Thursday, March 22, 2018

Getting a Good Night Sleep with BPH


   BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia is a condition from which most males over 50 years of age suffer to varying degrees.  BPH is not related to prostate cancer and is not considered a very serious condition, but the symptoms are very annoying.  One of the symptoms that can be very disturbing is having to get up a number of times during the night to urinate (nocturia).  This is the most annoying symptom of BPH for me.  Sometimes I get up  as little as twice a night or as many times  as every half hour!  Getting up several times a night to urinate is very disruptive to a good night's sleep and can affect one's overall health.

    When you talk with your Urologist or do research online you are told to stop drinking liquids after 5 or 6 at night and stop the use of alcohol and caffeine.  This sounds like good advice, but it doesn't work!  The medications given for BPH, I find have little or no effect on the frequent nighttime bathroom trips.  So I decided to go the route of natural supplements.  I have done a good deal of research about the various herbal supplements that reportedly relieve the symptoms of BPH, especially the nocturia.  First of all I have been taking Saw Palmetto for about 35 years and found it to be absolutely useless!  I have tried Maca, which other than giving me extreme gas and stomach pains did not work.  I have used Beta Sitosterol, Stinging Nettle, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Pygeum, Fenugreek and others, but not one of them had any effect on my symptoms!

    There are many combinations of these supplements, some costing a fortune, which are touted to relieve almost all BPH symptoms.  These are sold in drug stores and online and even promoted on TV infomercials.  If you check the ingredients you will see that these so called miracle supplements contain basically the same supplements I have listed above with a few added inactive ingredients.  If you look at the reviews of these products you will find that they all work marvelously!  These are evidently paid reviews!  I have tried a number of these products over the past few years and not one of them had any effect!

    One thing that I have noticed is that when I have a few glasses of red wine I get up dramatically fewer times at night to go to the bathroom!  This is the direct opposite of what is recommended! 
I have found that diet affects BPH symptoms, especially the nocturia.  I have found that eating fatty foods such as chicken wings and eating really spicy food causes more bathroom trips and more urine retention. I have also found that my blood pressure medication, amlodopine, makes my nighttime symptoms worse if I take it before bed.

    Until medical science comes up with a more effective BPH medication, with fewer adverse side effects, we older males will have to learn to live with the unpleasantness of BPH.  We can learn to adjust our diets and habits, to see what works best for us.  Each of us reacts differently, so what may help one of us may not help the rest of us.  Just don't give up trying!

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