Most men who don't know how to maintain prostate health will at some stage have prostate problems. These can range from mild and manageable to unbearable, even fatal. Certainly a lot of suffering and distress can be avoided by learning how to take care of this important gland. This article will highlight some common prostate problems and explain how to improve and maintain the health of the prostate.
The two most common forms of prostate problems are prostatitis and benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH - non-cancerous enlarged prostate - frequently also called benign prostatic hyperplasia). Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. Inflammation causes some degree of swelling due to increased blood flow to the affected tissue. This inflammation can affect men of all ages. Generally however, an enlarged prostate is associated with men who are over the age of 40 years. See Prostate Cancer
The prostate gland wraps around the base of the urethra (the tube that transports the urine from the bladder through the penis). The prostate is described as being encapsulated, meaning it is surrounded by a tough exterior layer. This means that as it swells it is easier for the space within the tube running through it (the urethra) to be compressed than it is for other expansion of the prostatic tissue. When the gland gets larger due to either prostatitis or BPH it therefore obstructs the flow of urine. As compression on the urethra increases, the bladder is unable to empty completely, the outflow of urine is impeded and bladder infections become frequent.
The symptoms of BPH may include:
Decrease in the size and flow of urine:
Along with similar symptoms to those above, in the case of acute inflammation there can also be blood in the urine. Always consult a health professional if you detect or suspect there is any blood in your urine.
The first sign that something is amiss is urinary hesitation and what once happened effortlessly seems to require a few moments or minutes of straining to get started. A chronic sensation of pressure or urgency may develop and over time it may become difficult to fully empty the bladder. This means that there is an increased risk of the development of a bladder infection, as well as restless nights with frequent trips to the bathroom. In severe cases the urine can back up into the kidneys and damage them.
Benign prostatic hypertrophy is one of the most common health problems experienced by men.
It is estimated that 50 - 60% of all men between the ages of 40 and 60 years and up to 90% of men over the age of 80 years have some degree of BPH. Conventional prescription medication for the condition often has unpleasant side effects. The herbal remedy saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) has been shown in various randomized, double blind, placebo trials to be effective in the prevention and treatment of BPH and other urinary tract problems.
Saw palmetto, also known as the sable plant, is a member of the fan palm family. It grows to about 4 meters. The plant produces maroon-black berries which are the size and shape of an olive. These berries are the medicinal part of the plant. The herb has a long history as an aphrodisiac and tonic for the male reproductive system. The saw palmetto oil is the active component for alleviating BPH symptoms and has been shown to have a discernible effect on the production of testosterone (the male sex hormone).
Men's bodies also contain oestrogen - the female sex hormone. An enzyme converts some testosterone into estradiol (one of the estrogens), which appears to influence the muscle tissue of the prostate - leading to its increase in size. Saw palmetto contains beta-sitosterol - this is a steroid like constituent that inhibits oestrogen activity. It is thought that this anti-estrogenic action brings about the beneficial effect on the enlarged prostate. Prostate enlargement is also caused by an increase in testosterone and its metabolite dihidrotestosterone (DHT). The increased hormone leads to excessive binding of DHT to specific receptor sites on the prostate gland. An enlarged prostate can have 4 - 6 times more DHT. Saw palmetto prevents this binding from taking place. Cadmium, other toxic metals (residues of industrial solvents and pesticides) and cholesterol all increase the production of DHT. There also seems to be a link with zinc deficiency.
There are quite a few research studies on saw palmetto that show it relieves the symptoms of BPH and has fewer side effects and costs significantly less than prescription drugs. In Germany and Austria saw palmetto is the general practitioners' and urologists' first choice when treating BPH. The German government has approved saw palmetto, pumpkin seeds and nettle root extract as a treatment for BPH. One study demonstrated that saw palmetto also actually allows the prostate gland to shrink - without affecting the testosterone and dihidrotestosterone (DHT) levels. This means that saw palmetto works by an as yet unidentified, but non-hormonal mechanism. This is good news as conventional drug therapy causes hormonal side effects - including reduced libido and sexual performance. Saw palmetto also did not affect the PSA blood level - this is also good news as PSA levels, though not a very efficient method, remain the main test used to detect prostate cancer. Conventional drug therapy for BPH interferes with PSA levels and can mask the early detection of prostatic cancer.
There is much that you can do to treat prostatic enlargement. The first change needs to be directed toward improving your diet. The diet needs to:
Use a good multivitamin and mineral supplement. Omega 3 supplements will also assist. The supplements that I recommend are able to improve the testosterone level by decreasing the rate at which it is broken down. As well as vital nutrients such as zinc it also contains herbs known to assist the prostate gland including saw palmetto.
If you have problems with your cholesterol level then you need to deal with this, for the sake of general wellbeing as well as your prostate. However, don't use statins! Use natural herbs and nutrients.
It is also advisable to take action to reduce the level of toxins that you have accumulated throughout your body. The place to start this is through safe and proper colon cleansing (not the nonsense widely promoted as colon cleansing). In addition, exercises, in particular yoga or similar exercises which involve the hip and sacral area of the body, will assist by increasing the circulation of blood and energy to the pelvic area.
An enlarged prostate can cause many uncomfortable and potentially serious problems. However, it is not a condition that you need to 'put up with.' There are many things that you can do to both prevent and treat prostate enlargement. Improved nutrition and dietary changes, herbs such as saw palmetto, elimination and reduced intake of toxins, and exercise can all assist.
Reference: Dr Jenny Tylee is an experienced health professional who is passionate about health and wellbeing. She believes that health is not just absence of disease and seeks to actively promote vitality and wellness through empowering others. She encourages people to improve their health by quit smoking, cleansing their body, taking vitamin and mineral supplements and many other methods, including herbal remedies. Visit Dr Jenny's blog and join her newsletter at www.healthproductssite.com