By: Dr S K Pal, Urologist, Apollo Spectra Delhi, Nehru Enclave
As men become older, their health needs to be evaluated from time to time. Did you know? Men’s prostate gland changes over time, affecting their urinary and sexual functions. It is the need of the hour to consult a urologist and take charge of your health. Ignoring your health can land you in trouble.
Men often neglect their urinary health. It isn’t the manliest topic to discuss. Whether you’re going for an annual checkup or for a specific reason, it is always necessary to make your health a priority as you age. There are no major symptoms to alarm. Thus, an annual checkup with a urologist is the only way to help to spot various long-term issues in men that can rob their peace of mind. These are some of the urological problems that men need to be aware of.
Know about these common urological issues in men
• Kidney stones: Are seen when the chemicals present in the urine crystalize and turn into stones. These stones will be small in the beginning and can become larger later. The symptoms of kidney stones are episodes of severe excruciating pain in the loin or passage of blood in the urine. Pain is often associated with nausea and vomiting. When the stones drop down into the urinary tube (ureter), patient feels a constant desire to pass urine and has to go often. Risk factors for kidney stones are very low consumption of water, dehydration, frequent urinary tract infections, blocking in the urinary tract, or having a family history.
• Erectile Dysfunction: It is also one of the common reasons for which men visit urologists. Here, men are not able to maintain an erect penis, sufficient for satisfying sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction can stem from stress, aging, low testosterone, prescription medications, or medical conditions like diabetes. It is managed with an oral medication that increases the blood flow to the penis. However, injections in the penis, testosterone replacement therapy, or a surgical procedure can be of help for selected specific individuals.
• Enlarged Prostate: Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate, is seen when the cells in your prostate gland multiply and begin to grow in size when the age advances. Prostate surrounds the beginning of urinary tube (Urethra) all around. If an enlarging prostate starts growing inside , it occupies the interior of the urinary tube and starts blocking the free flow of urine. With an enlarged prostate, you are likely to experience symptoms such as poor, dribbling, non projectile, interrupted flow of urine, frequent urination at night , or the sensation of incomplete emptying of bladder. Your treating doctor will decide about the right kind of treatment for you to help you tackle this condition, before the urine starts flowing back into the kidneys causing serious kidney damage and need for dialysis.
• Prostate Cancer: Strikes when the prostate cells begin to multiply uncontrollably. Early detection can be helpful in successful treatment. Are you aware? This type of cancer can be challenging to detect in the early stages because of the absence of any symptoms whatsoever. A very simple and widely available blood test named -Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA), done annually after the age of 40 in men , can be helpful in detecting this cancer at an early stage and initiating right treatment at right time to obtain cure from this cancer.