Men with BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia have a larger than normal prostate. Some nine in ten men will have it by the time they’re in their 80s. Even with those chances, you still might ask: Are there things I can be doing? The short answer is no, there’s no real way of preventing BPH. For most men, your prostate’s just going to grow, and it might lead to benign prostatic hyperplasia, as its formally known. But it still helps to know when you’d want to see your doctor, what makes you more likely to get it, and how you can keep the symptoms at bay.
When Should I See a Doctor?
Growth of this gland, which is just below the bladder, is typical. But problems when you pee aren’t. Even if you don’t think it’s a big deal, it’s worth getting checked out if you have common BPH symptoms, such as:
- Dribbling when you finish peeing
- A hard time starting a stream
- Having to pee a lot (8 or more times a day)
- Waking up several times a night to pee
- A weak urine stream or you pee in stops and starts
Some problems with urine flow can be more serious. See your doctor or go to the emergency room right away if you:
- Can’t pee at all
- Fell intense pain or discomfort in your lower belly
- Have blood in your pee
- Keep needing to pee right away, it hurts to pee, and you have fever and chills
Who’s More Likely to Get BPH?
You may have a greater chance of an enlarged prostate based on your:
- Age: BPH is more common the older you get and doesn’t usually affect men younger than 40.
- Family History: If your dad or your brothers have the conditions, you have a higher chance of getting it too.
- Ethnicity: This affects black and white men more often than Asian men. Black men may get symptoms at a younger age.
Some health conditions can also raise the odds you’ll get BPH, such as:
- Diabetes, heart disease, and problems with blood flow
- Erectile dysfunction
If you use beta blockers – a type of medication used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure and migraines – you may be more likely to get BPH.
Can Lifestyle Changes Help?
Lifestyle changes can’t help with preventing BPH, but they may still be good for your prostate. For starters, exercise and a heart-healthy diet can help manage your weight, which is great for your prostate. Exercise also helps your bladder empty at a normal rate.
To control symptoms, it may help to:
- Avoid or limit how you use decongestants and antihistamines during colds and allergy outbreaks as they tighten the muscles that control urine flow and make it harder to pee.
- Do exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
- Limit how much caffeine and alcohol you take in; they make you pee more and can irritate your bladder.
- Lower the amount of fluids you drink, especially before you go out or go to bed.
- Pee when you first feel the urge because its easier on your bladder.
- Stay warm. Cold can make it feel more urgent to pee.
There’s so such thing as preventing BPH, as you can see, but there are ways you can help yourself. Looking out for symptoms and getting checked as soon as they appear can make sure the right treatment is given to you.
Give us on a call or contact us today, we’d be happy to give you guidance and advice on any concern you may have.