Prostate Problems
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Learn about the causes of Prostate Problems & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Prostate Problems within New Zealand.

Therapies which may benefit Prostate Problems

The prostate is a small gland located between the penis and bladder and surrounds the urethra. The prostate can become enlarged, inflamed or cancerous causing pain in the pelvis area and problems with urination.


Causes of prostate problems

There are three main conditions which affect the prostate: enlargement, prostatitis and cancer.

Prostate enlargement
The exact causes of prostate enlargement are unclear however hormones such as testosterone are known to affect the gland's development. As the body ages, the amount of testosterone in a man's body increases and this may affect the tissue of the prostate causing growth of new cells which enlarge the gland.

Rates of prostate enlargement are higher among men who are diabetic or suffer with hypertension (high blood pressure). It should however be noted that both these conditions are also associated with ageing and therefore may not have a direct connection.

There are three types of prostatitis: acute, chronic bacterial and chronic non-bacterial.

    • Acute prostatitis – this is caused by bacteria in the urethra which moves into the prostate. The bacteria can't be spread by sexual intercourse.
    • Chronic bacterial prostatitis – although it is unclear how bacteria infects the prostate in this form, there is a theory that bacteria from the urethra or bowel spreads to the prostate and causes a small concentrated colony of bacteria with a sticky surface (known as biofilm). Plaque that develops on the teeth is an example of biofilm.
    • Chronic non-bacterial prostatitis – factors which may cause this condition include problems with immunity, the nervous system or an unidentified virus or bacteria, however the exact causes are unclear.

    Prostate cancer

    As with all cancers, the exact causes of prostate cancer are unknown however there are known risk factors such as:

      • Age – 70 per cent of cases are in men aged 65 and over
      • Ethnicity – prostate cancer is more prevalent among men with Afro-Caribbean or African decent. Cases among men of Asian, or South and Central American decent are rare.
      • Hereditary history – having a close male family member who had prostate cancer increases the risk of you developing the condition. Female relatives who had breast cancer may also increase your chances.
      • Diet – diets high in dairy and red meat have been linked to an increased risk while cases among men who eat a vegetarian diet or one containing mostly vegetables are low.

      Symptoms of prostate problems

      The following symptoms are indicative of the specific prostate problems and although some are similar, it is not an indication that you have that specific problem.

      Prostate enlargement

      The symptoms of an enlarged prostate are caused by pressure being placed on the bladder and urethra and are grouped under the term of lower urinary tract symptoms. These include:

      •     Difficulty starting to urinate
      •     Intermittent flow during urination
      •     Pushing or straining to urinate
      •     Needing to urinate frequently (even at night)
      •     Sudden need to urinate
      •     A feeling that the bladder is never fully empty
      •     Pain while urinating
      •     Blood in the urine


      Acute prostatitis can cause the following symptoms:

      •     Fever
      •     Pain in the pelvis, genitals, lower back, buttocks
      •     Pain when urinating
      •     Frequent need to urinate
      •     Difficulty urinating
      •     Intermittent flow while urinating
      •     Pain when ejaculating

      Chronic prostatitis symptoms are similar to acute but not usually as severe. Symptoms can ease one day only to return the next. You may also experience tiredness and pain in the joints and muscles.

      Prostate cancer

      Symptoms of prostate cancer do not usually appear until the cancer has grown to a size where it places pressure on the urethra. Symptoms can include:

      •     A sudden need to urinate
      •     Pain while urinating
      •     Frequently needing to urinate (even at night)
      •     Difficulty starting to urinate
      •     A feeling that the bladder is not fully empty after urinating
      •     Blood in the urine (rare)

      Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have cancer and a large prostate can be non-cancerous. Cancer will usually be accompanied by weight loss and constant pain if at a serious stage.

      Diagnosis of prostate problems

      It is important that if you're experiencing any of the above symptoms that you seek a medical opinion. In the first instance, you should visit your GP who will follow a set diagnosis.

      This will begin by asking you about your symptoms to see if they match those for people with an enlarged prostate. The GP will then assess the severity of your symptoms by questioning you about your urination habits.

      The GP will then attempt to rule out other conditions. This may be done using a urine test to check if you're suffering with urinary infection of the kidneys or bladder. The GP may perform a digital rectal examination (DRE) which is used to rule out prostate cancer. This test is also used to determine prostatitis.

      During the procedure, the GP will insert a finger into your rectum to check if the surface of the gland has altered. Prostate cancer does not always cause changes to the gland and so additional tests may be required such as a blood test to identify prostate-specific antigen – a protein that is produced by the gland. If PSA levels are raised, it may indicate cancer although it is not an accurate indicator. You may be referred for a biopsy at this stage if the GP believes one is necessary.


      Featured Product(s):

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