A condition characterized by the enlargement of the prostate is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. This condition often affects older men, as symptoms often commonly appear in men over 50 years old.
The Anatomy and Physiology of the Prostate Gland
The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive organ. Its size is about the size of a walnut and this is found at the base part of the bladder. A thin tube, known as the urethra, passes through this gland. The urethra allows the passage of urine and sperm out of the penis. The prostate gland is primarily responsible for secreting a fluid that supports, feeds and protects the sperm cells.
This gland basically undergoes two major growth spurts. The first growth spurt happens during puberty as the production of sex hormones increases. During this time, the gland will be able to reach its average weight of about 20 grams. The second growth spurt, on the other hand, happens during adulthood as men reach the age of 30 years old. The prostate will continue to increase in size and reaches the average weight of about 40 grams.
While an enlarge prostate gland does not necessarily cause symptoms, bothersome urinary symptoms can occur due to the enlargement of the prostate. Enlarged prostate often places pressure on the urethra and the bladder, affecting the passage of urine out of the body. This can cause symptoms like urinary urgency, urinary frequency, urinary hesitancy. incomplete bladder emptying, straining and dribbling.
For some cases, the symptoms are mild and will not require any treatment. However, there are severe cases wherein the symptoms tend to have a major impact on a person’s life.
The cause of benign prostatic hyperplasia is not entirely known. However, this condition is common among older men and this is often linked to hormonal changes brought about by the natural aging process. As a person gets older, the prostate gland will continue to grow. While this process is natural, the symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate can be bothersome. For this reason, there are many men who seek ways on how to reduce their prostate gland naturally. Below are five natural ways on how you can shrink the size of your prostate.
#1 Ensure Healthy Eating Patterns
The food that you eat can truly affect the health of your prostate including its size. Eating specific healthy foods may help with reducing the size of the prostate, but experts recommend adhering to a healthy eating pattern instead, as this can promote the overall health of the prostate as well as other parts of the body.
Diet experts recommend eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. It is also recommended to go for whole grains and limit the consumption of red meat. Healthy fats should be included in your diet. Also, it is best to limit sugar and salt intake. Moreover, you should also check portion sizes, eat slowly and stop eating when you are full.
Bottom Line: The food you eat and the type of beverages you drink always play an important role in ensuring your health. Likewise, this can also help reduce the size of an enlarged prostate.
#2 Exercise More and Be Active
Even if there are only a few studies conducted to determine the impact of exercise on prostate health, there are those that suggest that physical activity can actually be good for this gland.
One study revealed that men who are more physically active are less likely to experience benign prostatic hyperplasia. That being said, exercise can be considered a form of enlarged prostate gland prevention. However, if you do not have the luxury to set aside time for a regular workout, you can still prevent this condition through more physical movement in general. For instance, physically demanding jobs can help prevent this condition.
Bottom Line: Exercise and regular physical activity do not only promote your overall health, it also protects you from prostate enlargement. You do not even have to go to the gym for this. You simply need to move more and be active.
#3 Zinc Supplement
Vitamins and minerals are essential for ensuring prostate health. Zinc is an essential mineral that can help ensure prostate health. According to one study, men who have benign prostatic hyperplasia have lower zinc levels in the body compared to those who have a healthy prostate.
Bottom Line: If you want to shrink the size of your prostate naturally, you can drink zinc supplements or get the minerals directly from food like sesame seeds.
#4 Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto is a herb that is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia. In the past, the berries from this plant have been used as a staple food and medicine for urinary tract infections by the Native Americans.
There are studies that show that this herb is effective in treating symptoms like frequent urination, difficulty in urinating and the urge to urinate during the night.
Bottom Line: If you want to treat prostate enlargement naturally, opting for herbal treatments like saw palmetto can help. However, you need to speak with your health care provider to determine the right dosage for you.
#5 Other Herbal Remedies
There are other types of herbal remedies that are good for prostate health. Moreover, these natural remedies can offer relief for the symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia.
For instance, beta-sitosterol contains sitosterols that are derived from various plants and can help relieve urinary symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Pygeum, on the other hand, is extracted from the bark of an African plum tree. This herbal remedy has been used in the past for the treatment of urinary problems. Today, this herbal remedy is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Rye grass pollen extract is another herbal remedy used to treat prostate enlargement. This herbal remedy is composed of three kinds of grass pollen; namely corn, timothy, and rye. Studies suggest an improvement of the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Lastly, stinging nettle is another known herbal remedy for benign prostatic hyperplasia. This herbal remedy is known to reduce the symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Bottom Line: Herbal remedies are common and they have various uses. It is best to consult your health care provider before using any herbal remedies for benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Take Home Message
While benign prostatic hyperplasia is not a deadly condition, the symptoms may be bothersome for some. There are various ways that can help prevent the enlargement of the prostate like diet and exercise. On the other hand, there are also natural remedies that can reduce the size of an already enlarged prostate. However, you may need to speak with your health care provider before trying any herbal medications so the right dosage is determined.