What Are Common Causes of Enlarged Prostate?

Many men around the globe know the struggle: every night, they have to wake up several times and go to the bathroom. And the constant feeling that their bladder is not empty follows them everywhere. These are the most common symptoms of enlarged prostate.

What Is Enlarged Prostate?

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and the penis. Its role is to secret a fluid that protects the sperm, increasing its viability and the chances of fertilizing a female egg. Therefore, the prostate has an important role in the sexual and reproductive function in men.

This gland normally has two growth phases. The first phase takes place during puberty, when it doubles in size. The second phase starts after the age of 25, when it starts growing in small increments. It is during this phase that some men may suffer from enlarged prostate.

Who Is Most Likely to Suffer from Enlarged Prostate?

This condition (which is benign, i.e. not caused by cancer) affects most men after the age of 50. It is not a life threatening condition, but it can negatively impact the quality of life. Most doctors prescribe medications to revert the enlarged prostate condition. In more complex cases, the patient may need to have surgery to remove the enlarged prostate.

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The Most Common Symptoms of Enlarged Prostate

As it grows, the prostate pushes against the urinary tract. It is the effect of pinching a drinking straw between the fingers. The flow of urine is restricted, and this is perceived by men suffering form enlarged prostate as:

  • Difficulty to start a urine stream
  • Weak or interrupted urine stream
  • The need to urinate during the night frequently
  • Pain after urination or sexual intercourse
  • Inability to retain urination.

These are unpleasant symptoms, which affect both self-esteem and the quality of sleep. This is why it is important to seek medical advice for the best treatment for enlarged prostate if you experience one of several of these symptoms.

The Causes of Enlarged Prostate

So far, specialists have not managed to pinpoint clear causes of prostate enlargement. However, they know two clear facts. One is that older men are most likely to suffer from it. The other is that men whose testicles were removed before puberty do not suffer from enlarged prostate.

Therefore, various researchers suggest that the factors that influence the growth of the prostate are connected both to advancing in age and the function of testicles to secrete male hormones.

Starting with puberty men start secreting testosterone (the male hormone) and a small quantity of estrogen (the female hormone). Over the year, the secretion of testosterone decreases, while the estrogen stays at the same levels. It is believed that the increased proportion of estrogen causes prostate cells to multiply.

Other causes of enlarged prostate observed by healthcare practitioners are:

  • Hereditary – men with a history of enlarged prostate in their family
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Heart and circulatory disease
  • A sedentary lifestyle.

The conclusion is that you may not be able to prevent the onset of enlarged prostate, but with a healthy lifestyle and following medical advice you can greatly improve your quality of life in your golden years.

What Is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine has been around for nearly 30 years. It was invented by chemist Jeffery Bland, who, together with his wife Susan Bland, founded the Institute for Functional Medicine in 1991. Since then, two more centers using this type of therapy opened in the US: the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and George Washington University.

What Is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is a form of alternative therapy. A local functional medicine doctor Highlands Ranch expert states that their approach is to treat the root causes of diseases, not the symptoms. They claim that each treatment is tailored to the patient, taking into consideration aspects such as:

  • The environment
  • The immune system
  • The endocrine system
  • The gastrointestinal system.

Thus, functional medicine attempts to offer a holistic approach to treating patients with chronic diseases, who find conventional treatments ineffective and expensive.

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What Is the Approach of Functional Medicine to Treating Patients?

According to practitioners, functional medicine has three core principles:

  1. Putting the Patient at the Center of Care

Functional medicine specialists start by analyzing the patient’s history and put their health problems into context. In this way, they create a personalized management plan for their chronic disease, which includes:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercising
  • Medication
  • Natural and botanical supplements
  • Stress management practices.
  1. Integrating Scientific Discoveries in the Therapy

Functional medicine practitioners state that they are constantly looking out for the latest scientific developments in the field of healthcare and including them in their treatments. Among these, they focus especially on the latest discoveries in the field of genetics and physiology.

  1. Multi-disciplinary Approach

In functional medicine, practitioners use elements from various specialties, including conventional medicine and various alternative therapies. They state that one of the core principles of functional medicine is keeping an open mind and using any technique and treatment that can help the patient.

Typical Patient Assessment Plan

Here is what a patient may expect during the initial assessment if they choose the functional medicine therapy.

  1. Evaluation of the Core Functions of the Body

The practitioner starts by looking at the 6 main physiological functions of the human body:

  • Digestion and absorption
  • Immunity and inflammation
  • Energy regulation
  • Detoxification
  • Hormonal
  • Structural integrity of the muscles and bones.
  1. Evaluation of the Environment

This aspect of the analysis covers everything from air and water quality to diet and nutrition, physical exercise and the quality of sleep.

  1. Evaluation of the Mindset

The practitioner will ask the patient to describe their social life, spiritual beliefs, general mental state and how these aspects influence stress and their response to stress.

Who May Benefit from Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine mainly targets patients with chronic diseases. Functional medicine specialists promise to offer primary prevention care, by identifying the stage of the condition the patient is suffering from, its underlying causes and the way the patient’s lifestyle influences their overall state of health.

Thus, patients will receive a personalized treatment plan that covers the body, the mindset, as well as their daily habits and the quality of the environment they live in.