It's no surprise that your prostate is small. I mean, consider where it resides in your body. When you're a young man, and it's working as it should, it weighs about 20 grams. (An ounce is 28 grams, so your prostate weighs less than an ounce and is about the size of a walnut.)
Around your 45th birthday, and for some unlucky guys even sooner, your prostate begins to grow. By the time you reach 80 or so, your prostate could triple or even quadruple in size and weigh between 50 and 100 grams.
This uncomfortable enlargement is called BPH – benign prostatic hyperplasia. It's called benign because the growth is not cancer or cancer-causing. And hyperplasia means an increase in the number of cells in an organ or tissue. Every man, if he lives long enough, will undoubtedly experience some degree of BPH.
BPH is not considered a health problem unless it results in LUTS - lower urinary tract symptoms or other issues, such as ruptured blood vessels or bladder stones. Apart from your age, the risk of having BPH increases if you have diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis), and abdominal obesity. Lifestyle habits like smoking, vaping, and physical inactivity also increase your risk factor. And your what you eat matters. Several extensive studies found correlations between the Western diet (high intake of refined grains, red meat, and sugar) with having an enlarged prostate.
Although BPH is a benign condition, the symptoms can make a man's life miserable. Imagine a foot stepping on a garden hose or fingers pinching a straw, that's what it's like when your prostate enlarges and presses against your bladder and urethra, preventing you from peeing as you should.
This pressure eventually obstructs urine flow, forcing your bladder to squeeze even harder to push urine through your urethra. The sad part is that although straining is unavoidable, it makes matters worse because your bladder works like a muscle. And just like a muscle, the more you work it, the thicker it gets. The thicker your bladder gets, the more it reduces the amount of urine your bladder can hold. This is the definition of a "vicious cycle." Your bladder squeezes even harder when it's holding a small amount of urine, which leads to even more frequent urination.
Meanwhile, the narrowing urethra combined with the difficulty in emptying your bladder, causes the many problems associated with BPH. The most common and annoying is the feeling that you have to urinate yet have to strain to do so urgently.
Another common symptom is a weak urinary stream or one that stops and starts. Dribbling after urinating or feeling like your bladder is not entirely empty is common. You may also feel like you need to urinate more often, as often as every few minutes.
At night, the constant need to go to the toilet can make it impossible to sleep through the night, causing a myriad of health consequences. Some guys even experience urinary incontinence, which is the involuntary discharge of urine.
Researchers have not found a way to completely prevent benign prostatic hyperplasia. But preemptively addressing BPH can minimize the symptoms. If you have symptoms now, your doctor may prescribe medication or suggest surgery, depending on the severity. For most of us, alleviating symptoms is a matter of lifestyle choices and over-the-counter remedies.
Exercising every day is one of the best ways to improve your overall prostate health while relieving or helping prevent symptoms of BPH. Daily exercise also reduces your risk of prostate cancer, which is an extra bonus. One study found that regular exercise can significantly improve urinary and pain symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate. Reducing your intake of liquids and caffeinated beverages, especially before bedtime, also helps relieve symptoms.
A number of nutrients and compounds help keep your prostate healthy and help improve the symptoms of BPH. These include saw palmetto, which reduces nighttime urination and lowers inflammation, a range of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, and beta-sitosterol, which improves urological symptoms and urine flow measures, according to a study published in the British Journal of Urology International.
If you're struggling with the symptoms of an BPH, a supplement like Prostavol's Prostate Support can help. Prostate Support contains research-based ingredients, including essential vitamins and minerals, that provide relief for urinary symptoms and can improve the quality of your life—and that includes your bedroom life. Before you opt for prescription medication with potential side-effects or surgery for BPH, give supplementation a try to see if it's right for you.
2. Wilt, Macdonald, and Ishani. 2001. "Β-Sitosterol For The Treatment Of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia:". BJU International 83 (9): 976-983. doi:10.1046/j.1464-410x.1999.00026.x.
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