Natural Remedies for BPH Relief

Natural Remedies for BPH Relief

Concerns regarding prostate health grow more widespread as men age. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a disorder that affects a large number of men and has a negative influence on their quality of life. 

What is BPH?

BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, is a non-cancerous swelling of the prostate gland. The prostate, a walnut-sized gland found underneath the bladder, surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that transports urine from the bladder to the penis. 

As the prostate grows in size, it can pinch the urethra, causing a variety of urine symptoms.

Common Symptoms of Prostate Enlargement

The following are some of the most common urinary symptoms related to BPH:

  • Urge to urinate frequently, especially at night
  • Weak urine flow
  • Starting urination is difficult.
  • Urinating and dribbling
  • Urgency to urinate
  • Inability to empty the bladder entirely

While BPH is not malignant, if left untreated, it can progress to more significant complications. If urine flow is impeded for an extended length of time, BPH may raise the risk of urinary tract infections, bladder stones, or kidney damage. As a result, men should consult their doctor about urinary issues.

Causes and Risk Factors for BPH

BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) is a disorder that affects many men as they get older. While the specific causes are unknown, a man’s chance of acquiring an enlarged prostate can be increased by several variables, including:

Age is the most significant risk factor. BPH is relatively frequent in males over the age of 50, and the risk rises with age. BPH affects more than 80% of men in their 80s.

Men who have a family history of BPH are at a higher risk. Having a blood relative with BPH (father or brother) raises a man’s risk by 2-3 times. Genetics may be involved.

Obesity – Obese men are more likely to get BPH. More severe symptoms are related to increased body weight. Higher androgen levels have been linked to belly fat in particular. Losing weight may help to alleviate BPH symptoms.

Lack of Physical Activity – Men who lead sedentary lives with minimal physical activity are more likely to get BPH. Exercise may help lessen the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Regular mild activity, such as walking, can help reduce risk.

Understanding the risk factors for BPH might assist men in making lifestyle adjustments that would minimize their chances of getting troublesome urinary symptoms. Staying active, keeping a healthy weight, and eating nutritious whole foods can all help prevent or regulate prostate growth.

Conventional BPH and Surgery Treatments

Traditional medical therapies for BPH try to ease urinary symptoms while also preventing problems. Medication and surgery are the two major alternatives.

Medications

Several drugs are used to treat BPH symptoms, including:

Alpha-blockers

These medications relax the muscles in the prostate and bladder neck, allowing for better urine flow. Tamsulosin (Flomax), alfuzosin (Uroxatral), and silodosin (Rapaflo) are a few examples. They give immediate relief from urinary problems.

5-alpha reductase inhibitors

These drugs reduce the prostate by preventing testosterone from being converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which encourages prostate development. This class includes dutasteride (Avodart) and finasteride (Proscar). The effects may take up to 6 months to manifest.

Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors

Tadalafil (Cialis) and other drugs that relax smooth muscles enhance urine flow. Symptom alleviation may come quickly.

Combination treatment entails combining alpha-blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors for a synergistic impact.

To sustain symptom alleviation, medications must be used on a long-term basis. Dizziness, erectile dysfunction, and diminished libido are possible side effects. Drug interactions are also a problem with medications.

Surgery

When medicine fails to alleviate severe BPH symptoms, surgical treatments may be considered. Typical operations include:

Transurethral prostate resection (TURP)

This operation removes excess prostate tissue that is blocking urine flow. It is regarded as the gold standard, with a 90% symptom improvement rate. Bleeding and retrograde ejaculation are also risks.

Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP)

To increase urine flow, tiny incisions are made in the prostate and bladder neck rather than removing tissue. When compared to TURP, this less invasive operation may have fewer adverse effects.

Laser surgery vaporizes obstructive prostate tissue by using laser energy. It has a lesser risk of adverse effects, although symptom alleviation may be less effective than with TURP.

The whole prostate gland is removed during an open prostatectomy. It is used when the prostate is significantly enlarged. Bleeding and a lengthy recovery are both risks.

Surgical methods for BPH entail the risk of infection, bleeding, and sexual dysfunction. Because surgery, while frequently effective, leads to permanent alteration, medicines are usually attempted first. A thorough conversation with a doctor is required to assess whether BPH surgery is appropriate.

Natural Remedies for BPH or Prostate Enlargement

Natural Remedies for BPH or Prostate Enlargement

Certain lifestyle changes can help minimize BPH symptoms and progression. Diet, exercise, and weight loss are frequently included in these modifications.

Diet

A nutritious diet may assist in alleviating BPH symptoms. Some nutritional suggestions include:

Caffeine use should be limited since it might aggravate urinary symptoms.

Drinking less alcohol, as excessive alcohol use has been related to an increased risk of BPH.

Increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which include antioxidants and phytonutrients that may benefit prostate health

.

Consume zinc-rich foods such as oysters, beans, and almonds, since zinc deficiency may lead to BPH.

Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated

Stay away from spicy meals that might irritate the bladder and prostate.

Exercise

Regular exercise has several health advantages and may help lessen BPH symptoms. Exercises that are beneficial for BPH include:

Kegel exercises are used to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.

To promote cardiovascular health, engage in aerobic activity such as walking, swimming, or cycling.

Stretching and yoga to improve flexibility, circulation, and relaxation

Most days of the week, aim for 30-45 minutes of moderate exercise. Before considerably increasing your physical activity, see your doctor.

Weight Loss

Maintaining a healthy weight may aid in the prevention and management of BPH. Being overweight puts more strain on the bladder, prostate, and surrounding muscles, potentially exacerbating urinary problems. This stress can be relieved by losing extra weight. Aim to achieve or maintain a healthy BMI. Even a 5%-10% weight loss can alleviate BPH symptoms in overweight individuals.

Herbal Supplements


Herbal supplements provide a natural alternative to medicines for treating BPH symptoms. Saw palmetto, pygeum, and stinging nettle are among the most researched herbal remedies.

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is a fruit extract derived from the American dwarf palm tree. It contains fatty acids and phytosterols, which may aid in the reduction of an enlarged prostate. Saw palmetto has been found in several trials to reduce urinary symptoms associated with BPH.

A few small-scale studies have revealed that saw palmetto may be useful for treating BPH symptoms, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Pygeum

Pygeum is derived from the bark of an African plum tree. It includes phytosterols and ferulic esters, which may help decrease prostate inflammation. Pygeum has been shown in studies to reduce nocturia, increase urine flow, and alleviate other urinary symptoms associated with BPH.

Some small studies have shown that the supplement might aid with bladder emptying and urine flow, according to the Canadian Journal of Urology. However, the research examined was inconclusive. Pygeum appears to be safe to use, however, it can induce stomach trouble and headaches in some people. There have been no long-term safety investigations.

Stinging Nettle

For generations, stinging nettle root has been used to treat bladder problems. It contains substances such as scopoletin and lignans, which may influence hormone levels in BPH. Several studies have found that stinging nettle can significantly relieve lower urinary tract problems.

Stinging nettle improved the International Prostate Symptom Score by 4.4 points in a study of 5 trials including over 800 patients, which is considered a modest impact. The effective amount of stinging nettle root extract for BPH is 120-360 mg per day, divided into two or three doses.

Beta-Sitosterol 

It is an anti-inflammatory plant sterol that can assist in enhancing urinary flow rates and post-void residual urine volume.

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Plant-derived essential oils may help alleviate BPH symptoms. Some of the most powerful essential oils are:

Frankincense oil

This oil derived from the Boswellia tree has anti-inflammatory qualities that can help decrease prostate swelling. Frankincense is also a moderate diuretic, which helps to minimize urine retention.

Daily, massage a few drops of frankincense oil into the lower belly using a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba. Frankincense can also be breathed or diffused for therapeutic purposes.

Myrrh oil

Because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities, myrrh oil can reduce prostate enlargement and impulses to urinate often. Myrrh has natural hormone-balancing properties. Myrrh oil, like frankincense, can be used topically, inhaled, or diffused.

Cypress oil

This invigorating oil contains diuretic effects that promote urine flow and cleansing. When applied to the lower abdomen and chest before bedtime, cypress oil helps decrease dribbling and frequent overnight urine caused by BPH. It may help alleviate unpleasant urinary symptoms.

Always dilute essential oils with carrier oils before utilizing them. Combine frankincense, myrrh, and cypress essential oils in a natural carrier oil and massage into the lower belly twice a day. 

Inhaling or diffusing the oils at home might bring further advantages. However, before taking essential oils for BPH, see your doctor, especially if you have any other medical concerns. 

While data is currently limited, many men find them beneficial as part of a comprehensive BPH treatment plan.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a type of traditional Chinese medicine used to alleviate the symptoms of BPH. Acupuncture involves inserting tiny needles into particular places on the body to stimulate and rebalance energy flow.

Acupuncture has been shown in certain trials to enhance urine flow and minimize nocturia in men with BPH. Acupuncture is thought to assist control of the autonomic nervous system, therefore lowering sympathetic excitement, which leads to prostate inflammation and blockage.

Acupuncture may also aid in the relief of pelvic pain and discomfort caused by BPH. A series of ten acupuncture treatments effectively improved pain and quality of life ratings in one research when compared to sham acupuncture.

Massage Therapy

Massage treatment may alleviate BPH symptoms by relaxing the muscles around the prostate and increasing blood flow. The following are some particular massage techniques that may be beneficial:

Prostate massage, also known as prostate milking, is a procedure in which a doctor or practitioner massages the prostate gland internally through the rectum. Its goal is to increase circulation, drain out toxins, and promote prostate health. 

Though additional study is needed, several studies have suggested that prostate massage can help men with BPH improve their urinary symptoms and shrink their prostate size.

Massage the perineum, or the region between the scrotum and the anus, to help calm the prostate and pelvic floor muscles. Massage the perineum in a circular motion with mild pressure.

Massage the lower abdomen to increase circulation in the prostate region and to relax pelvic muscles. Massage the lower abdomen in slow circular strokes with your fingertips.

Yoga massage: Some yoga positions, such as the Root Lock (Mulabandha) pose, entail massage-like stimulation of the prostate region, such as the perineum muscles. Regular yoga practice may aid in the reduction of BPH symptoms.

Before commencing prostate massage or any new therapy, always consult with your healthcare professional. While a good method is typically safe, a bad approach may result in adverse effects or difficulties. Massage therapy should be part of a comprehensive strategy for BPH management.

Other Complementary Therapies

Other complementary and alternative therapies that may aid in the treatment of BPH symptoms include:

Yoga

Specific yoga positions may aid in the strengthening of pelvic floor muscles and the reduction of BPH symptoms. Lower abdominal and perineum poses can help enhance circulation to the prostate and bladder. 

Some positions can also aid with stress relief and relaxation. Yoga should be practiced regularly under the supervision of a teacher for the best results.

Kegel Exercises

Kegels, also known as pelvic floor exercises, can assist in strengthening the muscles surrounding the bladder and urethra. This might aid in bladder control and urine flow. Kegels are performed by contracting the muscles used to halt urination. 

Hold for 3 seconds before relaxing. Aim for at least three sets of ten reps every day. Kegel exercises can help reduce urine urgency and frequency.

Meditation and Relaxation

BPH symptoms may be relieved by stress management approaches such as meditation, deep breathing, or other relaxation techniques. Because stress can aggravate urinary problems, learning to relax both the body and the mind can be useful. 

Meditation also increases blood circulation and oxygenation in the body.

When to See a Doctor

BPH is a prevalent ailment that doesn’t necessarily necessitate medical attention. However, if you suffer any of the following severe symptoms or consequences, you should consult your doctor:

  • Inability to urinate at all
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Bladder stones
  • Recurrent blood in the urine
  • Kidney problems
  • Urinary retention (inability to empty bladder
  • Overflow incontinence (dribbling due to a bladder that doesn’t empty)
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Bladder stones
  • Bladder infection
  • Bladder muscle damage
  • Kidney damage

Many elderly men suffer from BPH, yet surgery and medication can have negative effects. When detected early, natural therapies such as food modifications, stress management, physical therapy, and vitamins can frequently give relief without the need for pharmaceuticals. 

Even a few measures can significantly improve urinary symptoms and quality of life. Consult a doctor, however, if symptoms are severe or do not improve with conservative therapy. It is feasible to control BPH and preserve prostate health with a proactive, comprehensive approach.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to read this article on Protecting Your Prostate: Choosing Effective Natural Supplements.*This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical or dietary advice tailored to individual needs.

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Dr. Kimberly Langdon

Kimberly Langdon

Dr. Kimberly Langdon has been an MD for 31 years, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place accolades for her Senior Research Project and Score of 98th percentile on a National Proficiency Test.

During her clinical career, she delivered over 2000 babies and specialized in minimally invasive procedures, menopause, endometriosis, menstrual disorders, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. After retiring from clinical practice, she founded a medical device company to commercialize her two patented and four patent-pending medical devices for both life-threatening and non-life-threatening infections.

Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Coologics, 2010-present
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberly-langdon-m-d-41847610/
The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine 1987-1991
The Ohio State University Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program 1991-1995
Private practice 1995-2010

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., received his medical doctorate from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. During his medical school training, Dr. Hsu worked with various patients, including adult and pediatric patients with acute and chronic conditions. Dr. Hsu’s interests include neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and sleep medicine.

Before medical school, Dr. Hsu finished a master’s degree at Harvard University and wrote a thesis on neuroimaging in schizophrenia patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital. Dr. Hsu was also a part of the 2008 NASA Phoenix Lander Mission team, which sent a robotic spacecraft to the North polar region of Mars. Dr. Hsu also had research experience on neuroimaging in neonates at Boston Children’s Hospital, another Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hospital.

Since graduating from medical school, Dr. Hsu has worked as a full-time medical writer and consultant. In addition, he has experience writing and ghostwriting books and articles for physicians and health technology start-up companies. Dr. Hsu believes good communication between healthcare providers and patients creates the best results.

Publications

-Peer Reviewed Journal Article:
Kounaves, S.P., Hecht, M.H., West, S.J., Morookian, J.-M., Young, S.M.M., Quinn, R., Grunthaner, P., Wen, X., Weilert, M., Cable, C.A., Fisher, A., Gospodinova, K., Kapit, J., Stroble, S., Hsu, P.-C., Clark, B.C., Ming, D.W. and Smith, P.H. The MECA wet chemistry laboratory on the 2007 phoenix mars scout Lander. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2009, Mar; 114(E3): 10.1029/2008je003084.

-Poster Presentation:
2011 Harvard Psychiatry Mysell Poster Session; Boston, MA
Hsu, P.C., Rathi, Y., Eckbo, R., Nestor, P., Niznikiewicz, M., Thompson, E., Kubicki, M., Shenton, M.E. (March, 2011). Two-Tensor Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Acoustic Radiations in Schizophrenia

Dr. Nicolette Natale

Nicolette Natale

Dr. Nicolette Natale is a physician, with a background in Psychology, General Medicine, and English Literature, combining her expertise to provide readers with the most accurate, easy-to-understand, and comprehensive information regarding healthcare. She received her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University, and her bachelor’s in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Miami. Dr. Natale seeks to empower individuals with knowledge, fostering a greater understanding of holistic health and encouraging a proactive approach to well-being