Ways to Maintain Your Prostate Health

Reduce Your Risk of Devel­op­ing Benign Pro­sta­t­ic Hyper­pla­sia (BPH)

Your prostate is a wal­nut-sized, mus­cu­lar gland locat­ed below your blad­der, and is respon­si­ble for secret­ing prostate flu­id which helps the flow of sem­i­nal flu­id. As part of the male repro­duc­tive sys­tem, your prostate gland grows sig­nif­i­cant­ly dur­ing your teenage years, near­ly dou­bling in size, and will con­tin­ue to grow for the remain­der of your life. In some cas­es, the prostate may become larg­er than aver­age, a con­di­tion called benign pro­sta­t­ic hyper­pla­sia (BPH). An enlarged prostate gland can put pres­sure on your uri­nary tract and impair the flow of urine from your blad­der. Oth­er com­mon signs of an enlarged prostate include:

  • Increased fre­quen­cy and urge to urinate
  • Changes in your urine flow, includ­ing dif­fi­cul­ty start­ing, a weak stream, a stream that stops and starts, or dribbling
  • Dif­fi­cul­ty emp­ty­ing your blad­der completely

You may also devel­op uri­nary tract infec­tions or notice blood in your urine. The sever­i­ty of symp­toms vary from per­son to per­son and don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly depend on the size of your prostate. Some men expe­ri­ence sig­nif­i­cant symp­toms with only a slight­ly enlarged prostate, while oth­ers with a more enlarged prostate may have mild symptoms.

BPH becomes more com­mon as you age; affect­ing near­ly 50 per­cent of men by the time they reach their 60’s. Oth­er risk fac­tors include fam­i­ly his­to­ry, obe­si­ty and chron­ic health con­di­tions like dia­betes and heart disease.

While BPH and oth­er prostate con­di­tions often don’t affect men until lat­er in life, there are steps you can take now to main­tain your prostate health.

  • Eat a well-bal­anced diet, low in fat with four or more serv­ings of fruits and veg­eta­bles each day
  • Exer­cise reg­u­lar­ly to main­tain a healthy weight and avoid gain­ing bel­ly fat”
  • Drink plen­ty of flu­ids to keep your prostate and uri­nary sys­tem func­tion­ing properly
  • Reduce your stress to keep your immune sys­tem strong
  • Don’t smok­ing
  • Lim­it alco­hol and caf­feine consumption
  • Get enough rest

Cer­tain vit­a­mins and min­er­als have also been linked to bet­ter prostate health includ­ing, vit­a­min C, lycopene and zinc. Boost your intake with the fol­low­ing foods:

Vit­a­min C:Lycopene:Zinc:
  • Bell pep­pers
  • Broc­coli
  • Brus­sel sprouts
  • Cau­li­flower
  • Kale
  • Apri­cots
  • Papaya
  • Toma­toes
  • Water­mel­on
  • Almonds or cashews
  • Mush­rooms
  • Pump­kin seeds
  • Spinach

Lead­ing a healthy lifestyle can decrease your chances of devel­op­ing BPH and low­er your risk for oth­er male-spe­cif­ic health con­di­tions like erec­tile dys­func­tion (ED) or prostate cancer.

If you devel­op BPH, there are many treat­ment options avail­able to man­age your symp­toms. Med­ica­tions are often pre­scribed to help relax your prostate and blad­der mus­cles, improv­ing your urine flow, and oth­ers tar­get the hor­mones caus­ing the prostate to grow. Min­i­mal­ly inva­sive sur­gi­cal options are also avail­able. If you are expe­ri­enc­ing uri­nary prob­lems that may be due to an enlarged prostate, a urol­o­gist can help you to select a treat­ment plan that is right for you.

To make an appoint­ment with one of our urol­o­gists, call 630−790−1221 or sched­ule online.

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