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Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)   

Every man has a prostate; and it plays major roles in men body. The prostate is a small gland of a nut size located below the bladder. It surrounds the upper part of the urethra, the urinary tract, where it joins the bladder. In most men, when approaching forty, it starts increasing in volume, and continues to grow with age. But when the prostate becomes too large, it squeezes the urethra and interferes with urination, leading to a medical condition called benignprostatic hyperplasia(BPH) or enlarged prostate.

Typical Enlarged Prostate Symptoms

Nearly two-thirds of men over 50 years experience no BPH symptoms, although the risks of developing symptomatic enlarged prostate increases with age. For instance, about 60% of men aged 60 or over suffer from enlarged prostate symptoms. This percentage rises to 90% after 85 years. Common BPH symptoms patients tend to complaint about include: 

  • Straining during urination
  • Difficulty starting urinating
  • Frequent or urgent need to urinate
  • Excessive urination at night (nocturia)
  • Dribbling at the end of urination
  • Inability to completely empty the bladder
  • Weak urine stream, which tends to stop and start.

Although rare, some patients have more serious problems which requirement medical treatment; some of these less common BPH symptoms include:

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Urinary retention, which can be painful in some patients. 

Inability to urinate increases the risk of urinary tract infection and kidney problems. Some men who suffer from BPH are victims of urinary stones in the bladder or urinary tract infections. Urinary retention problems sometimes occur and, very occasionally. In case of a complete blockage of the urethra immediate medical care is required. But this is rare. In fact, less than 15% of cases of enlarged prostate due to BPH require medical treatment to avoid complications


Steps to Control Enlarged Prostate Due to BPH


A mild BPH can be kept under control by taking these steps below: 

  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco; these two can lead to serious complications such as cancer.
  • Free your prostate by having regular safe sexual activity. Some studies have found that regular ejaculation help to decrease development of BPH
  • Urinate when you feel like it. Holding back too long to urinate can irritate the bladder.
  • Avoid drink before going to bed to limit the need to get up at night.
  • Avoid spicy and savory foods, as well as beverages high in caffeine: coffee, tea, cola, and others
  • Also limit your chocolate intake; it aggravates enlarged prostate symptoms in BPH patients.
  • Avoid taking medications containing decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine; they cause urination more difficult in enlarged prostate patients.
  • Exercise regularly to strengthen the muscles; having good muscle tone helps to control the urge to urinate. But stay away from any exercises that challenge the bladder: biking, horseback riding, tennis, volleyball, and others. Fast waling is ideal.

Enlarged Prostate Treatment

BPH treatment depends mostly on the characteristics of the symptoms. The good news is the fact that the symptoms of BPH are sufficiently minor and do not require major medical treatment most of the times. In case prescription of drugs is required,
Alpha-blockers can be recommended in enlarged prostate treatment to relax the muscles of the bladder, urethra and prostate and facilitate the passage of urine. Their beneficial effects can be rapid in most patients but they can cause these side effects:

  • Headaches 
  • Nasal congestion 
  • Weakness or fatigue 
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness 
  • Fainting (medical care is required is this case). 

Other substances such as inhibitors of 5-alpha reductase can also be prescribed as BPH treatment to stop the increase of the size of the prostate, by blocking the action of testosterone (male hormone). Their effect is similar to that of alpha, but slower to produce therapeutic results. The best thing is for each patient to talk to their health care provider to determine ideal enlarged prostate treatment option for them.

Alternative BPH Treatment

Some plant extracts can help relieve symptoms or disorders related to BPH. Common remedies used in natural medicine as natural enlarged prostate treatment include
saw palmetto , Pygeum, Rye grass pollen extracts and stinging nettle. For many years and in different cultures, they have been used instead of drug treatments that the conventional medicine offered to patients. But this type of herbal remedies should be taken only when a patient is suffering with minor benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), not more serious problems such enlarged prostate due to prostate cancer.