Enlarged Prostate: How one can treat it?

Enlarged prostate - Sri Ramakrishna Hospital

Enlarged Prostate: How one can treat it?

Located inside the male reproductive system, the prostate has a walnut-shaped shape. The role of the prostate is to produce a specialized fluid that has an essential role in fertility. Around the neck of the bladder, the prostate surrounds the urethra.


Enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), is a condition that involves enlargement of the prostate gland in men. The disease is generally not cancerous. The condition is also known as benign prostatic obstruction or benign prostatic hypertrophy. The growth of the prostate occurs during puberty and around the age of 25.

Abnormal enlargement of the prostate usually occurs in the second phase of growth, during which the enlarging prostate presses against the gland and pinches the urethra. This makes the bladder wall thicker and eventually weak. The problem of prostate enlargement is common in men above the age of 50.

What Causes the Prostate to Enlarge in the Body?

Research has revealed that with increasing age, the level of testosterone declines in men. This is accompanied by an increase in the levels of another male hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is essential in the growth and development of the prostate. The accumulation of DHT is most likely the cause of enlargement of the prostate.

Risk Factors

Males who are exposed to the following factors are vulnerable to the enlargement of the prostate:

  • Age 40 years and above
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Family history of benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • Lack of physical exercise (lifestyle factors)
  • Obesity
  • Other illnesses like cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes.

Symptoms of BPH

The common signs and symptoms of enlarged prostate or BPH are:

  • Frequent urination
  • A frequent need to urinate at night (nocturia)
  • Difficulty in urinating
  • Blood in urine
  • Inability to empty the bladder entirely

These urinary symptoms are caused due to inflammation in the prostate, narrowing of the urethra, stones in the kidney or bladder, and urinary tract infection. The severity of the symptoms increases with an increase in prostate size and gradually worsens with time.

Complications of BPH

If left untreated, BPH may cause worsening of the reproductive and urinary functions. This may lead to:

  • Bladder stones
  • Blood in urine
  • Damage to the bladder
  • Long-lasting urinary retention
  • Kidney damage
  • Cancer

When to Seek Medical Help?

An individual may experience urinary symptoms that may be unrelated to prostate enlargement. These symptoms may worsen without being aware of the cause. Seek immediate medical care if you experience symptoms such as difficulty in urination and pain in the abdomen. Contact a urologist to schedule an appointment. 

Enlarged Prostate Treatment

The following alternatives are available for the treatment of prostate hyperplasia:


Your doctor may prescribe anti-BPH agents that can restrict the growth of the prostate or shrink the enlarged prostate. Alpha-blockers are medications used to relax the smooth muscles of your bladder and prostate. Beta-sitosterol is a well-known therapeutic substance indicated to improve urological symptoms. Your urologist may also prescribe additional medications for urology treatment to prevent or treat bladder-related urinary symptoms. 

Surgical procedures

Surgeries are conventional procedures used for long-term relief of benign prostatic hyperplasia. This includes laser surgery, open prostatectomy, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), and transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP). As compared to TURP and TUIP, lasers are less likely to cause a risk of bleeding. Based on the severity of your illness, your urologist may suggest the removal of the enlarged prostate. TUIP is used by urologists to widen the urethra and is associated with lesser side effects. These procedures may help prevent complications and reduce the symptoms of the illness.

Minimally invasive procedures

Medical research has led to the development of procedures with the least invasion to relieve the symptoms of enlarged prostate. Your urologist will use procedures to carefully destroy the enlarged prostate or widen the urethra to prevent blockage and urinary retention. The procedure is performed by using a transurethral method that involves the insertion of a thin and flexible tube, known as a catheter or a cystoscopy, to reach the prostate. Transurethral needle ablation, transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT), and prostatic stent insertion are a few.

Herbal remedies

The best herbal remedies for prostate include saw palmetto, cernilton, lycopene, pygeum (African plum tree extract), beta-sitosterol, stinging nettle, pumpkin seeds, and babassu. The extracts of these herbs may be used as a therapy for inflammation in enlarged prostate. Lycopene is a powerful chemical found in apricots, tomatoes, papaya, grapefruits, and red cabbages. It inhibits the growth of the prostate during BPH. Beta-sitosterol extracted from the herbal mixtures helps to relieve urinary symptoms of benign prostate.

Lifestyle interventions

Lifestyle changes can help to alleviate the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Regular exercise is recommended to improve the symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate and improve blood flow. Reduction of alcohol intake and maintaining a healthy weight is recommended for the overall health of the prostate.

Foods for prostate

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, cereals, and healthy fats helps to protect the prostate. Citrus fruits, berries, nuts, onion, garlic, broccoli, tomatoes, etc., are likely to positively impact the size of the prostate and urine flow. Foods containing lycopene, zinc minerals, omega 3s, and phytoestrogen contribute to a healthy prostate. 

What foods should you avoid?

It is recommended to avoid consuming alcohol, caffeine, meat, dairy products, and a sodium-rich diet if you have an enlarged prostate. Dietary changes can be very effective in managing the symptoms of BPH and avoiding complications.

Be sure to consult with your urologist regularly and seek medical attention to protect your prostate and overall health.

Enlarged Prostate - Sriramakrishnahospital

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