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Enlarged Prostate Symptoms and Cause



Deep within the pubic region, the prostate gland sits just below the bladder and surrounding the urethra (the hollow tube that runs from the bladder to the penis through which urine flows).  At the age of about 50 to 60, in most men, the prostate will begin to get bigger.  In many cases, this will constrict or narrow the urethra and so begins problems with urination.  A typical and common symptom is the feeling of the need to urinate frequently.  Often, the person will wake up once or several times in the night which creates another problem when one cannot go back to sleep.  There is also a struggle in getting the flow to begin and during and after urination dribbling occurs.  These are common enlarged prostate symptoms.  For many men with enlarged prostate glands, the expansion of the gland by itself is not sufficient to warrant surgery.  A surgical procedure is only needed when the discomfort becomes too great. A rare exception to this is when the urine in the bladder is causing back pressure on the kidneys.  However, this condition rarely occurs without warning symptoms.  A blood test and X-rays will help to determine if this condition is present.

Occasionally the expansion of the gland does not constrict the urethra as it expands in other parts of the prostate.  The enlargement can be an indication of cancer.  Even if cancer is suspected, it should not be used to coerce a patient into agreeing to surgery for prostate removal.  In most cases, the appearance of cancer is first detected by the physician while doing a rectal exam with gloved finger.  When appropriate, the cancer can be dismissed or confirmed with a biopsy.

The most commonly suspected cause for enlarged prostate is long term excessive stimulation of the prostate with male hormones such as testosterone.  Men who eat foods rich in fats are typically found to have higher testosterone levels.  It is also believed that the same consumption of fatty foods causes the cancerous enlargement.

This article was adapted from an article by Dr. John McDougall, MD.  Dr. McDougall is a board certified internist and nutrition expert.  For over 30 years he has advocated a plant based low fat diet as the solution to many illnesses.  His site has excellent books and videos to explore this.

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