We roast it, brew it, and savor it. It can taste earthy, acidic, or even citrus-like. There are countless varieties, from Blue Mountain and Bourbon to Santos and Sarchimor. Yes, I’m talking about coffee, one of the world’s most beloved beverages. Coffee is among the most widely traded agricultural commodities. There is even a National Coffee Day dedicated to it (September 29th). But is it bad for your prostate, particularly if you have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)? What should you know about coffee and an enlarged prostate?
Enlarged prostate symptoms
The symptoms of an enlarged prostate can interfere with your daily routine. Frequent urination is common, particularly frequent nighttime urination. You might also experience difficulty starting, starting and stopping, or trouble emptying your bladder fully. Some men also experience an uncomfortable feeling of fullness or pressure.
How coffee affects an enlarged prostate
Overconsumption of coffee can aggravate your BPH symptoms. It acts like a double-edged sword. If you drink a lot of coffee, it increases the sheer volume of urine output. And secondly, the caffeine itself also contributes to BPH symptoms by irritating and stimulating the bladder. This can result in more frequent, urgent urination.
Your bladder tells the brain that it is full by sending a signal via the nervous system. Caffeine acts upon the central nervous system. Consuming caffeine can interfere with the transmission of the signals in the nervous system, which can cause the bladder to fill up rapidly. It may also result in urge incontinence, or bladder leakage.
Can coffee cause BPH?
So far, the research does not point to coffee and caffeine as causes of BPH. One study found that men who drink coffee do have an increased risk of developing BPH, however it’s important to keep in mind that the research is preliminary, and that other dietary factors should be taken into consideration. For example, other studies have pointed to an association between the development of an enlarged prostate and the reduced consumption of vegetables and legumes.
Keep a record
If you regularly consume coffee and you experience symptoms of an enlarged prostate, keep a daily record. Write down the amount of coffee you drank and when you drank it. Make a note of whether you experienced frequent or urgent urination, as well as nighttime urination and any other BPH symptoms. If you drink a cup of coffee or two after dinner, for example, you might notice that you need to get up during the night to relieve yourself.
Reduce your coffee consumption gradually. Quitting caffeine abruptly will result in headaches, problems concentrating, and of course, fatigue. You might also feel irritable. Some people even experience flu-like symptoms from caffeine withdrawal. Start by cutting down on coffee that you consume later in the day in order to alleviate nighttime symptoms. You could also try to trick yourself by filling your coffee mug halfway or switching to decaf.
Read more in our Prostate Cancer Health Center.