Is drinking more water the answer to your BPH symptoms?

Why drinking more water could actually reduce your toilet trips


Dr. Jen Tan
@AVogelUK


17 August 2017

What causes constant trips to the toilet?

As the prostate gland swells, it can put pressure on the bladder, reducing the volume of urine the bladder is able to hold, meaning that you need to urinate more frequently. Additionally, sometimes just moving in a certain way can suddenly increase this pressure, causing a sudden urge to urinate. When you do go, you often find that little actually comes out – because there isn’t actually very much in the bladder to start with. 

Why do some men try to cut back on water intake?

After what seems like the millionth bathroom trip that day, the idea suddenly dawns on you – if you stop drinking as much water, there won’t be enough in your bladder to trigger the urge to pee! Right?

Unfortunately, while this seems logical, the opposite is actually true. What you'll probably find is that as you drink less and less the sudden urges to run to the bathroom increase. So why is this, and why might drinking more water be the solution?

Why drinking less water won’t help

As you cut back on water, the urine building up in your bladder becomes concentrated and can begin to irritate the bladder. As a result, the urge to urinate is triggered, even if there isn’t very much in your bladder. However, since there is very little in there, you may notice that when you do rush to the bathroom, very little comes out, and what does is a weak stream.

In addition, this concentrated urine is the perfect place for bacteria to breed, and if you go to the bathroom and experience a weak flow, you might actually end up with some urine still left in the bladder. This can easily lead to a bladder infection, which is not good news!

Why drinking more water can help to reduce your symptoms

Increasing your water intake will lead to less concentrated urine which is much less irritating to the bladder, meaning that it can actually store more urine at once! The increased volume in the bladder means that when you do go, there is more force pushing the urine out, resulting in a stronger stream of urine and a greater chance of fully emptying the bladder.

But drinking more water can have other positive effects. Staying fully hydrated can help to prevent constipation, because it means your body doesn’t need to reabsorb so much from the large intestine. As you can imagine, the prostate sits fairly close to the colon, so a full colon will put extra pressure on the prostate and therefore on the bladder. As a result, constipation is thought to worsen your enlarged prostate symptoms.

So as long as you don’t suddenly start drinking litres and litres, a gentle increase in water intake can really help. Aim for around 2 litres a day, increasing slowly over a couple of weeks.

What else can you do for your enlarged prostate?

If you increase your water intake and find that after a few weeks you’re still rushing to the bathroom too frequently, then cutting down on water again definitely isn’t the answer! Your body needs that water for a huge number of functions, from metabolising energy from food, to transporting nutrients to the brain and muscles. Your kidneys will become very stressed without enough water, which can cause pain, damage and even infection.

Instead, look at other ways of reducing your prostate symptoms while keeping your water intake at a sufficient level.

Increasing your intake of zinc can really help, so eat plenty of pumpkin seeds!

We recommend that you avoid inflammatory foods such as red meat, dairy, alcohol, sugar and refined carbohydrates as these can worsen symptoms. 

Instead, eat lots of ‘whole’ foods, like whole wheat pasta, wholegrain bread, brown rice, oats and quinoa, as well as plenty of nuts, seeds and fresh fruit and veg.

Exercise is thought to be beneficial too, with men who exercise more regularly being less likely to develop the condition.

If your water intake isn’t helping your symptoms, then a herbal remedy like our own Prostasan saw palmetto capsules might be a good idea. These capsules are licensed for the relief of enlarged prostate symptoms, and aren’t associated with the negative side-effects that often accompany more conventional treatment methods.

"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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8 Comments

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  • Abid Ali's photo avatar
    Abid Ali — 17.01.2018 05:24
    Are medicines permanently required for enlarged prostate ? If medicines do not work is another solution for this ailment ie surgery

    Reply

    • Jen Tan's photo avatar
      Jen Tan — 17.01.2018 10:38
      Hello Abid. Yes, in general, most men find that they need to stay on medication to control an enlarged prostate gland, whether it is Saw palmetto our prescribed drugs from the doctor. Surgery is of course an option, but doctors will not want to perform this procedure unless the prostate is very large, or the condition is not responsive to medication. In addition, the prostate gland can enlarge again after surgery and in some, a second operation may be needed although this will usually be many years later.

      Reply

  • trevor haines's photo avatar
    trevor haines — 11.12.2017 20:41
    mr

    Reply

  • Gordon's photo avatar
    Gordon — 22.11.2017 09:02
    Can you tell me if taking saw palmetto affects the PSA reading. I took it years ago before it was confirmed I had prostate cancer. The oncologist said that saw palmetto had an effect on the PSA reading. it is now 16 years since I was diagnosed and my PDSA is rising. It is now 8.3 being aroujnd 8 for the last two years and i was wondering if taking saw palmetto would b e of a ny use. Look forward to your comments

    Reply

    • Jen Tan's photo avatar
      Jen Tan — 23.11.2017 09:16
      Saw palmetto will not affect PSA levels in your blood nor will it interfere with the measurement of PSA in the laboratory. It is a treatment used for prostate enlargement - if you are suffering from prostate cancer, this herb is not likely to be helpful to you.

      Reply

What's being asked

Hi, I had a blood test a few weeks ago to check for prostate cancer, which came back as negative. Would this test tell me if I had an enlarged prostate?

No, blood tests are not part of the diagnosis for an enlarged prostate.
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I have an enlarged prostate. I take Saw Palmetto with other ingredients including zinc etc. Any other ideas please?

Zinc is a good supplement to take, as it is thought to benefit the prostate gland generally. You ...
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I have an enlarged prostate and have had a biopsy. All is ok but is there a herbal or other type of product I can take to reduce the size of my prostate?

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Here's what I recommend

As the A. Vogel Men’s Health expert, I recommend Prostasan® Saw Palmetto capsules to help relieve symptoms arising from enlarged prostate.

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Did you know?

BPH is a very common problem that increases the older men get, and around half of all men have an enlarged prostate by the age of 50. At the age of 80, this has risen to 80%

What you need to know about BPH
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