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Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Pain Relief

The Role of Nutrition in Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Pain Relief

Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is a condition that occurs in men over the age of 50. The tissue of the prostate gland that surrounds the urethra can begin to enlarge as men age and may begin to cause urinary problems, such as weak urine stream, difficulty urinating, frequent urination, and erectile dysfunction. Researchers are learning that nutrition can play a significant role in the development and treatment of this troubling condition.

Treating BPH

Annoying BPH symptoms can be treated by a number of methods. Several BPH medications can help to reduce symptoms. Alpha-blockers, such as Flomax and Hytrin, smooth the muscles in the neck of the bladder and the prostate, relieving urinary difficulty. Other drugs called 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, such as Avodart and Proscar, block the conversion of testosterone, the male hormone, into dihydrotestosterone, which helps to improve urine flow and even reduce the size of the prostate. Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, like Viagra and Cialis, can also help to relieve BPH symptoms. Nutritional treatments are also showing promise in the treatment of BPH.

Low Fat Diets

Researchers are finding that reductions in the amount of fat consumed can have a beneficial effect on the risk of developing BPH. Reduced amounts of fatty foods, red meat and consuming healthier fats like olive oil can prevent excessive tissue growth in the prostate and help to reduce painful symptoms.

Less Meat

Studies on BPH also find a link between men who consume excessive amounts of meat and the development of the condition. Consumption of red meat is associated with a number of health conditions, and men should be advised to substitute several portions of meat each week with beans, lentils, eggs or other protein sources.

Vitamin C

High levels of vitamin C consumption are associated with lower BPH risk and reduced symptoms of BPH. Consuming foods that are high in vitamin C, such as broccoli, tomatoes, bell peppers, cauliflower and kale can help to reduce the risk of BPH and the painful dysuria that is associated with it.

The Role of Zinc

Foods that contain high amounts of zinc are also associated with reduced risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Foods high in zinc include baked beans, oysters, crab, duck, lamb and lean beef.

Foods to Avoid

Some foods seem to contribute to prostate enlargement and can make symptoms worse. Studies are still ongoing, but many physicians recommend that their patients avoid such foods as dairy products that are high in fats. Excessive consumption of alcohol can also make prostate symptoms worse because it causes the production of a hormone called prolactin that is associated with prostate tissue growth. Caffeine-containing foods can cause an increase in urination and so can make prostate discomfort worse. Consuming spicy foods can also cause increased urinary discomfort in some men.