Fifty percent of men over 60 years of age and 90% of men in their 70s and 80s will likely suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. BPH occurs when the prostate enlarges, putting pressure on the urethra. This can cause an obstruction of the bladder and urine flow.
It is quite common for men’s prostates to enlarge as they age. During puberty, a boy’s prostate will double in size, and when he reaches 25 years of age, the prostate will begin to grow again.
Medical research suggests that BPH might be caused by a normal decrease in testosterone. When your testosterone drops as you age, your levels of estrogen get higher. It is this factor that might promote the growth of the prostate.
Symptoms of BPH can include the need to urinate more often (especially in the middle of the night), difficulty starting to urinate, dripping after the flow ends, painful urination, incontinence and/or urinary retention. Sometimes these symptoms may be signs of other more serious complications, so you’ll want to make sure these are ruled out by your physician.
Saw Palmetto Can Potentially Treat BPH Symptoms: Study
There are some natural remedies you can try to treat the symptoms of BPH. Saw palmetto, also known as “Serenoa repens,” has been used to treat BPH in Europe for quite some time. It comes from the berries of the saw palmetto tree, found in the Southeastern U.S. and the West Indies. Saw palmetto could be good for easing the symptoms of BPH and, while it won’t cure the illness, research has shown that it may stop the prostate from further growth. A systematic review of saw palmetto used in the treatment of BPH was conducted by a U.S. research team. Twenty one randomized clinical trials were assessed. The researchers concluded that saw palmetto provides improvement in urinary symptoms. The research team also concluded that, compared to finasteride, saw palmetto is associated with fewer side effects.
Saw palmetto is less expensive than the price of the prescription medicine used to treat BPH. Use a supplement that contains 85% to 95% fatty acids and sterols, and take with breakfast or dinner to reduce nausea. As of yet, there are no known drug interactions, though, as with any supplement, it is best to consult your doctor. While relatively uncommon, side effects may include abdominal pain, nausea, and headaches.
BPH is often associated with urinary tract infections and bladder infections, so, along with any herbal remedies, try drinking cranberry juice. Cranberry juice can help to keep your urinary tract healthy.