Any man can suffer from an inflammation of the prostate, known as prostatitis, but the risk of developing this condition increases with age. Prostatitis symptoms often interfere with everyday life; in addition, the condition can lead to a number of serious health concerns. Knowing how to recognize prostatitis and other related health conditions ensures that you’ll receive treatment as soon as possible so you can get back to your normal, pain-free life.
What Causes Prostatitis?
According to the National Institutes of Health, the causes of prostatitis vary based on age. In younger men, prostatitis is typically caused by common bacterial infections. In seniors, however, the cause is more likely to be tied to an enlarged prostate, medically known as benign prostatic hyperplasia. This blocks the prostate gland, allowing bacteria to build up.
Prostatitis can be an acute condition that starts quickly but can be resolved with treatment; for some men, however, it can also become a chronic condition. Antibiotic treatment may not be as effective for chronic prostatitis, and symptoms often return as soon as medication is stopped.
Spotting Prostatitis Symptoms
Symptoms of acute prostatitis and chronic prostatitis are similar, although acute symptoms generally start faster and can be more intense. Pain in the lower back or pubic area is often the first sign of prostatitis, quickly followed by sexual dysfunction and urinary issues.
Usually, the most identifiable symptoms are related to urination. Prostatitis can feel like a bad urinary tract infection, including burning during urination and blood in the urine. There can also be a foul smell during urination, or a weak urine stream. Flu-like symptoms, such as a fever and chills, may occur as well.
Prostatitis Prevention and Treatment
In most cases, men with prostatitis take antibiotics for a minimum of four to six weeks, according to the National Institutes of Health. Doctors may also recommend urinating often, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding the ingestion of anything that may be irritating, such as spicy foods, alcoholic beverages, and anything containing caffeine. This can usually wipe out the infection, unless it proves to be a chronic issue.
According to the National Institutes of Health, there is no way to prevent prostatitis. Despite decades of research, the condition has not been linked to diet, activity level, or other lifestyle factors.
Recognizing prostatitis symptoms and talking to your doctor about them is the best way to ensure your symptoms are not indicative of something more serious. Your doctor will confirm the diagnosis and prescribe a round of antibiotics for treatment. Early treatment can help you return to your regular life without additional discomfort.