Menopause affects not only women but also men by causing hormone imbalance, a study by an Ewha Woman’s University Medical Center이화의료원 research team reaffirmed Thursday.
Older men risk benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), where the prostate -- a reproductive organ that produces semen located in the lower part of the bladder -- grows abnormally. When sufficiently large, the nodules push on and narrow the urethra, resulting in an increased resistance to the flow of urine from the bladder. Resistance to urine flow can lead to progressive hypertrophy, instability, or weakness of the bladder muscle.
If BPH causes obstruction of the bladder and remains untreated, complications such as recurrent urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and chronic kidney disease can ensue.
This is much more common than known hypertension or diabetes. According to a survey by the Korean Urological Association, the incidence of prostate enlargement is increasing in proportion to age, accounting for 40 percent of men in their 40s, 60 percent in their 60s and 70 percent in their 70s.
|Professor Yoon Hyeon-seok|
Patients with BPH have been steadily increasing in the past five years. In 2016, about 1.1 million patients were treated with BPH management, about 1.25 times more than in 2012 (890,000), and 95 percent of all patients were over 50.
BPH is symptomatic if discovered early and is usually prescribed to drugs that relax the urethral sphincter (alpha blocker) or decrease the size of the prostate (5-alpha reductase inhibitor). If one stops taking the medication, symptoms will recur, and if the drug does not change the size of the prostate, surgery should be considered, the center said.
"With the recent rise in benign prostatic hyperplasia, patients should pay extra attention, especially in the autumn, when temperatures fall, and the symptoms can worsen," said Professor Yoon Hyeon-seok윤현석 of Ewha Mokdong Hospital이대목동병원. "To reduce the risk of complications and reduce the quality of life due to the disease, the patient should check his/her urination status regularly.”
He added that men in their 40s or older are encouraged to take their prostate health checkup once a year because excessive drinking and caffeinated beverages can irritate the bladder and exacerbate the disease.
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