Looking for Alternative BPH treatments

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I'm a 47 year old made who was diagnosed with BPH 3 years ago.  The side effects of prescription medication don't appeal to me, so I'm looking for natural remedies.  Thus far I've tried saw palmetto, pygeum, vitamin d3, selenium, stinging nettle and several "blends."

None seem to work well, so I'm looking for alternatives.  I don't have trouble initiating urination, and I don't experience frequent urination during the day.  My primary sympton is having to get up after about 4 hours of sleep to urinate.  This wouldn't be so bad but it sometimes takes me several hours to fall back asleep...and if I have something to do I'm often exhausted the next day.

Also, I don't know if it's related but I've had erectile dysfunction for about the same length of time.  For this I've tried viagra, cialis (both regular and daily), staxyn and levitra.  They all had minor effects but since I haven't been dating I don't know their "full" effect."  Again, it may be unrelated.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

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  • Posted

    Chris my suggestion is try to find some short-term sleep aid that will help you fall back to sleep.  attacking that problem is going to be a lot less of an issue then the prostate. Your symptoms for the prostate seem pretty mild. But I understand what you mean about not getting sleep I went through a bout of that as well.  Even though my prostate is corrected now I still have to get up three or four times a night.  Some of it has to do with the size of your bladder also.  I found a lot of natural sleep aid that help like Valaria and melatonin.  That's my suggestion because I never found anything that would help with the prostate that was a natural substance.  Good luck to you.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your help.  I will try the natural sleep aids you suggested.  I've had my doubts about natural treatments for prostate issues as none of them have seemed to have an impact.
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    • Posted

      The Valaria and drops work a lot faster than the pills.  And I found that Ambien works very well for short-term sleep aid as well.  It can be addicting so I try not to take it to many nights in a row.  Hops are also a good natural sleep aid
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  • Posted

    Chris, every night for the past several years I have taken two 200mg Ibuprofen PM tablets when I go to bed. The PM portion is actually an antihistimine which makes you go back to sleep immediately and I get the best sleep I have in my life. I'm older and have a lot of aches and pains and the Ibuprofen really helps me with that. Before I started taking the PM my BPH was giving me little urges, enough to wake me up and go to the bathroom, sometimes 4 or 5 times per night. Now, I sleep right through, don't feel a thing and usually I'm up one time for three minutes then right back to sleep. There is a down side to the sleep aid, it's not supposed to be addictive but I am not able to sleep soundly without it. I'll deal with dropping the PM once I solve my prostate problem, sometime in the next few months. 

    You are wise to stay away from the BPH meds, your uro won't tell you but you will wind up with retrograde ejaculation and greatly decreased libido, erectile disfunction, etc. Also, the over-the-counter herbs and snake oil concoctions are just money pits, no help whatsover.

    What will happen is that as your prostate grows you will have more and more need for the meds and finally you'll start taking them. Thus down the path to complete emasculation.  Don't do it. At your age and with your symptoms I'll bet that you are an ideal candidate for Urolift. It's a new procedure that is minimally invasive, almost painless and works like a charm. I wanted to have it done and went to see a Uro who was performing the procedure and found that my prostate was too large among other disqualifying factors. It will probably buy you five to ten years trouble free, maybe a lot longer.  Actually, at your age turp or tuvp will probably work ok, they are just very invasive, painful, bloody, will cause retrograde ejaculation and I believe probably unnnecessary for your situation at least not yet. Try one Ibuprofen PM when you go to bed. That was enough for me for years, it's only in the last two years that I need two. You can get the active ingredient, diphenhydramine hydrocloride,  without the ibuprofen at your drug store if you prefer. But,do yourself a favor and stay away from all the meds that shrink your prostate. They work alright but the side effects are drastic and permanent. If you already have ed they will finish you off. Good luck!! 

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    • Posted

      Hi Derek,

      I'm still in the early stages of learning but I was curious if, in your opinion, urine retention might be positive in the case where someone like me was trying to sleep through the night?  I can see how it would be problematic if one had trouble urinating during the day.

      Thanks,

      Chris

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    • Posted

      Ron I'm curious have you had any problems taking ibuprofen for that long.    I took it for about four weeks and I got it ulcer.  They say long-term use of ibuprofen is really bad for your heart and your stomach.  
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    • Posted

      Urinary retention does not mean that you don't have to go it just means you can't go.  You still feel like you have to go but it just doesn't come out very easily. if it's bad enough you have to use a catheter.  I had it for a while and it can be very uncomfortable and dangerous.  The pressure can back up into your kidneys and cause kidney issues.
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    • Posted

      I'd wake up feeling like I was bursting to go and nothing would come out. Just shooting kidney pains. That and the 400ml post void residual (PVR) is the only reason I had the Greenlight. I had been getting up 6-7 times a night, but the retention sealed the deal on having the surgery. But the turp doesn't fix getting up at night for everyone. It cut my incidents in half but I still get up 3-4 times a night.
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    • Posted

      Bob, I wrote an extensive reply last night and now I can't find it! I'll have to make it more brief; Yes, I saw him. I was retaining 450 cc's which concerned him somewhat. His procedure is to make an incision beneath the navel, open the bladder and access the prostate through the bladder neck. The nerves controlling erection and ejaculation are on the outside of the prostate capsule so they are unaffected. He effectively removes most of the prostate tissue coring from the inside. He would also remove the third lobe so it doesn't fall into the urethra path. The long-term effect is that it should last for a lifetime. The downside effects are several days in the hospital, and some stretching of the bladder oriface as all of the surgery is done through it. He states that kegal exercises will be neccesary to relieve incontinence. Having a lifetime solution is particularly attractive to me as our excellent US healthcare system is under siege by the Socialist Progressives who know that controlling one's healthcare will control one entirely. I am already over the age where health care will be controlled by bureaucrats rather than our Doctors and given my political persuasion I expect I would be denied any further surgery. Sort of like, if you want more health care you had best stop funding the Tea Parties. That's what it is coming to, I need to find a long-term solution and as scary as it may be this solution may be best for me. I'm going to delay a couple of months anyway to finish up some pressing matters.      
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    • Posted

      I've taken a lot of Ibuprofen for a sacro-iliac problem in 800 mg doses. I can take that level for three days then heartburn sets in and I have to quit. I've not seen any detriment to the level I take daily (400 mg) but maybe I'd better give it up.  It's just that at my age, 76, and a high activity level I have lots of aches and pains from arthritis and old injuries that the ibuprofen really helps me face the day. I know the risks and I know your concern is well placed.    
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    • Posted

      Hi Ron. I wish you the best.  Just so you know, while the nerves controlling ejaculation are outside the prostate capsule, retro is caused by the increased empty space inside the prostate capsule. Ejaculate is still formed, but it travels upward into the pladder rather than down and out the penis.
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    • Posted

      On another note, I'm 68 and I don't have any worries that health care will get worse or unavailable in the US. I would never fund the Tea Parties. To me they are as crazy as the people who went out to meet the comet Hale Bop. Medicare and SS can't be tampered with. And we have the votes to ensure it won't be in our lifetime. Once something is in place that benefits someone, whther it's a bridge toll or SS, it will never be retracted. If it were, the bridge or the health system would collapse.
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    • Posted

      Derek, I have taken lots of antihistimines for severe allergies and you are correct, they do almost stop my urine flow completely. The sleep aid in Ibuprofen Pm doesn't have a similiat effect. I think the dosage must be smaller or it acts in a different way. 
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    • Posted

      See my other reply, I forgot to mention that the uro I saw yesterday told me, in response to my inquiry, that self-cathing works beautifully and that I could do it once in the morning after my three cups of coffee and probably not have to urinate all day. Do it again before bedtime and sleep until morning with no problem. Surely I can get over my squeamishness and learn to do that.    
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    • Posted

      You know Derek antihistimines can be a real problem to those of us with minimal urine flow and I'll bet a lot of BPH sufferers don't know that. That's the benefit of these forums, maybe we'll help a few guys become aware. Thanks for your input.  
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    • Posted

      Hi Ron,

      The first couple of times are tricky. If you do want to try it I highly recommend the single use hydrophillic caths packed in sterile water. They don't require lubrication and are the easiest to use because they turn slick after being exposed to the air for about 30 seconds. They also have a handle at the end which you can hold on to without having to handle the cath that is going inside you. I had to use the 14Fr size staraight caths as the 12Fr would fold up inside me when it met the external sphincter at the start of the prostate. The only other concern with cathing is you could wind up with the occasional UTI. Since you haven't had any prostate procedures you probably have a smooth in tact urethra. I didn't start cathing until after my TUMT, so I occasionally ran into scar tissue.

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    • Posted

      Yeah, about the retro, the Doc did say that the ejaculate takes the path of least resistance so it's going to go back into the bladder for sure when it mets the resistance of the long tight urethra. I wonder though, if the prostate is hollowed out it seems that the ejaculate would just stay there. Doesn't matter much I suppose.  
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    • Posted

      I took my wife to a nuerologist yesterday. He told us that he had to leave a big city practice and work in a country hospital because of the increased paperwork and intrusion in his practice by our healthcare revolution. He also said that he intends to retire in a few years as he expects the intrusion of bureaucracy to make his practice non-profitable. The intent of the social progressives is to eliminate all private health insurance and install a single payer system. They have admitted this numerous times. I have read the quotes. Basically this means that every American will be on Medicare and Medicaide  and all private insurance companies will be out of business. Medicare is being tampered with now as we speak. The Tea parties are made up of common Americans like my wife and I, more educated and financially stable than the average American, more white than average although there are plenty of minorities in the Tea Parties, much more informed than the average American as we so fearful of what we see coming that we read blogs, such as this one, we watch conservative TV if we can find it, we do not believe the lies on ABC, NBC, CBS, which have become the PR department of the Socialist/Progressive/Communist Party. We just  believe in the Constitution and the BILL of Rights, both of which are under seige. We believe in the seperation of powers of the three branches of government, that the checks and balances installed by our founding fathers are the reasons for the success of out country and not to be abridged. Most Tea Partiers are Christians and active in their churches although my wife and I are no longer believers. The single largest problem with our country today is that about half of us are low-information Americans. Half of us are unaware of the slippery slope we are following and really don't care anyway as long as the beer is available at seven-11 and the food stamps keep coming. There's no question as to where we will be in our lifetimes if we don't change course. I cry for my country every day but between tears I am mad as hell and an activist for a free America.    
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    • Posted

      Ron,

      I only believe in the Golden Rule. But as such I wouldn't want anyone to have less care than I do, even if it means I get less.The bottom line for health care is finding a good doctor. I agree that will be harder to find. My urologist is only in practice for 10 years and no longer accepts new patients. He's not in it for the money, he accepts Medicare and Medicaid which many doctors don't. He accepts whatever Medicare pays and desn't press for the rest. He spends time in Afganistan with the reserves every year. But there's not many like him and he has more patients than he can handle. 

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    • Posted

      I wonder what % of those who self catheterise inrtoduce infections into their bladders.

      Must be many times less than in Victorian days when Gentlemen kept their rubber tube rooled up inside their Top Hats:-)

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    • Posted

      That's hilarious at first glance but then you realize that BPH is nothing new and the old chaps had to pee somehow. Where did you learn that?   
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    • Posted

      It is well documented in the UK. They relieved their symptoms but were usually dead from an infection in quite a short time. 

      Shepherds up in the hills did the same.

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