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Does Diet Play an Important Role in Preventing Enlarged Prostate?

By Dr. Ruchir Maheshwari in Urology

Aug 03 , 2022 | 3 min read

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The enlargement of the prostate gland, referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a condition that usually affects men as they grow older. In some patients, an enlarged prostate gland can put pressure on the urethra, causing the bladder to retain urine. This means that the bladder's ability to empty fully is affected. This can also result in several urinary tract or kidney problems, including -

  1. Increase in frequency of urination

  2. Difficulty in urination (need to apply pressure)

  3. Weak urine stream or dribbling

  4. Urinary tract infections or kidney infections

  5. Blood in urine

Many of these symptoms mimic other conditions, and an expert urologist must evaluate you at Max Hospital to get an accurate diagnosis.

Diet and An Enlarged Prostate

An enlarged prostate is a common condition. Some studies believe that about 50% of men over the age of 50 suffer from some degree of BPH. The severity of the symptoms may vary depending on a variety of factors. While maintaining health and fitness through a wholesome diet is a good idea as we grow older, diet may become all the more significant in the context of BPH. Researchers believe that food and nutrition may have a role in preventing enlarged prostate. What is very clear, though, is that many of the BPH symptoms can be effectively managed by following certain dietary guidelines and regulating fluid intake.

Foods to Eat

If you have been diagnosed with BPH, you must talk to your doctor before starting an enlarged prostate diet. There are certain foods, though, that is beneficial for prostate health. Here are some foods you must consider adding to your diet –

Fibre

Most people diagnosed with an enlarged prostate are recommended to achieve a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese could adversely affect your prostate health and even increase your risk of developing prostate cancer. Fibre-rich foods are known to promote weight loss. In addition, they increase satiety and prevent constipation (an important but modifiable factor which can aggravate the symptoms). Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and pulses are rich sources of natural fibre and should be part of your enlarged prostate diet.

Vitamin C

Researchers believe that consumption of Vitamin C promotes prostate health and decreases the risk of developing an enlarged prostate. This means that adding fresh citrus fruits and fruit juices could help prevent BPH. Apart from these, vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale etc., are rich sources of Vitamin C. However, it is important to remember that the role of vitamin C supplements in promoting prostate health is not yet clear. So, the addition of foods rich in vitamin C is recommended.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Apart from lowering your bad cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of having a heart attack, Omega 3 fatty acids are also known to promote prostate health and lower the risk of developing prostate cancer. The best foods to consume to add Omega 3 fatty acids to your diet include fish like trout, salmon, and herring. Other foods that you may want to consume in moderation include flaxseeds, walnuts, and soybeans.

Lycopene

Foods rich in lycopene enhance prostate health and lower the risk of developing cancer. Foods rich in lycopene include tomatoes, watermelon, papaya, and apricots.

Foods that Prevent BPH

Apart from the above-mentioned four foods that should be part of your enlarged prostate diet, some foods are believed to prevent BPH and promote prostate health. These include –

  1. Sesame seeds

  2. Bell Pepper

  3. Avocados

  4. Tofu

  5. Onion and garlic

  6. Nuts

Managing An Enlarged Prostate

People with BPH are encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle and make certain modifications to help manage the condition's symptoms.

  1. Stress exacerbates the symptoms of BPH. This leads to an increase in the need to urinate. People diagnosed with an enlarged prostate are encouraged to take up yoga and medication to help deal with stress. It is good to stay relaxed, spend time with friends and family, and take up a relaxing hobby.

  2. An increase in weight worsens the symptoms of BPH. It is good to take up exercising and follow a fitness regimen.

  3. Several over-the-counter pills worsen the symptoms of BPH. It is best to discuss any supplements and medicines you may take with your doctor at Max Hospital while you are under treatment.

  4. Restrict the intake of fluids in the evenings. This is particularly true of caffeine and alcohol. This will help reduce the number of times you feel the urge to urinate at night.

If you want to have alcohol, consider wine/whiskey rather than beer, which has high water content.

Treatment Options at Max Hospital

Your treatment plan for an enlarged prostate will depend on the extent of enlargement, the severity of symptoms, and your overall health conditions. Your doctor at Max Hospital will assess these through various tests and draw up a personalised treatment plan. This could include –

  1. Medication

  2. Minimally invasive procedures

  3. Prostate surgery

It is possible to live well with an enlarged prostate. Diet and lifestyle modifications and treatment help in keeping the condition under check.


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