An enlarged prostate is common for men as they get older and may develop at about age 50, leaving many looking for ways to shrink the prostate. Dietary changes and exercise may help relieve symptoms.
The effectiveness of herbs and supplements in treating an enlarged prostate is inconclusive. Some studies show saw palmetto can treat symptoms of an enlarged gland and even shrink the prostate while other studies show no benefits, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center
Prostate enlargement, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, occurs in most men to some degree after age 60, UMMC said. Symptoms include urinating frequently, difficulty urinating, the feeling of not emptying the bladder, recurrent urinary tract infections, and blood in the urine.
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Here are six lifestyle changes to consider to relieve or shrink the prostate:
Men can help relieve symptoms by urinating when they first get the urge, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, exercising regularly, and avoiding cold and sinus medications that may worsen symptoms because of the decongestants and antihistamines, UMMC said
Lifestyle changes include limiting daily fluid intake to about two quarts a day and limiting or avoiding the drinking of fluids in the evening, according to a New York Times report on recommendations by A.D.A.M.
, a consumer health service.
Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and close the sphincter to prevent urine leakage. The exercise can be practiced while urinating. Men contract the muscle until the flow of urine is slowed or stopped, holding each contraction for 20 seconds and then releasing the contraction. About three to 15 contractions are performed three to five times a day, A.D.A.M. advised.
Adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet not only improve heart health, but also prevent prostatitis, an inflammation of the prostate, according to Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy of Newport Natural Health
. Omega-3s are called the good fats, as opposed to unhealthy saturated fats. Tuna, mackerel, salmon, sardines, lake trout, and herring are among the fish with omega-3 fatty acids. They are contained in nuts and seeds. There are also omega-3 supplements.
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Vegetables that help relieve enlarged prostate symptoms may include cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale, Newport Natural Health said. Tomatoes contain antioxidants and lycopene that protect against prostate cancer.
Curcumin, a compound in turmeric, helps to reduce inflammation of the prostate. Connealy recommended taking 500 mg of curcumin one to three times a day. Vitamin D3 offers prostate health.
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