Proven Bph Treatments And Advice On Herbs
While herbal supplements may help with some conditions, always talk with your doctor before beginning a regimen.
Other treatments for an enlarged prostate exist. Sometimes, a doctor will closely monitor you and advise you to modify daily habits to improve symptoms. For example, diet and certain prescription medications can cause prostate problems.
If the problem is severe, several medications exist to treat BPH. You can take them either alone or in combination with other therapies. Minimally invasive procedures also can provide relief.
Whos More Likely To Get Bph
You may have a greater chance of an enlarged prostate based on your:
- Age. BPH is more common the older you get and doesnât usually affect men younger than 40.
- Family history. If your dad or your brothers have the condition, you have a higher chance of getting it, too.
- Ethnicity. This affects black and white men more often than Asian men. Black men may get symptoms at a younger age.
Some health conditions can also raise the odds youâll get BPH, such as:
If you use beta blockers — a type of medication used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure and migraines — you may be more likely to get BPH.
Tweak Your Bathroom Habits
One of the simplest things you can do for the bothersome urinary symptoms of an enlarged prostate is change some of your bathroom habits.
Make sure you urinate as soon as you feel the need to go and that you empty your bladder completely each time you go. This will reduce the number of trips you need to make to the bathroom, both day and night.
Michigan Medicine offers the following tips to make it easier to fully empty your bladder when you have BPH:
- Relax as much as possible before you urinate. As we mentioned earlier, anxiety can make it even more difficult to urinate, so try not to worry about your symptoms and consider meditation for a few minutes or doing some deep breathing.
- Don’t rush. Give yourself plenty of time in the bathroom.
- Consider sitting on the toilet instead of standing, to help you relax.
- Turn on a faucet or visualize running water this may help get your urine flowing.
- Read or think of other things while you urinate, to help you stay relaxed.
- Try “double voiding,” when you urinate as much as possible, relax for a few moments, then urinate again.
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How Do You Prepare To Give A Prostate Massage
When it comes to sex, there are two kinds of safety: physical and psychological. Psychological safety starts with permission, Hong explains. Prostate stimulation is not something you surprise withit takes some preparing, Lexx Brown-James, Ph.D., L.M.F.T., tells SELF. That means bringing it up verbally before getting down to business. A simple You know, theres something Ive been really excited about trying… can help start the conversation, Brown-James says.
If you and your partner both agree to try it, youll also need to account for physical safetywhich boils down to avoiding anal trauma. So it might be helpful to learn a few best practices before you talk to your partner, TBH. This way you can discuss any concerns they or you might have.
The first step in safe prostate play is washing your hands with good old soap and water. You can use these handy instructions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . As you probably know from the new coronavirus pandemic, keeping your hands clean is one way to avoid spreading germs on your hands to the eyes, nose, or mouth. Its also a good time to mention that you dont need any special antibacterial soap for this. As SELF has previously reported, tried-and-true hand soap will do the trick.
Exercise And Lose Weight
Exercising and losing weight are some of the best things you can do to promote prostate health. Many studies show that moderate or vigorous exercise reduces risk of BPH and urinary tract symptoms and helps with prostatitis as well. Exercise also benefits your cardiovascular health and can help prevent other health and sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction.
If you are overweight, losing weight is one of the most important natural changes you can make in improving your prostate health, whether your concerns are cancer, BPH or prostatitis. A study published in the Journal of Urology found that overweight men, especially men with a high amount of abdominal fat, have an increased risk of BPH. If you are looking to shrink the prostate, losing weight can help you reduce your prostate size and help relieve annoying and frustrating urinary symptoms. On top of that, weight loss can reduce your risk for prostate cancer and help relieve prostatitis, too.
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What The Research Says
A recent study has also evaluated a possible connection. The authors explored the link between prostate enlargement and vitamin D. They did it through the hormone testosterone. Their results show that higher vitamin D levels in the blood reduce the PSA levels. They also hypothesize that testosterone levels and function depend on vitamin D status. If thats the case, low vitamin D levels would also have a hormonal consequence that explains BPH and BPH symptoms .
Other studies explored a more direct association between the prostate tissue and vitamin D. Interestingly the prostate epithelial cells can activate vitamin D. Moreover, these cells have a vitamin D receptor, even prostate cancer cells. Upon binding, vitamin D sends signals to control the proliferation of cells.
Lifestyle Tips For Managing Bph
People can take steps to manage the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. These include:
- attempting to urinate at least once before leaving the home to avoid urinary leakage or other potentially stressful incidents in public
- double voiding, which involves trying to urinate a few minutes after urinating the first time to drain the bladder as much as possible during bathroom visits
- trying not to drink fluids in the 2 hours before bedtime to avoid going to sleep with a full bladder
Most males have a 50% chance of having BPH by the age of 60 years and a 90% chance by the age of 85 years.
Limited research has associated BPH with an increased risk of prostate cancer and bladder cancer, with the risk of prostate cancer being particularly high in Asian people with BPH. However, the limitations of the included studies mean that there is a need for additional prospective studies with a strict design to confirm the findings.
Several types of foods and nutrients can reduce or trigger BPH and its associated symptoms.
Foods that may be beneficial for people with BPH include:
- fiber-rich foods, such as whole grains, legumes, beans, and dark, leafy greens
- fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, which are usually dark red, yellow, or orange
- foods rich in zinc, such as eggs, most types of seafood, and nuts
- products that contain phytoestrogens, such as soy foods, chickpeas, alfalfa, and fava beans
Foods that people with BPH, or those at risk of developing it, should avoid or limit include:
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What Are The Risk Factors For Enlarged Prostate
Researchers are still largely unclear on what causes the prostate to become enlarged but risk factors include:
- Age: As many as 90 percent of men over the age of 80 have an enlarged prostate.
- Family history: Men who have a family history of the condition are more likely to suffer from it.
- Other health issues: Men who suffer from obesity, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes have higher rates of an enlarged prostate diagnoses.
How Common Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is the most common prostate problem for men older than age 50. In 2010, as many as 14 million men in the United States had lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic hyperplasia.1 Although benign prostatic hyperplasia rarely causes symptoms before age 40, the occurrence and symptoms increase with age. Benign prostatic hyperplasia affects about 50 percent of men between the ages of 51 and 60 and up to 90 percent of men older than 80.2
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How Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Treated
Treatment options for benign prostatic hyperplasia may include
- lifestyle changes
- minimally invasive procedures
A health care provider treats benign prostatic hyperplasia based on the severity of symptoms, how much the symptoms affect a mans daily life, and a mans preferences.
Men may not need treatment for a mildly enlarged prostate unless their symptoms are bothersome and affecting their quality of life. In these cases, instead of treatment, a urologist may recommend regular checkups. If benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms become bothersome or present a health risk, a urologist most often recommends treatment.
International Prostate Symptom Score
You’ll be asked to complete a questionnaire to assess your symptoms. Each question has five possible answers that carry a score, and your overall score is used to assess the severity of your symptoms.
The checklist includes the following questions.
Over the past month:
- How often have you had the sensation of not completely emptying your bladder after urinating?
- How often have you had to urinate again less than two hours after finishing urinating?
- How often have you found that you stopped and started again when urinating?
- How often have you found it difficult to postpone urination?
- How often have you had a weak stream of urine?
- How often have you had to push or strain to begin urinating during the course of one night?
- How often have you had to get up during the night to urinate?
After your GP has assessed the severity your symptoms, they’ll aim to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms using certain tests.
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Supplements That Show Promise
Other supplements show hopeful signs of helping in studies so far, but thereâs less research on these than the more common options.
Pumpkin seeds: These and pumpkin seed oil extract seem to help with BPH symptoms and may shrink the size of the prostate. It may also be helpful when used along with other supplements such as saw palmetto.
Stinging nettle: This is a type of herb, and its root may help with urine flow and waking up a lot at night to pee. Itâs sometimes used along with other supplements to treat BPH symptoms.
Causes Of Benign Prostate Enlargement
The exact cause of benign prostate enlargement is unknown, but research suggests that hormones probably play an important role in the condition’s development.
Hormones are powerful chemicals that can have a wide range of effects on the cells of the body.
One theory is that as some men get older, the levels of a type of hormone called dihydrotestosterone increases, which may stimulate the growth of the prostate.
Another theory suggests that two hormones, testosterone and oestrogen, play a role. Younger men produce high levels of testosterone and much smaller levels of oestrogen. But as men get older, their levels of testosterone decrease, which means they then have a higher proportion of oestrogen in their body. It’s been suggested that the relative increase in oestrogen may stimulate prostate growth.
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How Does A Person Prepare To Receive A Prostate Massage
One quick FYI is that prostate massages can make people feel like they have to pee, so the person having their prostate massaged should probably empty their bladder beforehand. Then you and your partner should take deep breaths. Deep breathing activates the bodys relaxation responsewhich is good for everyone involvedand a relaxed anal sphincter is a happy anal sphincter . Keep in mind that the more relaxed and turned on one is, the more comfort and pleasure theyre likely to experience.
Another thing to remember: The physical position may make receiving a prostate massage feel better or more feasible. Its not a guarantee, but some people find that being on top makes anal penetration easier, SELF previously reported. Your partner can kneel with your hand between their legs, for instance. With that said, it will likely take some experimentation to figure out which position feels best for the person receiving a prostate massage.
Medications For An Enlarged Prostate
Several drugs are FDA-approved to relieve common symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Each works differently, says Westney. They either shrink the enlarged prostate or stop the prostate cell growth, she explains. “For many men, medications are very effective,” Westney tells WebMD. “They have a significant change in symptoms, and side effects are very uncommon â¦ so medications are an attractive treatment.”
Doctors use the BPH Index to gauge how the patient responds to medication, Westney adds. “We see how symptoms are progressing â¦ if they’ve stabilized or not.”
Alpha blockers: These drugs don’t reduce the size of the prostate, but they are very effective at relieving symptoms. They work by relaxing the muscles around the prostate and bladder neck, so urine can flow more easily. These drugs work quickly, so symptoms improve within a day or two. They are most effective for men with normal to moderately enlarged prostate glands.
The drugs: Flomax , Uroxatral , Hytrin , Cardura , and Rapaflo .
Alpha blockers were originally created to treat high blood pressure dizziness is the most common side effect other side effects are generally mild and controllable. Possible side effects include headache, stomach irritation, and stuffy nose. These drugs are not for men with significant urine retention and frequent urinary tract infections.
The drugs: Proscar and Avodart .
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How Is Enlarged Prostate Treated
Treatments for enlarged prostate include:
Lifestyle changes: These can include reducing liquid intake, bladder training , abstaining from alcohol and caffeinated beverages and regularly exercising the pelvic muscles.
Medication: A class of medication called Alpha Blockers works to relax muscle fibers in the prostate and bladder. This relaxation allows for increased urine flow and less frequent urination. A second class of medication, called Alpha Reductase Inhibitors, works to block the hormones that cause the prostate to swell. Many patients will take a combination of these two types of medication.
Minimally invasive procedures: Our specialists are trained in two minimally invasive procedures that can help remove or reduce the obstructing prostate tissue:
Surgery: For severe cases of a very enlarged prostate, surgical removal of the prostatecalled transurethral resection of the prostate may be the recommended course of action. Patients will decide with their doctor if aggressive treatment is warranted, depending on the size of the prostate and severity of symptoms.
Tips For Coping With An Enlarged Prostate
When a man reaches about age 25, his prostate begins to grow. This natural growth is called benign prostatic hyperplasia and it is the most common cause of prostate enlargement. BPH is a benign condition that does not lead to prostate cancer, though the two problems can coexist.
Although 50% to 60% of men with BPH may never develop any symptoms, others find that BPH can make life miserable. The symptoms of BPH include:
- a hesitant, interrupted, weak urine stream
- urgency, leaking, or dribbling
- a sense of incomplete emptying
- more frequent urination, especially at night.
As a result, many men seek treatment. The good news is that treatments are constantly being improved. Patients and their physicians now have more medications to choose from, so if one doesn’t do the trick, another can be prescribed. And thanks to some refinements, surgical treatments are more effective and have fewer side effects than ever before.
But there are some things men dealing with BPH can do on their own. When symptoms are not particularly bothersome, watchful waiting may be the best way to proceed. This involves regular monitoring to make sure complications aren’t developing, but no treatment. For more troubling symptoms, most doctors begin by recommending a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. Often this will be enough to relieve the worst symptoms and prevent the need for surgery
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Symptoms Of An Enlarged Prostate
When tissues in the prostate enlarge, they may apply pressure to the urethra and partially block urine flow. This may trigger the following symptoms:
- Difficulty starting urination
- Dribbling at the end of urination
- Incomplete emptying of the bladder
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Natural Herbs And Supplements For Enlarged Prostate
Historical use and anecdotal data are valid forms of supporting evidence, but doctors typically require a higher burden of proof before theyâll recommend a particular herb or supplement, such as the evidence generated by randomized double blind placebo control studiesâ½Â²Â³â¾.
Still, a 2015 paper in The Canadian Journal of Urologyâ½Â²â´â¾ echoes Dr. Fellerâs advice, saying that BPH patients with mild symptoms who are reluctant to try standard drugs may as well try phytotherapeutic treatments such as the ones below âprovided that the patient understands the current limitations of these agents.â The paper warns that patients with moderate to severe symptoms âincluding those with recurrent infections, bladder stone disease, or renal dysfunctionâ should skip the alternative remedies altogether and seek conventional medicine or surgical treatment.
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Using Medication To Reduce Symptoms