Well here are the facts guys! Almost all men from the age of 40 onwards will experience some urinary symptoms as their prostate enlarges naturally.
It’s a fact that as men age their hormones change and testosterone is converted into a more potent form. This causes an overproduction of prostate cells, which in turn causes it to enlarge, causing urinary problems. This enlargement has become one of the most common debilitating conditions experienced amongst men. This prevalence increases with age, 10% of men diagnosed at age 30, 40% diagnosed at age 50 and 90% over 85.
Let’s talk about the Prostate Gland and what it actually is?
The prostate gland is a vital component in the male reproductive system, located underneath the bladder, wrapped around the urinary tract. Its function is to produce the fluid that carries and nourishes the sperm.
Why can this gland malfunction?
Due to men’s hormones changing as they grow older. The prostate can grow larger and then it can start to press on the urethra. As it enlarges, often the bladder outlet is obstructed, increasing urinary frequency and urgency, causing intermittent flow, reduced force and the necessity for night visits to the bathroom. This enlarged prostate can result in a disease called benign hyperplasia which can clamp down on the urethra blocking it from transporting urine from the bladder and out of the penis or resulting in frequent urination, difficulty voiding, urinary tract infections and leakage.
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An annual digital rectal examination can determine the size of the prostate. Blood tests can reveal adverse changes in hormonal chemistries. A variety of factors can be responsible for the changes that produce prostate enlargement. Rather than seeking mere symptom relief it’s better to take a more holistic style of approach and improve your overall health:
Natural medicine has a lot to offer for both prevention and treatment of enlargement of the prostate or BPH. As testosterone levels decrease due to ageing, the body will use an enzyme known as 5-α-reductase to convert testosterone to an endogenous androgen sex steroid and hormone, reducing the double bond of the testosterone, producing a far more potent androgen. This hormone stimulates the cells to multiply excessively, eventually causing the prostate to enlarge. There are some natural substances that can inhibit the enzyme, 5-α-reductase, and thus prevent the conversion of testosterone that contributes to prostate enlargement.
A herb well known for the prostate is Saw palmetto. In many clinical studies, Saw Palmetto has been shown to greatly improve the signs and symptoms of enlarged prostate.
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How To Improve Your Overall Prostate Health
- Check your vitamin and mineral status with your Naturopath. Zinc has been shown to reduce the size of the prostate gland & reduce symptoms of BPH in a majority of people. Nutritional deficiency is a big factor in BPH. A lack of zinc, copper, selenium, folate, iodine and omega 3 fatty acids in the diet could contribute to the problem.
- Ensure a whole food diet with plenty of good fats, protein and complex carbohydrates. Refined, processed and sweet foods deplete the body of vital nutrients.
- Increase your consumption of tomatoes, onions and garlic. Stew tomatoes with onions, garlic & olive oil. Doing this will provide the antioxidant lycopene found in tomatoes & sulphur compounds found in the onion and garlic which are both effective in the maintenance of a healthy prostate.
- Increase the Omega 3 Fatty Acids in your diet. These can be found in fish, flaxseed, nuts, seeds, avocado have many benefits due to their anti inflammatory effects. People with BPH often have an underlying EFA deficiency in their prostatic and seminal secretions.
- Use Maca Powder. It’s a Peruvian root vegetable that provides nutrients for the prostate, studies have also shown its helps shrink the prostate. Men the bonus is it will also enhance sexual performance!
- Reduce alcohol consumption as it can be linked to BPH. Alcohol increases prolactin levels and effects testosterone uptake in the prostate, while decreasing zinc and other nutrient levels.
- Check the Central Nervous System. Spine problems in the lower back can reduce nerve supply to the prostate. This can be aggravated by poor posture and lack of exercise. Chiropractic assessments followed by a series of adjustments have saved lives in cases of prostate disease.
- Check your teeth. Mercury vapour from amalgam fillings can indirectly affect prostate hormone levels. Dental infection (failed root canal therapy) can also result in inflammatory changes that can exacerbate prostate issues.
- Consider counselling. Prostate conditions have been associated with relationship problems, breakups and a lack of emotional and sexual fulfilment in marriage.
- Increase exercise. In a study reported in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, walking 2 or more hours a week lowers your risk of BPH by 25%.
- Get your Naturopath to mix you up some herbs that support the prostate and to help balance your hormones!
- Or just eat well cooked tomatoes on a regular basis.
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