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Advise on enlarged prostate and cycling

Old 06-05-13, 10:20 PM
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Reynolds 
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Advise on enlarged prostate and cycling

Hi, not a frequent poster in this forum but I lurk here often.
I'd like your advise on this: I'm 62, avid cyclist (about 12-14,000 kms a year). 1 month ago I started to feel a slight, diffuse pain in the testicles/perineal zone. Went to an urologist MD, he didn't give the pain much importance, said it'll probably go away by itself (it did), but had me do some tests (urine flow test, bladder/prostate ecography, prostate specific antigen). Turns out I have a benign enlarged prostate (usual for my age he said) and he told me to avoid alcohol, coffee and hot spices and to use a saddle with a cut-out and "ease off" some on cycling, and come see him again in 1 year unless I had any new symptoms.
I think he's a good professional, but hasn't any experience with cyclists/bicycling. Probably many of you have experienced this.Your opinions will be welcome!
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Old 06-05-13, 11:03 PM
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Sounds like a pretty good report to me, especially considering your mileage. Did he mention drinking plenty of clean water?

Some guys report that the saddle they used for years no longer fits them...

You appear to have averaged over one post a day for almost eight years- I guess that's not frequent compared to a few around here, but really.
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Old 06-05-13, 11:12 PM
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When I had Prostate problems I mentioned cycling to the consultant and he said that cycling will not affect the prostate. If it did- he would have all of the older members of the local cycling clubs on his books. As it was he had just as many- runners- gym fanatics or keep fit fanatics on his books as cyclists. What he had noted was that those that do physical activity recovered from any treatment quicker than those that did not exercise.

He also put a proviso on that though in that if any pain or adverse reaction was increased by cycling- then he would suggest cutting back on cycling to relieve any symptoms.
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Old 06-05-13, 11:18 PM
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Hi Reynolds,

I tried to send this to you in a PM, but I don't have 50 posts, so the system won't let me send a PM. Grrrr! As I can seriously sympathize with you, I'll take the risk of exposing myself here. Grumble, gripe ...

My experience was that the enlargement process kept going to where I gave up cycling for about a year as too uncomfortable. But then the process just kept going until the discomfort became nearly full time. The process does that. It doesn't just stop.

So off to the doc who recommended either a drug (Avodart in my case) that shrinks the prostate or one of the surgeries that burns away some of the mass of the prostate.

I hate the idea of surgery and I also do not like taking drugs, so I dithered for a few months until it all got to where even sitting in a chair was uncomfortable. I've been using the Avodart now for just over 4 months and the relief has been dramatic. I'm riding again with no discomfort. Just like old times!

No side effects for me. All is good. The warnings that come with Avodart scared me off when I first picked up the prescription, but the pharmacist printed out a more detailed reporting of the percentages of users who had side effects over month one, month two, month three, etc. Basically, if you don't get side effects after month one, your chances for side effects go waaay down and they are pretty low to begin with. If you do get side effects, you can just stop taking the drug and those problems will go away.

That's my 2 cents worth!

Best to you,

Reid
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Old 06-06-13, 08:34 AM
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When I mentioned some symptoms to my previous doc (slow start, frequent peeing), he said "Oh, that's just the cycling -- I see it all the time."

I didn't believe him, but now I think there is some correlation -- ride more, more symptoms. I even see some changes during a ride that suggest that there is pressure on the prostate.

I don't have any pain, and am comfortable on long rides. I have a Specialized Alias saddle, which shouldn't cause any pressure, but apparently does. I'd love to see if a different saddle would make a difference, but I'm so comfortable on it that I don't want to try anything else.

Did the doc mention prostatitis? That can come and go, and I learned long ago to just ignore it.
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Old 06-06-13, 08:47 AM
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Two years ago I had a significantly elevated PSA result. The doctor casually mentioned that bicycling could contribute to falsely high readings. He told me "no bike riding for two weeks and we'll test again." The subsequent test was back to a normal range.
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Old 06-06-13, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
he told me to avoid alcohol, coffee and hot spices
Holy crap. I'm doomed!

I'm currently taking a med for prostate issues, but never thought cycling was a contributing factor.
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Old 06-06-13, 11:08 AM
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6 months ago I had a 5 PSA test. First time ever above "normal". Went to the Urologist who was not very concerned noting my age 62 and history of cycling(4,000-5,000miles/year all road). Just did my 6 month review and PSA is down slightly, 4.8 and my Doc says no big issues other than welcome to age 63 and the accompanying changes that come with it. Until a more conclusive test for prostrate cancer is developed you are stuck along with scads of others your age wondering about the big C due to an elevated PSA test. I think it is a disservice to us males that a more age related PSA chart is not developed.
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Old 06-06-13, 11:33 AM
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I've got BPH, (Benign Prostate Hypertrophy.) It definitely takes me longer to pee than it used to, but I'm not quite to the point of needing to do anything about it. A saddle might irritate it, but won't cause it. In fact, nobody seems to be able to tell me exactly what does cause it, other than to tell me to quit whatever it is that I'm doing.

I won't say the "R" word.
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Old 06-06-13, 11:41 AM
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For most of those cyclist that ride many miles every year I'd have to wonder if the drop bars most use don't cause prostrate issues.

The drop posture will put increased pressure on the whole perineal region of the body thus irritating an aging prostate. A more upright riding posture might just avoid. or at least ease, prostate issues for most older riders. That could also explain why I ,at 67, have no problems with my prostate since I ride upright all the time.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 06-06-13, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
...That could also explain why I ,at 67, have no problems with my prostate since I ride upright all the time.
The reason I'm pretty sure that bike seats don't cause it is because prostates have been enlarging since before bicycles were invented. I have heard that it's less common in Europe, but again, nobody knows why. I'm pretty sure that if you have no problems at age 67, you're just luckier than me.

Besides, I've got one of those "R" things which don't have saddles.
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Old 06-06-13, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
The reason I'm pretty sure that bike seats don't cause it is because prostates have been enlarging since before bicycles were invented. I have heard that it's less common in Europe, but again, nobody knows why. I'm pretty sure that if you have no problems at age 67, you're just luckier than me.

Besides, I've got one of those "R" things which don't have saddles.
It's caused by Global Worming.
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Old 06-06-13, 10:46 PM
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Thanks all! Seems a highly variable issue. I didn't note any discomfort or pain specifically related to cycling, my only symptom was sometimes, not always, I had a weak and slow pee. The Dr. said I could take some drug to improve this, but it doesn't bother me much (yet). We'll see....
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Old 06-07-13, 08:16 AM
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Best advice I can give on any medical condition is to get a second and third opinion. Seek out medical professionals that have relevant experience if at all possible. A urologist that is an avid cyclist is more likely to current and knowledgeable about the cycling's related effects.
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Old 06-07-13, 12:58 PM
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[QUOTE=Looigi;157155110... A urologist that is an avid cyclist...[/QUOTE]

How on earth would you find one of those
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Old 06-07-13, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DGlenday View Post
How on earth would you find one of those
You have to ask around. Riding acquaintances who are doctors may know one, sports medicine practices may have one or know one. When calling a doctor's office ask for the specific and relevant experience in conditions like yours. Of course if you're in an HMO or similar, your choices may be limited.
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Old 06-07-13, 01:19 PM
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Make sure that it is not infected the symptoms are very similar although some pain at time--been fighting an infection for the past year--the docs (family and endocrinologist doctors) don't leave me long enough on antibiotics as it takes much longer to clear because the prostate is very well protected.

For so many years I have had a relatively slow flow but it never bothered me until 15 years ago when I had my first infection and the urologist at the time kept me on antibiotics for 3 months and sure enough it cleared--until last year when it happened again but I finally went to see an urologist again and he will keep me on antibiotics until completely clear!

Cycling may have something to do with it, because of the prostate position, although simply seating is also not so good.

Yes alcohol caffeine and spices are unfortunately not recommended!
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Old 06-08-13, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
The reason I'm pretty sure that bike seats don't cause it is because prostates have been enlarging since before bicycles were invented. I have heard that it's less common in Europe, but again, nobody knows why. I'm pretty sure that if you have no problems at age 67, you're just luckier than me.

Besides, I've got one of those "R" things which don't have saddles.
I'm a firm believer of taking Saw Palmetto herb with my vitamins every day since SP is used in Europe as a medicine for a healthy prostate.

Could be why I don't suffer from prostate issues.

"Saw palmetto ( Serenoa repens , Sabal serrulata ) is used popularly in Europe for symptoms associated with benign prostatic hypertrophy (enlargement of the prostate). Although not considered standard of care in the United States, it is the most popular herbal treatment for this condition."

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/saw...nt-sawpalmetto
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

Last edited by Nightshade; 06-08-13 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 06-08-13, 05:17 PM
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My symptoms were pretty pronounced after yesterday's ride, I may have to play with saddle tilt. In the past, I could reduce prostate problems but increase sit bone soreness if I tilted it forward a bit.

Every time I look in to saw palmetto, I see that the results are so mixed. For example,

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011...state-problems

versus

http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/me...to-truly-works
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Old 06-08-13, 06:31 PM
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I have BPH and am sick of it...

Before retirement I had a desk job and rarely exercised on purpose. The need to urgently visit the men's room occurred once or twice a day. My PSA was elevated and my Dr suggested I could start taking drugs. I said hold the drugs. The problem wasn't too bad.

First year of retirement - Spent four months skiing (100+ days). I also started riding my bicycle during warmer weather. Occasionally I would need to visit a tree to relieve myself. Still wasn't too bad.

Second winter the need to pee became overwhelming. Called the Dr. and requested a prescription. Started taking 'Flomax'. This helped the situation. During the summer I had and appointment with the dreaded urologist. Went in for Ultrasound and biopsy (negative). Continued the drugs.

This went on for another two years. Many visits to the trees or restrooms. Yearly appointment with the urologist, a second round of biopsy still negative. Still - 'Wait and See'.

Last spring I had a bout of prostatitis. Driving across country, not being able to pee, got to me. Checked into an Emergency Room about 200 miles from home. They inserted a catheter and drained almost three liters. Another visit to the urologist for another round of tests. A prescription for generic Avodart and an increase in Flomax.

Now about a year of taking the increased medications. The visits to the trees/restrooms are less frequent, less urgent. The PSA levels are down but may be influenced by the drugs. Skiing was more comfortable and I'm taking longer bicycle rides.

All is not well. I'm still keeping track of restrooms, job johnnies', and private trees. When the urge hits I still must obey the call of nature. Urologist follow-up appointment in about two weeks. Hoping to continue current treatment.

Basically the 'problem' went from I can live with it - to - Send help (drugs) - to - I can live with it - to - Help I'm in pain/trouble - to - I can live with it. This has been over six years of skiing 100+ days most winters and bicycling 100 miles/week.

Now where is the bathroom?
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Old 06-09-13, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
My symptoms were pretty pronounced after yesterday's ride, I may have to play with saddle tilt. In the past, I could reduce prostate problems but increase sit bone soreness if I tilted it forward a bit.

Every time I look in to saw palmetto, I see that the results are so mixed. For example,

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011...state-problems

versus

http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/me...to-truly-works
Do yourself a favor and just try Saw Palmetto for two month to see what your results are.

Just because some idiot writer says it doesn't work just scares people into Big Parma's arms which is a serious load of bull crap!!
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 06-09-13, 12:12 PM
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+1 on the Saw Palmetto...

It was recommended by the Doctor, and I have been taking it for years... I get mine at costco in the extract form.

My dad had prostrate cancer... I just don't want to go there.

I thought about trying that super beta prostrate stuff, but as long as I am normal... I should be ok.
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Old 06-09-13, 12:58 PM
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My understanding of Physiology is the Prostate is within your pelvis..
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Old 06-10-13, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ChargerDawg View Post
+1 on the Saw Palmetto...

It was recommended by the Doctor, and I have been taking it for years... I get mine at costco in the extract form.

My dad had prostrate cancer... I just don't want to go there.

I thought about trying that super beta prostrate stuff, but as long as I am normal... I should be ok.
Like they say......If it ain't broke don't fix it!!!
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 06-10-13, 02:50 PM
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Anyone tried pumpkin seeds?
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