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Is BPH Normal?
The prostate is a small gland that supports men’s reproductive health. As men age, this gland naturally becomes larger. For some people, this enlarging can lead to benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). Although this condition is common, men do not have to tolerate discomfort. Fortunately, there are treatment options.
Symptoms of BPH
As men get older, the prostate naturally enlarges. In some cases, men can develop BPH, where the prostate squeezes the urethra. Symptoms of this condition can include frequent urination, a weak urine stream, and incontinence.
Watch what you drink
Some men who experience BPH may be tempted to drink less to try to reduce urination frequency. But staying hydrated is crucial to ongoing health. Water is the best form of hydration. Men with the condition should avoid overconsumption of caffeine, including coffee, energy drinks, or soda. Alcohol is also a diuretic and should only be consumed in moderation.
For most patients, medication is the first line of treatment. A doctor may recommend medication to relax the bladder neck muscles and make urination easier. Other medicines may help to shrink the prostate by controlling hormones. If medication does not improve the symptoms, a physician may recommend surgical treatment.
Minimally invasive surgery
Surgery may be a treatment for BPH if symptoms are moderate to severe, and other treatments have not worked. Doctors may also recommend surgical treatment if the condition is causing other health complications, such as bladder stones or kidney problems. Depending on the patient and the severity of the situation, minimally invasive surgery may be an option.
Some patients have seen success by using natural remedies to treat an enlarged prostate. Some of the ingredients shown to be effective include saw palmetto, stinging nettles, and pygeum bark. Saw palmetto and pygeum bark have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects that can help reduce BPH symptoms. Stinging nettles are a root used to treat urination-related symptoms.
What else can I do?
Although an enlarging prostate is normal, BPH doesn’t have to be. Some research found that men who ate a diet high in dark, leafy green vegetables and tomatoes were less likely to get BPH and less likely to experience worsening BPH. Researchers believe that these results were not due to a superfood, but rather to an overall balanced diet and lifestyle.
Find relief from BPH
Though BPH is common, the condition does not have to interfere with daily life. A variety of medications are available to help manage symptoms. For more information, speak with a family medicine provider.