QUESTION: I'm a 43-year-old male. My problem: I wake up at night to go to the bathroom. My doctor diagnosed me with benign prostatic hypertrophy, an enlarged prostate, and recommended a drug. Are there any natural approaches?
ANSWER: It's estimated that more than 60 percent of men between the ages of 40 and 60 suffer from an enlarged prostate. As men age, their bodies tend to convert the male hormone, testosterone, into a more active form which stimulates prostate cells to grow.
I have found a number of natural treatments for this condition. One recent patient of mine saw a complete reversal of his symptoms with natural remedies. For starters, I recommend three herbs: saw palmetto, pygeum africanum and stinging nettles. Stinging nettles has anti-inflammatory properties that help shrink a swollen prostate. Saw palmetto blocks the active form of testosterone from binding to prostate cells, preventing the hormone from stimulating them. Less is known about how pygeum works, but it is an ancient African remedy that has been used for urinary tract symptoms for centuries with apparent success. Perhaps, like stinging nettles, it reduces inflammation and swelling. Finally, I also recommend essential fatty acids, like those found in fish oils, because they have anti-inflammatory properties as well.