An enlarged prostate is a common problem as a man grows older. While not usually serious, the symptoms can be annoying. On this page, Dr. Jen Tan gives his advice on what to do if you think you have an enlarged prostate.
Once the diagnosis has been confirmed, your doctor will be in a position to discuss treatment options with you. In general, these will include:
Watchful waiting – for many men with mild symptoms, the option of ‘watching to see how the problem develops' is an acceptable one
Prescribed medicines – these will belong to one of two classes of drugs known as α-blockers and 5-α-reductase inhibitors. Like all medicines, they have their advantages and disadvantages (including the potential for side effects)
Surgery – this is usually the option taken if you are not responding to medication or if you experience severe symptoms. Your doctor will refer you to the local hospital for an appointment with an urologist.
The berries of the Saw Palmetto plant have been used traditionally to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate. These berries contain specific types of plant oil, including one known as β-sistosterol.
In the UK, the Department of Health has granted registrations (or licences) to a few Saw Palmetto products manufactured to pharmaceutical standards for the treatment of symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
Saw Palmetto may be used at the ‘watchful waiting’ stage, either before or after surgery, particularly if symptoms are mild to moderately severe in nature. However, it may not be used if you are already on other types of prostate medication.
Although there is no need for you to speak to your doctor about Saw Palmetto before trying the herb, some men may prefer to do so. To help start an informed discussion, we have produced a Saw Palmetto Healthcare Professional info pack for you to download, print and take with you to your next appointment with the doctor.
"Having been told by a consultant urologist some 30 years ago that I would at some stage require surgery, I am pleased to say that having used the saw palmetto capsules from that time he has (so far) been proved wrong!" James, UK
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Prostasan® – Saw Palmetto capsules for enlarged prostate