Unfortunately, balding heads, sagging skin, and flagging libidos aren’t the only things going south when men get older. Many men also experience prostate gland enlargement, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). While it isn’t life-threatening on its own, it can cause urinary tract-related symptoms, even kidney issues.
But it isn’t as doom and gloom as it sounds. If you have been diagnosed with BPH, you and your doctor can discuss effective treatments from medications to lifestyle changes. Your doctor will consider the size of your prostrate, your overall health, and your age, as well as the severity of your symptoms.
Range of Medications Available
If you have mild to moderate BPH symptoms, your doctor can include one or more of the following medications in your wholistic treatment plan.
- Alpha blockers
If you have a comparatively small enlarged prostate, you may respond well to alpha blockers tamsulosin. These drugs work by relaxing the prostate’s muscle fibers and the bladder neck’s muscles so urination becomes easier. But there are side effects, too, including retrograde ejaculation and dizziness.
- 5-alpha reductase inhibitors
These work by shrinking the enlarged prostate mainly by preventing the related hormonal changes. But since these can take up to six months to become effective, you have to closely follow your medication plan, unless their side effects become more evident.
- Combination therapy
You may also take an alpha blocker and a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor in case either one of these isn’t effective. But the results aren’t guaranteed and the side effects can make many men stop taking the medications. Again, be sure to work with your doctor to find the best combo for your case.
You may also consider Cialis (tadalafil), a prescription drug usually used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. But this isn’t recommended for men who don’t have the latter condition.
Good Lifestyle Habits Help, Too
In many cases, BPH can resolve by itself but it’s still important to adopt certain lifestyle habits to speed up the healing process.
- Limit the amount of, if not avoid, alcohol, coffee and soda drinks consumed since these can worsen your symptoms.
- Limit the amount of water consumed at night to reduce the frequency of your trips to the toilet.
- Limit the use of antihistamines, decongestants, and other drugs that can make it harder to urinate.
- Adopt a healthy diet since being overweight has a close link with BPH.
- Exercise and stay active to reduce urine retention.
- Stay in relatively warm rooms to decrease the need to urinate frequently.
Your BPH symptoms may not immediately go away but you should enjoy significant relief with the combination of medicines and lifestyle habits.