Can Diabetes Cause Prostate Problems?


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Can diabetes cause prostate problems? Diabetes, especially poorly managed diabetes, could be the cause of prostate troubles. Diabetes has several effects on blood flow and can damage blood vessels and nerves that lead to other problems in the body. Diabetes can make symptoms of some prostate conditions, such as enlarged prostate, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), worse for patients than these symptoms may be in non-diabetic patients.

Diabetes and BPH

A study published in the Journal of Urology in June 2000 shows that men who have diabetes experience worse symptoms of BPH than men without diabetes. The research looked at the records of 1,290 men with diabetes and 8,566 men without diabetes. All of the men were receiving drug treatment for BPH. Researchers compared BPH symptoms before and after drug treatment and found that men with diabetes had more symptoms and slower urine flow rate than those without diabetes. Their findings showed that men with diabetes have symptoms as severe as non-diabetic men eleven years older than them and a urine flow rate the same as non-diabetic men seven years older then them.

Can diabetes cause prostate problems such as BPH? According to other studies, the exact relationship of BPH to diabetes remains unclear because the specific pathway interfering in the development of both conditions is still poorly investigated. Research indicates that diabetes may substantially influence the risk of BPH and lower urinary tract symptoms in older men. The presence of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) has been known for decades to exist in prostatic tissue. Evidence suggests that an association between BPH and diabetes through a common pathogenic mechanism through altered male hormone activity influenced by IGF is possible. Future studies may determine the effect of insulin and the abnormalities of glucose homeostasis in the development of BPH.

Diabetes and Prostatitis

Prostatitis is a poorly understood condition affecting many men, and there are many potential causes. Diabetes could play contributing role, especially poorly managed diabetes. Hyperglycemia causes damage to blood vessels and nerves, leading to several chronic conditions that affect feet, eyes, kidneys, the heart, and potentially the prostate. Excess sugars make the body less resistant to infections, and that is why poorly managed diabetes causes frequent urinary tract infections and other infections in the body. Increased urinary tract infections can irritate the prostate area or cause bacteria to enter the prostate and lead to prostatitis.

Diabetes and Prostate Cancer

There are not many studies showing that diabetes leads to prostate cancer, but there is some evidence of a slightly reduced risk of prostate cancer in well-managed diabetic patients. Diabetes that is not well controlled can actually increase risk of a more aggressive prostate cancer, so controlling diabetes is key to prostate health.

While it is not especially clear the effect of diabetes on the prostate, what is very clear is that it is important to control blood sugar and manage diabetes well for optimum prostate health. While diabetes can make symptoms worse for certain conditions such as BPH, whether diabetes actually causes the conditions remains to be studied further. Future research may identify interventions that can prevent, diagnose, and treat these common conditions.

References for “Can Diabetes Cause Prostate Problems?”:

Independent Diabetes Trust. Can Diabetes Cause Prostate Problems?

K. Stamatiou, M. Lardas, E. Kostakos, V. Koutsonasios, and E. Michail. The Impact of Diabetes Type 2 in the Pathogenesis of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: A Review. Hindawi.com. 13 October 2009.