Your Prostate Health
Date Posted:12 September 2012
The Prostate is a small gland (about the size of a walnut) found only in men. It lies just below the bladder and surrounds the tube (urethra) that drains urine from the bladder. Its job is to secrete a milky fluid, which becomes part of the semen and nourishes the sperm. During one’s 20’s to 30’s when testosterone levels are high the prostate functions happily and is off the health radar - the plumbing works fine.
After the age of 40 a decrease in testosterone levels can cause the prostate gland to enlarge in some men, leading to obstruction in the flow of urine with increased potential for infection. Many men over 45 have some prostate enlargement, but symptoms are rarely noticed before the age of 60.
Here we aim to increase your awareness of what you can do (no matter what your age) to prevent or minimise prostate enlargement. Select your age bracket below to see what is recommended. If you have a friend or parent who would value from these tips consider sending this on to them.
Prostate health in your 20’s-30’s
Is there anything you can do in your 20’s and 30’s to help maintain a healthy hormonal balance and thereby minimise enlargement of the prostate, which typically begins in the 40’s? The answer from an Ayurvedic perspective is yes. Keeping Vata Apana (region below the navel) in a state of balance with healthy diet and lifestyle choices is the key. Here are some simple yet effective choices you can make:
- Keep the circulation flowing Avoid sitting for long periods of time. Every 1.5 hours stretch your legs for a few minutes. This is a good time to go and get a drink of water or herbal tea. You need to stay well hydrated by drinking 3 litres of water most days and more when exercising or sweating. Vata Tea, Pitta Tea or Kapha Tea are great thirst quenchers!
- Avoid restricting natural urges When you feel the need to urinate or void the bowel, stop and do it immediately. Avoid being in the head and ignoring the body’s messages and needs. Being in the habit of holding on over time causes strain, increased heat (inflammation and infection) and weakens the body’s connection with these natural urges. Over time excessive sexual activity can also cause weakness.
- Keep your hormonal health in balance Take Vital Man one tablet 30 minutes prior breakfast with 2 tablets prior bed. Vital Man supports greater strength, energy, and stamina, strengthening the male reproductive system. It enhances your general well-being too. Also take Rejuvenation for Men 1 tablet prior breakfast and one tablet prior evening meal to provide antioxidant cellular support (along with a number of other benefits).
- Each Spring complete a Spring detox Spring is the time when the body naturally releases the year’s impurities into the blood stream and other fluids of the body for release as part of a Spring Cleanse.
- Be happy and reduce stress Yes, challenge can be invigorating and help you achieve your best. When challenge causes distress it causes the negative effects of stress overload. The biochemistry of stress is very damaging to your cells and prostate. If your life is demanding and stressful be sure to get adequate sleep. Look into practicing Transcendental Meditation to reduce the harmful effects and consider taking Stress Relief (an adaptogenic) one tablet prior breakfast and evening meal and 2 at bedtime.
- Favour a healthy diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and plenty of tasty fresh herbs and spices. Eat seasonal foods and fresh home cooked foods when you can. Aim to adopt a regular eating pattern starting with breakfast within one hour of rising.
Prostate health after 40
The vast majority of men commonly experience prostate problems at some point in their life. For most men, these problems will not be serious. The following three conditions: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, Prostatitis and Prostate Cancer are three of the most common prostate conditions.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a normal, gradual enlargement of the prostate caused by hormonal effects. BPH affects about half of men aged over 60 and 80 percent of men aged over 80. Almost every man over 45 has some prostate enlargement, but symptoms are rarely noticed before the age of 60. BPH does not lead to cancer. Common symptoms are:
- Sensation of bladder not being completely empty after urinating.
- Having to urinate again in less than two hours after urinating.
- Needing to stop and starting again several times when urinating.
- Having a weak urinary stream.
- Needing to push or strain to begin urination.
- Having to get up in the night to urinate.
What to do?
3 Step Plan for Prostate Health
Here are three simple steps you can take to support prostate health
1. Support a healthy prostate size and function by taking Prostate Protection along with Rejuvenation for Men - 1 tablet twice a day 30 minutes prior breakfast and dinner.Prostate Protection is a blend of 18 herbs, minerals and fruits that help to improve the quantity and quality of reproductive fluid, boost immunity and enhance resistance to infection. Each tablet contains 20% of the recommended daily amount of zinc, a protective element for maintaining prostate health.Rejuvenation for Men helps restore youthful vigour. It promotes cellular regeneration, which slows both biological and psychological aging. It is taken together with Prostate Protection to provide support and nourishment to the prostate.
2. Support the nervous system with Stress Relief as prostate health is negatively impacted by nervous system stress.
3. Have 3 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds a day. Add them to porridge, muesli or a smoothie for breakfast. Take them as a snack with a piece of fruit for morning or afternoon tea, or lightly roast and sprinkle over your vegetables at lunch or dinner.
Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland, which is often caused by urinary tract infection. It usually affects younger men. Causes can include blockage or irritation of some of the ducts within the prostate gland, mechanical dysfunction or infection - bacterial or viral. Symptoms to look out for are:
- Pain or burning sensation when urinating (dysuria)
- Difficulty urinating, such as dribbling or hesitant urination
- Frequent urination, particularly at night (nocturia)
- Urgent need to urinate
- Pain in the abdomen, groin or lower back
- Pain in the area between the scrotum and rectum (perineum)
- Pain or discomfort of the penis or testicles
- Painful orgasms (ejaculations)
- Flu-like symptoms (with bacterial prostatitis)
What to do?
- 1. Adopt the 3 Step Plan for Prostate Health above.
- 2. As these symptoms indicate infection or inflammation reducing heat in the body is key replace the product Stress Relief with Inflam Protect . Take 1-2 tabs twice a day 30 minutes before meals to support the body's natural mechanisms that respond to inflammation.
- 3. Reduce spicy, sour or salty food and drinks as they increase heat in the body and favour Pitta Pacifying dietary choices. Ensure you drink 3 litres per day of water or herbal teas and avoid drinks containing caffeine or alcohol.
Prostate cancer is less common than BPH, and it usually develops gradually over time. In older men, prostate cancer is usually slow to develop and is enclosed within the prostate gland itself, so it is not usually life-threatening. When prostate cancer does occur in younger men, both diagnosis and treatment outcomes are improved the earlier it is brought to the doctor's attention.
Prostate cancer may not cause signs or symptoms in its early stages. Prostate cancer that is more advanced may cause signs and symptoms such as:
- Trouble urinating
- Decreased force in the stream of urine
- Blood in the urine
- Blood in the semen
- Swelling in the legs
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Bone pain
What to do?
1. Adopt the 3 Step Plan to Prostate Health above.
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms that worry you.
The Get Balance Team
- A Happy Prostate (getbalance.co.nz)