An enlarged prostate is a condition most men fear. They know it’s coming, and the concern becomes not necessarily if, but how they can minimize symptoms.
The symptoms of an enlarged prostate (medically known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH) can be very mild at first. You may have to go the bathroom slightly more often or even find yourself having to get up at night to relieve yourself.
But for some, they can get increasingly bothersome and have a massive impact on quality of life, sleep quality, and overall health. The symptoms of BPH are unlikely to be life-threatening. However, they can be extraordinarily inconvenient and contribute indirectly to various health troubles.
When symptoms become bothersome, it’s best to talk to your doctor about options. They will likely come up with a monitoring phase to keep an eye on symptoms, which they will generally advise to make a few lifestyle changes. Expect to be told to:
- Avoid fluids in the evening (particularly alcohol)
- Limit fluid intake before going out in public or beginning a trip.
- Urinating when you get the urge
- Taking scheduled bathroom breaks and going even if you don’t feel you have to.
- Taking time to empty your bladder when you have to go
There are some foods and nutrients that may help improve prostate health. Although studies are relatively limited and data is often preliminary, some may help.
One small preliminary study found that foods with lycopene and antioxidants in many fruits of vegetables may boost prostate health. Lycopene is typically found in deep red or pink foods. Examples include:
- Pink grapefruit
- Red bell peppers
Omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fatty fish, may also help to keep your prostate healthy.