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What are some causes of an enlarged prostate?

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Quick Answer

As of March 2015, the exact cause of prostate enlargement is not known, states MedlinePlus. Researchers believe that cell growth within the prostate and aging contribute to an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia. Male hormones such as testosterone may also play a role, according to eMedicineHealth.

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Full Answer

Most men develop benign prostatic hyperplasia, known as BPH, at some time in their life, and approximately 90 percent of men over the age of 80 have some form of the disease, reports MedlinePlus.

Some men have no symptoms of BPH, while others have symptoms that interfere with their quality of life, explains WebMD. Symptoms of an enlarged prostate include a decreased urine stream, difficulty initiating urination, incomplete emptying of the bladder and pain with urination. Patients with BPH may also need to urinate several times during the night.

While benign prostatic hyperplasia cannot be cured, treatments can make symptoms tolerable. Treatment is based on the severity of symptoms and includes watchful waiting, medications and surgery for more severe symptoms, states WebMD.

Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol can be helpful, and avoiding antihistamines, which can aggravate BPH symptoms, may also help, reports MedlinePlus. Medications such as finasteride and supplements such as saw palmetto may reduce the inflammation associated with an enlarged prostate. If conservative therapies don't provide relief, a transurethral resection of the prostate, also known as TURP, or a prostatectomy may relieve the symptoms of BPH in some patients.

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