Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy BPH
Benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH is a common condition that affects the majority of men as they age. About half of all men in their 60’s and approximately 80% of men 80 years or older will experience symptoms of BPH.1 It’s characterized by the normal enlargement of the prostate gland, which is caused by hormonal fluctuations.1 Why this occurs is not completely understood.2 Due to where the prostate is positioned, when it enlarges it can press against the urethra and irritate the bladder wall, causing troublesome lower urinary tract symptoms and sometimes disrupting day to day life.
What are the signs and symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH)?
The common symptoms of BPH in men include:
- An urgent need to urinate and difficulty postponing urination3.
- The urine stream may be slow to start4.
- More frequent urination, especially at night4.
- Straining when urinating3.
- A weak or intermittent stream3.
- A sense that the bladder hasn’t completely emptied4.
- The sensation of needing to go again soon after urinating4.
- Leaking or dribbling3.
Other conditions and factors can cause symptoms similar to those associated with BPH, so it’s important to consult your healthcare professional to get a correct diagnosis.
How is benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) managed?
Depending on individual circumstances and how bothersome symptoms are, medically diagnosed BPH may be relieved by certain medication or surgical procedures. Self‐help strategies may be of assistance in many cases including:
- Minimizing intake of alcohol and caffeine.
- Limiting fluid intake at night time.
- Trying to urinate at least once every three hours3.
- Staying active and staying warm; immobility and cold weather may increase the risk of urine retention3.
- Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, as being overweight can increase the risk of lower urinary tract symptoms3.
- Practicing pelvic floor and bladder retraining exercises4.
- Considering a prostate health supplement with saw palmetto, which can help relieve symptoms of mild to moderate medically diagnosed BPH including alleviation of frequent day time and night time urination, improvement of urinary flow and incomplete emptying.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. Consult your healthcare professional if symptoms persist. Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
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Published April 9, 2014
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