Prostatitis is a condition which involves an inflammation of the prostate which can be bacterial, viral, and nonbacterial. The most common type that is seen daily in non-bacterial prostatitis. Prostatitis can be acute or chronic in nature.
As mentioned, usually the cause of prostatitis is non-bacterial. Conditions which predispose a man to prostatitis include dehydration, prolonged sitting, spicy food, alcoholic beverages, and enlargement of the prostate.
Bacterial infections are usually seen in men who are older than age 60. The usual bacteria organisms that are seen are E. Coli. Prostatitis can originate as a urinary tract infection which progresses to a prostate infection. Any type of instrumentation of the urinary tract whether it is a catheter, biopsy of the prostate or cystoscopy can lead to prostatitis.
Most men present with dull pain, lower abdominal and pelvic discomfort, pain in or around the rectal area (perineal) . The pain can also involve the lower back and genital area. Urinary symptoms include frequency, burning, urgency, inability to urinate. Fever, chills,weakness and lethargy can occur in very severe cases of prostatitis or when not treated with the appropriate antibiotics.
Majority of men who have prostatitis will have a history of this condition. It is a nagging disease which can last for weeks to months. History, physical exam, urinalysis, and urine culture are the key tools for detection. On prostate exam , the urologist will most often feel a boggy, tender prostate which results from the inflammation of the gland.
The primary treatment of prostatitis is antibiotic therapy even when the source is non-bacterial. Treatment usually ranges from weeks to several months. In some patients, anti-inflammatories are required in addition to increase water intake and decreasing alcoholic beverages and spicy foods. Patients are advised to avoid sitting for prolonged periods whether at work, in the car, plane or at home.
Prevention of prostatitis includes bountiful hydration with water. Avoidance of beverages and foods which can lead to prostatitis is important. In some patients, long term antibiotics can help treat and prevent future infections. Treatment of prostate enlargement can also reduce further episodes of prostatitis. It is controversial whether sexual activity can improve or worsen this condition. It is also important to monitor the urinary symptoms as to not allow them to progress to prostatitis. Frequent examinations and blood and urine tests are key to prevention.