How to Shrink Your Enlarged Prostate

Having an enlarged prostate can negatively affect a man’s quality of life due to frustrating symptoms. 

Probably the first thing men want to know about this subject is whether they can shrink the prostate without surgery. 

That’s exactly the main focus of this post. 

Read on to learn how to shrink your prostate, relieve the symptoms you’re experiencing, and improve your quality of life. 

What is an enlarged prostate? 

Enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a noncancerous enlargement that causes uncomfortable symptoms. 

While the severity of symptoms varies, they usually include frequent or urgent need to urinate, increased frequency of urination at night (nocturia), and other lower urinary tract symptoms.

The medical cause of BPH is not entirely clear. The changes in the balance of sex hormones as men grow older could be to blame. 

Several risk factors increase the likelihood of prostate enlargement. These include aging, family history, heart disease, diabetes, and overweight or obesity.

This condition is often treated with a combination of drugs and lifestyle measures.

While enlarged prostate is a condition on its own, other problems can also lead to increased prostate size. Prostatitis and prostate cancer can also increase prostate size. 

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Can you shrink an enlarged prostate gland?

First, it’s important to remember that prostate growth is typical as men age. This growth is usually gradual and doesn’t mean every man is bound to have BPH. Most men do, however. 

Even though the prostate gland increases in size with age, this growth is accelerated by many factors such as dietary and lifestyle habits. By addressing these factors, you could also manage the growth of the prostate or shrink it, depending on the size. 

As the prostate grows, it puts pressure on the bladder and urethra. That’s why men experience lower urinary tract symptoms. 

Act on them immediately rather than choosing to ignore the problems. The sooner you react, the more favorable the outcome will be. You’ll also prevent other complications such as ejaculation difficulties.

Besides modifying your lifestyle, you may want to see a doctor who will order the necessary test options to diagnose the problem. Upon BPH diagnosis, they recommend the most suitable treatment protocol. 

What diet shrinks the prostate?

Diet has a major influence on every aspect of our health. For that reason, it plays an important role in the management of enlarged prostate. 

Some foods are good for you and may alleviate the symptoms you’re experiencing, whereas others can aggravate your condition. Below, you can learn more about foods to eat and avoid.

Foods to eat to shrink your prostate

Evidence shows that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and fish or other sources of Omega-3 fatty acids can improve symptoms of BPH and manage erectile dysfunction. 

One such diet is the Mediterranean diet, which focuses on consuming healthy fats and whole foods rather than processed food and other unhealthy options. 

Here are some foods you may want to introduce to your diet to address enlarged prostate:

Tomatoes 

Tomatoes are a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has a positive influence on the prostate. Science news shows lycopene may inhibit the growth of prostate epithelial cells as well as prostate tissue. In turn, it holds strong potential to protect your prostate against conditions that increase its size. 

Besides tomatoes, you can obtain lycopene from guavas, watermelons, and grapefruit.

lycopene-prostate-cancer

Nuts

Nuts are abundant in zinc, a mineral found in high concentrations in your prostate. Zinc is necessary for the balance of testosterone and DHT. 

Studies confirm that men with BPH and prostate cancer tend to have lower zinc levels than their counterparts who don’t have these conditions. Since its vital for male sexual and reproductive health, you need to consume zinc-rich foods.

Citrus fruits 

These are abundant in vitamin C, which functions as an antioxidant and may protect the prostate gland. Try to eat more lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits.

Berries 

Berries are wonderful sources of antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and thereby protects your prostate gland. Enrich your diet with blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries.

what foods are good for shrinking the prostate

Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane chemical that promotes a healthy prostate and may even protect against prostate cancer. Add more broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage into your diet.

Salmon and other fatty fish 

These are good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can prevent or reduce inflammation in the body. These healthy fats decrease the impact of prostaglandins and leukotrienes on the inflammatory component of enlarged prostate. By managing inflammation, Omega-3s can also manage symptoms of the enlarged prostate gland. 

A reminder; prostaglandins are lipids produced at the site of tissue damage or infection, whereas leukotrienes are inflammatory chemicals. While there are plant-based sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, animal-based is more beneficial. 

Garlic and onion 

One study found that men with enlarged prostate tended to eat less onion and garlic than men without BPH, but more trials on this subject are necessary. 

The beneficial effects of onion and garlic could be due to their anti-inflammatory benefits, especially for garlic. Strive to include more onion and garlic into your diet. If you don’t have a habit of eating raw garlic, you can use powder or paste instead.

Foods to avoid

As mentioned above, some foods are really good for your prostate, whereas others can harm this small but important gland. 

An unhealthy diet and consumption of certain foods could accelerate the growth of your prostate. In order to reduce your prostate and alleviate uncomfortable symptoms, you may want to avoid or decrease your consumption of the foods below:

Sodium 

High salt intake can aggravate symptoms of enlarged prostate. The influence of salt on the prostate is both direct and indirect. 

Excessive sodium consumption causes hypertension and leads to overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system. As a result, lower urinary tract symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate can worsen. 

Sympathetic activation and neurotransmitters stimulate both bladder and prostate by affecting smooth muscle tone, which can worsen BPH. A low-sodium diet helps manage symptoms of enlarged prostate and take control of this condition in general

Caffeine

As a diuretic, caffeine stimulates the bladder and worsens symptoms of BPH. So, in order to manage enlarged prostate and prevent irritations that aggravate your condition, try to avoid or reduce your intake of caffeine.

Saturated fats 

Reducing consumption of saturated fats could benefit prostate health. Plus, this leaves room for nutrient-dense plants and fiber. Sources of saturated fats are processed foods, baked goods, salad dressings, dairy, and meat.

Alcohol 

Alcohol stimulates the production of urine and worsens lower urinary tract symptoms. In other words, drinking too much alcohol can aggravate enlarged prostate. 

As alcohol keeps making symptoms worse, it’s difficult to shrink this gland. For that reason, you may want to reduce alcohol intake or avoid it entirely.

Non-grass-fed beef and red meat 

This kind of meat comes from animals that were fed food they don’t usually eat. That’s why this food can invoke chemical responses that contribute to prostate problems. Ideally, you should reduce meat intake. But, if you do eat meat, make sure it’s grass-fed.

Spicy foods 

Spicy foods act as irritants that worsen your urinary symptoms, thereby preventing you from managing enlarged prostate adequately.

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Natural remedies for enlarged prostate 

The prostate needs a wide range of nutrients and healthy compounds to function properly. A lack of these nutrients and compounds can harm prostate health and aggravate your condition. In this case, that condition is an enlarged prostate. 

Natural remedies can help men improve their quality of life and effectively address enlarged prostate symptoms. But, it’s tricky to obtain them through diet alone. 

This is where natural products step in. Nowadays, a dietary supplement is readily available, and it delivers a wide range of prostate-friendly compounds.

By supplying the body with these compounds, you can manage enlarged prostate symptoms and shrink the size of this gland in some cases. 

Below, you can learn more about these natural home remedies for enlarged prostate:

Saw palmetto 

This herbal remedy comes from a fruit of a type of palm tree. For hundreds of years, saw palmetto has alleviated urinary symptoms, including those associated with an enlarged prostate. Saw palmetto could work by easing inflammation and supporting hormone balance.

saw palmetto benefits for men

Pygeum 

Pygeum comes from the African plum tree Pygeum africanum. Since ancient times, pygeum has been used to treat urinary problems in traditional medicine. 

This natural remedy for prostate enlargement contains chemicals that can shrink the prostate and alleviate urinary symptoms such as poor urine flow.

Beta-sitosterol 

This is obtained from plants that contain sitosterols, i.e., cholesterol-like substances. Supplementation with beta-sitosterol can alleviate urinary symptoms of an enlarged prostate, including the strength of the urine flow. Also, beta-sitosterol can decrease swelling in the prostate.

beta-sitosterol-benefits

Stinging nettle 

One of the most well-known herbs for the prostate, stinging nettle improves some symptoms of an enlarged prostate, such as constant urge to urinate, post-urination dripping, incomplete emptying of the bladder, and decreased urinary flow.

Ryegrass pollen extract 

This is made from three types of grass pollen: corn, rye, and timothy. Supplementation with this extract can relieve symptoms of BPH. 

This prostate enlargement home remedy can inhibit the growth of pro-inflammatory molecules and thereby support prostate health.

Lifestyle tips for managing BPH

Lifestyle modifications are crucial for the management of BPH and reduced prostate size. You may want to do the following:

Exercise regularly 

Moderate or vigorous exercise can reduce the risk of BPH or help you manage this condition. Even a small amount of exercise can help you manage enlarged prostate symptoms.

Don’t drink fluid in the evening 

Avoid drinking anything for an hour or two before bedtime to reduce frequent trips to the bathroom at night.

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Maintain weight in a healthy range 

Being overweight or obese puts you at a higher risk of an enlarged prostate, and it also makes it more complicated to manage this condition. Losing weight can give a significant boost to the management of enlarged prostate.

Manage stress 

Stress worsens symptoms of BPH by causing an imbalance of hormones. While sometimes stress isn’t possible to avoid, do your best to manage it adequately. 

Avoid ignoring stress in order to protect both your mental health and prostate gland. Stress management also improves sleep, which is necessary for hormone balance and the prevention of various health problems.

Quit smoking 

Cigarette smoking affects plasma steroid hormone levels, and it also narrows blood vessels, all of which can negatively influence the prostate gland. To manage BPH properly, you may want to try and quit smoking.

smoking-and-diabetes

Do pelvic floor exercises

Kegels for men strengthen pelvic floor muscles and thereby aid the management of symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate. 

Doing these exercises is easy; just make sure to identify pelvic floor muscles (the muscles you contract to stop urination midstream).

Avoid certain medications

Some of them can worsen your symptoms. In most cases, these medicines are decongestants, antihistamines, and diuretics. Consult your doctor first.

Bladder training 

This requires strong willpower and patience but involves training your bladder to urinate at specific times in order to avoid frequent trips to the bathroom. 

Can prostate enlargement be temporary?

Whether or not prostate enlargement can be temporary depends on its cause. For example, sometimes prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) can cause enlargement of this small gland. 

In these cases, enlargement can be temporary, and it subsides when inflammation goes away. Additionally, prostate gland enlargement and other symptoms can reduce in people with mild BPH. 

More serious symptoms and manifestations require a combination of lifestyle modifications and doctor-recommended enlarged prostate treatment. 

Conventional BPH treatment includes medication and surgical procedure approaches. Medications for benign prostatic hyperplasia treatment include alpha-blockers, 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, tadalafil (Cialis), and combination therapy. 

Some medications can have various side effects. Surgical procedures for BPH include transurethral resection of the prostate, transurethral incision of the prostate, transurethral needle ablation, and laser therapy, among others. 

Prostate enlargement isn’t something to ignore. Make sure to modify your lifestyle adequately to prevent or manage it in a timely manner. 

Conclusion

Enlarged prostate is a serious problem with uncomfortable symptoms. However, it’s possible to manage these symptoms and shrink the prostate in some cases. 

Don’t ignore the symptoms of enlarged prostate. Act in a timely manner in order to achieve better outcomes. Also, make sure to see a doctor who will also recommend adequate enlarged prostate treatment options.

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Sources

  1. Russo GI, Broggi G, Cocci A, et al. Relationship between Dietary Patterns with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and Erectile Dysfunction: A Collaborative Review. Nutrients. 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8618879/
  2. Ute C. Obermüller-Jevic, Estibaliz Olano-Martin, Ana M. Corbacho, Jason P. Eiserich, Albert van der Vliet, Giuseppe Valacchi, Carroll E. Cross, Lester Packer, Lycopene Inhibits the Growth of Normal Human Prostate Epithelial Cells in Vitro, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 133, Issue 11, November 2003. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/133/11/3356/4817958 
  3. Christudoss P, Selvakumar R, Fleming JJ, Gopalakrishnan G. Zinc status of patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate carcinoma. Indian J Urol. 2011. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3114577/
  4. Noh JW, Kim KB, Kwon YD, Kim JH. Association between sodium intake and lower urinary tract symptoms: does less sodium intake have a favorable effect or not?. Transl Androl Urol. 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7354310/
  5. Wilt T, Ishani A, Mac Donald R, Rutks I, Stark G. Pygeum africanum for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11869585/
  6. MacDonald R, Ishani A, Rutks I, Wilt TJ. A systematic review of Cernilton for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. BJU Int. 2000. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10792162/

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