Is the urgent need to pee a normal part of aging?

Is the urgent need to pee a normal part of aging?

Men over 50 years-old: Do you think twice about hydrating before bedtime because that often leads to multiple bathroom breaks throughout the night? Or have you noticed a weaker urine stream? Or one that dribbles, starts and stops?

While these are typical aging milestones for men, they could also be signs of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), a common condition you don’t want to ignore, says Dr. Michael Ward, a family and sports medicine physician at Advocate Health Care.

“BPH, also known as enlarged prostate, happens in most men as they continue to age. It happens when tissue surrounding the prostate gland thickens and interferes with the urethra’s ability to carry urine outside the body, which contributes to difficulties with urination,” Dr. Ward explains.

In its earliest stages, some men may see BPH as a manageable nuisance. But, if left untreated, an enlarged prostate can lead to urinary tract infections, kidney stones, kidney damage and the inability to eliminate urine which requires surgery to correct. Fortunately, enlarged prostate doesn’t necessarily increase the risk of getting prostate cancer.

“We’re not really sure what causes BPH, but some researchers speculate it may be caused by male reproductive hormone changes similar to the types of changes women experience with menopause,” Dr. Ward says.

Besides aging, men who have a family history of enlarged prostate, diabetes, heart problems and obesity are at risk for BPH. To determine whether you have BPH, a physical exam, urine and blood tests may be needed.

If you are diagnosed with BPH, there are numerous options for managing symptoms, including medication, nutrition adjustments and minimally invasive surgical procedures.

Dr. Ward says your primary care physician can work with you to develop a treatment plan that’s appropriate for your age, the size of your prostate and the condition of your overall health.

Do you have trouble sleeping? Learn more about sleep apnea by taking a free online quiz. 

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One Comment

  1. Just had a H.o.L.E.P. Procedure in June. After three months, which includes ongoing core exercises, I am better than I have been in years, i.e., can sleep well over seven hours at night. Worth investigating.

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About the Author

Cassie Richardson
Cassie Richardson

Cassie Richardson, health enews contributor, is regional coordinator on the Public Affairs team for Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She has more than 10 years of experience in health care communications, marketing, media and public relations. Cassie is a fan of musical theater and movies. When she’s not spreading the word about health and wellness advancements, she enjoys writing fiction.