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Enlarged Prostate (BPH)
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
An enlarged prostate (BPH) develops because the number of prostate cells increases (hyperplasia) or the cells get bigger (hypertrophy). BPH causes urinary system problems that can get worse over time. You can work with healthcare providers and take steps to manage BPH.
Call your doctor or urologist if:
- You see blood in your urine.
- You are not able to urinate.
- Your bladder feels very full and painful.
- You have new or worsening symptoms.
- You have a fever.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Medicines may be used to relax the muscles in your prostate and bladder. This may help you urinate more easily. Medicines may also be used to block the production of a hormone that causes the prostate to get larger. It may help to slow the growth of the prostate or shrink the prostate.
- Diuretics (water pills) may be used to relieve fluid buildup. You will need to take these in the morning or afternoon because they may cause you to urinate more often. Do not take them before bedtime.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
What you can do to manage BPH:
- Urinate on a regular schedule. This will train your bladder to hold urine longer. A larger amount of urine may make it easier to urinate.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about all your medicines. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Some medicines can make BPH worse. Do not start any new medicines before you talk to your provider.
- Drink less liquid during the day. Do not have liquid for several hours before you go to bed at night. Do not drink large amounts of any liquid at one time.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine. These can irritate your bladder and make your symptoms worse.
- Eat less salt. Salt can cause fluid buildup and make it harder to urinate. Examples of salty foods are chips, cured meats, and canned soups. Do not use table salt.
- Elevate your legs if you have swelling. Elevate (raise) your legs above the level of your heart. This can relieve swelling caused by fluid buildup. You may not have to get up in the night to urinate.
- Lose weight if you are overweight. Obesity increases your risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA can make you need to get up in the night to urinate. Exercise can help you reach or maintain a healthy weight. A lack of exercise may make BPH symptoms worse. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week.
Follow up with your doctor or urologist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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