4 self-help tips for men dealing with an enlarged prostate

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Over the course of a man’s lifetime, there is a good chance he may have to deal with symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate.  Beginning at around age 25, the prostate can begin to enlarge.  This natural progression has a name – benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH – and is considered the most common cause of prostate enlargement.  BPH is not the same thing as prostate cancer but rather is a benign or noncancerous condition that does not lead to cancer, even though the two conditions can coexist.

Up to 50-60% of men with BPH will not have any symptoms associated with BPH.  But other men will have significant symptoms that impinge upon their life and well-being.  Symptoms some men with BPH may have include the following:

·      Urinary urgency

·      Frequent urination

·      Dripping and leaking after urination

·      Straining to urinate

·      Waking up during the night to urinate

·      A weak or slow urinary stream

·      Incomplete emptying of the bladder

·      A urinary stream that starts and stops

Due to the intrusive nature of these symptoms, many men will seek treatment for them.  By consulting with a urologist, men have many options of medications to choose from along with surgical treatments that are more effective and have fewer side effects than ever before.

However, if a man’s symptoms are occasional or not particularly bothersome, he can take certain steps to deal with BPH on his own without resorting to medications or surgery.  He will need to still have regular monitoring of his BPH and the symptoms to make sure there are no complications occurring. 

In the meantime, here are 4 simple tips men can do to help relieve some of the symptoms of BPH:

1.     Reduce stress

When a man is under stress, or has a tendency to become agitated, nervous or tense, he may find himself needing to urinate more frequently.  Stress reduction is crucial to help deal with frequent bathroom trips.  To reduce stress, men need to have a regular exercise routine and practice relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga, eat a healthy diet and get adequate sleep and try to avoid stressful situations. 

2.     Empty the bladder completely

Each time a man goes to the bathroom to urinate, it is important that he takes his time to completely empty his bladder.  Doing so can help cut back on the number of trips to the toilet.

3.     Review with his doctor his medications

It is always a good idea to review with his doctor all medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, a man is taking as there could be some that are contributing to symptoms of BPH.  By reviewing medications, a doctor can make suggestions on adjusting dosages, changing the schedule of when to take the drugs or prescribe a completely different medication that will cause fewer urinary issues.

4.     Time intake of fluids

Timing of when a man drinks fluids throughout the day can make a big difference on having to get up frequently during the night.  The best advice is to avoid drinking fluids in the evening at least 2-3 hours before going to bed.  This applies particularly to caffeinated or alcoholic beverages as they are diuretics and can affect the muscle tone of the bladder, stimulating the kidneys to produce urine that can lead to nighttime urination.