Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, affects nearly 50 percent of men by the age of 60. BPH, more commonly known as an enlarged prostate, is typically not life-threatening, but it can nonetheless cause severe discomfort when it comes to urinating.
When the prostate becomes enlarged, it presses on the urethra and on part of the bladder, leading to symptoms that include:
While some medications can treat the symptoms of BPH, many come with side effects like a decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, low blood pressure, and retrograde ejaculation, in which semen moves backward into the bladder instead of exiting through the penis.
Most health professionals recommend making changes to your lifestyle before trying pharmaceutical prescription medication for BPH. A number of lifestyle changes can make a big difference in urinary symptoms, and they can improve your overall health to boot.
Here are some tips you can try to make urinating more comfortable with BPH.
A lack of physical activity can lead to urine retention, according to a study of more than 30,000 men. The study found that even low- to moderate-intensity activity, including walking, can reduce symptoms of BPH.
Another study of 231 sedentary men with BPH found that those who walked just three times a week for 18 weeks experienced significantly improved BPH symptoms, and they also had less anxiety and depression than men who didn't walk.
Kegel exercises can help improve bladder function and control, and you can do them anytime and anywhere. Simply contract the muscle that lets you stop the flow of urine, and hold it for 10 seconds. Repeat five to 15 times. Do this three to five times a day for better urine control.
When you need to go, don't delay. If you have trouble emptying your bladder completely, try double voiding: Go pee, wait a few minutes, then go again. This can reduce feelings of fullness and urgency.
Extra pounds can make the symptoms of BPH worse, and losing those pounds can improve bladder control and function. Strive to eat a mostly plant-based diet and exercise most days of the week to shed weight and improve your overall health.
Harvard Medical School points out that a healthy diet can reduce symptoms of BPH as well as improve your overall health. Limit red meat and processed meats, and eat more fish, skinless chicken, and eggs for healthier sources of protein.
Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, and opt for whole-grain breads and pastas. Eat plenty of healthy fats like olive oil, omega-3 rich foods like salmon, nuts, and avocados, and avoid overly processed foods, which are packed with sugar, unhealthy fats, and chemical preservatives and flavors.
A number of natural plant-based remedies have been shown through research to improve urinary dysfunction associated with an enlarged prostate. Saw palmetto, beta-sitosterol, stinging nettle, and selenium are just a few of the science-backed ingredients in Prostavol's Prostate Support, which is formulated to reduce urinary symptoms of BPH without adverse side effects.
If your symptoms don't improve and they interfere with your quality of life, visit with your physician about the range of medications and surgical procedures that can help treat BPH. In some cases, the side effects are mild, and they beat living with chronic pain and discomfort associated with an enlarged prostate.
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