By age 60, at least 50 percent of men will experience an enlarged prostate, or what is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). As a man ages, the chance of having an enlarged prostate increases. For example, by age 85, the likelihood jumps to 90 percent. The good news is, there are natural remedies for enlarged prostate glands and healthy prostate exercises that can help.
When prostate enlargement or BPH goes untreated, it can cause problems with urine flow or lead to either a urinary tract infection or kidney malfunction. Some people with an enlarged prostate have been prescribed medications, while others have experienced invasive surgery. Your symptoms, the size of your prostate, and any other health issues you might have should be taken into consideration by a doctor before a treatment option is decided upon. In some cases, enlarged prostate treatment with natural remedies is all you need.
Home Remedies for Enlarged Prostate
There are exercises for prostate problems, including an enlarged prostate. With age, the cells of the prostate gland start to multiply, leading to enlargement. While we don’t really know what causes this, we do know that some forms of physical activity can ease the symptoms associated with BPH, which include urinary retention, UTIs, bladder stones, and kidney problems.
Some dieticians suggest drinking watermelon tea or preparing a drink using silk from corn. These are said to help improve prostate health.
Aside from treating BPH with diet, there are other natural remedies to keep in mind. Below we list a few examples of remedies that men with prostate enlargement have found helpful.
- Sitz bath: This hot bath can help relax the pelvic muscles, reduce swelling, and promote healing.
- Stinging nettle: The root has bioactive phytochemicals that have been known to shrink prostate tissue. It is also a natural diuretic, helping to eliminate inflammatory waste through urination.
- Corn silk: This acts as a natural diuretic and relaxes urinary muscles.
- Apple cider vinegar: The vinegar can help shrink swollen glands.
Foods to Eat and Avoid for Enlarged Prostate
You may be wondering why prostate natural treatment foods are necessary. The easiest way to explain it is that the prostate is under hormonal control. Prostate cells turn testosterone into a strong hormone called DHT, and that is what drives prostate enlargement. Foods can have an influence over hormones, including testosterone.
Medical scientists have learned that a diet of red meat and processed foods encourages more hormone-related conditions, while a diet rich in fruits and vegetables fends off these problems. Let’s take a closer look at what men should and shouldn’t include in their diet if they are concerned about their prostate health.
Here are some foods to avoid with enlarged prostate:
- Red meat
- Eggs and poultry
- Processed foods and sugar
- Spicy foods
Here are some foods that promote good prostate health:
- Bell peppers
- Baked beans
- Red berries
- Citrus fruit
- Low-fat dairy
- Skinless poultry
- Wheat germ
When it comes to an enlarged prostate diet for men, many dieticians and physicians suggest focusing on your overall “pattern of eating.”
Here is what they mean:
- Eat five servings of bright colored fruits and vegetables per day
- Choose whole-grain bread, cereals, and pasta as opposed to white
- Limit consumption of red meat and processed foods
- Limit saturated fats and trans fats, and choose healthy fats like nuts, avocados, and olive oil
- Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks
- Lower salt intake
- Watch your portion size
Exercise to Manage Enlarged Prostate
Although there is currently more evidence on the association between exercise and health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer, there has been some research on the impact of physical activity on the prostate. Based on questionnaires filled out by over 30,000 men in a health follow-up study, researchers discovered a link between exercise and BPH. Basically, men who were more active were less likely to get an enlarged prostate. They found that even low to moderate exercises, such as walking on a regular basis, could benefit the prostate.
Exercises for prostate gland include Kegels. This is a pelvic-strengthening movement that can ease the discomfort of the enlarged prostate as it tightens pelvic muscles and helps control urination. The concept may surprise you, since Kegels are normally prescribed for women, especially after childbirth. The easiest way for men to do Kegels is to empty their bladder, lie on the floor with their knees apart, and tighten the pelvic floor muscles for five seconds, then relax for five seconds. They should repeat these 10 to 20 times, three to four times a day.
Kegel exercises can be difficult to master, but once you get the hang of it, they are easy to incorporate into your daily routine.
Aerobic and resistance exercises have also proven to be successful for BPH sufferers. Swimming, push-ups, and lifting weights are a few examples of resistance exercises. They should be done for 30 minutes a few times a week. Examples of aerobic exercises include walking, jogging, running, playing tennis, and playing basketball.
Exercise of any kind can help balance the body’s hormones, and since hormones affect the prostate, enjoying any favorite physical activity is a plus. Experts also suggest that maintaining a healthy weight will help those who are experiencing bladder issues as a result of an enlarged prostate.
Yoga Poses to Lower Enlarged Prostate
Yoga may be an effective technique to lower an enlarged prostate. A 2013 study found that men who performed pelvic exercises daily for 12 weeks following prostate surgery experienced improved urinary function and overall quality of life. There are certain yoga poses that utilize the pelvic muscles so that you can experience relief from your enlarged prostate symptoms.
- Hero (Virasana) pose: Sit between your feet, on your knees, and rest your hands on your thighs. Keep your weight on your hips and not your knees. Perform Kegel exercises in this position. To exit this pose, roll to one side and release legs.
- Cobbler pose (Baddha Konasana): Sit with legs out in front on your matt. Bend your knees as you bring the soles of your feet together. Bring your heels in closer to your body to deepen the stretch if possible. After some time, walk out your hands, round your spine, and tuck your chin in to fold forward. With each deep breath, release the tension. To exit this pose, walk your hands back in and extend your legs back out front.
- Head-to-knee pose (Janusirsasana): Begin with both legs stretched out in front of you as you sit on your mat. Bring one leg inward by bending at the knee and press it to the opposite inner thigh. Turn your body to be in line with the leg you have stretched out. Slowly walk your hands outward so it brings you into a fold. It’s okay to keep the knee of your stretched leg slightly bent if you can’t keep it straight. Perform this move on both sides.
If you think you might be having issues with your prostate, talk to your doctor about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking. Sometimes medications may be the problem, and not taking them anymore or adjusting the dosages will ease the discomfort.
You should also avoid drinking fluids in the evening, especially beverages that are caffeinated or contain alcohol. Both caffeine and alcohol stimulate the kidneys to produce urine, leading to nighttime washroom visits.
Literally millions of men have prostate problems that doctors are accustomed to hearing about, so if you are experiencing symptoms, don’t suffer in silence. Seek help from a qualified professional.