Many men will experience an enlarged prostate during the course of their lifetimes. If you are male, by the time you reach 60, you have a 50% chance of having an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP).
Causes of BHP
Although not all doctors agree on how the prostate begins to grow, some have noted studies that show a high correlation between dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the blood and enlarged prostates. Medical researchers have also linked enlarged prostates to estrogen. As aging occurs in men, testosterone levels tend to decline. When testosterone levels decrease, the estrogen to testosterone ratio also increases. Thus, another marker for BHP is high estrogen levels in the bloodstream.
Symptoms of an Enlarged Prostate
If you experience symptoms of an enlarged prostate, you should seek medical advice. The most common symptoms are as follows:
- A weak urinary stream
- An interrupted urinary stream
- Urgent and frequent urination
- Cannot completely empty the bladder
- Trouble initiating urine flow
You may have an enlarged prostate without experiencing any of these symptoms.
Medical Treatments for BPH
A doctor may offer many treatments for BPH, depending on the severity of the condition. The remedies for BPH range from invasive surgery to medications such as alpha-blockers or inhibitors. There are also natural remedies.
Natural Remedies for BPH
There are many natural remedies for an enlarged prostate that are promising. Some have been used for centuries to treat urinary issues.
Talk to your doctor first before you try herbal medications. Some herbal remedies can interact with prescription medicines.
Saw palmetto comes from the fruit of a palm tree and has been used for centuries to treat urinary problems, including those caused by BPH.
Beta-sitosterol is a concoction taken from plants that contain sitosterols or phytosterols. Studies have suggested that beta-sitosterol can relieve symptoms of BPH. An interesting note is that Saw palmetto also contains beta-sitosterol. Some scientists believe that beta-sitosterol is the component of saw palmetto doing the work.
Research shows that a zinc deficiency may contribute to BPH and prostate cancer in men over 50 years. Zinc also can decrease the production of DHT and has the potential to minimize BHP symptoms.
Other Natural Remedies
Other natural remedies may help. Stinging nettle and pygeum africanum may have anti-inflammatory properties. Lycopene found in tomatoes, red fruit, and some olive oil may improve prostate health.
Companies have blended complementary natural ingredients to produce potent herbal remedies. These solutions may work better on BPH than any single ingredient. Studies have shown that some natural remedies work better when combined with other herbs. Examples of these blended remedies are Vital Flow and Fluxactive.
Lifestyle choices and BPH
Maintaining a healthy body weight through diet and exercise can improve symptoms of BPH.
Living with the symptoms of BPH is no fun, but there are things that you can do to minimize its effect on your life.