Causes of benign prostatic hyperplasia
- Diminished androgen secretion.
- Hormonal imbalance – ie ratio of testosterone to dihydroxytestosterone (DHT) is imbalanced with an increase in the proportion of DHT to testosterone.
Poor circulation to the pelvic area (ie long distance lorry driver, bus driver etc) & low levels of zinc in the diet are both thought to play contributory roles in the aetiology of BPH.
Approach to treatment
- Herbal treatment:
- Herbs to increase blood supply to pelvic region & improve circulation generally
- Herbs specifically indicated in direct treatment of BPH ie Serenoa Urtica (radix).
- Herbs with demulcent, healing actions on urinary tract, ie Equisetum arvense, Zea mays.
- Treatment of any underlying urinary tract infections.
- Nervines to help treat insomnia & cope with stress & anxiousness
- Gentle diuretics such as Apium graveolens or Taraxacum off. (folia.)
- Treat any prostatitis present with herbs such as Equisetum arvense, Hydrangea arborescens, Echinacea spp, Serenoa serrulata.
Extracts of flower pollen have been used in Japan to treat the urinary symptoms of BPH. Its beneficial results may due to the MG, Zn, PUFA & sex hormone content of the pollen.
Dietary advice: –
- Raise dietary zinc levels via pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, clams, herring & oyster.
- Raise dietary essential fatty acids via oily fish.
- Raise intake of vitamin E containing foods, ie nuts, seeds & green veg.
- Cut down on tea & coffee. Cut down on beer.
- Cut down on red meat & dairy products (Calcium inhibits absorption of zinc across the gut).
- Increase intake of fluids if current intake is poor, to avoid urinary tract infections (UTIs) developing.
- Lower intake of saturated fats & raise intake of PUFAs (lowering cholesterol levels has also been shown to be beneficial.
Lifestyle advice: –
- Exercise if possible to improve circulation
- Cut down on alcohol
- Try to reduce amount of time sitting stationary.
- Abdominal, pelvic floor or prostate massage may be helpful. Seek professional advice for such procedures.
If you are experiencing prostate problems, difficulty urinating, pain in the lower abdomen, changes in the smell or colour of your urine consult a medical professional.
Do not attempt to diagnose or treat yourself without professional advice.