If you’re a male over 30 years of age then you’ve probably heard of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) or the more commonly used term enlarged prostate. The prostate tends to enlarge as males get older and in many cases can become problematic. The prostate, which is a gland of the male reproductive system wraps around the urethra through which urine is removed from the bladder. The problem occurs when the prostate becomes enlarged and squeezes the urethra thereby restricting the flow of urine. While most older men will experience BPH they will not all suffer from symptoms. In fact, BPH is usually not even treated unless the symptoms are severe enough to become a problem. Low urine flow, frequent urination, pain while urinating, and urinary tract infections can all be symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
BPH can be remedied through numerous different types of surgery. But, what if you want to try a more holistic approach first? Well, there are a number of options to explore there as well. You will first need to adjust your diet to contain more organic food with no hormones or pesticides and try to limit or avoid alcohol, caffeine, dairy products, refined sugar and four, fried foods, junk foods, and hydrogenated oils. High cholesterol levels can also lead to BPH so try to avoid foods with excessive cholesterol.
There are certain nutritional supplements that may help reduce the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Amino acids, especially glycine, alanine, and glutamic acid may reduce urinary frequency, urinary urgency and delayed urinary flow. Beta-sitosterol might also help reduce symptoms because it tends to lower elevated cholesterol levels. Flaxseed oil contains an omega-3 fatty acid which can also reduce cholesterol levels. Also, flower pollen has been used in Europe for many to treat BPH.
Two of the more prominent natural remedies for BPH are Saw Palmetto and Pygeum. Saw Palmetto comes from the fruit of a small palm tree that grows mainly in the southeastern United States. The fruit is high in phytosterols and fatty acids. Some studies have shown that Saw Palmetto has a beneficial effect on BPH which led to the development of numerous nutritional supplements containing it. However, other studies have shown no difference between saw palmetto and placebo with regard to its affect on BPH.
Pygeum comes from the bark of the Prunus africana tree which grows mainly in tropical Africa. It has also been used to reduce symptoms of BPH. Small studies have shown that Pygeum may well reduce prostate size and aid in increasing urine flow, frequency, and volume.
So, there are alternative medicine options for BPH. Obviously, if BPH symptoms are severe then drug therapy or surgery may be the only way to go, but a holistic approach early on may eliminate the need for surgery in the future. Always be sure to speak with your doctor about any alternative approach you may be considering as well as any possible symptoms of BPH you are experiencing. BPH is one thing and prostate cancer is another so you will want to be certain that you do not have a malignant condition and only your doctor can make that diagnosis.