When discussing Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH with patients concerned about their lower urinary tract symptoms, they often ask us about supplements and, most often, Saw Palmetto. If you have paid attention to media ads over the years, you’ve almost surely seen one or more for this supplement. Indeed, this supplement is touted as a natural and effective option for enlarged prostate.
Does Saw Palmetto Work?
The biggest concern is that the FDA does not regulate supplements like saw palmetto. This reduces the oversight of these various supplements’ purity, quality, potency, and lofty claims. Unfortunately, as we have seen over the years, certain supplements have proven dangerous, and we must do our best to vet the supplements we take as best as possible. Saw Palmetto is an interesting case because while there is little efficacy data for the supplement, there is also not much data on significant side effects. As with any new supplement or medication regimen, we suggest you speak to your primary care physician or a urologist like Dr. Kapadia to understand more about the benefits and risks of saw palmetto and other supplements that claim to treat the symptoms of BPH. By and large, if the patient understands that Saw Palmetto may not work, there is often no harm in trying.
Pro tip: If you’ve opted to try a supplement of any kind, research the quality and purity of the supplement you’re buying. Do further research on the company producing your supplements and if they’ve had quality lapses in the past. Also, be sure to tell your primary care physician or your urologist before starting any supplementation regimen.
The treatments for BPH have come a long way over the past few decades. While prostate surgery was one of the very few options back in the day, now, we have many quick, convenient, and safe in-office therapies. When patients find that they are no longer getting adequate results from, for example, medication, they can opt for these procedural options to give them long-term, long-lasting results.
Ultimately, we know how disruptive BPH can be, especially for men who have been affected severely. The bottom line is that there is no single answer for everyone with an enlarged prostate. Instead, we customize our treatment plan depending on the patient and the severity of their symptoms. While we do not endorse or prescribe any supplements for treating BPH, we have medications and procedures that can conservatively treat the obstruction.
Speak to your doctor
We encourage you to schedule an appointment with our office to speak to Dr. Kapadia about your BPH concerns and what treatment options are available in your circumstance. Dr. Kapadia takes a stepped approach toward treating BPH, ensuring we only employ the least invasive procedure therapy possible. Ultimately, it is essential to know that you, as a patient, have numerous short- and long-term treatment options to manage your lower urinary tract symptoms. If you are waking up often to go to the bathroom or if your urinary issues are impeding your lifestyle, contact us to learn more about what options you may have.