By: Dr. Gary Bellman on December 27, 2018
Supplements & Medications for Enlarged Prostate (BPH)
Do They Work?
A Bit About BPH
The prostate is typically the size of a walnut, in young, healthy men. This allows plenty of room for the urethra to easily pass urine, allows the bladder to fully empty, thereby preventing frequent or urgent urination.
Unfortunately, as men age, the tissues of the prostate enlarge because of excessive cell growth. When this happens, the prostate pinches or compresses the urethra, reducing its ability to pass urine easily. This condition is known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
, commonly called an enlarged prostate
Men with enlarged prostates or BPH will notice symptoms including:
Dribbling/leaking after urination.
Excessive nighttime urination
Incomplete bladder emptying.
Straining to urinate, and
Urinary urgency and frequency
Weak urinary stream
BPH may seem like merely a nuisance, but it can become very disruptive to your life. Worse, if an enlarged prostate is left untreated, it can lead to bladder stones, decreased kidney function, infections, and other medical problems.
Fortunately, there are many treatment options both surgical, and nonsurgical, available to reduce the symptoms of BPH.
However, it's also important to dispel some common myths about prostate enlargement supplements
which claim to treat BPH, but in reality, are not proven to do so, and not FDA approved.
Supplements to Treat BPH
Super Beta Prostate
One of the most common questions Dr. Bellman receives about supplements to treat BPH is: "Should I take Super Beta Prostate for my enlarged prostate?
" It is understandable, because the idea of taking a natural supplement over a medication, appeals to some men. However, there is no clinical evidence
showing that the combination of ingredients in this supplement will help alleviate BPH symptoms.
All the same, this supplement is widely advertised, despite no proven benefit to taking Super Beta Prostate
. The ingredients listed in Super Beta Prostate are not FDA approved for the treatment of BPH, but include: Beta-Sitosterol, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Iodine, Chromium, Molybdenum, Selenium, Vitamin D, Silicon, Boron, Vanadium, Germanium.
For many years, Saw Palmetto, a supplement, was thought to help decrease the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, through shrinking the lining which puts pressure on the urethra. However, research has shown that Saw Palmetto yielded the same results as a placebo in many studies
. Though the product is likely safe for most people, there have been reports of impotence caused by Saw Palmetto use, and there is some concern that the ongoing use of Saw Palmetto may cause liver or pancreas damage. Reported side effects from using Saw Palmetto include: dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea.
The only supplement that is proven to be good for the prostate is Vitamin D. To keep your prostate healthy, 1000 IU of Vitamin D, is a safe, smart, natural way to maintain prostate health.
ED Medications to Treat BPH
Several medications have been found to reduce, or help manage symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Alpha blockers for example, relax the muscles around the neck of the bladder. This makes it easier to urinate. Similarly, alpha reductase inhibitors have been shown to shrink the prostate in some men.
Daily use Cialis, which was originally designed to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), has been FDA approved as a treatment for BPH symptoms.
Most men tolerate the medication incredibly well, and in addition to providing relief from the symptoms of BPH, Cialis helps promote healthy sexual function. Some men may experience nasal issues from daily Cialis, but the majority of men will find the medication to provide better urinary flow.
Flomax, Uroxatrol, Hytrin
These prescription medications have been used for many years to help provide better urine flow to men with enlarged prostates. Men should understand however that there is the possibility of side effects including dizziness, low blood pressure, fatigue or retrograde ejaculation when taking these medications.
Medications to alleviate or reduce symptoms of BPH may be very effective, but often require long term use, which is one reason that many men opt for a surgical treatment such as the Urolift Procedure or the Green Light Laser Procedure
Expert Los Angeles Urologist Dr. Gary Bellman, M.D. has over 20 years of experience and has treated thousands of men with BPH at his SoCal Urology Institute practice. Dr. Bellman will explain all the options available to you and put you at ease, offering great care to best suit your comfortability.