Enhance Your Health
Read expert insights and recommendations on how to improve your health and boost your overall well-being - naturally.
Can Fasting Shrink an Enlarged Prostate?
Fasting is extremely beneficial if done properly. Apart from supporting weight loss, fasting decreases inflammation and tumor growth, enhances stem cell production, promotes autophagy, helps regrow brain cells, and so much more. Every organ in our body benefits from fasting, and the prostate is one of them. It is a small walnut-sized gland that surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine passes out of the body. With age, one out of two men experiences an enlarged prostate, otherwise known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Can fasting shrink your prostate? Can it reverse enlarged prostate? For this and more, keep reading. How to Identify an Enlarged Prostate As the prostate grows, it wraps around the urethra, making urination difficult. The bigger it gets, the greater the complications. An enlarged prostate can cause constriction of the urethra and pressure on the bladder. This leads to a host of lower urinary tract signs and symptoms, including: A slow urinary streamDifficulty in starting urinationA feeling of incomplete bladder emptying even after peeingFrequent urinationUrgency to urinateStraining while urinatingUrinary leakage Can an Enlarged Prostate Be Identified at Home? The aberration in your urinary pattern can certainly alert you to a potentially enlarged prostate. However, to diagnose BPH, you should go for any of the following: Digital rectal examUrine testBlood testProstate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test Depending on the reports, your doc will advise more tests like urinary flow test and transrectal ultrasound. For the prostate blood tests, fasting is not needed, nor is there a restriction on foods or beverages. The Effects of Fasting on an Enlarged Prostate When we speak about enlarged prostate, it really is the play of the hormones. Hormones that are significant players in the cell multiplication of your prostate glands are: ProlactinEstrogenDHT/AndrogensCortisolGrowth hormoneIGF-1ProgesteroneInsulin Insulin, insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), diabetes, and obesity are risk factors in BPH development (1). If you keep them controlled, you can help control the growth or even shrink it—and in some cases reverse the whole process. Fasting is a diet choice that does it all. In one study, it was shown that eight days of water-only fasting promoted favorable changes in the functioning of the urogenital system and resulted in a reduction in the prostate's volume (2). Many studies have shown a positive effect of fasting on prostate cancer as well. Consumption of sugar was associated with increased overall prostate cancer risk (3). Therefore, a no-carb no-sugar diet, low-carb diet, keto diet, and fasting are highly recommended. Keto diet and enlarged prostate have an inverse relationship. As hyperinsulinemia is the driving force in BPH (4), keeping it controlled with fasting is one of the best solutions. Foods that Help Shrink the Prostate Can you shrink your prostate with diet? If so, what foods help shrink the prostate? Foods that help reduce the size of the prostate are: Saw palmetto Saw palmetto has been shown to prevent tumor cells from growing, help ease inflammation, and help shrink the enlarged gland. Stinging nettle root It helps reduce obstruction to the urinary flow and decrease the frequency of urination (5). Green tea Green tea contains potent antioxidants that can not only help prevent prostate cancer from forming but also slow its growth. It also benefits men with prostatitis (6). Maca roots and cruciferous vegetables These are powerful aromatase inhibitors. The latter is an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen in the body, which can help reduce the estrogen levels in your blood. High estrogen is the biggest cause of BPH. Vitamin C-rich foods Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C can prevent the risk of an enlarged prostate. Zinc-rich foods Sesame seeds have a high concentration of zinc that can help shrink prostate size. Other foods are almonds, adzuki beans, and pumpkin seeds with high zinc concentrations. Lycopene Studies have stated that lycopene, a plant pigment, is supportive in preventing and controlling BPH and prostate cancer. It can also lower prostate inflammation. Examples include tomatoes, watermelon, papaya, pink grapefruit, and apricots. Foods to Avoid The foods you must avoid with an enlarged prostate are: CaffeineAlcoholProcessed meats such as sausage and salamiDairySoy foodsRed meatChocolates Sugar is another ingredient that you should avoid as it can cause high insulin that can result in BPH. Sugar and prostatitis also have a direct connection as sugar worsens inflammation. Are There Side Effects of Fasting With an Enlarged Prostate? There is no evidence of any specific side effect of fasting on the prostate. However, fasting, in general, may cause muscle loss, dehydration, fluctuation in blood pressure and blood sugar, and a variety of health conditions if not done properly.
Prostate healthHow an Enlarged Prostate Affects a Man SexuallyAn enlarged prostate is one of the most common problems seen in men after the age of 40. It is caused due to hormonal changes that are common with age. As per studies, 50% of men over the age of 50, as well as 60% of men over 60, will have enlarged prostate—the number increases with age. However, does an enlarged prostate affect a man sexually? In reality, most of the time, they do not. Can a man with enlarged prostate get a woman pregnant? Unless there is no other problem or complication, he can. For more, keep reading. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia vs. Erectile Dysfunction The technical term for an enlarged prostate is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This is a condition where your prostate increases in size. It grows inwards, pressing against the urethra, the tube through which urine and semen flow out of your body (1). Erectile dysfunction is the inability to attain as well as maintain an erection. Other questions often asked are whether sex and ejaculation can help an enlarged prostate or if the prostate can swell during arousal. The answer to both of those points is a "no." The prostate only enlarges when prostate cells begin to multiply due to hormonal imbalance. Can an Enlarged Prostate Cause Erectile Dysfunction? According to Dr. Faysal A. Yafi, even though there is no direct relation between prostate and erections, some BPH therapy can cause significant sexual dysfunction. Even though they are two separate conditions, some medicines used to treat BPH may affect your ability to keep an erection. An enlarged prostate may or may not cause ED directly, but there is no evidence to suggest that men with an enlarged prostate are less likely to have sex. However, medicines such as anti-testosterone drugs have been associated with ED and may also affect your libido. Alpha-blockers can interfere with erections as well as ejaculation. Some men have also experienced low sperm count and lower sperm volume. Can an Enlarged Prostate Cause Ejaculation Issues? In most cases, sexual dysfunction and ejaculation issues result from the treatment rather than the disease. It is also one of the reasons that men feel like they need to urinate but can't. Some people with an enlarged prostate who have undergone surgical procedures such as transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) can experience ED. They have often complained about retrograde ejaculation, in which the semen released during orgasm doesn’t exit the penis but enters the bladder (2). There is also no evidence that prostatitis can be caused by not ejaculating. Also known as dry orgasm—although it can be unnerving to ejaculate without orgasm—it is not harmful. In fact, it feels like a normal orgasm and doesn’t affect sexual pleasure (3). Can You Treat an Enlarged Prostate? Even though it's difficult to completely reverse an enlarged prostate, the right practices can help relieve symptoms and reduce the size. Follow the tips below to help you do so. Foods to Avoid if You Have an Enlarged Prostate DairyVegetable oilsSugarSoy and soy products Foods That Can Help Shrink Your Enlarged Prostate Saw palmettoStinging nettle rootsGreen teaZinc-rich foodsLycopene rich foods such as tomatoesSeeds such as pumpkin seedsFoods rich in vitamin CConsume beetsConsume tomatoesConsume more cruciferous vegetables These types of foods protect cells by decreasing inflammation and inactivating carcinogens. Many are also available as a supplement and can be taken at the advice of your doctor. Prostarex is a science-approved premium-grade advanced prostate support supplement that can help strengthen your bladder, improve urinary flow, and improve sex drive and performance. Reduce Potential Estrogen Boosters High estrogen is the real cause of an enlarged prostate. The most common reasons for high estrogen are consuming foods that are high in estrogen, adrenal fatigue, and having too much body fat. Cut out alcoholAvoid plasticsEat organic foodsReduce your stress levelsExercise daily, especially Kegel exercisesKeep your body weight in control Diet Trends for Someone With an Enlarged Prostate High insulin is also one of the root causes of all metabolic syndromes. Insulin is anabolic, which means that it makes things grow. If you address the problem, you can prevent as well as control an enlarged prostate by practicing: Healthy ketoIntermittent fasting—read Can Fasting Shrink an Enlarged Prostate? Medications to Treat an Enlarged Prostate Alpha-blockers5-Alpha reductase inhibitorsPhosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors Surgical Options TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate)TUIP (transurethral incision of the prostate)TUMT (transurethral microwave thermotherapyProstatic urethral lift In addition to all these aforementioned points, see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and medical intervention. Sexual problems can occur if you undergo prostate cancer treatment or removal of the prostate.
Prostate healthReasons Why Men Feel Like They Have to Pee but Can’tOften, when you have a frequent urge to pee but little comes out, or you cannot get rid of the feeling, it can cause frustration. The causes of urine blockages in males can be anything from an enlarged prostate to a urinary tract infection (UTI). Other causes can be insulin resistance, diabetes, kidney or bladder stone, etc. Read on to learn more. Enlarged Prostate An enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), can be one of the biggest causes of urinary problems (1). This small walnut-sized gland surrounds the urethra. It is the tube through which urine passes out of the body. As the prostate grows in size, the prostate gland pressing on the urethra makes urination difficult and blocks the urine flow. Can You Shrink the Prostate Naturally? It is possible to shrink the prostate and alleviate the different complications related to it. Eat foods that help shrink prostates, such as saw palmetto, stinging nettle root, maca roots, foods that are high in zinc/ vitamin C, and lycopeneEat cruciferous vegetablesTry supplements such as ProstarexAvoid soy, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, processed meat, red meat, and chocolatesStop your sugar intake Exercise daily Aside from these methods, consider fasting to reduce an enlarged prostate. UTI Urinary tract infection (UTI) is the infection of your urinary system. The infection mostly happens in the lower urinary tract. With UTI, urination becomes a problem. The feeling of a full bladder and the urge to pee is there, but you can only pass a small amount of urine (2). These infections are usually caused by bacteria such as E. coli which causes the bladder to become inflamed (3). This also is the cause of this constant urge to pee. How to Treat a UTI Buchu leaf and uva ursi teaCranberryGood probioticsJuniperIntermittent fasting and/or ketoCut out carbs and sugarsConsume more liquids, preferably waterVitamin C supplements High Blood Sugar High sugar levels in the blood can be dangerous, causing your kidneys to work harder and produce more urine. Also, the excess sugar draws more water and results in larger volumes of urine. If this is complicated more by an infection of the prostate or bladder or UTI, a complete bladder emptying becomes difficult, hence the constant urge. UTIs are common amongst diabetic patients (4). How to Lower Blood Sugar Cut out all sugarsStop snackingReduce frequency of eatingAdd more fat to your dietIncrease potassium foodsIncrease your Vitamin B intake Kidney Stones A kidney stone can develop in the kidney or in the duct that collects urine and moves it to the ureters. A stone, especially in the ureter, can either block the flow of urine or can cause a backflow, making urination difficult. It is often manifested by groin pain, blood in the urine, nausea, and more(5). How to Relieve Kidney Stones Drink two to three liters of water every dayCut down on your oxalates Increase your calcium intake Add citrate to your dietTake cod liver oil, berberine, and/or chondroitin sulfateConsume more vegetables, especially leafy greensTake vitamin K2 When Should You Visit a Doctor for Difficulty Urinating? When the constant urge to urinate is accompanied by severe pain, fever, nausea, or blood in the urine, go to your doctor immediately. They will be able to diagnose your exact condition and help you understand how to release the urine.