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  • Writer's pictureCat Calhoun

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an enlargement of the prostate gland. This is fairly common in older men. It can cause very uncomfortable urinary problems such as blocking the flow of urine. This can also cause bladder, urinary tract and/or kidney problems.

Signs and Symptoms of BPH

  • Frequent urge to urinate with very little urine actually voiding out.

  • Discomfort and burning upon urination.

  • Difficulty getting the flow of urine going and interrupted flow once it gets going. Flow often comes in waves and dribbles instead of a stream. Flow is often weaker than it used to be and the patient tends to dribble after completion.

  • Excessive nighttime urination, impacting rest and sometimes the sex drive.

  • Sensation that bladder isn't empty after voiding.

  • Pain and/or discomfort in the lower back, perineum, lower abdomen, or thighs right above the pubic area. Pain intensifies during bowel movements.

  • Pain or discomfort upon and after ejaculation.

  • Pain at the tip of the penis. Pretty common for prostate pain to refer to the tip of the penis.

BPH is linked to poor diet and nutrition, emotional factors, lack of exercise, poor sleep, stress, and environmental factors. We can help with herbs and acupuncture, but the cure lies in lifestyle changes. Be a lifestyle coach for your patients. Encourage them toward a healthy diet, train them in how to lower their cholesterol and maintain a healthy BMI. Coach them on which exercises to choose if this is in your wheelhouse. Have them reduce or stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol consumption and elimination is very hard on the Kidneys and Liver, the two main organs affected in BPH.

Acupuncture Protocol Suggestions

  • Left Side: Xia San Huang. Tong Bei, Tong Wei, and Tong Shen.

  • Right Side: Huo Ying, Huo Zhu, Lv 6* *Master Tung's Lv 6 is needled next to the tibia on the Spleen channel rather than on the bone itself. Use your fingernail to palpate and slide the needle right next to the bone.

Herbal Medicine Suggestions

I recommend prescribing pills or powders for your patients. Use these formulas alone (patents) or as basic building blocks (powders). Raw herbs might be too strong for these patients.

  • Long Dan Xie Gan Tang This relieve Liver Yang rising and damp heat in the prostate area. Don't prescribe this long term as it can damage stomach Qi. Prescribe warming soups and ginger teas along with this to protect the stomach.

  • Qian Lie Xian Wan This is a modern formula, but it is great to reduce the size of the prostate. This is a modification on Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan. ActiveHerb sells this product at a reasonable price - about $11 US at the moment - and it is a good quality formula that I've had patients use with good results.

  • Huang Lian Jie Du Tang This helps detox the body of any crud contributing to BPH. Toxins can move downward in the body and can lodge in the testes/prostate.

Dr. Robert Chu has a good custom formula for BPH, but you'll need to take the Master Tung Acupuncture for Male Disorders class on eLotus to get that. Worth it! I think this whole class will set you back about $15 and you'll learn a ton.

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