Texts of ayurveda attribute cause of BPH or Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy or hyperplasia as vitiated vata dosha. Controlling natural urges, exposure to sun, vata imbalancing diet all may lead to enlargement of prostate.
Your top priority is expected to be your health. You are supposed to give your body the best treatment to prevent your body from any form of health problems either present or in future. It is indisputable that as you are ageing, your body changes are inevitable.
Studies have shown that most men experience changes in their prostate as they age. This is seen as a natural occurrence of aging process, but can result in a condition known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).
The prostate is part of the layers that surround the urethra (the tube that conveys semen and urine out of the penis). (Read Anatomy and Physiology of Prostate Gland ) If you have a case of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, your prostate tends to get larger than normal; thereby squeezes your urethra. This has been linked to a weak stream of pee during urination and as well keeps you awake most of the time at night to ease yourself.
However, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is not prostate cancer and having BPH does not mean you are prone to get it, as many may think. Though there hasn’t been a reality fact concerning its causes, some studies have suggested some likely causes arising from its symptoms. There are some recommended treatments for this ailment, but you must first see your doctor to help you select the right treatment based on your health, stage, and age.
This article aims to discuss the causes of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and how ayurveda explains it. Let’s first look at what is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?
What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia which is also referred to as BPH can be described as an enlargement of the prostate in men that occurs as a result of multiplication of cells of the prostate gland. When these cells multiply, the prostate gland swells up, squeezes the urethra and causes limitation to urine flow.
Ayurveda definition of BPH is ‘vatashteela’
BPH is a non-cancerous problem that grows in size of the prostate. The prostate is the gland that assists in the semen production. It is situated between the urethra and bladder. The prostate gland gradually grows in size as men age. BPH is not cancer and does not contribute to the occurrence of prostate cancer. However, it can result in severe symptoms that influence the quality of life. These symptoms will be discussed next.
Symptoms of BPH or prostate enlargement
People with BPH or prostate gland enlargement are characterized by various severity of symptoms based on the level, age, and duration of the ailment in the body. At an initial stage, the symptoms are mild, but gradually get worse over time. Some of the common signs and symptoms of Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) are:
- Urgent or frequent urge to urinate
- Difficulty starting urination
- Nocturia (excessive urination at night)
- Irregular urine stream or weak urine stream
- Dribbling and pain at the end of urination
- Inability of the victim to empty the entire bladder
- Lack of control over urination
Other special symptoms are:
- Bloody urine
- Inability to urinate
- Urinary tract infection
However, your symptoms severity does not necessarily base on the size of your prostate. While some men with extremely enlarged prostates may suffer minor urinary symptoms, some with slight growth can have significant symptoms. Symptoms can as well improve or normalize in some men over time.
Causes of BPH
The main cause of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) has not been established in any way, but studies have shown that it occurs majorly in older men. Since men with no testicles (maybe they have been removed prior puberty) do not develop BPH, researchers have suggested that ageing and testicles related issues may lead to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. Doctors cannot exactly say how it happens; though some think it needs to do with normal hormonal changes as men getting old, but it has not been established.
Your prostate has been studied to start growing at the age of 25year. While it continues to grow for the rest of the life of some men, it causes Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) in other.
One theory also looks at the area of production of testosterone and estrogen, a male and female hormone respectively. (Also Read Natural ways to increase testosterone ) In the entire lives of the victim, it is believed that men produce larger percentage of testosterone and a small percentage of estrogen. However, as men age, there is a decrease in the amount of active testosterone in the victim blood, thereby leads to higher production of estrogen. Hence, it is suggested by scientific studies that the higher proportion of estrogen in blood tends to boost the prostate cell growth activity and cause Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. Few foods like soybean or soy also increase estrogen in blood and may cause male infertility.
On the other hand, another approach focuses on dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is a significant male hormone in prostate growth and development. The researchers showed that a drop in the levels of blood testosterone tend to make older men produce and accumulate dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels in the prostate. ( Also Read Does Weight Loss Boost Testosterone in Men? ).This encourages prostate cells to grow continuously; hence, BPH. It is studied that men without dihydrotestosterone don’t develop BPH.
Ayurvedic Causes for BPH
According to principles of ayurveda vitiated apana vayu ( one of the type of vata dosha) causes prostate enlargement. Vata imbalancing diet, lifestyle, increased stress, addictions to alcohol, smoking, tobacco etc can cause BPH
Other Potential Causes of BPH
There are other potential causes of urinary (similar to enlarged prostate) symptoms. They include:
- Prostatitis – inflammation of the prostate
- Bladder or kidney stones
- Urinary tract infection
- Bladder or prostate cancer
- Urethral stricture – narrowing of the urethra
- Issues with bladder nerves
However, there are some other risk factors for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) as indicated by researchers. They include:
BPH signs and symptoms are usually rare in younger men, say less than 40 years. Studies have shown that about 30% of men at age 60 suffer moderate to severe symptoms while about 50% experience the same at age 80 and above.
Heart disease and diabetes:
Increase in the risk of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) have also been linked to heart disease and diabetes, and as well as the use of beta blockers. ( Also Read Natural Treatment for erectile dysfunction in diabetes )
If BPH or prostate problems run in the family bloodline, such as brother or father, there is a tendency to have the ailment.
Some lifestyles also subject people to be at risk of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). While obesity or overweight increases the risk, regular exercise can minimize the risk of BPH and other health problems. (Also Read Obesity and Male infertility Practical approach and Benefits of Daily Brisk Walking )
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a natural occurrence in some men, and it is treatable. Sometimes, it may not even require medical treatment, but a lifestyle change. However, it is highly recommended to have yourself checked-up for close monitoring of the size and symptoms of your prostate, as you age. The primary treatment options for BPH symptoms are lifestyle changes, surgery, and medication based on your symptoms and other factors. It is essential to visit your doctor for any symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) to help you live a quality life.