The prostate, a small walnut-shaped gland located under the bladder. Its main function is to add fluid to the semen produced by the reproductive system. It does not cause any problems in men till later in life when it begins to grow. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH can affect some men, but you can reduce your risk of this condition.
Risk factors for BPH
Knowing and understanding factors that cause BPH will help you avoid or reduce your risk of this condition. In addition to age the other risk factors of BPH are:
- Family history: If a close family member such as father or brother has had BPH you are more likely to have this condition
- Ethnic background: According to a study published in the Journal of Urology, Black and Hispanic men are at a high risk of being affected by BPH than white men.
- Diabetes: A study published in the journal Differentiation has suggested that diabetes can cause the prostate growth.
- Obesity: Men who are overweight or have a high amount of body fat could also have high levels of the female hormone estrogen which causes the prostate to grow
- Inactivity: Inactive men or those that do little or no exercise are at a higher risk of BPH. Exercising will help you keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check and keep your heart healthy which reduces the risk of BPH. Heart disease which can be caused due to inactivity or obesity is known to cause BPH
Although certain risk factors such as family history, age and ethnic background, are beyond your control, you can control a few others.
- Exercising such as swimming, cycling and walking for just half an hour can help lower your risk of BPH. Diet too plays an important role in keeping your weight in check and preventing conditions such as diabetes which can cause BPH.
- Certain foods too are said to slow the rate of prostate growth. A diet low in sugar and saturated fats but rich in healthy fats such as that found in nuts and oily fish is usually recommended.
- Supplements can also help. If you feel you are not getting all the nutrition you require from your diet it might be advisable to take supplements. There are many different types of natural supplements available. Ensure that you discuss this with your doctor before starting on a daily supplement.
- Limiting or reducing your intake of caffeine can be beneficial for not only the prostate but also the bladder. Drink plenty of water instead.
- Stress can trigger and worsen symptoms of BPH such as the frequency to urinate and pain
- Discussing the risk factors of BPH with your doctor and working with them to set up diet or meal plans will help you reduce your risk of this condition.
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