An enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a common condition that affects men as they age. The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland located below the bladder and in front of the rectum.
It produces some of the fluid that makes up semen. As men age, the prostate gland can enlarge, which can put pressure on the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis.
What are the 5 warning signs of an enlarged prostate?
- Difficulty urinating. This may include having to strain to start urinating, having a weak urine flow, or having a urine stream that stops and starts.
- Frequent urination. This may include having to urinate more often than usual, especially at night.
- Urgent urination. This is the feeling of needing to urinate immediately.
- Incomplete bladder emptying. This is the feeling that your bladder is not completely empty after urinating.
- Blood in the urine. This is a more serious symptom and should be evaluated by a doctor right away.
Other symptoms of an enlarged prostate may include:
- Pain or burning during urination
- Pain in the lower back, pelvis, or rectum
- Erectile dysfunction
- Difficulty ejaculating
If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor to get a diagnosis and discuss treatment options.
What are the causes of an enlarged prostate?
The exact cause of an enlarged prostate is unknown, but it is thought to be related to changes in hormone levels as men age. Other factors that may contribute to an enlarged prostate include:
- Family history
- Heart disease
What are the treatment options for an enlarged prostate?
There are a variety of treatment options available for an enlarged prostate, depending on the severity of your symptoms. Treatment options include:
- Lifestyle changes. This may include losing weight, exercising regularly, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol.
- Medications. There are a number of medications that can help to shrink the prostate gland or relax the muscles around the urethra.
- Surgery. Surgery may be recommended if other treatments have not been effective or if you have severe symptoms.
Is there a natural remedy for an enlarged prostate?
There is some evidence that certain natural remedies may help to improve symptoms of an enlarged prostate. However, more research is needed to confirm their effectiveness. Some natural remedies that have been studied include:
- Saw palmetto. This herb has been shown to block the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that can contribute to prostate enlargement.
- Beta-sitosterol. This plant compound has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve urinary flow.
- Pygeum africanum. This herb has been shown to reduce urinary frequency and urgency.
If you are considering using a natural remedy for an enlarged prostate, it is important to talk to your doctor first. Some natural remedies can interact with medications you are taking or cause other side effects.
An enlarged prostate is a common condition that affects many men as they age. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, it is important to see a doctor to get a diagnosis and discuss treatment options. There are a variety of treatment options available, including lifestyle changes, medications, and surgery. Some natural remedies may also help to improve symptoms of an enlarged prostate, but it is important to talk to your doctor before trying any natural remedies.
Q: What is the difference between an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer?
A: An enlarged prostate is a noncancerous condition that causes the prostate gland to enlarge. Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the prostate gland.
Q: Am I at risk for an enlarged prostate?
A: You are more likely to develop an enlarged prostate if you are over the age of 50, have a family history of enlarged prostate, or are African American.
Q: What can I do to prevent an enlarged prostate?
A: There is no surefire way to prevent an enlarged prostate. However, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight may help to reduce your risk.
Q: What should I do if I think I have an enlarged prostate?
A: If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, it is important to see a doctor to get a diagnosis. There are a variety of treatment options available, and your doctor can help you choose the best option for you.