Approximately half of all males between the ages of 51 and 60 suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia. During puberty, a male’s prostate doubles in size. When he hits 25, it begins growing again and continues through the male’s life. Most cases of benign prostatic hyperplasia arise during the second period of growth.
When the prostate increases in size, it presses up against the urethra and causes the bladder wall to thicken. Over time, the bladder becomes weaker and may not empty completely. This inability to empty the bladder completely leads to many of the problems associated with BPH. However, BPH and cancer are not linked although they may occur at the same time. How can a male manage BPH?
Limit Fluid Consumption
Men often learn they have BPH when they visit a doctor because they have to urinate multiple times during the night. They may find the urine stream is weak when they go to the bathroom or they never feel as if the bladder empties completely.
Coffee and alcohol often lead to the need to urinate more often, so men suffering from BPH should limit their consumption of these beverages or avoid them completely. Males should limit all fluid intake to two quarts a day if they have BPH and drink the fluids earlier in the day to prevent multiple nighttime trips to the bathroom.
Doctors often recommend Kegel exercises for men suffering from BPH. The exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles responsible for supporting the bladder and controlling the urine flow. Fortunately, they are easy to do and can be completed at any time.
Stop the flow of urine mid-stream to locate the pelvic floor muscles. Once they have been located, tighten and hold the muscles for a count of five before relaxing them. This serves as one Kegel Exercise. Repeat 10 to 20 times three or four times per day. This does not have to be done while urinating. Men can exercise in the shower, while waiting in line, or anywhere they happen to be where they have a free minute or two.
Avoid Certain Medications
Certain medications, including both over-the-counter and prescription drugs, make the symptoms of BPH worse. For example, men who take decongestants or antihistamines might find their symptoms become worse or more frequent. The same holds for diuretics used to treat high blood pressure in many men. Males need to speak to their urology doctor if they are taking one or more medications and see a change in their BPH symptoms or notice a change in the frequency or strength of their urine flow.
Countless men report their BPH symptoms increase when they are stressed. Stress and anxiety can lead to a man feeling like he needs to urinate more frequently. A good way to reduce this stress and anxiety is to exercise on a daily basis. Men who do so find that their BPH symptoms decrease and their lives improve in other ways. Meditation and yoga may also be of help in keeping stress and anxiety at bay to reduce the need for BPH treatment.
Visit the Restroom Frequently
Men often wait until they feel the urge to go to the bathroom before doing so. A man suffering from BPH shouldn’t wait to visit the restroom to urinate. Doctors recommend establishing a schedule for going to urinate, as the bladder doesn’t empty completely. By visiting the restroom more often, the bladder won’t fill completely.
Try to visit a restroom every three hours, and urinate before leaving the home. Doctors also recommend males try double voiding. Urinate, wait a few seconds, and try again. This may be enough to empty the bladder and reduce the need to use the restroom as often.
Males should not despair if the above lifestyle changes don’t stop or reduce BPH symptoms. Treatments are available today to help men bring their symptoms under control. The first step involves speaking to a doctor to determine where the problem lies and rule out any other medical conditions that could be contributing to the problem or causing the symptoms being experienced. With the doctor’s help, a patient can determine the best course of action to address their symptoms and get back to a normal routine that doesn’t involve countless trips to the restroom.
About Atlantic Urology Clinics
Our team at Atlantic Urology Clinics remains dedicated to providing patients with the latest in urologic care. Staff members have received their education and trained at leading medical schools and teaching hospitals in the U.S., which allows them to combine proficiency with exceptional skill when treating patients. We use advanced surgical techniques and have a range of services on-site to ensure complete patient care in a timely and efficient manner.