Benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) is an enlargement of the prostate gland, which occurs in 40% of men in their fifties and 90% in men in their eighties. Most men with BPH show the following symptoms: frequent and urgent urination, especially at night, slow urine flow, difficulty to empty bladder, and urine dribbling. However, not every man with BPH has the above symptoms; instead, the inflammation and balance of the nervous system plays an important role in how bad the urination problems can be. An 84 year old man can still sleep through the night if he eats healthy, is active physically and does not have inflammation in his prostate. On the other hand, a forty year old man who eats a lot of simple sugars and drinks one glass of wine every day with a high cholesterol level and inflamed blood vessels and nerves could get up three times at night. In order to reduce the inflammation, we need to eat a healthy diet and also keep our nervous and immune systems in balance. If you constantly stimulate your nerves with coffee or simple sugar, you may suffer from frequent urination.

What causes prostatic hyperplasia?

1. Diabetes causes inflammation in blood vessels and prostate.

2. High estrogen: obesity and alcohol can lead to a higher level of estrogen, which stimulates prostate growth. If a 25-year-old has an imbalance of the estrogen and testosterone due to too much alcohol and/or too much sugar, the abnormal amount of estrogen can cause over- growth of the prostate during this period of the time and later leading to an even bigger prostate when he reaches 50 years old.

3. Another theory focuses on dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a substance derived from testosterone in the prostate, which stimulates its growth. Some research has indicated that, even with a drop in the blood's testosterone level, older men continue to produce and accumulate high levels of dihydrotestosterone in the prostate. This accumulation of dihydrotestosterone may encourage the growth of prostate cells. Scientists have noted that men who do not produce dihydrotestosterone do not develop prostatic hyperplasia.

4. Regular alcohol consumption will compromise liver function, causing high levels of estrogen and enlargement of the prostate. Even one glass of wine can cause inflammation in the prostate, leading to its enlargement.

5. Spicy foods produce a lot of heat inside your body, leading to inflammation in men’s prostate and testes.

6. Tensile strength of the prostate capsule: If the capsule outside the prostate loses its elasticity, the enlarged prostate cannot grow outward but instead will compress the urethra, causing more irritation. This is one of the reasons that the same amount of prostate enlargement can cause severe urination problems in some men but not in other men with very elastic prostate capsules. Lack of Vitamin C can cause this dysfunction of the prostate capsule.

7. Fish and Flaxseed oil: One study quoted by Harvard Medical School indicated that taking flaxseed oil for long periods of time can increase the rate of prostate cancer and prostate enlargement.

Boston Chinese Acupuncture Clinic has accumulated tremendous experiences to treat benign prostate hyperplasia. When our acupuncturist in Needham collected information from patient with benign prostate hyperplasia, they analyze the medical history and found the reasons why a 80 year old can sleep through the night while some 40 years old has to get up to urinate 3 to 4 times. If you would like to know how you can prevent BPH or reduce your urination problems and get good night sleep.

Author's Bio: 

Li Zheng is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist and a graduate of the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine with 11 years of formal training, including 6 years of residency. She holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the US and is a Harvard Medical School-trained researcher and a professor at the New England School of Acupuncture. Her two practices are located in Needham, MA and Boca Raton, FL. She has 26 years of clinical experience. Here she is sharing the information about Prostatic Hyperplasia.