As we go through life, certain medical conditions wax and wane in importance. For men, one of those issues is enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). While it’s a normal part of aging, it can cause some unpleasant symptoms, and can even be dangerous in certain cases. In this piece, we’ll discuss common enlarged prostate symptoms, uncover the reasons behind them, and share some practical tips to find relief.
Common Enlarged Prostate Symptoms
Picture struggling through a crucial presentation at work, feeling the unmistakable need to use the restroom slowly increasing. You’re forced to cut your sentences short, your discomfort evident to everyone in the room, rising until it is no longer discomfort but pain, and you know you can’t ignore it. You have no choice but to abruptly excuse yourself, cutting your own presentation short.
If this story sounds familiar, you might have an enlarged prostate. Let’s take a closer look at the indicators you might encounter:
- More Bathroom Breaks: Your bladder seems to have developed a newfound love for bathroom breaks, and it doesn’t seem to care how inconvenient that is for you.
- Stream Struggles: Poor flow is a very typical enlarged prostate symptom. In other words, what was once a mighty river is reduced to a trickling stream.
- Not-So-Empty Feeling: No matter how long you spend in the bathroom, you still feel as though you’re not quite empty.
- Drip Drama: Thanks to the prostate’s interference, you might find yourself dealing with post-urination drips or leaks.
- The Hold-Up Episode: In more serious cases, your bladder might decide to go on strike and refuse to cooperate, leading to urinary retention. Not only is this unpleasant, it can even be dangerous!
Why Does The Prostate Even Do That?
Understanding the why behind an enlarged prostate might shed some light on the topic. The spotlight’s on hormones here, especially one called DHT. This hormone gives your prostate cells the signal to expand, and that’s how an enlarged prostate comes into play. Aging, genetics, and even diet play a part in this process as well (1).
Coping With Enlarged Prostate Symptoms
While an enlarged prostate might throw you a curveball, there are ways to step up to the plate and manage its effects. Here’s the game plan:
Adjust Your Lifestyle Habits
Small changes can make a big difference. If nighttime bathroom runs are cramping your sleep style, try to avoid drinking before bed. And you might want to cut back on caffeine and alcohol, because they can affect your bladder’s performance too.
Get a Move On
Physical activity is believed to reduce the risk of BPH. It doesn’t have to be back-breaking, either—even light exercise can go a long way. Whether it’s a sport, yoga, or those Kegels you’ve been hearing about, there are plenty of exercise options out there.
Trim the Fat
Your diet isn’t just about your waistline; it impacts your prostate health, too. Opt for a diet that’s rich in fruits, veggies, and whole grains. It’s also good to get some more antioxidants in your diet and lower your intake of red meat. We’re not saying you can never eat steak again, just don’t have a T-bone for lunch every day.
A Little Help From Your Friends
Dietary supplements are a great way to help take the bite off the worst of the symptoms. There are a number of effective natural ingredient, such as saw palmetto, that can form the base of an effective supplement.
When things get serious, that’s where the experts come in. Medications can step in to ease the tension between your bladder and prostate, and if the situation becomes really bad, surgical solutions might be on the table.
BPH might seem daunting, but you can take some comfort in the knowledge that you’re not alone—according to some sources, by the age of 60, half of all men will BPH. With a mix of lifestyle tweaks, a bit of physical action, and a little help from nature, you can reclaim control over your day-to-day life. And if things ever feel a bit overwhelming, remember that your healthcare provider is just a call away. Prostate peace is achievable, even in the face of an enlarged reality (2).