Metabolic syndrome is defined as a condition made up of a cluster of familiar health problems. For example, a person who is obese with high blood sugar and high cholesterol has metabolic syndrome. These health problems increase a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in the enlargement of the prostate gland and is common among men over the age of 50. As the prostate enlarges, it can put pressure on the urethra causing urinary symptoms.
Metabolic syndrome is a major health concern as the combination of different health problems can ultimately lead to some serious outcomes and complications. There is a higher risk of the development of metabolic syndrome as we age, and it is estimated that nearly half of men have metabolic syndrome over the age of 60.
These statistics are similar to men living with BPH.
Studies have now shown a possible link between metabolic syndrome and BPH. A 2017 study looked at men with central obesity and insulin resistance and their risk of metabolic and heart diseases. The study also looked at how metabolic syndrome may contribute to BPH.
It suggested that metabolic syndrome can impact urinary tract symptoms associated with BPH and that doctors should use the appropriate medical therapy to slow down BPH progression to reduce the risk of unnecessary morbidities from metabolic syndrome.
An alternative study that looked at 5,403 men with BPH found that a quarter of the men also had metabolic syndrome and those men with metabolic syndrome had larger prostates than those without.
One possible explanation for the link between metabolic syndrome and BPH is that metabolic syndrome may affect a part of the nervous system that controls involuntary functions of internal organs and could be interfering with muscle contractions required for normal urinary function.
Other studies suggest that men with low HDL cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol have greater inflammation of prostate cells.
It’s important that you reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome to reduce the risk of BPH or slow down progression.
Metabolic syndrome can be prevented by regularly exercising, eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight.