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Preventing BPH (Enlarged Prostate)

Preventing BPHPreventing BPH

BPH is an enlarged prostate which can either be caused by hormonal or other growth factors. More on causes of BPH

Symptoms of BPH include dribbling after urinating, feeling that the bladder has not emptied completely after urination, frequent urination, an interrupted or weakened urinary stream, the need to push or strain to begin urination, an urgent need to urinate, and blood in the urine. These symptoms occur because the prostate grows either around the urethra (the tube that transports the urine) and squeezes it, or into the urethra. In both cases, urinary flow is affected.  Read more on symptoms of BPH

Two of the main risk factors for BPH are advancing age and family history of the disease,neither of which can be changed. That’s why some very healthy men end up getting the disease while some unhealthy men do not.

A number of other risk factors for BPH cannot be changed (more on risk factors for BPH) however there are some things you can do to reduce your chances of getting BPH. There are also steps you can take to minimize and eliminate your symptoms. If you are in the active surveillance stage and your urinary tract symptoms are mild to moderate and do not require medical attention, there are things you can do to help ensure your BPH will not progress and require treatment. If you are among the 10 percent of men who need treatment, then these steps can also enhance the healing process.

Make lifestyle changes:

Just because you have BPH does not mean you should stop doing things that can help prevent it; in fact, right now is the perfect time to take positive action and focus on staying as healthy as possible.

Maximize fruit and vegetable servings Maximize fruit and vegetable servings: Fruits and vegetables contain high levels of inflammation-fighting substances such as antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Several studies provide evidence that these foods—which are rich in potent phytonutrients—reduce the risk of developing BPH. (Kristel; Rohrmann; Schwarz) More on fruits and vegetables and prostate health
Eat a low-fat diet Eat a low-fat diet: Research shows that men who followed a diet low in total fat and red meat had a lower risk of developing BPH. (Kristal) Read more about low fat diet
Choose plant protein over animal protein Choose plant protein over animal protein: Plant protein gives you all the nutrients and health benefits needed for maximum prostate health. Diets rich in plant protein have been shown to reduce rates of cancer and prostate disease. Research also suggests that soy isoflavones can help prevent BPH (Ren), and that beans and lentils are associated with a reduced risk of BPH while poultry and eggs are associated with an increased risk. (Bravi)
Consume green tea Consume green tea: Green tea contains substances called catechins that travel throughout the body and take up residence in the prostate, where they can modulate the production and actions of hormones and may be useful in the treatment of BPH. (Liao) More on green tea and prostate health
Avoid foods and additives that are harmful to prostate health width= Avoid foods and additives that are harmful to prostate health: Some foods, supplements, additives and nutrients are especially harmful to the prostate, including but not limited to meat, calcium, chondroitin, and foods high in sugar. Read more about harmful food and additives
Take supplements Take supplements: Supplements that have been shown to be beneficial for BPH include: Vitamin D, Zinc, Saw Palmetto, Beta Sitosterol, Cranberry, DIM, Pygeum africanum, Stinging Nettle Root, Rye pollen (cernilton), Quercetin, Curcumin and Green tea extract.
Hydrate, but limit fluid intake late in the day Hydrate, but limit fluid intake late in the day: Staying hydrated by drinking pure water is essential for prostate health, but you also do not want to keep getting up at night. Do not consume large amounts of fluid at any one time, and do not drink anything after 7 PM.
Achieve and maintain a healthy weight Achieve and maintain a healthy weight: Numerous studies have shown a link between being overweight and having a high risk of BPH. (Moul; Parsons) Excess weight around the waist and hips is especially associated with a greater risk of BPH. Losing weight is not a guarantee, because slim men can suffer also, but every little bit helps.
Exercise regularly Exercise regularly: A recent review of 14 studies that evaluated the impact of exercise on BPH found strong evidence that exercise helps prevent the development of BPH. (Sea) A regular exercise program can also help prevent obesity, which is also a risk factor for BPH. (Parsons) Read more on Exercise and Reduced Risk of BPH
Manage stress Manage stress: Research shows that stress can worsen symptoms of BPH. (Ullrich) Experts suggest that changes in hormone levels or the involvement of the sympathetic nervous system may explain the association between BPH and stress. Making stress management techniques, such as deep breathing, exercise, and good nutrition, a part of your daily routine may alleviate your symptoms.
Experiment with natural therapies Experiment with natural therapies: Natural prevention and treatment approaches for BPH and prostate health include biofeedback, herbal remedies, homeopathy, hormone restoration, massage, nutritional supplements, and stress management techniques.
Lead a prostate friendly lifestyle Lead a prostate friendly lifestyle: Smoking, sleep patterns, some medications and alcohol all affect your prostate.
Maintain hormone balance Maintain hormone balance: Hormones play a role in enlargement of the prostate, thus it is important to try to maintain hormone balance to promote prostate health.
Maintain a healthy sex life Maintain a healthy sex life: Sex seems to be healthy for your prostate but can you have too much of a good thing? Read more about a healthy sex life
Avoid exposure to toxins Avoid exposure to toxins: Stay away from chemicals and other substances that may increase the risk of developing BPH. An Australian study found that exposure to toxic metals at a non-substantial level increased the risk of BPH. (Fritschi)
Cut caffeine intake Cut caffeine intake: Coffee, colas, some energy drinks, tea, and chocolate are likely caffeine sources and can irritate your prostate and worsen BPH symptoms.
Cut back on spicy and salty foods Cut back on spicy and salty foods: These foods can make BPH symptoms worse.
Limit alcohol Limit alcohol: A moderate amount of alcohol (1 to 2 drinks daily) is considered safe, but more than a moderate number of drinks can irritate the prostate and symptoms of BPH. More on alcohol and prostate health
Avoid use of over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants Avoid use of over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants: These can aggravate BPH symptoms.
Don’t hold it Don’t hold it: Delaying urination can worsen BPH symptoms and even result in urinary tract infections. When you have to go, go.
If you have diabetes, keep it under control If you have diabetes, keep it under control: High blood sugar levels and obesity, two characteristics of diabetes, are also risk factors for BPH. Therefore, if you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar levels under control.
Stay warm Stay warm: The relationship between lower urinary tract symptoms and cold weather may be related to an increase in activity in the sympathetic nervous system when it is cold, which results in an increase in smooth muscle tone in the prostate and possible worsening of BPH symptoms.
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Created: August 29, 2010
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Site last updated 31 October, 2014

  
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