Prostate infection: It can happen to old and young
A gland of the male reproductive system, the prostate produces some of the fluid found in semen. Normally, the prostate is quite small, about the same size and shape as a chestnut. It is located in front of the rectum, just below the bladder, and wraps around the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder.
Prostatitis is perhaps the most common male urologic disease. It occurs in adult men of all ages and is commonly confused with enlarged prostate, which mostly occurs in older men.
“There is no direct relationship, but there are reports that patients with enlarged prostates reportedly are likely to have a history of prostatitis,” said Dr. Kim Tae-hyoung, at the Chung-Ang University Medical Center in Yongsan.
In the United States, it was reported that half of men experience symptoms of prostatitis during their lifetime, but few know what its conditions are. Prostatitis is not a form of cancer, and there is no evidence that it leads to prostate cancer.
Prostatitis is mainly classified as acute bacterial, chronic bacterial and nonbacterial prostatitis. Acute bacterial prostatitis is caused by bacteria and may be accompanied by chills and fever, lower back pain or rectum and urinary irreglarities; chronic bacterial prostatitis is associated with chronic urinary infections and pain during urination. Acute bacterial prostatitis is associated with urinary tract infections and is the least common, but most severe, form.
Prostatitis patients are usually surprised to find when they go to a hospital that they have to have a rectal examination, a normal procedure to determine if prostate is enlarged or if it has lumps or other abnormalities.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis may be common, but its causes and definition are not clear and the criteria for diagnosis are not well defined. It has a wide range of vague symptoms and can disappear and reoccur unexpectedly.
Treating prostatitis takes longer ― three weeks to several months ― than other inflammatory diseases because it is harder for the antibiotics to reach the prostate than other areas, Dr. Kim said.
Untreated acute bacterial prostatitis can develop into septicemia, bacteria in the blood. If chronic bacterial prostatitis and inflammatory nonbacterial prostatitis are left untreated, they can become aggravated and form pus bags. In case of non-inflammatory nonbacterial prostatitis, the person can go untreated if the patient is healthy and shows no symptoms, Dr. Kim said.
Statistically, information technology workers, officer workers and drivers are prone to prostatitis. Staying seated for long periods tends to strain the perineal muscle and affects the prostate glands. People in these professions need to stand up every two hours and relax their strained muscles.
Avoiding trips to the bathroom is not a good idea, either: Urine can flow back and cause prostatitis. Prostatitis patients need to get exercise and avoid stress. A healthy sex life is also good, as it also helps wash out secreted fluids.
Hydrotherapy, long hot baths, can also help improve conditions. Sitting in hot water for around 10 minutes can release tension in the muscles around the prostate glands. To maximize the effect, try massaging the perineal muscle, located an inch deep in the skin between the rectum and genitals.
To ease the symptoms of prostatitis, drink a lot of water during the day, go to the bathroom regularly, limit or avoid eating spicy foods, limit or avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine-containing beverages, and for bicyclers, use a “split” bicycle seat to reduce pressure on the prostate.
How to Improve Prostatitis Conditions
* Avoid sitting longer than two hours
* Sit in a hot tub for 10 minutes and massage the perineal muscle to release tension
* Do not hold back urination for long and go to the restroom regularly
* Avoid eating spicy foods and drinking coffee or alcoholic beverages
* Use a "split" bicycle seat to reduce pressure on the prostate
* Get enough rest and exercise, and avoid stress
by Limb Jae-un
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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