Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or “enlarged prostate” develops over a very long time, and therefore, is generally seen in elderly patients. As the age group increases so does the prevalence of BPH, up to 90% in men in their 70’s, 80’s and above. As a result of the prevalence and long-term development of the disorder, no solid causes have been identified and treatment has little focus on prevention.
Generally clinical symptoms that indicate BPH are related to the urinary system and its obstruction. Common symptoms include frequent, urgent, prolonged and dribbling urination, incontinence, difficulty urinating and urine retention.
Many of these situations involve inconvenient complications such as:
- Blood in the urine
- Urinary tract infections
- Reduced kidney function, and
- The development of cancer may also occur due to the prolonged nature of the disorder.
Chinese Medicine recognises that in different stages of life, different organ systems are under more pressure and, therefore, are often the site of pathology. The Kidneys and urinary system relate to later life as they begin to degenerate due to age. When treating BPH we have an emphasis on Kidney function and strengthening the Bladder with Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, as well as strengthening the digestive function so it can absorb fewer toxins and keep the muscles of the bladder in good condition. Treatment may take some time but results are generally observable quite soon after commencement.
Some things that may help to prevent BPH include regular intake of green tea to help to detox the bladder and regular intake of lemon juice to cleanse the liver of toxins and help to clean the digestive system. Regular exercise using one’s own body weight that focuses on the abdominal core may also help to strengthen the systems involved as well as avoiding the habit of “hanging on” in regards to urination to put less pressure on the prostate itself.
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