As men age, there are three different types of urinary conditions that can be caused by male hormone imbalance: urinary incontinence, painful bladder syndrome and benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH).
Urinary incontinence is defined as any involuntary leakage of urine. It is a common and distressing problem that may have a profound impact on a man’s quality of life. Urinary incontinence is almost always caused by an underlying and treatable medical condition. Testosterone replacement therapy for men has been shown to improve bladder control in men with urinary incontinence
Interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome) is a chronic, oftentimes severely debilitating disease of the bladder. The cause of this urinary condition is unknown. It is characterized by bladder pain, painful urination, urinary frequency/urgency (as often as every 10 minutes), and/or pressure in the bladder and/or pelvis. There are studies linking painful bladder syndrome in men to low testosterone levels. Testosterone replacement therapy for men has been shown to help relieve the symptoms of interstitial cystitis
Benign prostate hyperplasia is an enlargement of the prostate caused by an elevated number of prostate cells. This prostate enlargement results in the formation of large nodules around the urethral area of the prostate. If the nodules become large enough, they can compress the urethral canal to cause partial and sometimes complete obstruction of the urethra, which interferes with the normal flow of urine. This can lead to the development of urinary hesitancy, frequent urination, dysuria (painful urination), urinary retention and increased risk for UTIs (urinary tract infections). PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels are typically elevated in individuals with BPH. Luckily, BPH does not lead to cancer and does not increase the risk of cancer.
Unfortunately, during andropause, testosterone levels decline and estrogen levels increase. Some evidence suggests that this relative increase in circulating estrogen may strengthen the effect of the testosterone derivative dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT promotes cell growth, which results in glandular enlargement of the prostate gland. The development of the prostate gland requires the conversion of testosterone into DHT in the presence of a specific enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. As aging occurs, the amount of DHT in the prostate gland remains high even though the circulating testosterone level drops.
Most physicians are inexperienced in treating male hormonal imbalance and may prescribe testosterone without correctly balancing the other hormones, such as estrogen, dihydrotestosterone, thyroid, human growth hormone and DHEA. It is extremely important to find an expert bioidentical hormone therapy doctor who knows how to balance all your hormone levels, including estrogen and DHT. Hormone optimization along with a customized nutrition plan, nutritional supplement regimen and exercise routine will assure optimal prostate and overall health.
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