Gentlemen, if you’ve ever had difficulty urinating, dealing with bladder stones, and falling or staying asleep, among other things, you just might have a problem with your prostate. But the good news is you can do something about it as long as you spot these warning signs right away.
Prostate disease can mean a variety of medical conditions that can affect your prostate gland. That’s the small gland, exclusively found in males, that sits just below the bladder and opens into the urethra – or the tube that transports urine from the bladder to the penis.
The prostate gland helps men to produce a thick, white fluid that’s liquefied by a special protein – what’s called prostate-specific antigen (PSA). That fluid is then mixed with sperm produced by the testicles to make semen.
Of course, there are a number of conditions that can affect the prostate gland. They include prostate enlargement, inflammation of the prostate and, perhaps most alarmingly, prostate cancer. So it’s important to keep an eye out for the signs that indicate problems with your prostate. Here are 4 of the main ones:
Symptom 1: Difficulty with urinating
For one thing, an enlarged prostate can press against the urethra, making it increasingly more challenging to urinate. It can take longer to build up the pressure that’s needed in order for urine to pass.
Eventually, this can lead to urinary retention, in which you become completely unable to pee. The bladder then swells and becomes too painful to endure. Now if the urethra is only partly blocked because of pressure from the prostate, only a small flow of urine will be allowed to escape the bladder, resulting in a rather weak urine flow and, yes, a very long wait in the washroom.
Symptom 2: Far-too-easy pee
On the other hand, the urgency to urinate is a common enough problem related to your prostate. When this happens, the nerves inside your bladder may no longer be able to communicate with your brain effectively. This can leave you with an urgent need to pee and even discomfort in your bladder. It’s also known as a spastic bladder.
Symptom 3: Trouble with bladder stones
Whenever you retain urine in your bladder for far too long, it can bring about bladder stones. That’s because your pee becomes concentrated and its minerals become crystallized. Quite painful, bladder stones can cause even more urinary symptoms because they can block urine as it flows through the bladder and urethra.
Sure, the stone may pass out of the bladder and through the urethra if it’s small enough and you drink plenty of water. But additional treatment may be required if the bladder stone is sizeable and doesn’t pass easily.
Symptom 4: Disrupted sleep
You may have noticed that it’s harder to fall and stay asleep as you get older. And if you need to urinate several times every night, it may be even more difficult to sleep. It’s called nocturia, a condition that forces you to wake up and pee two or more times nightly. It’s characterized by pressure from the enlarged prostate and the obstruction of the urethra, and leads to bladder irritation and the improper signaling of nerves. It’ll definitely keep you up at night.
As you can see, many problems can arise when dealing with the prostate. It’s important to recognize these signs and symptoms early enough so that treatment can get underway. Talk to your family physician immediately as they’ll be able to help you treat your prostate problem before serious damage ever sets in.