Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common condition that affects aging men. Otherwise known as prostate enlargement, it’s a non life-threatening condition but comes with a high toll on lifestyle due to the way it affects a man’s ability to urinate.
It’s estimated that 14 million men in the U.S have some degree of BPH; it affects about 1/3rd of men over the age of 50 and up to 90% of men 85 years and older.
The prostate gland is about the size of a ping pong ball and is located deep in the groin, between the base of the penis and the rectum. Its job is to produce the fluid which feeds and transports sperm.The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, which is the tube which drains the bladder.As a prostate enlarges, it clamps down on the urethra constricting it and causing several urinary symptoms.
Urinary urgency - a sudden, urgent need to urinate.
Urinary frequency - the need to go often, especially during the night and typically only very small amounts of urine.
Straining - having to push to get urine to escape.
Hesitancy - difficulty starting a stream of urine.
Incomplete bladder emptying - a sensation of urine left in the bladder even after urinating.
Weak and or sprayed stream of urine.
Dribbling of urine after urinating.
BPH does not cause prostate cancer, but men with BPH may be at higher risk of prostate cancer.And while diagnosis of BPH can typically be done based on symptoms history, there are several other urinary tract conditions that can cause similar symptoms. Because of this, it’s always important to be seen by a medical professional for any urinary symptom, especially those listed above.
Standard treatment involves the use of 2 different types of prostate-specific drugs that:
Relax the muscles surrounding the bladder, prostate and urethra (alpha-blockers) to allow more urine to flow.
5-alpha-reductase inhibitors which limit the conversion of testosterone into DHT (di-hydrotestosterone).Reduction in DHT will then inhibit prostate growth.
In some cases, a surgery known as TURP (trans-urethral resection of the prostate) may be performed if drug therapies don’t work.
While these treatments can be helpful they do of course come with some serious side effects (erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, and ejaculation disorder)!
How To Treat BPH, Naturally
Diet and Exercise - Metabolic syndrome is a condition that shows up right before Type 2 diabetes - it’s a collection of symptoms such as elevated blood sugar, elevated cholesterol, insulin resistance and high blood pressure. Metabolic syndrome is associated with a higher prevalence and severity of BPH. Reducing blood sugar, losing weight and improving insulin resistance have all been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of BPH. Here are some good dietary guidelines.
Avoid dairy - Increased consumption of cow milk has been associated with worsening prostate health, including BPH and prostate cancer. (1) Switching away from cow milk, cheese, yogurt and sour cream to plant-based “milk” products is ideal if a person is suffering from, or at an increased risk of BPH and or prostate cancer.
The botanical medicines Saw palmetto, Stinging nettle, African pygeum, green tea extract and Pipsissewa all have prostate-shrinking effects while the nutrients like pumpkin seeds, lycopene, pumpkin seeds, and zinc also play a role in improving BPH symptoms and overall prostate health.All of these ingredients are contained in clinically-effective amounts in Prostate formula.
Of note, there was one study looking at fish oil and risk of prostate cancer published nearly ten years ago.This relationship has never been reproduced, and it turns out there were many flaws in that study. (2,3) While there isn’t a direct link between essential fatty acids and prostate health, they do have very widespread anti-inflammatory effects in the body and we still recommend essential fatty acids (omega-3 fats) for just about everyone due to this fact.