Repeatedly I am asked whether there is an association between inflammation and an enlarged prostrate.
Fifty percent of men by age 50, and 80% of men by age 80 have inflamed, enlarged prostrates, a condition medically known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). (The prostate is an organ that wraps around the urethra, the tube that carries urine to the outside. The primary function of the prostate is to produce sperm. Hyperplasia refers to the fact that the number of cells in the prostate increase, resulting in abnormal growth.)
As many men age, inflammation of the prostrate increases its size, enlarging it and putting pressure on the urethra. (Although the prostate is enlarged, it is not a cancerous or fatal condition.) Why this occurs is still under investigation, but it appears to be a result of a combination of genetics, hormones and immune reactions.
Men with prostate hyperplasia have lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) such as an urgent and frequent need to urinate (especially during the night), waiting longer than usual for the stream of urine to begin, straining to urinate, having a weak stream or dribble of urine, not being able to completely empty one’s bladder, or needing to urinate immediately and having an “accident”.
Obesity leads to greater over-all inflammation and puts overweight people at higher risk of having prostrate and urinary tract disorders. Obese men are 3.5 times more likely to have enlarged prostrates compared with men of healthier weights.
The more weight a man carries, the more inflamed he is, the higher the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes as well. The relationship of an enlarged prostrate to diabetes remains controversial. Diabetes has been associated with bladder problems and the ability to control urination.
Additionally, the higher the level of sugar in the blood, the more likelihood of urinary problems and enlarged prostrates, especially in men that do not take medications for their diabetes. However, since both diabetes and benign prostate hyperplasia are inflammatory in nature and are clinically similar it is not clear whether the two diseases are associated.
Inflammation is tightly controlled to keep it balanced, in homeostasis. We need enough inflammation for healing and for defending us from infections, but not so much inflammation that organs and tissues are damaged.
Being active, controlling one’s weight, going outdoors for a few minutes a day and using a proven immune balancing supplement will greatly affect the ability of the body to modulate inflammation.
For years I have helped people promote their overall quality of life. Feel free to contact me DrHellen@DrHellenGreenblatt.info, use the form, or give me a call at 302.265.3870 (ET) and let us talk. Let me help you help yourself, you deserve it.