Symptoms of an enlarged prostate

Procrastination is a natural human tendency. People prefer to put things off that are not painful or overly bothersome.

The symptoms of an enlarged prostate usually develop gradually and men often ignore early symptoms. Nothing terrible seems to be happening and the result is a willingness to wait and see. The severity of the symptoms fluctuates; sometimes better and sometimes worse. Meanwhile, silent insidious changes take place in the bladder and more importantly, in the kidneys. The harm done to the bladder and the kidneys, can, if caught early enough, heal through the body’s natural defenses but when not corrected in a timely fashion, the damage can become permanent.

When the prostate obstructs the proper and efficient outflow of urine, the bladder at first compensates by contracting more vigorously. This results in symptoms of frequency, urgency, intermittency, and nocturia (getting up from sleep to urinate). He may notice the need to push because his stream has weakened or a sensation of incomplete emptying developed.

While a man may become aware of these gradually worsening symptoms, the severity of which may wax and wane, he is totally unaware of the progressive bladder and kidney damage that results from the prolonged and persistent obstruction caused by the enlarged prostate. The bladder at first will grow stronger and thicker with its muscle fibers enlarged by exercise, much as the heart muscle grows larger and stronger when overworked. Just as the heart muscle can eventually develop heart failure, so can the bladder muscle fail and become unable to force urine out through the resistance of a constantly diminishing passageway through the prostate.

But what of the kidneys, which normally function in a low-pressure environment? When faced with an obstruction downstream in the prostate, the kidneys become unable to force urine down into the bladder, which now has become a relatively high-pressure container. This is because of the backpressure from the prostatic obstruction.

The result is a gradual but progressive inflation of the kidneys actually blowing themselves up as if they were balloons. This condition is called hydronephrosis and it can be easily detected by sonographic examination of the kidneys.

The result of the kidneys inflating in this way is to put excessive pressure upon the tubules of the kidney, which actually make the urine and after a while, the kidneys lose their ability to rid the body of its toxic metabolic refuse. This condition called uremia.

You may have heard it referred to as “Uremic Blood Poisoning” and that is actually what happens; the person becomes poisoned by his own toxic waste products. That is why it is so important to seek urological help when you first become aware of abnormalities in the way you urinate. Don’t put it off and don’t be afraid. The only thing you have to fear is procrastination.

Have a Question? Call Dr. Okun at 718-241-6767

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