The prostate gets little notice – until it starts causing problems. Before we get into some of the most common natural ways to treat an enlarged prostate, let’s go over what it is and who it affects.
What Is the Prostate?
The prostate is a gland located beneath the bladder in men. It also happens to surround the urethra, which carries urine out of the body. It is this location that is the reason behind one of the most common symptoms of an enlarged prostate: the frequent urge to urinate yet difficulty doing so.
An enlarged prostate is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Who Does an Enlarged Prostate Affect?
The risk of developing an enlarged prostate increases as men age. Almost all men are expected to develop BPH if they live long enough.
Approximately 50% of all men of men in their 50s will begin to experience BPH symptoms. As many as 90% will by the time they’re 80 or older.
Why You Should See a Urologist
To find out if you may have an enlarged prostate and to discover all your treatment options – including natural treatments – contact your urologist in Phoenix, Arizona.
Your urologist will review your medical history as well as your current symptoms or concerns before any exam or diagnostic testing.
The diagnostic testing used to confirm a diagnosis of an enlarged prostate may include a digital rectal exam (DRE), a PSA blood test to measure the amount of prostate-specific antigen in your blood (as a screening for prostate cancer), and a urine sample.
Because BPH symptoms can mimic those of prostate cancer, a complete urology assessment is important.
Natural Treatments for an Enlarged Prostate
While some men may need medication or surgery for their BPH, many others do well with natural treatments alone. These treatments often involve simple lifestyle changes, which can benefit the overall health of any man.
Natural treatments for an enlarged prostate include:
- Ensuring the urinary bladder empties completely by standing at or sitting on the toilet for a few minutes after voiding
- Avoiding fluids a couple of hours before bedtime or before long car/airplane trips
- Urinating as soon as the urgency to void begins (in other words, don’t hold your urine)
- Voiding on a set schedule to help train your bladder muscles
- Ask your primary care provider about decreasing or eliminating medications that could be irritating your prostate (antihistamines, for example)
- Stop smoking (to increase blood circulation and to stop the flow of toxins through the urinary tract)
While BPH tends to worsen over time, you may be able to manage your symptoms or slow the progression of an enlarged prostate using natural treatments. Regular checkups with your urologist can help keep your symptoms under control – and get you the medical treatment you need when you need it.
Visiting Your Men’s Health Expert for Prostate Evaluation and Treatment Options
Dr. Desiderio Avila at Ironwood Urology in Phoenix and Gilbert, Arizona, is a board-certified, fellowship-trained urologist and men’s health physician who diagnoses, treats, and guides men toward better prostate health and proper urinary and sexual function.