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From prostatitis to BPH: How prostate health changes as you get older

 From prostatitis to BPH: How prostate health changes as you get older

As a man, your body undergoes various changes with age, and a specific aspect of your health that often demands increased focus is the prostate gland. Prostate health may not always be the most comfortable topic to discuss. Many men feel embarrassed or self-conscious, which is completely normal. However, by understanding these changes and addressing any concerns, you can take proactive steps to support your prostate health and overall wellbeing.
In this guide, we’ll explore the natural ageing process of the prostate, delve into common prostate problems that may arise along the way, and offer guidance on seeking support.

Understanding the prostate

First and foremost, let’s take a closer look at the prostate itself. Located just below your bladder and in front of your rectum, the prostate gland is roughly the shape and size of a walnut. Its primary function is to produce fluid that nourishes and protects sperm.

Common prostate problems

As you get older, your prostate changes and you’re more likely to encounter common issues, such as inflammation (prostatitis) or an enlarged prostate (BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia).
Experiencing one prostate issue doesn’t increase the risk of developing another. For example, having prostatitis or enlarged prostate symptoms doesn’t necessarily indicate a higher likelihood of developing a more serious condition. You might even experience both prostatitis and BPH simultaneously.
While prostate problems can be concerning, it’s important to stress these issues are common among older men and generally manageable. Maintaining regular check-ups with your doctor, staying informed about prostate health, and adopting a healthy lifestyle can help mitigate the impact of prostate issues and support your overall wellbeing.


Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland, often caused by a bacterial infection like a urinary tract infection (1). Prostatitis is an extremely common condition, and most men will experience it at some point in their lives. If you notice any changes, try not to worry.
The symptoms of prostatitis include:

  • Difficulty passing urine

  • A burning or stinging sensation when urinating

  • Strong, frequent urge to pass urine

  • Chills and high fever

  • Low back pain or body aches

  • Pain low in the penis, scrotum, testicles, or bottom 

  • Sexual problems and loss of sex drive

  • Painful ejaculation

Prostatitis is usually treated with antibiotics, and you should feel better within two weeks. Remember, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about when discussing these symptoms with your GP. Health professionals are highly experienced and skilled in addressing prostate-related concerns and will handle any conversation with the utmost care and empathy.

Enlarged prostate (BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia)

While you may not notice changes in your prostate during your younger years, it can enlarge as you age, potentially affecting your bladder function.
An enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a common condition that affects men over 50 (2). It occurs when the prostate gland grows larger than usual, leading to urinary issues.
Symptoms of BPH include:

  • Have a weak or slow urine flow that starts and stops

  • A strong or sudden urge to pass urine

  • Passing more urine during the day

  • Not being able to fully empty the bladder

  • Dribbling at the end of urination

  • Frequent urination at night (nocturia)

Enlarged prostate symptoms are cues to see your doctor for management options, which often include lifestyle changes, medications, minimally invasive procedures, or surgery. While an enlarged prostate isn’t usually a serious condition, it can significantly affect your quality of life if left untreated.
Indeed, benign prostatic hyperplasia and urination issues commonly affect self-esteem, trigger anxiety and embarrassment, and hinder open, honest conversations. It can even impact sleep and energy levels due to frequent urination at night.
If discussing enlarged prostate symptoms with your partner, wife, or loved ones feels uncomfortable, rest assured you're not alone. Many men encounter similar challenges. Aside from your GP, you can always reach out to a pharmacist or contact our expert Nutrition Advice team, who are on hand to offer confidential guidance and support. 
You can also explore our guide on having conversations about prostate health with loved ones here.

Tips for maintaining prostate health as you age

While some aspects of prostate health are beyond your control, there are steps you can take to support your wellbeing as you get older. 

  • Stay active: Regular exercise can improve urinary function and overall health.

  • Maintain a healthy diet: A diet rich in nutrient-dense whole foods, and low in red meat and processed foods, can support prostate health.

  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps flush out toxins and keeps the urinary system healthy.

  • Limit alcohol and caffeine: These substances can irritate the bladder and worsen urinary symptoms.

  • Practise good bathroom habits: Avoid holding in urine for long periods and empty your bladder completely when urinating.

For more information on lifestyle changes to support prostate health, click here.

Best vitamins for prostate health

In addition to adjusting your lifestyle and overall mindset, consider integrating the following nutrients into your diet to support prostate health. 

  • Zinc contributes to the maintenance of normal testosterone, fertility, and reproduction. It also helps protect cells from oxidative damage. Stress, caffeine, smoking, and drinking can deplete zinc levels in the body, so it’s important to stay on top of your intake. Meat, shellfish, legumes, whole grains, eggs, cacao powder, nuts, and seeds are excellent sources of zinc.

  • Vitamin D3 plays a vital role in immune function and supports many areas of men’s health. The best way to synthesise vitamin D3 is from direct sunlight. Since this isn’t always possible in winter months, the NHS recommends supplementing with 10µg from October to March. You can also find small amounts of it in meat, oily fish, eggs, and fortified foods.

  • Beta-sitosterol is a sterol found in almost all plants and is often recommended for men over 50. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds contain excellent amounts of beta-sitosterol.

  • Quercetin is a widely researched bioflavonoid and remains a popular choice for mature men. Good sources include apples, onions, parsley, sage, tea, red wine, blueberries and dark cherries.  

Explore our range of expert nutritional formulas designed specifically for men aged 50 and above here.

Want to find out more?

Navigating prostate health can be challenging and may be awkward. However, you're not alone in this journey. If you're experiencing common prostate problems, including prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia, or have questions about your prostate health – perhaps around prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing – don't hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider.  They will provide non-judgemental guidance and support based on your individual needs.
Remember, you can also contact our team of expert Nutrition Advisors for free, confidential health advice. To learn more about supporting your prostate health, visit Nutrition Buzz.
A final note from our Nutrition Advisors: If you experience any signs of urinary discomfort, such as nocturia (frequent urination at night), a sensation of incomplete bladder emptying, or a weakened or interrupted urine stream, it’s important to consult your doctor for medical advice. They can help determine if you have benign prostatic hyperplasia or another prostate condition that may need prompt medical intervention.
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  1. . Prostatitis. [online] Available at:

  2. . Overview - Benign prostate enlargement. [online] NHS. Available at:


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Disclaimer: The information presented by Nature's Best is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications.

Our Author - Olivia Salter


Olivia Salter has always been an avid health nut. After graduating from the University of Bristol, she began working for a nutritional consultancy where she discovered her passion for all things wellness-related. There, she executed much of the company’s content marketing strategy and found her niche in health writing, publishing articles in Women’s Health, Mind Body Green, Thrive and Psychologies.

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