Lifestyle Changes to Manage BPH Symptoms Effectively

Lifestyle Changes to Manage BPH Symptoms Effectively

Managing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), otherwise known as an enlarged prostate, is not always an easy task. Patients often cope with inconvenient symptoms such as an increased need to urinate, an inability to fully empty the bladder, and urinary leakage, among others. Though certainly uncomfortable, these issues are not unmanageable. Here are 6 lifestyle changes to help you effectively manage your BPH. 

1. Incorporate Helpful Exercises Into Your Daily Routine

One way to help you manage your BPH symptoms is to practice doing kegel exercises. Kegels stimulate your pelvic floor muscles which contract and relax to help you strengthen and better control your bladder function. 

By practicing these exercises, you can help prevent symptoms like urinary urgency and incontinence. To properly do a Kegel, squeeze the same muscles you use to prevent urination for just a few seconds and then let go.  Practice a set of 10 Kegels three times a day for good measure.

2. Adjust Your Dietary Choices

Instead of regularly eating processed carbs, red meats, saturated fats, and foods with high amounts of dairy, consider a diet that is rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and lean proteins.

Oily fish is a great example of lean protein, providing richness in omega-3 fatty acids that can protect your body from inflammation. Try a serving of salmon, trout, sardines, or mackerel.

Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, and cabbage, all contain a natural chemical called Sulforaphane which research has shown to minimize the prospect of prostate conditions such as BPH and even cancer. 

Eating raw seeds like sesame seeds can help you to increase your body’s level of zinc which plays a major role in enlarging the prostate gland. Patients with an enlarged prostate showed very low levels of zinc compared to those without prostate issues. Pumpkin seeds are also highly suggested for men with BPH. 

Not only do walnuts contain protein and omega-3 fatty acids, but they are also rich in vitamins like selenium, vitamin E, and zinc, which have all been identified as nutritious options for optimal prostate health. 

3. Avoid Diuretics 

Diuretics are medicines that are often taken or prescribed for conditions that cause fluids to accumulate in the body. By prompting urination, they can aid the kidneys to flush out salt and water contents through the urine. Though helpful for some patients, it isn’t for those who want to reduce their urinary frequency.

Alcohol and caffeine-filled beverages like coffees, certain teas, and sodas, are examples of some dietary diuretics that should be avoided for those with an enlarged prostate. 

4. Manage Your Stress

To the surprise of many, stress can make your BPH worse. Through “flight or fight,” it releases high amounts of the hormone, adrenaline, which causes the bladder and prostate muscles to contract and the pelvic floor muscles to tighten. This in turn causes the urethra to shrink, making it harder to release urine and at times, even more painful. 

Manage your stress by practicing meditation and diaphragmatic breathing, exercising at least 3 times a week, doing leisurely activities, and addressing concerns with family and friends.

5. Practice Healthy Urinary Habits 

Holding in your urine for too long can worsen your symptoms. A good practice is to go every 2 hours normally, and 3 hours at the very longest. 

Though it’s vital to drink throughout the day to flush out your system, avoid drinking liquids right before bed, especially alcohol or caffeine. It will stimulate nightly urination, making getting up bothersome and disrupting sleep. 

Refrain from straining your muscles by pushing too hard as this will further tighten them, increasing urinary hesitancy, and making it harder to release urine. Even after you feel you’ve emptied your bladder, wait a few moments, and then try once more, a method called double voiding.

6. Consider a Minimally Invasive Procedure

For those practicing different ways to decrease their BPH symptoms but still feel that they aren’t experiencing the best quality of life, you may want to consider the option of getting a minimally invasive procedure, which can relieve your symptoms without major surgical complications.

Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive treatment that uses a catheter inserted in an artery to restrict blood flow to the prostate, shrinking its size and providing relief for BPH symptoms.
If you have been experiencing uncomfortable symptoms due to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), our team of experienced physicians affiliated with American Prostate Centers offers Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) and can guide you through your health journey. Get in touch with us today and schedule an appointment to discuss your condition with one of our specialists.

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