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Prostate Gland Care
Posted by Dr. Ben Kim
If you're male and over the age of 20, the best time to get serious about taking care of your prostate gland is now. Conventional medical guidelines recommend annual digital (finger) rectal examinations to screen for prostate enlargement and cancer, beginning in your 41st year. In recent years, I've observed an increasing number of men in their 20s and 30s exhibiting symptoms of prostate gland dysfunction.
The three most common types of prostate gland dysfunction are prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and prostate cancer. What follows are descriptions of each of these health challenges and their most common symptoms.
Prostatitis is inflammation of your prostate gland that may be due to an infection or any other factor that is irritating your prostate.
Signs and Symptoms of Prostatitis:
- Pain in your perineal region (area between your rectum and scrotum)
- Burning sensation while urinating
- An urgent need to urinate
- Frequent and difficult urination
- A sudden moderate to high fever
- Blood in your urine - on and off
The three most common types of prostatitis are:
Acute Bacterial Prostatitis
Acute bacterial prostatitis is typically caused by an infection by bacteria found in the urinary tract or colon.
Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis
Chronic bacterial prostatitis is similar to the acute form, but its symptoms are typically less severe and develop more slowly.
Chronic Nonbacterial Prostatitis
Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis is similar to chronic bacterial prostatitis; the major difference is that in the nonbacterial form, while symptoms are present, there is no evidence of bacteria in your urine or in the fluid in your prostate gland.
2. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Noncancerous enlargement your prostate gland is called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.
Signs and Symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia:
- Difficulty with starting urine flow
- Weak urine flow
- A frequent, sometimes urgent, need to urinate
- An inability to sleep through the night without having to urinate on multiple occasions
- Dribbling at the end of urination
3. Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer isn't likely to kill you; you're more likely to die with prostate cancer than you are to die of it. Prostate cancer is troublesome because it can cause you to suffer with a number of uncomfortable symptoms for many years.
Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
- Blood in your urine
- A sudden need to urinate
- Difficulty with starting urine flow
- Painful urination
- A feeling that your bladder is not empty after you finish urinating
- Frequent urination at night
- Painful ejaculation (pain is felt in your perineal region)
- Pain in your lower back, hips, or upper thighs
- Loss of appetite and weight
How to Care for Your Prostate Gland
Without exception, all of the people that I have worked with on cases of benign prostatic hyperplasia have experienced improvement in their symptoms by reducing total food and water intake.
Overeating on a regular basis promotes unhealthy weight gain and excess production of a number of hormones - both are known risk factors for a variety of cancers.
To optimally care for your prostate gland, avoid creating unnecessary mechanical or chemical stress for your prostate gland. Every time you urinate, your prostate faces mechanical stress. Eating more food and drinking more water than you need promotes frequent urination.
For more information on why drinking too much water can be bad for your health, view:
Eat a variety of antioxidant-rich plant foods.
A number of studies in the medical literature indicate that eating antioxidants found in pomegranates, tomatoes, and broccoli may be helpful in preventing the development of prostate cancer.
Please remember that everything that you put into your body directly or indirectly affects every organ in your body, including your prostate gland. Your body is not a collection of disjointed compartments; it is a gathering of dozens of organs that are intricately connected in structure and function. Eat a variety of antioxidant-rich foods - including pomegranates, tomatoes, and broccoli - to optimally nourish your prostate gland.
To view a list of healthy antioxidant-rich foods, view:
Regularly eat foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
A number of studies in the medical literature indicate that regular intake of foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your risk of developing a wide variety of cancers, including prostate cancer. To discover which foods are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, view:
Avoid large portions of protein-dense animal foods.
There are several studies in the medical literature which indicate that eating fatty foods may increase your risk of developing prostate cancer. I agree that regular consumption of damaged fats can contribute to any health challenge, including prostate gland dysfunction. But my experience has been that reducing consumption of protein-dense animal foods is more effective for preventing and addressing prostate gland dysfunction than adopting a low-fat diet. Your body, including your prostate gland, needs a steady stream of healthy dietary fats and cholesterol to function optimally.
For some people, I have found that taking this step alone - reducing intake of protein-dense animal foods - can result in dramatic improvement in prostate function.
To learn about damaged and healthy fats, view:
Ensure optimal vitamin D status.
A number of studies, including one out of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard University's School of Public Health, indicate that adequate vitamin D status may lower prostate cancer risk.
For more information on how to ensure adequate vitamin D status, and to see a list of some foods that are rich in vitamin D, view:
Encourage healthy blood circulation in your pelvic region.
Consider acupressure sessions for Spleen-12, Spleen-13, Bladder-27, and Bladder-34; applying pressure to these four points can increase blood circulation to your prostate gland. Pictures of how to apply pressure to these points can be found on page 129 of Acupressure's Potent Points: a Guide to Self-Care for Common Ailments
Reserve sexual activity for a mutually monogamous relationship and/or masturbation, and do not engage in anal intercourse.
These measures significantly decrease your risk of experiencing prostatitis.
Experiencing a penile erection and sexual activity in the context mentioned above promotes healthy blood flow to your prostate gland.
Over time, having chronic, noncancerous prostate health challenges may increase your risk of developing of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in industrialized countries. It's estimated that by age 50, about 25 percent of the male population have cancerous cells in their prostate glands. This percentage jumps to 50 percent by age 80. By adopting some or all of the suggestions provided above, you may be able to significantly reduce your risk of suffering with prostate health challenges.
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