An enlarged prostate is a swollen gland that can make it difficult for a man to urinate. Unfortunately, not urinating creates even more of a problem, with the potential for any man to experience other medical issues as a direct result of this condition, such as a bladder infection and painful bladder stones. Most people believe that an enlarged prostate means cancer but that isn’t the case. While it’s uncomfortable, irritating, and can lead to other health issues, it typically doesn’t mean that a man has a greater chance of developing prostate cancer because of it.
The Causes of an Enlarged Prostate
Before understanding how to deal with this problem, it’s good to know the causes of an enlarged prostate in the first place. While the exact causes remain unknown, most medical professionals believe that this happens as a result of hormonal fluctuations in aging men. Because older men begin to experience hormonal changes, it has the potential to cause different side effects, including an enlarged prostate. While such a side effect of hormonal changes may seem extreme, it’s not uncommon for aging men to experience an enlarged prostate. If you’re one of those men, know that lifestyle changes and professional help from a urologist can make a difference for you.
What Lifestyle Changes Work Best to Help?
Once you’ve noticed that you have an enlarged prostate, it’s in your best interest to make an appointment with a urologist to discuss your option. However, you can also begin making lifestyle changes that could potentially reduce the swelling of the gland, causing the prostate to shrink in size at a steady pace.
The first thing you can do is lower your consumption of alcohol and caffeine. If you’re regularly consuming caffeinated beverages, it could further exacerbate the issue with your enlarged prostate, making the situation worse instead of better. There are ways around this to help reduce your caffeine intake. For example, you can drink decaf coffee and tea in the morning instead of your usual caffeinated option. In addition, you can drink caffeine-free carbonated beverages if you’d normally drink things like Pepsi and Coke throughout the week.
While ditching the caffeine and alcohol are the first step to take, there are a few other lifestyle changes you can make, such as:
- Going to the Bathroom More Often – It might sound like something you don’t feel you need to do, but it can help. Try to schedule times to go to the bathroom to urinate, even if you don’t have the urge to do it. Urinating more often can help relieve some of that pressure on the swollen gland, easing any discomfort you might experience from time to time.
- Living an Active Lifestyle – Try to become more active in your daily life. If you’re sitting for extended periods, it won’t make the situation better, but it could end up making the swelling even worse. Try to remain as active as possible by doing different things, such as stretching throughout the day, going for walks, or even riding a bike. If your body can’t handle strenuous activities, such as jogging or lifting weights, you still have the option of gardening or going for a brisk walk. Get up and out more to get your body going.
- Eating Healthier Foods – Focus on eating healthier foods while remaining active and urinating more often. While this doesn’t mean you need to give up all the foods you love, it does mean that you should start adding more fruits and veggies into your daily meals to keep yourself healthy and in the best shape possible.
Dealing with an enlarged prostate may be the last thing you want to do. However, if it’s an experience you’re having, be sure to make an appointment with a urologist and begin the process of making some lifestyle changes. While this doesn’t mean you have cancer, an enlarged prostate can still cause some discomfort when not properly treated and maintained. Give Urology Associates of South Bend a call today!