Symptoms of an enlarged prostate typically appear in men after 50 years of age, in many cases even much earlier. An enlarged prostate does not necessarily indicate cancer, but it is a symptom that should not be ignored. It is not uncommon for the prostate gland to become enlarged as a man ages. This condition is referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The exact cause of this condition is not known, but some expert in the health field are under the opinion that estrogen in a variety of products (for example plastic lining in canned foods, drinking coffee and tea out of Styrofoam cups etc. ) are the cause. Prostate enlargement and cancer are both linked to hormonal changes (in men it is andropause,) that occur as men get older which is similar to the menopausal changes that occur in women. Statistics show that approximately 75% of males between the ages of 30 to 40 will develop enlargement of the prostate. This increases to 90% of men over the age of 65 years!
There is also a controversy whether testing the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) for early detection of enlargement of the prostate is effective. It is important not to rely only on blood PSA testing and it is most useful to do additional tests, a physical prostate exam known as digital rectal exam or DRE.
Here are the signs to watch for. Your health care practitioner or physician should check out any of these symptoms:
• a weak, hesitant or interrupted flow of urine
• difficulty controlling the flow of urine
• pain or straining to maintain a stream of urine
• blood in the urine or semen
• a sensation of incomplete emptying of the bladder
• frequent urination, especially during night
• infection of the bladder
• pain or stiffness in the hips, thighs and lower back
Prevention is the key to prostate health. Good dietary and supplementation can help prevent most problems associated with the prostate. However, many men have these "macho" attitude that this will not happen to them since they are bullet-proof) and many don't even tell their own wives about their problem till it is too late and prostate cancer has already developed. With chemotherapy and radiation the sex life is in most cases eliminated which is for many men almost a "death" penalty. The smart women (and many of them a smarter than men, but men would never acknowledge it) convinces her husband to educate himself and study prevention.
The following offers some simple guidelines to clean up your diet and environment, and to enrich your nutrition and supplements. It may not be possible to follow each of these recommendations, but a few alterations to your current practices can make a significant difference.
TRY to AVOID
• daily consumption of red meats
• refined poisonous sugar, table salt, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, white bleached flour products, hydrogenated fats (deep fried vegetable oils), margarine (one molecule away from being plastic), processed peanut butter
• chemicals added to food (artificial preservatives such as MSG, BHA, BHT, nitrites, nitrates, sodium benzoates, processed meats and sausages, artificial colouring and flavoring, sweeteners (such as aspartame, neotame, nutrasweet, equal, saccharin, splenda) found in diet sodas, bottled water, diabetic foods and other processed low calorie foods
• fluoride, chlorine, aluminium and Teflon cookware, amalgam (mercury) dental fillings
TRY to INCLUDE
• zinc, the single most important nutrient for a healthy prostate (certified organic raw pumpkin seeds are an excellent source
• other nutrients rich seeds are include hemp, flax, sunflower, sesame
• unrefined cold pressed nut and seed oils such as hemp, flax, walnut, sesame, hazel, evening primrose, fish oil
• certified organic fresh, leafy green, preferable raw vegetables, whole grains and raw wheat germ (includes freshly pressed juices of wheatgrass, carrots, celery, red beets, citrus fruits, mangos)
• chickpeas, pistachios, almonds, brazil nuts, lentils, beans, cabbage, spinach, swiss chard, oatmeal
• apples, onions, tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, papaya, sweet potatoes, turnip, corn, whole grain cereals
• additional nutritional supplements like Vitamin C, B6, B complex, bee pollen, caprilic acid, digestive enzymes, lactobacillus acidophilus
• beneficial herbal remedies like saw palmetto, pygeum africanum, stinging nettle, cat's claw, Echinacea, ginseng, buchu, goldenseal, uva ursa, chaparral, parsley, sage, St. John's Wort tea, horsetail bath
Of the herbs listed, saw palmetto is the most commonly used herb to offer protection for the prostate. Studies have shown that saw palmetto alters the hormone level, thereby shrinking the prostate. Clinical trials have established saw palmetto to be an effective alternative to any other prostate treatments without side effects. Men experience an increase in sex drive and the ability to function sexually. It must be used long-term to shrink the prostate, but many men notice an improvement in their symptoms within six weeks. Saw palmetto can be used to increase strength and muscle mass, seems to work also on arthritic pain, and it works best when combined with an exercise program.
Men should have an annual check up with their health care practitioner from the age of forty onward.
Words of Wisdom
Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.
Hipprocrates (Greek Father of Medicine 460 – 377 BC)
The Natural Way of a healthy prostate, Michael B. Schachter, MD
Men's Essential Guide to prostate health, Victor Conreras, MD, Garry Gordon, MD, Roger Libby, Ph.D.
Freedom Press benign prostatic hypertrophy & prostate cancer, Kurt W. Donsbach, Ph.D.
Everything you need to know about the man's gland, Yosh Taguchi, MD
Nature cure for prostate troubles, Harry Clemens, ND
Protect your prostate, Michael Colgan, ND
About the author
Klaus Ferlow, herbalist, innovator, lecturer, researcher, writer, founder, President and co-owner of FERLOW BOTANICALS, Div. of Ferlow Brothers Ltd, Vancouver, B.C., manufacturing, distributing TOXIN free medicinal herbal and personal care products to professional health & wellness practitioners and selected stores with practitioners on staff since 1993. , www.ferlowbotanicals.com
His educational articles have been published in dozen of Health Magazines, Magazines, Newspapers, Newsletters in Canada and numerous websites around the world.
Disclaimer: This information is offered for its educational value and should not be used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease, please contact your health care practitioner.