will find themselves frequently going to the toilet because of this.

This excessive need to urinate especially during the night is called “nocturia” and is a definite symptom of BPH in most cases.

Another related symptom is that a person will find it difficult and possibly painful to urinate. There are cases where those suffering from BPH have found blood in their urine as a result. Because the urethra is not functioning properly, continued dripping after urination, also called post-void dribbling, can also be a symptom of BPH.

Though it’s not as common as some of these other symptoms, there have been cases of benign prostatic hyperplasia where there were urinary tract infections. This could potentially lead to a complete blockage of the urethra. If this condition develops, a person will be unable to urinate entirely and could end up severely damaging their kidneys as a result.

Causes of BPH

There is no conclusive evidence regarding what exactly causes benign prostatic hyperplasia. However, the fact remains that it mostly occurs in older men usually above the age of 50.

Another reason that has been highlighted in the past, pertains to the testicles. This particular organ produces testosterone. The production is at its peak during the teenage and adult years before declining steadily with age. As men age, the amount of testosterone present in their body decreases. At the same time, the amount of estrogen increases. While testosterone is a male hormone, estrogen is a female hormone that is also produced by the testicles in small quantities.

There have been prior reports that show that as the amount of estrogen in the body increases with age, it can be correlated to the increase in the activity of substances that aid the growth of prostate cells.

There is another explanation that’s related to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a male hormone that aids the prostate growth. While testosterone in the body continues to decline with age, the DHT levels continue to grow. This could indicate that the increasing imbalance between these two hormones results in the enlargement of the prostate.

When to Visit a Doctor in Atlanta for BPH

If you feel that you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, you may have even searched, “Where can I find a prostate doctor near me?” or “BPH treatment near me.”

If you see any blood in the urine or if you have any difficulty in passing urine then these are the most glaring signs that you might have BPH.

It’s also worth mentioning here that the inability to pass urine might not occur as drastically at first. These kinds of things usually take years to build up and will not cause much pain at the start. But once they’ve been nagging you for long enough, they will become even more painful. That is why it is the best option to visit your doctor if you’re above the age of 40 and have started having urinary problems.

While there are certain male enhancement procedures that might cause blood to be present in the urine, it must be taken seriously whether you’ve had such a procedure or not.

There are several surgical options that are available in order to treat BPH, mostly TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate) or Prostatectomy.  There are also cutting-edge, office-based options such as Urolift or Rezum.

Call us today at 404-341-5219 to schedule an appointment!

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DIAGNOSIS & TESTING

Getting a diagnosis for BPH can be a daunting task. You may have even searched for “BPH testing near me.” Anticipating what the doctors will find out about your condition or symptoms can provoke anxiety.

It is essential that you pay attention to the questions that your doctor asks and try to answer them as honestly and correctly as possible. There are a number of different ways that the doctor might decide to conduct the initial diagnosis.

Some of the most popularly used methods include digital rectal exams where a doctor examines your prostate manually for any signs of enlargement. Urine and blood tests can also be used to figure out if you have any accompanying infections or conditions.  There are also noninvasive methods such as ultrasound, which can be used to take pictures of the prostate.

How to Know When You Need to be Tested for BPH

There are a number of additional tests that doctors might recommend to get a clearer idea about your condition.

Call Advanced Urology Atlanta today at 404-341-5219 to schedule your appointment.

Those having a hard time deciding if they need BPH testing can benefit greatly from these seven benign prostatic hyperplasia questions formulated by the American Urological Association to assess its severity.

This specific test is called the “BPH Symptom Score Index” or “International Prostate Symptom Score” and includes the following questions:

  • How often have you felt like you weren’t able to fully empty your bladder when you finished urinating?
  • How often have you had to go again less than two hours after you last finished?
  • How often have you stopped and started while urinating?
  • How often have you found it hard to wait to go?
  • How often have you had a weak stream?
  • How often have you had to push or strain to start urinating?
  • How many times do you have to get up and use the bathroom during the night?

The questions follow the zero to five rating with zero being “never” and five being “almost always.” Let your doctor know the results and they can guide you better whether you need a thorough screening.

If you scored relatively high on the quiz, call Advanced Urology today at 404-341-5219  to learn more about treatment options and make an appointment.

What to Expect from BPH Testing in Atlanta, Georgia

There are several tests that are prescribed in order to better understand exactly what’s going on with a patient. An ultrasound allows your doctors to get pictures of your internal organs without the use of X-rays. An MRI can produce pictures of prostate and pelvic organs in great detail. Additionally, a CT scan might also be required.

A PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test measures a substance produced in the prostate. In the case that you have an enlarged prostate, the PSA levels will go up. This can help the doctors identify and diagnose benign prostatic hyperplasia as well as a number of other conditions.

The two most important tests are urodynamic tests and cystoscopy. Because of the nature of these tests, you are likely to experience mild discomfort for a few hours after the tests have been carried out. It is therefore highly suggested that you drink a glass of water regularly after every 30 minutes. Your doctor may also prescribe you some medications to help with any discomfort.

Prostate exams can be uncomfortable and may result in slight pressure in the rectum and the perineum.  Fortunately, this exam only takes a few seconds to perform.

Other than that, you can also try taking a warm bath. Additionally, it may be recommended by your doctor that you take some form of antibiotic to prevent any chances of an infection.

The results of these tests including the urodynamic and cystoscopy will be available immediately afterward while you might find yourself waiting for the results of other tests such as PSA blood test and prostate biopsy for several days.

You should consult your doctor about making any nutritional or dietary changes during this period. If you’re considering getting testing for your BPH symptoms in Atlanta, you may already be researching options online with queries like “BPH treatment near me.” If this is you, we’re here for you. Call Advanced Urology today at 404-341-5219  to learn more about treatment options and make an appointment.

MEDICATIONS AND SUPPLEMENTS

Generally, BPH is a condition that affects men who are 50 or above. Men this age are often on several medications so the danger of drug interaction is something to consider when prescribing medications.

Other than standard medications, the issue with supplements is that they are not regulated like medicines. This puts a significant question mark over their quality, safety and effects. They impact each patient differently and that much uncertainty is problematic.

Common Medications for BPH

There are effective medications that may reduce if not eliminate the condition by addressing the BPH symptoms including enlarged prostate or weak urine stream. These medications perform several different purposes such as healing the muscles that would have been damaged by the stress put on them due to BPH. This helps patients in being able to urinate without any trouble or pain.

Alpha Blockers

These kinds of medications are commonly referred to as alpha blockers. Alpha blockers work to heal the muscles in the prostate and bladder, aiding the flow of urine out of the body. These kinds of medications don’t impact the prostate or its size. However, they have several side effects. These include lightheadedness, fainting, headaches, dizziness and retrograde ejaculation (also known as a dry orgasm).

5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors

Their function is to prevent the production of hormones that contribute to making your prostate larger. In some cases, they’re also able to shrink oversized prostates. In addition to these benefits, they also lower the odds of developing other conditions as a result of BPH such as bladder damage or bleeding from the prostate. These medications take longer to make the impact that other alternatives can in shorter time spans. By some estimates, it can take up to 6-9 months. Side effects of these medications may include decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, breast tenderness or enlargement, and increased risk of prostate cancer.

Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors

These medications were initially designed for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.  The exact way these medications help with BPH is not fully understood.  Side effects may include headache, sinus pressure, and reflux.

If you’re considering drug therapy for BPH, you’ve probably started your research online with queries like “BPH treatment near me” or “find medicine for BPH near me.” If this is you, Advanced Urology is here for you. Call Advanced Urology in Atlanta today at 404-341-5219  to learn more about treatment options and make an appointment.

Potentially Helpful Supplements & Natural Products for BPH

Apart from the standard medications, there are also several natural remedies that have been known to make it easier for those suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia to gain relief. One of the most popular of such natural remedies is the European Stinging nettle. It’s a plant with excessively sharp leaves that can cause an intense sensation of pain when it comes into contact with the skin.

There are several cases where the nettle has been said to be incredibly useful against several BPH symptoms like the enlarged prostate as well as the bladder problems. Alas, these results have been limited to Europe and there’s no scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of such claims.

Changes in the diet have also been known to help with BPH.  The doctors at Advanced Urology will guide you in making healthy lifestyle choices to treat your symptoms.

When to See a Doctor in Atlanta for BPH

There are several factors that doctors consider when prescribing a particular medicine. When your current medication ceases to effectively make a difference, your symptoms have worsened or you’re experiencing new side effects, see a doctor immediately.

In such a case, you should promptly contact your Atlanta urologist and make sure that you get another medical evaluation and get your prescription updated.

What to Expect When Seeking Treatment for BPH (Enlarged Prostate)

TREATMENTS & SURGERY

Surgery is an effective solution for most patients suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia. Medications and supplements are designed to prevent an escalation in the symptoms of BPH such as an enlarged prostate or problems urinating but do not effectively solve BPH.

Due to advances in technology, it has become easier to treat such issues in the least amount of time without taking any significant risks. While open surgery is still an option, many surgeons today prefer the safer minimally invasive procedures.

How to Know If Surgery Is Right For You

If you’re considering surgery for BPH, you’ve probably already started researching your options online with queries like “BPH surgery near me” or “find urology clinic near me.” If this is you, Advanced Urology is here for you.

There are several questions that you and your surgeon need to discuss before treatment. These questions make it easier to evaluate what kind of surgery and equipment would be best to use on you.

  • What are the chances of your condition improving post-surgery?
  • Is this a one-time surgery?
  • How much improvement can be expected?
  • How much downtime can be expected?
  • Are there any side effects?

The answers to these questions will make it easier for you to understand the risks and pitfalls related to surgery and whether it is really worth it to get a surgery or procedure rather than continuing on BPH medication.

Atlanta Surgical Treatments for BPH

While there are many surgical options that are available to surgeons, most of them will fall under the category of minimally invasive procedures. The reason they’re so highly regarded among the medical community is that they’re able to solve a lot of the urinary symptoms without leaving a permanent or lasting impact on the prostate tissue.

It is worth mentioning here that the reason these surgeries are preferable to continued medical treatment is because the ability to permanently root out the problem rather than temporarily easing the pain. There are also many sexual side effects with medication that do not occur with newer, office-basIn that same category, an open surgery delivers longer-lasting results to that of minimally invasive procedures but will come with the side effect of longer recovery time and risk of side effects.

Some of these procedures are:

Prostatic Lift (Urolift)

The reason this procedure is so popular is that it involves the least medical risk.  Urolift utilizes tiny implants to lift and hold the enlarged prostate tissue out of the way so it no longer blocks the urethra. There is no cutting, heating or removal of prostate tissue.  It also requires no catheter afterward and minimal downtime.  Despite being the least invasive procedure, results are similar to transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).  Urolift also has the benefit of preserving ejaculatory function.  Advanced Urology is the only Center of Excellence in Atlanta and in the entire state of Georgia for the Urolift procedure.  Our doctors have reached a higher level of training and experience with the Urolift System.

Transurethral Needle Ablation (TUNA):

The doctors use a heated needle to enter the prostate via the urethra. The tube then carries urine and semen through to the penis and then aids in eliminating any excess cells in the prostate gland. It also helps in reducing the enlarged prostate and alleviates the pain from benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Water Vapor Energy Ablation (WaVE):

This therapy utilizes a special catheter that is placed in the urethra via the urine tube. The catheter is then connected to a radiofrequency generator on the other end. The vapors generated from this prove to be useful in eliminating the excess prostate tissues that cause an enlarged prostate and ultimately lead to BPH. The technique is also known as Rezum Therapy. This procedure is relatively new, but data shows that symptom relief will last at least 3 years.  Ejaculatory function is also preserved with Rezum.

If you’re considering surgical options for BPH in Atlanta, we’re here for you. Call Advanced Urology today at 404-341-5219  to learn more about treatment options and make an appointment.