Prophylaxis, prevention, and treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia
As a rule, until serious problems appear, men take little care of their health. Even less often, they think about their lifestyle. This is the wrong approach: after all, it depends on behavior how long men's health will be maintained. There are numerous health conditions that can be prevented by implementing simple lifestyle changes and following them throughout the years. One of these conditions is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP) that by the age of 75 develops in 85% of men and typically starts to develop at the age of 50-60 years.
BPH is a non-cancerous growth of the prostate gland. But do not let the term “non-cancerous” fool you – it is still dangerous besides the fact that it interferes with a normal lifestyle and significantly worsens the quality of life.
Among the tips on "nutrition for the prostate gland" can be noted as useful products for men's health, as well as tips on what should be avoided.
Among the things that you should pay positive attention to should be noted foods rich in zinc. This trace element stimulates sperm production and stimulates the functioning of the prostate gland.
What are these products? First of all, fatty fish, other seafood, as well as cabbage.
Fresh vegetables and fruits are good for the prostate gland. In particular, it is believed that the antioxidants contained in them interfere with the growth of the prostate, and healthy immunity (which is directly affected by these products) will prevent bacterial prostatitis, which can also affect the appearance of BPH.
What should not be eaten? Do not abuse fast food and pastries. The abuse of fatty foods and “fast” carbohydrates leads to the development of abdominal obesity when fat deposition occurs in the chest and abdomen. "Excess" fat works like a kind of endocrine gland, not male, but female. It produces female sex hormones - estrogens.
As a result, we have enlarged mammary glands in men and decreased sexual activity. All these factors lead to an increased risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Regular physical activity is the improvement of blood circulation in the pelvic area, the improvement of the function of the adrenal glands and pelvic organs, as well as the prevention of BPH due to the production of additional male hormones.
According to doctors, a man should workout till a wet T-shirt three times a week. That is, to receive high-quality cardio and strength-training load. It features jogging, cycling, cycling simulators. Minimum of 45 minutes per workout.
It’s common knowledge that tobacco smoking, alcohol, and drugs (both illicit and some medicines especially if used without a doctor’s supervision) damage men’s health significantly.
All these bad habits negatively affect potency, fertility (the ability to conceive), and the health of the prostate. At the same time, not only benign diseases are caused by bad habits, but, alas, oncologic (cancer).
In the prime of life, all men need to have another healthy habit. If you have reached the age of 45, then an annual visit to a urologist should be your norm. This is if you feel absolutely healthy. If not, then you need to visit a doctor more often. This will allow you catch early signs of BPH or even cancer and start treatment timely which provides much more successful and beneficial treatment results than the treatment at the late stages.
Know your risk factors and eliminate them
In general, all men older than 50 years are at risk of BPH development. However, some men are more likely to develop this disease and its complications:
- BPH history in your family;
- Excessive weight and especially obesity;
- Sedentary lifestyle;
- Erectile dysfunction (impotence);
- Decreased level of androgens;
- Heart disease.
Once again, the major preventive measures are proper nutrition, exercising, and going to a doctor timely.
When can you get diagnosed with BPH?
You don’t need to wait until the pronounced symptoms of the disease to go to a urologist. Even slightly increased frequency of urination or urges to urinate combined with risk factors, e.g. age, excess weight, and others, are a sign that you need to get diagnosed and start your therapy.
The diagnosis is made based on the physical examination, laboratory blood, and urine tests, ultrasound, x-ray, urine flow analysis, and other tests at your doctor’s discretion.
The symptoms of BPH include:
- Frequent urination or urges to urinate;
- Need to urinate during the night;
- Trouble starting urinating;
- Weak or intermittent urine stream;
- Leftover urine after urination in the pants;
- Feeling of incomplete bladder emptying.
These symptoms develop as the disease progresses, thus, you don’t need to wait until all of them occur. Make sure to follow a rule of a yearly checkup and if you started needing to urinate and there are still several months before a regular checkup, go to a urologist right away.
How is BHP treated?
The first stages of the disease are treated with two means – drugs and lifestyle changes.
These are several types of medicines used for the condition and all of them are aimed at preventing urine retention and facilitation of urination through different mechanisms.
As for the lifestyle changes, we are talking about the measures described in the prophylaxis section of this article, i.e. exercising, proper diet, refusing bad habits, and getting regular checkups. Do not underestimate the importance of a healthy lifestyle, it can prevent, treat, and even reverse BHP when paired with early started therapy. And if you keep doing what can promote BHP, you may end up with severe health complications and require surgery.
Medicines used for BHP include: