There are several treatments available for an enlarged prostate, so there is such thing as non-surgical options to reduce BPH.
You can take alpha blockers such as terazosin or tamsulosin to help relax the prostate and bladder muscles. You can also take dutasteride or finasteride, a different kind of medication for reducing BPH symptoms. These block the hormones that cause the prostate to grow.
Combinations of these two different types of medications may also be recommended. Your doctor might also recommend surgery, one common surgical procedure to reduce BPH is known as transurethral resection of the prostate.
There are also natural remedies that may work to combat enlarged prostate symptoms. However, the evidence is debatable on whether these treatments actually work. The American Urological Association currently doesn’t recommend any herbal therapy to manage or reduce BPH.
If you do want to try any of these natural remedies, talk to your doctor first. Some herbal treatments can interact with prescription medications. The US Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate the quality or purity of herbal supplements. This means there can be a lack of consistent ingredients.
Saw palmetto is a herbal remedy that comes from the fruit of a type of palm tree. It’s been used in alternative medicine for centuries to relieve urinary symptoms, including those caused by an enlarged prostate. According to the National Institutes of Health, a few small-scale studies have suggested that saw palmetto might be effective for relieving BPH symptoms.
However, the NIHH reports that when larger studies were conducted, they didn’t find saw palmetto any more effective than a placebo, research continues to look into the anti-inflammatory and hormone-blocking properties that saw palmetto may have and its possible use in combination with other medications. Saw palmetto is safe to use, but minor side effects can be upset stomach and headache.
This herbal medication is a mixture taken from different plants that contain cholesterol-like substances called sitosterols or phytosterols. Several studies have suggested that beta-sitosterol can relieve urinary symptoms of BPH, including the strength of urine flow. Some scientists have also suggested that it’s these fatty substances – like beta-sitosterol, which is also found in saw palmetto – that are actually doing the work.
There haven’t been major side effects reported with the use of beta-sitosterol. However, doctors still don’t know all the long-term effects of this natural therapy.
Pygeum comes from the bark of the African plum tree and has been used in traditional medicine to treat urinary problems in ancient times. It’s often used to treat BPH symptoms, especially in Europe. Because studies on it haven’t been well designed, it’s hard to know for sure whether it’s effective.
According to the Canadian Journal of Urology, some small studies have suggested the supplement can help with bladder emptying and urine flow. However, the studies reviewed were inconsistent. Pygeum does appear safe to use, it can cause an upset stomach and headache in some people who take it. There are no studies on long term safety.
So you can reduce BPH – it’s just a matter of finding the best treatment or treatments for you.
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