If you are a man over fifty experiencing urinary symptoms, you might be wondering about BPH.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (or BPH) is a common condition that affects approximately 50% of men aged over 50, and about 90% of men aged over 80.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a noncancerous increase in size of the prostate gland. It is not caused by inflammation (prostatitis) or cancerous growth (prostate cancer).
The average prostate gland is about the size of a walnut, however, as men get older, the prostate tends to enlarge. An enlarged prostate simply means that the gland has grown bigger. For some men, the prostate becomes big enough to press on the urethra, causing urinary problems or even blockage.
Prostate enlargement is a natural part of the aging process in men. The medical term for an enlarged prostate is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and it is a condition developed by most men as they age.
When the enlarged prostate presses against the urethra, it makes it more difficult for the urine to be expelled. This causes:
Over time, the bladder muscles become weakened from having to work harder. This results in further symptoms, such as:
Fortunately, most men experience only mild symptoms that are easily manageable with just a few lifestyle changes.
If you are experiencing mild BPH symptoms, you may reduce your symptoms by making a few changes to your daily routines.
Many studies have proven that staying active can lead to better health.
However, recent studies have proven that men who watch television several hours per week are twice as likely to develop BPH related symptoms, regardless of how much they exercise.
Therefore, if you want to minimize your BPH symptoms, keep your TV watching to less than 5 hours per week.
The winter months make it more difficult to exercise, especially outdoors. Bad weather, less daylight and the winter blues make some men opt to stay-in rather than continue their exercise routines.
However, taking on activities such as speed walking, cross-country skiing or ice-skating will bring enormous benefits to your physical and mental health as well as decrease your BPH symptoms.
A lot of men think that if they drink less water, they will urinate less frequently. However, this cannot be further from the truth. Drinking less water will actually make the urine more concentrated, which will, in turn, irritate the bladder and cause you the sensation of having to urinate more frequently.
Instead, drink six to eight cups of water every day, but drink in small, constant amounts. Simply reduce your water intake in the evening, a few hours before bedtime, to avoid developing nocturia.
Studies have found that men who were more stressed had more severe BPH symptoms.
Increased levels of stress and anxiety can aggravate BPH symptoms because when your stress levels are high, certain hormone levels shift as well. This can irritate the bladder and, therefore, increase your need to urinate.
Adopting techniques to reduce your stress levels will therefore help you decrease your BPH symptoms.
‘Tis the season to have the sniffles! Certain medications used to treat cold symptoms such as congestion, can worsen your BPH symptoms. This is because these types of medications will tighten the bladder and prostate muscles, making it more difficult to urinate.
So, if you are looking to clear your stuffy nose, but suffer from BPH, speak to your pharmacist before selecting an over-the-counter cold medicine.
If your BPH symptoms worsen or begin to affect your daily life, it is important to meet with a medical expert who will be able to help you determine the best medical treatment for you. Effective minimally invasive treatments are available to help significantly reduce urinary symptoms caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by your BPH symptoms, don’t wait. Get started with the one-minute BPH quiz.