Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is commonly known as the enlarged prostate gland, is a common condition when men get older. As it grows, the prostate can compress the urethra (the tube that drains urine from bladder) and can cause the muscles around the urethra to contract. Either problem impedes urine flow and causes the bladder to not empty completely during urination.
Most men eventually develop some prostate enlargement as they age. Common signs and symptoms include:
- Weak urine stream
- Difficulty starting urination
- Stopping and starting again while urinating
- Dribbling at the end of urination
- Frequent need to urinate
- Increased frequency of urination at night (nocturia)
- Urgent need to urinate
- Not being able to completely empty the bladder
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Urinary tract infection
Age seems to be the primary risk factor. A family history of BPH slightly increases the chances for the condition.
Some lifestyle changes may ease BPH symptoms:
- Reduce intake of liquids, particularly before going out in public or before periods of sleep, avoid fluids in the evening to reduce night time urination.
- Avoid or reduce intake of caffeinated beverages and alcohol.
- Do bladder training to hold more urine for longer periods.
- Exercise the pelvic floor muscles.
- Cut down on red meat and increase vegetable consumption.
People with BPH can also benefit from Saw Palmetto and Pygeum. Saw Palmetto works similarly to a medication that is used to help with BPH symptoms. Pygeum helps to improve the urinary symptoms experienced by people with BPH such as urinary hesitance, urinary frequency and night time urination.