As the body gets older, the prostate tends to enlarge in size compared to other organs.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), or the medical term for enlarged prostate, is the predominant source of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) amongst men aged 50 and over.
In general, the prostate functions smoothly for a large part of a man’s life. At approximately fifty years old, it starts to become an issue. Unlike other body organs, which finish developing at a young age and almost never regrow, the prostate can sometimes start enlarging again in later years.
Most prostate issues that occur in men of middle age and above are caused by development at a later stage in life. An increase in the size of the prostate caused by this new growth can squeeze the urethra, causing a decrease in the amount of urine that can pass through, which can lead to numerous other health issues, including kidney breakdown.
The swelling of the urethra is typically the cause of the numerous signs of an enlarged prostate. In extreme circumstances, too much expansion of the BPH can rapidly prevent urine from passing through the urethra, creating a pressing medical situation that requires immediate haste to the Emergency Room.
Continue reading to discover which herbs may assist with prostate difficulties.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
BPH, which is a non-malignant enlargement of the prostate gland, makes going to the bathroom difficult and uncomfortable. The prostate gland can be found right below the bladder and wraps around the urethra, the tube through which urine exits the bladder. The prostate gland enlarging can lead to a squeezing of the urethra or the muscles near it tightening, making it challenging to go to the bathroom.
Prostate enlargement is very common as men age. Symptoms of prostate enlargement usually develop around age 50. By the time they reach the age of sixty, most males have experienced some level of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). At 85 years old, men have quite a high probability, 90%, of having urinary difficulties sparked by Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms may include:
- Needing to urinate frequently
- Difficulty starting urination
- Stopping and starting while urinating
- Urinating frequently at night (nocturia)
- Dribbling after urination ends
- Being unable to empty your bladder
- Blood in the urine (BPH can cause small blood vessels to burst)
- Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Nobody knows the basic cause of BPH. Investigations have indicated that testosterone, the male hormone, or dihydrotestosterone, a compound generated when testosterone decomposes in a man’s organism, may be responsible for the enlargement of the prostate. The hypothesis is that when men get older, the shifting in the proportion of testosterone and estrogen (the hormone that women have) prompts the prostate to enlarge. Researchers have determined with certainty that being obese substantially raises the odds of BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia).
Certain non-prescription medications for allergies or the common cold might aggravate an enlarged prostate issue (BPH).
Your doctor may evaluate the size of your prostate gland manually by putting a gloved finger in your anus and feeling the back of the prostate. Your medical professional will also conduct blood tests and possibly obtain a urine specimen. Other tests may include:
- Urinary flow test. Your doctor may ask you to urinate into a device that measures the flow of urine.
- Intravenous pyelography. Your doctor injects a dye into a vein to make the flow of urine visible on an x-ray.
- Transrectal ultrasound. Your doctor will insert an ultrasound probe in your rectum to get an image of your prostate gland.
You may also be asked to do a questionnaire that will assess the intensity of your symptoms and how it affects you every day. This can be employed by your physician to keep track of your wellness in the long run.
The therapeutic plan will be based off of your age, overall health condition, and the intensity of your symptoms. The effects of BPH may not always be consistent, so it is essential to get regular examinations to keep tabs on the growth of signs. There are numerous approaches to treating BPH productively, ranging from making slight alterations to one’s lifestyle and using herbal remedies to taking prescription drugs. If all other treatments fail and the signs are sufficiently serious, surgical options may be considered to address the problem.
Many men with BPH have only minor symptoms. Simple lifestyle changes may be all you need to feel better:
- Urinate when you first get the urge.
- Go to the bathroom when you have the chance, even if you do not feel a need to urinate.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine, especially after dinner. Try not to drink within 2 hours before going to bed.
- Spread out your fluid intake throughout the day. Avoid drinking large amounts of fluid at one time.
- Avoid cold and sinus medications. Decongestants and antihistamines can worsen BPH symptoms.
- Exercise regularly.
- Do Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor.
- Reduce stress.
Alpha-blockers. Also referred to as alpha-adrenergic blockers, these drugs bring about the relaxation of the muscles surrounding your bladder, thus making it easier to pass urine. Initially, these medicines were utilized to reduce hypertension. It appears that these methods are more successful in individuals with prostates that have grown to an average size. A decrease in ejaculate amount and a decrease in the number of blood pressure are some of the regular adverse reactions. It is not recommended to take these drugs in combination with drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction, such as Viagra or Cialis. Alpha-blockers include:
- Terzosin (Hytrin)
- Doxazosin (Cardura)
- Tamsulosin (Flomax)
- Alfuzosin (Uroxatral)
Enzyme inhibitors. These medications, referred to as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, can reduce the size of the prostate gland by decreasing the amount of testosterone that the body changes into dihydrotestosterone, which is a hormone necessary for the prostate to expand. These drugs take longer to work than alpha-blockers. Their activities cause PSA levels to get lower, which can make it more difficult to detect prostate cancer (a high amount of PSA can symbolize prostate cancer). Enzyme inhibitors include:
- Finasteride (Proscar)
- Dutasteride (Avodart)
- Botulinum toxin (Botox)
Your physician could propose treating you with a combination of an alpha-blocker and an enzyme inhibitor concurrently.
Surgery and Other Procedures
Prostate surgery may be recommended if you have the following:
- Recurrent blood in the urine
- Urinary retention
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
The best course of action for you generally depends on how intense your indications are and the dimensions and contour of your prostate.
Minimally invasive techniques
These strategies could be more successful at reducing signs and symptoms compared to drugs but usually are not as successful as an operation. Although they are not as common, it is less likely for medications to produce negative secondary effects than surgery does.
Operating on you is the best way to lessen your symptoms, but there is a slight chance of inferring erectile dysfunction or urinary incontinence.
Nutrition and Dietary Supplements
Beta-sitosterol. Beta-sitosterol is a cholesterol-like compound found in plants. Researchers have looked into its potential to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, and found that it can significantly enhance urinary flow and reduce the remaining volume of urine in the bladder. It does not shrink the prostate. Beta-sitosterol can be utilized to reduce cholesterol, thereby making it a suitable option for guys whose cholesterol levels are excessive. Pumpkin seeds (Cucurbita pepo), which are rich in beta-sitosterol, are sometimes recommended for treating Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Consult with your physician prior to incorporating any supplements into your BPH management plan.
Herbal medicine has long been a popular method for bolstering the body’s immune system and combating various illnesses. Herbs, although being beneficial, can cause certain negative effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medicinal compounds. It is recommended that you should not take herbs unless it is done so under the guidance of a health care specialist.
Herbal Supplements for an Enlarged Prostate
So, which herbs can help with prostate enlargement?
A lot of plants have been researched extensively to provide relief from enlarged prostate indications.
Some of them could possibly even work to reverse the situation. Moreover, the prostate, like several other bodily organs, necessitates distinct vitamins and mineral elements that are not derived from plants, such as a lack of the mineral; Zinc has been connected to an enlarged prostate.
All plants are packed with thousands of vitamins, minerals, and other elements within them. Collectively, these plant constituents are phytochemicals. “Phyto” is a Greek word meaning “plant.”
All plants naturally produce phytochemicals. They act as defenders which safeguard the plant from fungal growth, sickness, and bugs. When humans take them as medicine, they are known as herbal remedies.
The listing presented illustrates numerous natural and nutritional substances that are extensively examined and known to have an impact on prostate health.
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)
For numerous years, herbalists have gone for saw palmetto to deal with BPH. Evidence shows that herbs such as this could be beneficial for treating Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and may also have the ability to reduce the size of prostate cancer tumors.
It has also shown value in treating erectile dysfunction. One can find a bush-like, miniature palm tree mostly in the southern states of America, otherwise known as Saw Palmetto. The healing properties reside in the tiny, bluish-purple berries that grow from the plant.
Saw palmetto’s main effect is to impede the 5α-reductase enzyme, which transforms testosterone into the more powerful hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Pygeum (Pygeum africanum, Prunus africana)
The African prune tree’s outer layer of the bark has had a long history of being utilized to aid in the treatment of urinary and prostate concerns. The majority of the growth of this tree is in Africa, and much research has been conducted on it.
Recent studies that were randomized, controlled, and employed extracts from bark determined that BPH’s urinary symptoms could be alleviated with minimal adverse effects. Research indicates that pygeum and other herbs are particularly successful in decreasing nocturnal urination, an annoyance that is persistent for males who have an enlarged prostate.
Nettle or Stinging Nettle
Urtica dioica is a wild plant that can be found all over the United States. It has been employed for a long time to help with various medical problems. Both the base and the foliage of the vegetation are employed for healing purposes.
The plant nettle produces various goods, some created from its leaves and others from its root. The leaves and other parts of the nettle plant that are above the ground contain different compounds than the root, so they provide different medicinal benefits.
Root and leaves both possess anti-inflammatory qualities, which are beneficial for diminishing persistent prostatitis.
It is not fully comprehended how nettle root works, yet it is assumed to restrain the 5-alpha-reductase and aromatase enzymes. The outcome of this is a drop in DHT and estrogen, which is thought to have a link with an increased chance of prostate cancer and BPH.
Nettle root is effective for treating BPH. Nettle has lots of phytosterols that can help mitigate the signs of prostate issues, similar to saw palmetto and pygeum. It has been revealed by research that eating nettle on its own is not as potent as consuming saw palmetto or pygeum in order to treat BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia). Nonetheless, it is normal to combine the two for amplified effectiveness.
According to a study done in Japan, it was found that the plant sterols found in nettle roots were able to inhibit the activity of specific prostate cells and, therefore, help to stop the abundance of BPH. A German study of considerable duration and with a blind experiment design confirmed the effectiveness of this approach in the treatment of BPH.
Flower Pollen Extracts
For a long time, Europe has been using flower pollen’s active components to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatitis. The male seeds of ryegrass and other flowering plants are collected and condensed to form flower pollen, which is free from allergens.
In Europe, investigations of pollen extracts derived from commercial ryegrass are extensive. They are often promoted as “Swedish flower pollen” or, more commonly, just “flower pollen”.
It seems that flower pollen extracts interact with multiple chemicals in order to decrease the intensity of both benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostatitis. A number of studies have uncovered substantial quantitative enhancements in urinary incline, starting and stopping when urinating, leakage, the quantity of times one rises during the night to pee (nocturia,) and urinary holding.
The symptoms may diminish shortly after starting the natural treatment for the prostate. However, it may take longer to witness the complete result. Pollen from flowers is becoming well-known in the U.S. for its beneficial effects on the prostate.
Research concluded that no change in prostate size was seen in men with BPH over a period of three months. However, when the same participants were monitored for twelve months, it was observed that about one-fifth of them had a decrease in their prostate size. Therefore, the advantages of flower pollen could continue for a greater length of time than usually thought, which implies that it might be initiating a long-term cure.
Guys who are especially sensitive to flower pollen may experience improvements in a few days, and the advantages may keep on accumulating with the passing of time. It could take you up to a year or longer to see the full advantages. It appears that the prostate’s health is getting better bit by bit.
Prognosis and Complications
While the majority of men get better with the treatment of BPH, men who have had long-standing BPH may develop:
- Sudden inability to urinate
- Urinary tract infections
- Urinary stones
- Damage to the kidneys
- Blood in the urine
Herbs and natural remedies for a swollen prostate are highly effective for treating prostate problems. This article focuses on certain herbs and nutrients that are known to be useful when dealing with prostate health, especially when related to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). However, numerous other foods and vitamins can be beneficial for men with prostate problems.