Posted on by Paula Gallagher
Do you wake up often having the urge to urinate, but very little comes out? If so, this may be benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This is just one symptom of BPH, which is a non-cancerous growth of the prostate that can cause urinary issues.
As men age, they become more likely to develop swelling of the prostate (BPH). It’s quite common for men over 40 to experience a small amount of swelling, and the majority of men over 80 will have BPH.
While BPH is not cancerous, nor does it increase a man’s susceptibility to prostate cancer, BPH can be uncomfortable and embarrassing to those who show symptoms. Symptoms may include the following:
- Painful urination
- Inability to urinate
- Straining to urinate
- Needing to urinate often during the night
- Weak, interrupted urination
If you suffer from any of these, there are several options available ranging from lifestyle changes to surgery. Thankfully, many men show improvements with self-care strategies alone, making surgery a last-ditch effort.
Tips to Help with BPH
The following tips may help improve symptoms of swollen prostate.
- Don’t wait. Use the washroom at any opportunity, even if it feels like you don’t need to go. When you do need to go, do so immediately
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake, which increase urination and may worsen symptoms.
- Avoid over-the-counter decongestants or antihistamines, as they inhibit urination.
- Stop drinking fluids at least 2 hours before bedtime.
- Strengthen your pelvic floor. Kegels aren’t just for women. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles will help support the bladder and bowel and affect sexual function.
- Exercise regularly, as a sedentary lifestyle may worsen symptoms.
Supplements to Help with BPH
Herbs and nutrients have also been shown to improve symptoms. Before taking any supplement please discuss with your natural care practitioner to make sure that these are right for you.
The fruit of the saw palmetto plant is used to make medicine for several conditions, primarily those affecting the prostate. One study showed that those who supplemented with 320 mg of saw palmetto daily reported improved symptoms, reduced urinary obstruction, and ameliorated sexual function.
Lycopene is a carotenoid commonly found in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables has been shown to be beneficial to those with BPH. Studies show that lycopene supplments may be a good option for the treatment of symptomatic BPH patients and that the supplement is free of side effects and highly accepted among patients.
Selenium is a mineral that has been shown to enhance the effects of both saw palmetto and lycopene in the treatment of BPH.
Pygeum africanum has been shown to reduce nighttime urination with prostate enlargement.
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