There’s one question men over 50 ask their doctors more than any other: “What can I do about frequent urination at night?” It’s a problem that causes men to lose sleep and it can even affect their sex life.
As men approach their 40s, they will typically get up once or twice a night to urinate. By age 50, most men develop some degree of inflammation in their prostate, causing an enlarged prostate. Most urologists know that saw palmetto is a great way to help reduce the inflammation and increased night-time urination. But there’s something you can take with saw palmetto to make it work even better.
For years, doctors didn’t worry too much about frequent urination during the night. They thought it was just a normal sign of aging for men. But you shouldn’t ignore the change in bathroom habits. Here’s why: An enlargement of the prostate causes obstructed outflow of urine from the bladder through the prostatic urethra. The result is increased residual urine and thus reduced bladder capacity.
Getting up at night is only one of the symptoms of an enlarged prostate that’s obstructed. A man may also have difficulty initiating urination, have a weaker flow or a decreased stream, an increased frequency of voiding, and/or dribbling at the end of urination.
Medicine describes this problem as benign, which suggests that the problem is not a serious health problem. However, these symptoms are much like the symptoms of serious prostate problems. Ignoring these symptoms is downright dangerous, as the cause may not really be benign at all!
Severe prostate enlargement can lead to the development of serious long-term health effects, such as urinary tract infections, bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones, painful intercourse, and incontinence.
The Natural Way to Treat an Enlarged Prostate
The natural answer for an enlarged prostate includes some excellent and scientifically valid herbal remedies. The first of these is one you’ve likely heard of before – saw palmetto. Saw palmetto is a plant that’s native to North America. You’ll see it everywhere if you drive along the turnpike in Florida. The plant produces a berry that’s the main ingredient in many prostate formulas. It works by reducing prostate inflammation, alleviating chronic urinary tract infections, and increasing sperm count. Best of all, saw palmetto delivers the wonderful added benefit of increased sex drive in men.
A second herb that’s very effective for the treatment of an enlarged prostate is pygeum. Pygeum is a large evergreen tree that grows in the higher plateaus of southern Africa. Studies have shown that pygeum bark is a scientifically valid and clinically effective remedy for functional symptoms of enlarged prostate. The symptoms this herb improves are nocturia (nighttime urination), dysuria (painful or difficult urination), voiding disorders, and the sensation of uncomfortable bladder fullness. European studies have shown that pygeum improves overall prostate symptoms by 40%, and quality of life scores by 32%. Nighttime urinary frequency was improved by 32%, too.
The Supplement That Makes Palmetto and Pygeum Work Even Better
There’s another supplement you can take along with saw palmetto and pygeum. It’s the herb stinging nettle. Nettle is a weed found in most of the temperate regions of the world. Its root and rhizome are powerful weapons in the treatment of prostate conditions. Their high lignan content made nettle an attractive fiber source before the introduction of flaxseeds. The lignan content is also the key to nettle’s benefits for prostate health.
In men, the hormones estrogen and androgens, such as testosterone, bind to a substance called Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG). This, in turn, causes cell proliferation. As men grow older, their SHBG levels increase, making them more susceptible to abnormal cell growth. This can lead to serious health problems. The lignans in nettle help it bind to SHBG. When the nettle binds to the SHBG, the hormones cannot. This protects the prostate and makes the herb a powerful prostate remedy.
The popular use of stinging nettle root extract in Germany encouraged researchers to conduct numerous clinical trials. Collectively, these trials demonstrated the benefits of using nettle root for the treatment of enlarged prostate.
I often recommend using a combination of saw palmetto, pygeum, and nettle for reducing prostate inflammation. In one study, Swiss researchers found that combining nettle with pygeum was significantly more effective than pygeum alone. And another study showed that saw palmetto and nettle work as well as a common prostate drug, with fewer adverse effects.
The design of the study allowed doctors to get a very good look at the effectiveness of the herbal approach for prostate inflammation. It was a randomized, double-blind, multi-center clinical trial that involved 543 patients suffering from the first two stages I and II of enlarged prostate. Both the herbal and the drug therapies proved to be similar in effectiveness in all areas, including prostate symptom scores, urination times, and urinary flow rate. The major difference was in tolerability. There was simply no contest. The men tolerated the herbal therapy far better than the drug. The drug group reported significantly more adverse events, including diminished ejaculation volume, lack of sexual desire and function, and headaches. Those in the herbal group didn’t have any of these problems.
The dose of saw palmetto that works to protect the prostate from excess testosterone and shrink the gland is 160 mg of a standardized extract twice a day. This should reduce the size of the gland in about four to six weeks. Look for formulas that combine saw palmetto with stinging nettle and Pygeum Africanum (50 mg, two times daily for each).
I also recommend that you take 30-60 mg of zinc every day. I also recommend taking 5,000 IU of vitamin D every day along with the herbs. And, take a multivitamin that has 400 IU of vitamin E and 100-200 mcg of selenium every day. Finally, you want to avoid prostatic irritants such as alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and spicy foods. Using all these natural remedies will dramatically improve the health of your prostate and your sex life.
Solving Erectile Dysfunction
If you want extra help for sexual dysfunction, it’s vital you increase your body’s production of the neuro-transmitter nitric oxide (NO). When a stimulus is sexually arousing to a man, the brain sends signals down the spinal cord, along the prostate gland, and into the penis. This causes the release of NO.
The presence of NO activates an enzyme that relaxes muscles in the corpora cavernosa (two spongy bundles of nerves and blood vessels in the penis). The relaxation allows the corpora to engorge with blood. Engorgement causes an erection. Once these tissues expand, they squeeze shut veins that normally carry blood away from the penis. This traps the blood inside and maintains the erection.
The good news is you can enhance NO production without drugs. The first place to start is with your diet. Diets high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables help maintain vascular integrity with sufficient blood flow to the erectile tissue of the penis. Healthy foods also prevent lipid peroxidation, which hinders normal erections.
There are also many foods that deplete the body’s store of vitamins and minerals and cause erectile dysfunction. These include caffeine, sugar, and alcohol. Smoking and recreational drugs will cause the same problem. Caffeine and tobacco are stimulants. But they also act to relax muscles and deplete neurotransmitters. This makes it more difficult to maintain an erection. Oftentimes, the simple elimination of these substances from the diet offers dramatic improvement.
As for supplements, start with the three nutrients I mentioned for enlarged prostate symptoms. I also recommend taking CircO2, which is a natural NO producing supplement. CircO2 helps encourage the health of your blood vessels as well. Vitamins C (2,000 mg daily) and E (400 IU daily) and essential fatty acids are also important for healthy male sexual function.
With these nutrients, not only can you reduce the frequency of nighttime urination, you can have a healthy prostate and sex life as well.