When it comes to men’s aging, an enlarged prostate (otherwise known as benign prostatic hyperplasia) can cause some annoying lifestyle problems. One of those—sexual dysfunction—can really throw a wrench in relationships—in and out of the bedroom. But there are natural solutions.
For men, aging gracefully may come with a few downfalls, particularly those suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), more commonly known as an enlarged prostate.
Although the cause of BPH is unknown, some experts believe if a man lives long enough, he will undoubtedly experience the condition, suggesting BPH is a fact of aging. While BPH is not cancerous, nor does it increase a man’s susceptibility to prostate cancer, BPH can be uncomfortable and embarrassing to those who show symptoms.
Until recently, it was unclear as to whether there was a direct link between urinary tract issues and sexual dysfunction in men over 40. However, more studies are finding a correlation between increased urinary symptoms and decreased sexual function.
These results have called into question the recommendation of synthetic chemical preparations, known to cause side effects such as loss of sexual drive and erectile dysfunction. But the good news is there is an effective natural alternative.
Knowing is half the battle
While supplements can be effective in improving erectile problems, they need to be taken regularly to re-establish and maintain natural processes. These are not fast-acting remedies like Viagra, which you take only when you need it.
Organic saw palmetto is used to soothe prostate symptoms in a natural way and help regulate testosterone levels, while acting against inflammatory alterations of the prostate and urethra. Reductions in accompanying swelling and irritation can help alleviate voiding problems.
A preliminary pilot study using extracts from organic saw palmetto berries to test their effectiveness in older men with BPH showed some improvement in BPH symptoms and accompanying erectile and ejaculatory problems.
Without the negative side effects of synthetic chemical products, saw palmetto makes an excellent natural alternative for men suffering from BPH—and is found at natural health stores.
When looking at ingredients, be sure to look for a product made with fresh herbs, as it’s understood that they retain more of their phytochemical properties and deliver a higher concentration of active ingredients necessary for superior healing results compared to dried plant extracts.
Symptoms of BPH include
- feeling of urgency
- frequent nighttime urination
- weak urine stream
- feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder
- pain and burning sensation
- difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
- ejaculatory issues
- low sex drive
- less sexual satisfaction
Other natural options
- maintain a healthy weight
- get regular exercise
- drink small amounts of liquid at any one time and limit total daily intake to less than about 2 quarts (2 L)
- avoid drinking any fluids within two hours of bedtime
- limit or avoid coffee (and other caffeinated beverages) and alcohol, especially at night
- avoid decongestants and antihistamines that may increase BPH symptoms
- eat a diet low in fat and rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals
- choose good fats (nuts, seeds, and fish)
- increase your intake of zinc-rich foods
- do Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles