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News / Health

Enlarged prostate can be treated

By Jason Howland, Mayo Clinic News Network
Published: June 18, 2024, 6:02am

Benign prostatic hyperplasia, also called an enlarged prostate, is incredibly common, especially among men over 40. While it’s not the same as prostate cancer, an enlarged prostate can cause significant quality-of-life issues.

Dr. Scott Cheney, a Mayo Clinic urologist, says there are ways to treat it and reduce the symptoms, including some lifestyle changes.

“I like to tell patients that the prostate is kind of like an orange with a straw going right through the middle of it,” Cheney said. “And as we age, the prostate gets larger and larger. And the straw going through the middle gets compressed by the tissue of the prostate, makes it harder for the bladder to push urine through the urethra.”

Enlarged prostate symptoms can include frequent or urgent urination, a weak urine stream and the inability to empty the bladder.

“I see men who get up at night to pee, and they get up again and again. They get poor sleep. It can really affect their lifestyle,” Cheney said. “So they’re always looking for a restroom wherever they go.”

If you suffer from any of those symptoms, Cheney first recommends a few lifestyle modifications.

“The more fluid you drink, the more often you’re going to have to urinate,” he said. “The types of fluids also matter. So, if a man is drinking a lot of caffeine, a lot of alcohol, especially before bed, that can cause nighttime issues with urination.”

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