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BPE: What is Watchful Waiting?

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Because the course of benign prostatic enlargement (BPE) is unpredictable, watchful waiting is the best option for men with minimal symptoms that are not especially bothersome. With this management option, physician visits are needed about once a year to review symptom status, conduct a physical examination and perform a few simple laboratory tests.

During watchful waiting, men should adopt certain lifestyle measures to help relieve symptoms or prevent them from worsening. For example, they should not take over-the-counter antihistamines or decongestants and should avoid delaying urination. They also need to limit the amount of fluid consumed at any one time and not drink anything after 7 p.m. In addition, they should avoid beverages that contain caffeine, limit alcohol intake and cut back on spicy or salty foods. Engaging in regular physical activity, doing Kegel exercises and keeping warm also can be helpful. The association between lower urinary tract symptoms and cold weather is probably related to increased sympathetic activity (the sympathetic nervous system is more active in cold weather), which causes increased smooth muscle tone within the prostate. Also, preventing weight gain (especially around the middle), eating a diet rich in vegetables and keeping blood sugar under control may help reduce lower urinary tract symptoms. 


Posted in Enlarged Prostate on March 13, 2016

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