How to Treat Enlarged Prostate

July 23,2020 |

As you get older, your prostate will continue to get bigger—it’s the only organ that never stops growing with age. This is why enlarged prostate tends to affect more older men and rarely occurs in men under 30. For some, this growth is slow and causes no side effects. For others, enlarged prostate brings about a number of urinary problems and inconveniences. Many scientists believe that this continued growth is due to specific hormones and the natural hormonal cycles that occur in men, however there isn’t enough scientific evidence to conclusively state why the prostate never stops growing. Regardless, enlarged prostate, also referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia, can cause uncomfortable symptoms. The best way to reduce these symptoms is to find an effective treatment option. In this article, we’ll explore how to treat enlarged prostate.

When to Seek Medical Care for Enlarged Prostate

Before going any further, we want to make one thing clear: if you’re experiencing discomfort, notice any common signs or symptoms of enlarged prostate, or if you notice any urinary problems, see your urologist right away. A lot of urologic conditions aren’t reason for major concern, but there could be an underlying cause that’s contributing to your symptoms. To make sure that everything’s being addressed, you’ll need to get a proper diagnosis. The longer you go without a proper diagnosis, the higher your risks are for developing serious complications and increasingly uncomfortable side effects.

Diagnosing enlarged prostate is fairly easy. Your urologist will perform a physical along with one or more of the following tests: urinalysis, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, urodynamic tests, cystoscopy, transrectal ultrasound, and/or a biopsy. If you have any questions, talk to your urologist before or during your appointment.

If you’re unable to pass any urine at all, seek medical attention immediately as it could be a sign that your urethra has been completely obstructed.

Natural Remedies for Enlarged Prostate

There are some options you can try that have been found to help treat enlarged prostate and don’t include prescription medications or surgery. However, please keep in mind that while natural remedies can help ease discomfort, you should always make sure to discuss your circumstances with a urologist. It’s important to talk to a doctor before starting a new supplement, as the label “natural” doesn’t always mean that it’s safe or effective.

One of the best natural remedies for enlarged prostate is simply leading a healthy lifestyle. When you make sure that your diet is filled with nutrient dense food and you get enough exercise, you’ll be less likely to develop severe symptoms of enlarged prostate. Try to incorporate pelvic strengthening exercises into your daily routine and limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol—both of which are irritating to the bladder. Some other natural remedies include:

  • Pygeum – this is from an African plum tree and has been used to help treat urinary problems like enlarged prostate for centures.1
  • Saw Palmetto – this is an herbal remedy that’s been used for centuries to help relieve urinary symptoms, especially those pertaining to enlarged prostates.1
  • Beta-Sitosterol – taken from a combination of plants, this has been suggested to relieve urinary symptoms of enlarged prostate after several studies were conducted.1
  • Rye Grass Pollen Extract (Cernilton) – this is made from rye, timothy, and corn grass pollen and has been suggested to help improve nighttime symptoms of enlarged prostate such as getting up to urinate.1 It is commonly sold in supplement aisles at pharmacies and health stores.
  • Stinging Nettle – the hairs on this plant can cause intense pain, but when used as a medicine it can sometimes help improve enlarged prostate symptoms.1
  • Babassu – also known as Orbignya speciose, this is a type of palm tree found in Brazil that helps to treat urogenital symptoms and contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.2
  • Pumpkin Seed – pumpkin seeds contain beta-sitosterol, which have been suggested to help improve urine flow and reduce the amount of urine left in the bladder after urination.2
  • Lycopene – commonly found in tomatoes, this natural pigment may help slow the progression of enlarged prostate.2
  • Zinc – zinc deficiencies have been shown to contribute to the likelihood of developing enlarged prostate symptoms, so adding a zinc supplement may help reduce your risk factors.2
  • Green Tea – the antioxidants in green tea are great for your whole body, but catechins could help slow the progression of prostate cancer and other urologic conditions.2

Remember, many “natural” products aren’t regulated by the FDA, so don’t take anything until talking to your doctor.

Medical Treatment Options for Enlarged Prostate

If natural remedies don’t work for treating enlarged prostate, your urologist will recommend one or more medical treatment options for you to try. Since everyone is different, you’ll likely explore the treatment options by testing one and seeing if it works. If it does, great. If not, you’ll continue down the list to find something that does work for you. Always make sure to tell your doctor about any medications you’re taking and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

  • Alpha Blockers – this type of medication helps to relax bladder neck muscles and the muscles in the prostate so that urination is easier.3 This, in turn, means that you’ll have a stronger urine flow. It takes about two to three days to reduce the amount of times you’ll need to urinate in a day. There are many different types of alpha blockers that your doctor will discuss with you as an option.
  • 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors – inhibitors help to physically reduce the size of an enlarged prostate by blocking the hormones that cause it to grow in the first place.3 This will take a little longer, so your doctor is likely to pair inhibitors with alpha blockers to give you more immediate relief.
  • Transurethral Microwave Thermotherapy (TUMT) – this is a minimally invasive surgical option that uses microwave heat therapy to destroy prostate tissue.3 It helps to reduce the frequency of urination, makes it easier to urinate, and creates a stronger urine flow, but will not fully cure enlarged prostate.3
  • Transurethral Needle Ablation (TUNA) – this treatment uses high-frequency radio waves through a set of twin needles to effectively burn specific parts of the prostate away.3 After undergoing a TUNA procedure, you’ll experience better urine flow and a relief from other enlarged prostate symptoms.3 During the treatment process, you may experience a slight burning sensation, which can be mitigated through the use of a local anesthetic.3
  • Hot Water Treatment – another non-invasive treatment option involves the use of hot water. In this treatment, hot water is delivered through a catheter, into a balloon that sits on the center of the prostate.3 The water in the balloon can help destroy problematic tissue found in enlarged prostate patients, which is then excreted through urine or reabsorbed naturally.3
  • Laser Surgery – during laser surgery, a laser will pass through to remove prostate tissue by either ablation or enucleation.3 The excessive growth tissue is removed by the laser and helps to relieve symptoms of enlarged prostate.
  • Invasive Surgery – if your enlarged prostate is severe and is causing you a myriad of complications and disruptions to your daily life, you might benefit from more invasive surgery. Transurethral surgery is a popular choice for surgery, as it’s safe and has little risk. During this treatment, your surgeon will remove prostate tissue that’s obstructing the urethra.3 A procedure can also be done to help widen the urethra and increase urine flow.3
  • Open Prostatectomy – if all else fails, your urologist might recommend having open surgery to correct cases of enlarged prostate that either don’t respond to other treatment or that carry dangerous complications that need immediately attention. This is a more serious surgery and will require adequate healing and recovery time. For more information on whether or not an open prostatectomy is a good option to treat your enlarged prostate, talk to your urologist today.

Conclusion

If you think you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia), or have other symptoms that raise concern, call your doctor immediately. BPH requires a proper diagnosis to ensure that the correct treatment is being administered. Discomfort is your body’s way of saying something is wrong, so don’t put yourself through unnecessary strain out of fear of diagnosing enlarged prostate. If you need any urological supplies or additional educational resources, visit our educational support page or our product selection guide. If you need to order any urological supplies, all of your orders can be discreetly delivered to your home. If you have any urological questions or need personalized, confidential services, our teams of knowledgeable urological customer service specialists are here to help.

Sources:

1 https://www.healthline.com/health/enlarged-prostate/natural-remedies#rye-grass-pollen-extract

2 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321231#natural-remedies

3 https://www.healthline.com/health/enlarged-prostate/treatment

 

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