There are many treatments for enlarged prostates. However, many side effects follow them as well. Depending on the severity of the condition, your doctor might suggest the treatment.
If your symptoms do not bother you much without any serious complications, he might ask you to wait and watch. However, your doctor will advise you a yearly visit to see if changes appear in your symptoms. The things he might ask you to observe would be:
- Number of times you need to urinate
- If there is an urgent need to urinate
- The sensation that your bladder is full even after urination
- A weak and slow stream of urine
- Dribbling after urination
- Trouble starting
While waiting, your doctor will also ask you to take care of a few things:
- Avoid drinking a lot of liquid before bedtime
- Reduce the consumption of caffeine and alcohol
- Avoid medicines like decongestants or antihistamines such as Benadryl (this can worsen prostate problems)
There are two slightly different types of medicines that can help: alpha-blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. These medicines do not totally cure the condition or make the symptoms disappear entirely. They do tend to help significantly ease the unpleasantness of symptoms. The two BPH medicines are:
Alpha blockers relax the muscles of the prostate and the neck of the bladder. This reduces the symptoms of BPH. These medicines work by soothing the smooth muscle of the prostate which ultimately helps create an improved flow of urine. Lots of different alpha-blocker brands exist but there is no real difference in the effectivity of the different types. However, their side-effects differ. The effect of these medicines differs from person to person. Some will see a difference after a couple days while for others, it can take up to 4-6 weeks.
5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors
5-alpha reductase inhibitors shrink the prostate preventing further growth. These are alternatives to alpha-blockers. There are two different types: dutasteride and finasteride. They work by blocking the conversion of the hormone testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. This is achieved by blocking the enzyme named 5-alpha-reductase. This type of BPH treatment has been shown to significantly reduce the need for surgery, improve prostate symptoms, and reduce the risk of overall complications. The effect of these medicines differs from person to person. It can take up to 6 months to notice any initial effect. This is the time prostate takes to shrink.
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