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How To Find The Right BPH Treatments - Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Therapy
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How to Find the Right BPH Treatments  -  Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Therapy

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition most men have to deal with as they get older. I know as soon as I hit 50, I was beginning to exhibit common symptoms of an enlarged prostate, such as frequent urination at night, bladder discomfort, and sudden urges to use the washroom during the day.

It was impacting my sleep, making me irritable, and negatively impacting my quality of life.

Having never experienced this condition before, I was a little uncertain what the best BPH treatment options would be. But after a bit of research (and talking to my doctor), I was able to learn about various treatments and their side effects, so that I could make an informed decision regarding which option to go with.

I decided to put together this article on benign prostatic hyperplasia treatments to help other men make an informed decision on treating their condition. I'll go through each one in detail, and then offer up my opinion on the best BPH treatment option in the early stages. You may want to note the additional resources and info I provide throughout this article, as these proved helpful in successfully treating my own condition.

What is BPH?

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is a prostate condition many men experience as they age. In fact, it is almost inevitable that a man will experience this irritating condition at some point in their life

Basically, this condition occurs when the size of the prostate increases and puts pressure on the urethra. This pressure obstructs the passage of urine from the bladder and causes significant discomfort that will last until an effective treatment option is found.

Symptoms include discomfort while urinating, feeling like the bladder is still full after urination, frequent and urgent trips to the washroom throughout the day, involuntary release of urine, and frequent trips to the washroom at night. These are the direct symptoms associated with BPH, although there are a number of indirect consequences I probably don't need to mention (because most of you probably already know what I'm referring to).

You find it difficult to function during the day due to less sleep, you are often in an irritable mood, and sometimes you may exhibit reduced libido.

Although this condition is not usually dangerous, it is very irritating and something which has a significant impact on your day. The good thing is, there are a number of BPH treatments out there, each with different side effects.

Prescription Treatments

Often the first approach to treating benign prostatic hyperplasia is with prescription drugs. The price for these range a bit, but tend to be a little more than you'd like to spend.

Alpha blockers are by far the most common therapy choice in the US. The five different types used are doxazosin, alfuzosin, tamsulosin, terazosin, and silodosin. They all basically work to decrease the blockage of urine flow by relaxing the muscles in the prostate. Some of the side effects for Alpha blockers include nasal congestion, weakness and fatigue, and orthostatic hypotension.

5α-reductase inhibitors finasteride and dutasteride are another set of therapy choices. The drugs basically reduce the production of DHT, which is a hormone responsible for increasing prostate size. Although alpha blockers tend to work faster, these more permanent hormonal changes have more long-term effect. However, some of the side effects include a reduction in libido and erectile dysfunction (i.e. the "no fun" side effects).

While prescription drugs are often the most common first treatment option, there side effects can be slightly disconcerting as well. For me, the idea of putting more drugs into my body was not that attractive either, especially as I was getting older.

Surgery and More Invasive Options

There are of course surgical and more invasive treatment options available for more extreme cases. These are often used when prescription or natural treatments don't work as well.

Probably the least invasive of these therapies is transurethral needle ablation (TUNA). These treatment is basically performed in-office, and uses heat energy to cause necrosis of prostatic tissue (remove tissue in the prostate) to shrink its size. The doctor would insert a tiny device into the urethra and transmit a heat-inducing radio frequency towards the prostate. Usually this is completed in one session, but sometimes multiple treatments are required.

Surgery such as transurethral resection of prostate (TURP) is one of the more extreme options, and is often the most effective in the end. It requires the surgical removal of part of the prostate through the urethra, with the ultimate goal of reducing prostate size and alleviating pressure. Some other more recent alternative are laser TURP, ethanol injection, and a host of others.

After surgery, the patient must often use a Foley catheter (a small tube that passes from the urethra to the bladder) temporarily to allow urine to drain from the bladder.

As you can tell, most of these surgical options aren't particularly attractive and I would absolutely hate to have something jammed up my urethra (yikes!). But let this be a warning: in order to avoid these more extreme options, you need to find the best BPH treatment early on!

Herbal and Natural BPH Treatments Options

I have left this section until last because it is the approach I would personally recommend you take first before embarking on more invasive therapies. There are actually a number of plants and herbs that can reduce the size of the prostate naturally without as many nasty side effects.

Saw Palmetto is a fanned plant native to the southeast United States. It has been used for many years for a number of ailments but is often used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia. Although researchers are still unsure of the exact mechanism that makes Saw Palmetto effective in treating BPH, it basically blocks the production of the hormone responsible for enlarging the prostate in the first place. It supposedly has a success rate of about 30%, which is not particularly high, but high enough to give a shot since its cheap, natural, and presents few side effects.

Beta Sitosterol has emerged recently as one of the more popular natural treatments for prostate conditions. Some popular products feature beta sitosterol in a large way and have received much praise from consumers. In fact, I recently gave a personal assessment on it as I decided to go with beta sitosterol to treat my BPH condition.

Not only did it drastically alleviate my symptoms, it seemed to increase my energy and libido (though I'm not sure if this was because of the ingredients or the treatment of my condition!). Although I wouldn't go all out and say that this is the best BPH treatment option, I would recommend interested parties to do their own research and gain insight from personal reviews of this therapy.

My Conclusion: Which BPH Treatment Is Best For You?

In the end, I would recommend treating your symptoms early rather than later. Ignoring benign prostatic hyperplasia will only leave you feeling miserable and lead to more invasive therapy techniques later on.

To avoid such unpleasantness, I highly recommend taking a natural approach first. Herbal therapies such as Saw Palmetto and beta sitosterol have few side effects and good success rates (particularly the latter approach) and can improve your well-being in other areas to. Since they are all natural, they don't require a prescription and can be purchased relatively cheap over-the-counter.

If you select beta sitosterol, there are some products that combine it with other men's health supplements to give you an improved chance of alleviating your symptoms. When other men ask me, my response is to recommend a natural approach first and then move on to other treatment options upon consultation with a doctor.

Street Talk

Hey Tom, great article, very informative. I'll try the Beta Sitosterol for the BPH, I'm currently on Alpha Blockers with side effects. Thank you for the great article. Pierre

  about 9 years ago
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