The Lowdown on Herbal Remedies for BPH
BPH or enlarged prostate is a progressive problem. Patients do not wake up one day with severe lower urinary tract symptoms, rather they slowly get to a point where their urinary issues become bothersome and difficult to live with. As such, taking a stepwise approach toward the treatment of BPH is important.
With the amount of money spent on advertising herbal remedies for BPH, we would certainly not blame a patient for considering their use. And quite honestly, we do not discourage their use because there is a possibility that they would have a placebo effect – that they give the patient a sense of comfort and well-being even if there is no measurable effect on the size of the prostate or the urinary symptoms.
However, there is no concrete data that supports the efficacy of herbal remedies for BPH. Further, these supplements are not approved or overseen by the FDA making it imperative that patients do their research on the quality of the supplement they take.
So, What Are the options?
Most patients will begin with medication such as alpha blockers, which are probably the most effective medical options for early stage BPH. However, these will not stop the progression of BPH and do not always offer the patient complete satisfaction. Further, over time, medication may become less effective as BPH symptoms progress. However, they may offer some short to medium term relief that is sufficient for the patient to resume were normal lifestyle activities.
In-office BPH procedures such as TUNA or Transurethral Needle Ablation can be very effective for certain men who have not responded well to medication or who are experiencing significant side effects. TUNA is very safe and effective, with relief from BPH lasting approximately 5 to 7 years. More importantly, Dr. Engel considers it to be a free swing. If it does not work, the procedure can be performed again, or patients can move on to a surgical solution such as a Transurethral Resection of the Prostate or TURP, which Dr. Engel can also perform.
Ultimately, catching BPH his earliest stages is the best way for our patients to avail themselves of the widest number of effective treatment options and to properly monitor and treat the condition as it progresses. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Engel, please call us.