Posts Tagged ‘enlarged prostate gland’

Bee Venom Takes the Sting Out of An Enlarged Prostate Gland

August 3, 2015

Around age 50 most men will develop a benign enlargement of the prostate gland that causes urinary symptoms such as getting up at night to urinate, dribbling after urination, frequency of urination, urgency of urination, and rarely urinary retention. About three of four men in their 60s have the condition, and it affects more than 90 percent of those over the age of 80. The cause is not known but may be a result of hormonal changes in middle aged men. The treatment consists of watchful waiting if the symptoms aren’t impacting a man’s quality of life, medication or minimally invasive surgery, such as microwave, lasers, and the new treatment, UroLift, which uses pins to open the obstructing prostate tissue. Now bee venom is being evaluated as a treatment option.

Bee venom has long been used in folk medicine to treat immune-related diseases, such as arthritis. In recent decades, researchers have been exploring its use in fighting many conditions, including cancer. Researchers in South Korea have found still another use for the venom: A study found that the venom from honey bees may be as effective in treating enlarged prostates as conventional drugs.

An animal study was conducted with rats. One group was treated with bee venom, and the second was treated with the drug finasteride (Proscar), which is commonly used to treat enlarged prostate. The third group got no additional treatment. A fourth group of uncastrated rats received placebo shots and served as a control.

Researchers found that the prostates of rats castrated and then given testosterone were significantly larger — 1.8 times — than the control rats. But the prostates of rats given either bee venom or finasteride were much smaller: When compared to control rats, the rats given bee venom were only 1.1 times larger, and those treated with finasteride were 1.3 times larger.

The research was published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine.

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The Enlarged Prostate Gland-What You Need To Know

February 10, 2015

The enlarged prostate gland affects 13 million American men and affects their quality of life. This blog will discuss the symptoms of the enlarged prostate gland and treatment options that you might consider if you have urinary tract symptoms.

One in every six men above the age of 50 suffers from prostate problems. Prostate is the walnut-shaped gland between urinary bladder and urinary passage. Enlarged prostate is a common problem as men become older. Also, fifty per cent of men over the age of 50 show signs of prostate enlargement. By the age of 70, about 80 per cent of men have enlarged prostates. And while this problem is becoming very common, often men do not identify it as a crisis and approach doctors for help and just believe it is a normal part of the aging process. As a result then, there is an increased risk of kidney failure and prostate cancer.
Men suffering from prostate problems are often not willing to discuss their problems till it reaches a stage where they can’t take the pain and suffering any longer. Early symptoms of the burning sensation, frequent and urgent need to urinate and also pain in the lower abdomen and back are not taken seriously.
The early symptoms can be treated with medicines. Often men do not come in at early stages either because they fail to identify the problem or are not willing to discuss the problems. It is only when they suffer from getting up multiple times each night and frequent urinary tract infections do they visit the doctors.

The level of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) is a blood test done frequently. This test is done to identify the risk of cancer. If the PSA levels are under 4 it is normal and is merely a sign of enlarged prostate. If it is more than four then there is a risk of prostate cancer. Surgery to remove the prostate is not recommended till there are severe complications or there is a high risk of cancer. The first line of treatment is medicines and often patients respond well to it. However, these medications are often associated the sexual side effects such as retrograde ejaculation or dry ejaculation where the semen\sperm goes back into the bladder at the time of orgasm or erectile dysfunction. Minimally invasive surgery can also be done through microwave or laser where high-energy is used to remove prostate tissues. The other procedure or transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is to cut the prostate tissues into small pieces through a tube inserted into the penis and remove them from the body. This latter technique requires a general anaesthesia, a catheter for several days after the procedure, and a hospital stay. Nearly all of the men who have the TURP will have sexual side effects following surgery.

The problem of prostate enlargement is common in men and is largely due to the natural aging process. It is not due to any genetic predisposition nor is it related to lifestyle.

Now there is a new treatment option that does not require medication, hospital admission or a catheter after surgery. This is the UroLift which can be accomplished in the doctor’s office or in the one-day stay area of hospital. The UroLift consists of an implant that pins open the prostate gland and makes urination easier and reduces the urinary symptoms. This procedure is covered by most insurance companies and Medicare.

Bottom Line: The enlarged prostate gland affects millions of American men. Help is available. Speak to your doctor to find a solution if you have symptoms of frequent urination, urgency of urination, painful urination, or getting up at night to urinate.

Saw Palmetto for the Enlarged Prostate Gland-What You Need to Know

January 23, 2015

Over 30 million Americans suffer from the enlarged prostate gland. The symptoms include getting up at night to urinate, frequency of urination, and dribbling after urination. Constantly rushing to the bathroom is a common complaint among the millions of men who develop an enlarged prostate gland, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This blog will discuss the treatment with the herbal product, saw palmetto.

Saw palmetto has been used to treat urologic conditions since the days of the ancient Egyptians. It is a common non-medical approach to the enlarged prostate gland.

Here are five reasons you should skip saw palmetto and head to the doctor for advice instead.
1. It’s no better than a placebo.
Researchers have shown that saw palmetto is no better than a placebo at alleviating symptoms. Large studies have also shown the same effect in scientific studies comparing saw palmetto to placebo.

2. Its dosage may vary.
Even if you wanted to try taking a regular dose of saw palmetto, there’s currently no guarantee that the supplement you choose contains what it says it does. One study analyzed six different brands of the supplement and found that half of them contained less than 20 percent of the amount stated on the label.

3. It might not be safe.
Saw palmetto doesn’t seem to have any major side effects, but some users have reported headaches, nausea, and dizziness. However, we haven’t seen studies proving that saw palmetto is actually safe for the long term. In addition, supplements, including saw palmetto, are not well regulated by the FDA, and it’s not uncommon for wily manufacturers to distribute tainted products. You may think you’re taking a “natural” herbal remedy, but for all you know, you could be taking prescription, or even experimental, drugs.

4. It might mask another problem.
If you have symptoms of an enlarged prostate, including frequent urination, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have an enlarged prostate. The same symptoms might pop up if you have prostatitis (an inflamed or infected prostate gland) or a bladder infection that can be treated with an antibiotic. Or the symptoms might even be a side effect of another medication. If supplements relieve your symptoms for some reason, you might neglect treating another ailment.

5. It’s a waste of money.
Instead of throwing your dollars away on saw palmetto supplements, see your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and find out about approved drugs that can help. Common treatments include alpha-blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. Visit Consumer Reports’ Best Buy Drugs to find out more about drugs it recommends for treating enlarged prostate.

Bottom Line: The enlarged prostate is a common problem affecting millions of American men. Saw palmetto is an over the counter non-medical, herbal supplement that probably has minimal or even no benefit at all. All men with symptoms prostate enlargement should seek medical care as solutions are available.

New Help For the Enlarged Prostate Gland-The Uro-Lift

January 21, 2015

The enlarged prostate is a medical condition in which the prostate gland that surrounds the male urethra (tube in the penis that transports urine and semen located in the penis) becomes enlarged with advancing age and begins to obstruct the urinary system. The condition is common, affecting approximately 37 million men in the United States alone. BPH symptoms include sleepless nights as men are awakened to empty their bladder and urinary problems such as dribbling after urination, frequency of urination, and urgency of urination. This condition can cause loss of productivity, depression and decreased quality of life. About one in four men experience these urinary symptoms by age 55 and by age 70, over 80 percent of men suffer from BPH.

Treatment options
Medication is often the first-line therapy for enlarged prostate, but relief can be inadequate and temporary. Side effects of treatment can include sexual dysfunction, dizziness and headaches, prompting many patients to quit using the drugs. For these patients, the classic alternative is surgery that cuts or ablates prostate tissue to open the blocked urethra. While current surgical options, such as transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP or “roto rooter”), can be very effective in relieving symptoms, it can also leave patients with permanent side effects such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation (dry orgasm).

A new study in published in Urology Practice, an official journal of the American Urological Association, concluded that the UroLift System preserves sexual function and provides rapid improvement in symptoms, flow and quality of life that are sustained to two years.

UroLift, which provides rapid relief of enlarged prostate symptoms with minimal side effects, are durable for at least two years after treatment, with less than one in ten patients requiring an additional procedure for symptom relief. At two years only 7.5% of patients required an additional procedure for lower urinary tract symptoms. Adverse events were typically early, mild and transient. There was no occurrence of de novo sustained ejaculatory or erectile dysfunction\impotence.

Bottom Line: Millions of American men suffer from the enlarged prostate gland. Help is available often starting with medication. Another option is Uro-Lift which can be done in the ambulatory treatment center and has immediate results.

Benign Prostate Enlargement (BPH) – Help Is Available

October 10, 2014

Millions of middle age men suffer from non-cancerous prostate gland enlargement. The cause is not known but is probably related to hormonal changes that occur normally in men after age 50.

The symptoms are going to the bathroom frequently, urgency of urination, poor stream, dribbling after urination. However, the most bothersome symptom that impacts a man’s quality of life is getting up multiple times during the night to go to the restroom.

Though the prostate continues to grow during most of a man’s life, the enlargement doesn’t 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% in their seventies and eighties, have some symptoms of BPH. Moreover, because drug treatment is not effective in all cases, researchers in recent years have developed a number of procedures that relieve BPH symptoms but are less invasive than conventional surgery.

Thus, BPH is an age-related condition like many others, such as memory deficiency, reduced bones density and muscles flexibility.

As for natural treatment options, it has been noted Saw palmetto, a popular herbal therapy among men with prostate symptoms, is not effective and more and more scientific studies are showing that saw palmetto has no benefits in the treatment of BPH.

There are oral medications such as alpha-blockers such as Flomax and Rapaflo that relax the muscles in the prostate and make it easier for the bladder to empty the contents from the bladder. There are also medications that reduce the size of the prostate gland. These drugs, Proscar and Advodart, actually help decrease the size of the prostate thus decreasing the resistance to the flow of urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. Unfortunately, these drugs have mild side effects and since so many Americans are polymedicated, and alternative solutions are often more attractive to active middle aged men.

Minimally invasive treatments

Men with enlarged prostate glands have symptoms of going to the bathroom frequently, dribbling after urination, and getting up at night to go to the bathroom. The problem is usually caused by a benign enlargement of the prostate gland, which blocks the flow of urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. The cause of the benign enlargement is not known but is probably related to alternations in the hormones, testosterone, of middle aged and older men. Treatment usually consists of medications, alpha-blockers and medications to actually relax the muscles in the prostate gland but these are often ineffective especially if used for long period of time. The other options include minimally invasive procedures such as microwaves that can actually shrink the prostate gland. Now there’s a new treatment option that can be done in the doctor’s office under a local anesthetic.

What are some of the minimally invasive treatments available for BPH?

Laser vaporization: Anesthesia is usually required for this procedure, but patients can usually go home the same day. The technology involves placing a “cystoscope” (metal tube through which the visual lens and laser can be passed). A laser is used to burn and vaporize the obstructing or blocking prostatic tissue. Studies to date have shown limited long-term benefits.

Microwave thermotherapy of the prostate (TUMT): This is an office-based procedure performed with topical and oral pain medication and does not require a general anesthesia. Computer-regulated microwaves are sent through a catheter to heat portions of the prostate. A cooling system is required in some types for better tolerance. Traditionally, the best use of this procedure has been for patients who have too many medical problems for more invasive surgery or for patients who truly wish to avoid any type of anesthesia. Benefits are that there is no need for anesthesia and there is no blood loss or fluid absorption (these would be significant benefits in a person with a weak heart). Patients usually go home the same day. Men may need a catheter for one or two days after the procedure.

The UroLift system, made by NeoTract Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., is the first permanent implant to relieve low or blocked urine flow in men age 50 and older with an enlarged prostate.

By pulling back prostate tissue that presses on the urethra, the system allows more natural urine flow.   This procedure is compared to pulling back the curtains with a sash. The procedure can be done in the doctor’s office under a local anesthetic and will actually open up the urethra to allow the flow of urine and reduce the urinary symptoms of frequency of urination, improve the force and caliber of the urine stream, and decrease the number of times a man needs to get up at night to empty his bladder.

Of course with any procedure there may be side effects and complications. Some b patients reported pain or burning during urination, increased urgency, decreased urine flow, incomplete bladder emptying, and blood in the urine. Most of these symptoms and side effects were temporary and resolved a few days or weeks after the UroLift was performed.

Bottom Line: Millions of American men suffer from symptoms as a result of an enlarged prostate gland. Certainly medications are a first line treatment option. However, the UroLift may be a permanent solution to this common problem and help men get a good night’s sleep!

Can’t Get It Up? Your ED (Erectile Dysfunction) May Be Telling You That Your Health Is Headed Down

September 22, 2014

Nearly every man has an occasional problem with his erection. However, if it is a persistent problem, it may be an indication of a more serious health problem. This blog will discuss some of the common conditions that may not have any symptoms that are associated with ED and what you need to do if you do have ED.

High blood pressure

An estimated one in three men with high blood pressure has no idea they have it, and impotence could be a vital warning sign. As we get older, our arteries become narrower and less elastic, which forces our blood pressure to rise gradually as the heart beats ever harder to get blood around the body. This damages the arteries, reducing blood flow to the penis.

What you can do: Ask your GP to check your blood pressure. Lifestyle changes such as increasing exercise and lowering salt intake may improve erectile dysfunction.

If you are already taking blood pressure medication and suffer from impotence, mention it to your doctor as some pills, such as Thiazide diuretics and beta blockers, can trigger or worsen it and your GP may be able to prescribe an alternative.

Heart disease

The many stresses of modern life, compounded with poor diet, lack of exercise, drinking and smoking, can put you at risk of high cholesterol and heart disease, both of which cause narrowing of the arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart — and to the penis. Weak erections can be an early sign of heart trouble.

‘The blood vessels in your penis are 1mm to 2mm wide, much smaller than those in the arteries to your heart (3mm to 4mm wide), so they show up signs of narrowing more quickly.

Impotence occurs, on average, about three years before a heart problem appears, especially in men in their 40s or 50s. Men with erectile dysfunction are 50 times more likely to have heart problems than men with normal heart function.

What you can do: Get your heart and cholesterol levels checked. Improving your diet and boosting exercise levels can reduce your cholesterol levels. Your doctor might also recommend a cholesterol-lowering statin drug. There is some evidence that statins can help with erectile dysfunction.

Diabetes

More than a million people in the U.S. are believed to have undiagnosed diabetes — a condition where your body cannot process the sugar in your blood effectively. Left untreated, this can lead to damage to the blood vessels and the nerves, and can cause poor blood flow to the penis, too.

What you can do: Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to irreversible ED. If you are diagnosed with, or already have, diabetes, keeping your blood sugar levels stable (through diet and possibly medication) may help prevent impotence.

More than 50 per cent of diabetics will have ED at some point, and it becomes more common as they grow older.

Enlarged prostate

The prostate is a small, doughnut-shaped gland that sits under the bladder, around the urethra.

Prostate problems are common with age — typically these are prostatitis, a bacterial infection which causes the gland to become swollen, and an enlarged prostate, which is linked to testosterone.

Both can trigger pain, difficulty passing urine and temporary problems with erectile dysfunction.

Prostatitis can be treated with antibiotics (it usually clears within four weeks) and an enlarged prostate may shrink after treatment with an alpha blocker such as Flomax or Rapaflo or the use of drugs that block the effects of testosterone, reducing the gland’s size.

Treatments for prostate cancer — surgery, radiotherapy, ultrasound, cryotherapy and hormone therapy — can trigger erection problems.

Early prostate cancer can be treated surgically with a nerve- sparing technique, which gives a better chance of erections afterwards.

Erectile dysfunction can be an indicator of other medical problems. If you are experiencing a regular loss of erections or are unable to obtain an erection most of the times you engage in sexual intimacy, you should check with your physician.