Aging & Health A to Z
Lifestyle & Management
Managing Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
Lifestyle changes may help relieve symptoms and allow you to avoid surgery. You may feel better if you:
- Limit fluids to about 2 liters or 2 quarts per day
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine (all bladder irritants)
- Avoid drinking fluids after your evening meal
- Try to urinate at least every 3 hours
- Double void – after urinating, wait and try to urinate again, to make sure your bladder is really empty
- Stay warm and try to exercise regularly
- Try to maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines that can worsen symptoms
- Talk to your healthcare provider about whether any of your medications (prescription and non-prescription) may be making your symptoms worse
- Pelvic floor muscle exercises may reduce urine leakage. Try to stop the flow of urine for 20 seconds while you are urinating. Repeat the same muscle contractions 5-15 times, three to five times daily
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly those high in beta-carotene and vitamin C
- Avoid high doses of zinc supplements, which can worsen BPH symptoms
Men with prostatitis often experience symptom relief with the following approaches:
- Soaking in a warm bath (sitz bath)
- Staying away from alcohol, caffeine, and acidic or spicy foods
- Staying well-hydrated with plenty of caffeine-free beverages
- Sitting on a soft cushion or special inflated pillow to reduce pressure on the prostate
- Stopping bicycling or using a soft, wide bicycle seat and padded shorts
Managing Prostate Cancer
You can reduce your risk of prostate cancer if you:
- Choose a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in animal fats
- Exercise most days of the week
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Manage medications. Some studies suggest that taking alpha reductase inhibitors may reduce the overall risk of developing prostate cancer. However, studies also suggest that men taking these medications may have an increased risk of getting a more aggressive form of prostate cancer. If you're concerned about your risk of developing prostate cancer, talk with your healthcare provider.
Whether your cancer is early stage or more advanced, being diagnosed with prostate cancer is likely to cause a range of feelings, including fear, anger, depression and anxiety. Helpful coping strategies may include:
- Learning what you need to know about your cancer and treatment to understand what to expect. Ask your healthcare provider for good sources of information.
- Asking family and friends for support during and after treatment.
- Connecting with other cancer patients who understand what it's like to face cancer. Ask your healthcare provider about support groups in your area.
- Taking care of yourself during cancer treatment by eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, exercising most days of the week, and getting enough sleep each night.
- If you experience sexual problems, consider touching, holding, and other ways to continue sharing sexuality with your partner.
Updated: March 2018
Posted: May 2012