What is the Prostate?
A health article about the Prostate from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies
There was a time in history when there was no awareness of the prostate, let alone diagnosis and treatment. Countless numbers of men throughout the ages have suffered and died as a result of this ignorance.
Through the miracles of modern medicine, today prostate disease is well defined and is no longer necessarily considered a death sentence. The most effective methods for handling prostate disease are knowledge and prevention.
In our guide we will help you understand prostate disease, various diagnostic tools and provide recommendations for treatment.
What is the Prostate
The first step toward understanding how the prostate affects your health is to learn what the prostate is and how it functions. It is surprising how little many men know about such an important part of their anatomy.
The prostate is an important segment of the male reproductive system. It is a gland that is located in the lower abdominal cavity, just below the bladder, in front of the rectum and behind the pubic bone. It partially surrounds the urethra. The urethra is the channel that carries urine to the penis from the bladder and it runs right through the prostate.
A healthy prostate is about the size of a walnut, weighs approximately 1 ounce and is shaped similar to a donut.
There are “seminal vesicles” that are attached to the prostate. They produce a protein that mixes with prostatic fluid which forms semen. How this works is that tubes from the testicles carry sperm up to the prostate where sperm is mixed with the seminal vesicle and prostatic fluids.
This fluid is ejaculated during orgasm through ejaculatory ducts that connect to the urethra. In addition, the prostate helps to control the flow of urine.
Nearly every man will experience some type of prostate problem during his lifetime. Men who are over forty-five may experience an enlargement of the prostate. While this is not a problem in itself, it is uncomfortable and can be a forerunner to other more serious maladies which we will discuss further.
The prostate actually continues to grow throughout life, but grows very slowly after the age of twenty-five. Enlargement of the prostate is part of the normal aging process due to hormonal changes and usually does not become a serious problem until a man reaches sixty years of age.
Types of Prostate Disorders
Nearly one-third of all men over 50 years suffer from prostate troubles of one form or another.
The percentage rises with age and reaches 75 after the age of 80 years. Prostate and bladder
disorders can lead to numerous other ailments such as arthritis, kidney disorders and uremia.
The prostate gland is a male gland, comparable in shape and size to a large chestnut. It is
reddish brown in appearance. It measures approximately 3.8 cm. in width and about 2.5 cm. in
length and weighs approximately 25 grams.
It is situated at the base of the urinary bladder and
around the commencement of the urethra, the membranous tube for the passage of the urine. It
is thus vital in relation to the emptying of the bladder and bears a close relationship to the
The gland plays an important role in normal sexual life and its function is to secrete a
fluid which is added to semen during sexual intercourse.
There are various types of prostate disorders. Of these the most important are prostatitis or
inflammation in the prostate gland and hypertrophy or enlargement of the prostate gland.
Prostatitis may be acute or chronic. It is a painful and distressing disorder, but can be cured with
proper treatment without any adverse effects.
Enlargement of the prostate gland or hypertrophy is the most common complaint affecting the
gland. This occurs mostly in men of middle or advanced age. The enlargement develops so
gradually over a long period that it often assumes serious proportions before it is detected.
Symptoms of Prostate Disorders
There are two warning signals to indicate the possibility of prostate disorders. The first is the
interface with the passage of urine and the second is the need to void the urine frequently during
the night’s sleep.
Other symptoms are a dull aching pain in the lower back and pain in the hips,
legs and feet. Prostate enlargement affects the glandular system as a whole. The patient
experiences all the symptoms of disturbed health such as lack of energy and physical , mental
and nervous disturbances.
Enlargement of the prostate is called benign prostate hypertrophy, or BPH. While this growth is usually considered a nuisance, if a man experiences problems with burning, or difficult urination at any time, the prudent course of action is consulting a urologist.
Other symptoms may be:
• A feeling of having to push out urine
• A sensation that the bladder is not emptying
• Increased urinating, especially at night
• Intermittent starting and stopping of the urinary stream
After a diagnosis of BPH, many men will just continue to live with the symptoms and subsequent discomfort. It is not a life threatening condition, and there are treatments. In some cases surgery might be considered if the enlargement is significant.
Ignoring BPH can be extremely dangerous and lead to other disease such as kidney infections or damage as the urine can back up into the kidneys because of the blockage of an enlarged prostate. There can also be an occurrence of bladder infections.
There is a huge difference between BPH and prostate cancer. BPH is a normal part of aging. Prostate cancer is a condition where prostate cells grow exponentially and out of control. These cells create tumors that may spread to any part of the body.
Numerous health organizations report that 1 in 6 men will experience prostate cancer. However, if the condition is diagnosed early, approximately 99.3% of them will survive. The key is early detection.
What Causes Prostate Cancer?
The position of the prostate gland makes it liable to congestion and other disorders. In an erect
position, pressure falls on the pelvic region just where the prostate gland is situated. With
ageing, the body gets heavier and loses its flexibility which makes the pressure on the pelvis
even greater and increases the vulnerability of the prostate gland.
Prolonged periods of sitting
down, as in certain occupations, also increases the pressure on the pelvic region resulting in
congestion of the tissues in and around the prostate gland. With the passage of time, changes
such as inflammation or enlargement occur in the gland.
Acute prostatis may also result from
exposure to cold and chill and from an infectious disease. Chronic prostatis is an after-effect of
the acute condition. It may also result from continual irritation of the gland due to excessive
Another important cause of prostate disorders is constipation. In constipation , the feces
becomes hardened and the rectum or lower bowel overloaded. This causes undue pressure on
the prostate gland. It also entails a great deal of straining at stools and this adversely affects the
prostate gland due to its proximity to the rectum.
Men’s Health – Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer, one of the most common forms of cancer in men, is not widely talked about in male circles. Yet, statistics have shown that one in six men should expect this diagnosis. This slow growing disease and today’s treatments ensure that only a few may die from it.
Of course, the more you know about the disease the better the chance of being one of the few to prevention and fighting it if necessary. High risk category patients will be those who have a family history or are currently experiencing symptoms, but regular examination can spot the cancer early by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigens in the blood.
Using the most effective means of testing is the digital rectal exam where the doctor inserts a finger into the rectum and manually checks for abnormalities on the prostate. As uncomfortable as this may seem, priority will encourage you to seek regular testing the catch the cancer early to increase the chances of experiencing the effects of prostate cancer, which are much more uncomfortable than the examination.
Prostate cancer in its most common form develops in the glandular cells, typically very slowly with the possibility to spread to areas surrounding the prostate and continuing to attack the lymph nodes, lings, liver, and possibly other organs if not quickly diagnosed and treated.
The prostate gland is walnut sized in the front of the rectum and below the bladder and produces the fluid that protects and supply nourishment to the sperm cells. The scary part about prostate cancer (and many other types of cancer as well) is that the signs are not always immediately noticeable.
You may have the disease for months before it grows big enough to become noticeable, and by then it may be too late. Therefore if you have even the slightest suspicion of a tumor, you should get an examination just to be doubly sure.
While the risks of prostate cancer increases with age it is also more likely to occur in black men rather than white and Hispanic men; and occurrences appear to be extremely low in Asian men. The reason for this is still unknown but at any rate, family history plays a big factor and can double your risks of actually contracting prostate cancer.
Many cases of prostate cancer are symptom free with minor notification like difficulty in urination, hip and /or back pain, burning during urination, or just a weak stream of urine, or pain during ejaculation. The encouragement to see a doctor if you experience these symptoms won’t be necessary as most men will immediately seek medical attention if these symptoms occur.
Detection of the cancer is priority one, and if detected the doctor will then grade the cancer stage from 1 to 5 depending on the amount and presence of the number of cancerous cells as compared to the amount of abnormal cells. A determination of the aggressiveness of the cancer is then evaluated to produce what is called a Gleason score. The higher the score the more aggressive the cancer.
There is high hope of cure if detected and treated early. Treatments include the watch and wait approach which, as the name implies, monitors the progression for slow growing cancerous cells.
Radiation treatments that can be linked to impotence, Radical prostatectomy where the prostate gland is removed, Chemotherapy drugs used for advanced stages, or hormone therapy which can slow the progression and manage the disease.
Let’s take a look at some of those now: Treating and Surviving Prostate Cancer
The main point is to seek immediate care if you think that you may be experiencing problems and not to let the examination scare you out of your chances for survival.
Take care of your body, particularly as you enter the older stages of your life. Being cautious leads to longevity and happiness, and prostate cancer is certainly something that you need to be cautious about. For further reading, check out a book from your library, or ask for literature from your doctor.
When to seek Medical Advice:
Prostate cancer can occur in any man, but there are certain “risk groups.” Younger African American men appear to have twice the risk and fatalities of Caucasians. Sadly, many are diagnosed before they reach the age of 50.
Another risk group is men who have a family history of prostate cancer, placing them in the same group who may contract the disease before the age of 50.
The only method to determine whether you are at risk for prostate cancer is diagnostic testing. The earlier you are screened the higher your chances of survival. Let’s explore some of the diagnostic options.
Digital Rectal Exam (DRE)
Testing begins with a digital rectal exam (DRE). This examination has been the benchmark for discovering cancer as well as BPH. Your doctor can determine the condition and size of the prostate by inserting a gloved finger into the rectum.
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)
In the mid-1980s’ the FDA approved the use of monitoring blood levels for prostate specific antigen (PSA). At that time, this was considered a major breakthrough in the diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer.
Here’s why. PSA readings specifically target prostate cells. A healthy prostate gland produces a constant level, usually 4 nanograms per milliliter which is considered as a PSA reading of “4” or less.
Cancer cells produce growing amounts that escalate. They correlate with the severity of cancer. A PSA level greater than 4 will give the doctor some cause for investigation. If the level reaches 10 he will have cause to consider the presence of prostate cancer. An amount over 50 may indicate that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
A PSA test usually measures the total amount that is attached to blood proteins. However, later research gained an FDA approval for a test called the Tandem R test. This test also gives a measure of the total PSA and reads another component called free PSA. Free PSA floats unbound in blood.
Have these two tests to compare helps to rule out prostate cancer in men whose PSA is just mildly elevated due to other causes. A 1995 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that a free PSA test reduces unnecessary prostate biopsies by 20% in certain patients whose PSA is between 4 and 10.
As newer sophisticated methods are made available, it is creating a controversy among the healthcare community regarding “when” men should be screened, how often and whether to screen men under 50 with no symptoms.
Some are saying that mass screening is expensive while others point out reductions in mortality rates when early screening diagnoses prostate cancer. The jury is still somewhat “out” on that debate, but it never hurts to err on the side of caution. It is your body, after all!
It should be noted that both The American Urological Association and The American Cancer Society recommend annual PSA test for all men over 50 and for those at high risk over 40.
Take the case of Joe. A healthy, 36 year old, robust father of two was required to take a routine physical exam for his work-related insurance. During this exam, his doctor noted that his prostate was enlarged.
Unfortunately, the resulting tests proved that he did indeed have prostate cancer. Further investigation revealed that he was “at risk” based on family history.
Why take chances? Get yourself screened so you have a benchmark, then having annual screening. Remember, prostate cancer is slow growing so the odds are in your favor when detected early.
A standard urine test can also help to diagnose prostate problems by screening for blood or infection. The chemical tests will also check for liver, diabetes or kidney disease.
Hyperplasia INTRAVENOUSPYELOGRAM (IVP)
This test is actually an X-ray. Dye is injected into one of the major veins. While the dye is circulating, pictures of vital organs are taken. This test will record the progress of the dye through the kidneys, bladder and ureter tubes (the tubes that drain the kidneys). This test is more or less optional since most men who have enlargement of the prostate usually have no abnormalities of the ureter tubes or kidneys in a normal urinalysis.
This is a simple procedure that can be conducted right in the doctors’ office. It is non-invasive and determines if there is urine left in the bladder after urination. If a large amount of urine remains, it could be an indicator of enlarged prostate that is not allowing the bladder to be completely emptied.
This is a test to estimate the size of the prostate by using state of the art software that helps guide the physician. The prostate ultrasound is also important if a biopsy is called for which we will discuss later.
This is a simple test that entails the patient urinating into a container and measuring how strong the stream of urine is.
Radionuclide Bone Scan
A test that can be used if staging (see below) indicates that cancer has spread into the lymph nodes. If the tumor has spread to the lymph nodes, bone commonly follows. However, if PSA levels are under 10ng and there is no indication of bone pain, physicians find that the presence is so unlikely that this procedure is skipped.
This test allows the physician to visually examine the bladder and prostate. This is done by inserting an instrument through the urethra.
Computed Axial Tomography (CAT)
This is another test that could identify cancer in remote areas of the body. Without probable cause, like the Radionuclide Bone Scan above, it is probably unnecessary
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
This test may be unnecessary, especially if the prostate cancer is localized.
Pelvic Lymph Node Dissection
Considered to be the “final check” to determine if cancer has spread, this procedure can be completed through normal open surgery but more often is conducted using a fiber optic probe that is inserted through a small incision in your abdomen.
All of these diagnostic tests are tools to determine whether there is a possibility of cancer present in the prostate and if so, just how invasive it may be.
However, there is only one way certain method to determine the presence of cancer cells and that is by examining the tissue itself.
Based on the findings of the tests we have discussed, if a physician determines that there may be cancer cells he will recommend a biopsy.
A biopsy is conducted by a urologist and the procedure is normally done right in his office. Here is where the ultrasound we discussed previously comes into play. Using a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS), the doctor will image the prostate by using sound waves by inserting an instrument into your rectum.
This allows the doctor to “image” the prostate. He will use biopsy needles that are hollow into any area of the prostate that looks or feels suspicious. Small bits of tissue are extracted through the needle. You may feel a stinging sensation.
Depending on the reasons for the biopsy, the doctor may take samples randomly. For instance, if the biopsy is conducted due to elevated PSA instead of a suspected abnormality in the prostate gland, as many as a half dozen or more samples may be taken.
This is considered a “pattern biopsy” and is done to help determine the size and invasiveness of any cancer. Even though you may have multiple samples, a biopsy can still miss some cancers.
Once the biopsy is complete, the tissue samples are taken to a pathologist to determine the presence of cancer cells.
Normal prostate cells are usually uniform in size and are neatly patterned when viewed under a microscope. They appear similar to one another in an orderly manner.
Abnormal cells change their appearance and are not well defined. They will usually appear as misshapen and irregular.
As they deteriorate, a tumor can appear. Tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
If the pathologist determines the presence of prostate cancer, he will “grade” each of the tissue samples. This will determine how advanced beyond normal the cancerous tissue has developed.
This grading system gives the physician a good idea as to how the tumor is behaving. Tumors with a low grade are most likely to be slow-growing. Tumors with a high grade are more apt to spread aggressively or may have already spread outside of the prostate. If the latter is true, it is said to be “metastasized.”
The actual grading system most widely used by pathologists is the Gleason Grading System, developed in 1977 by Pathologist Donald Gleason. You will find the Gleason Scores in numerous places on and off the internet as it is a standard method, but we have provided them for you here.
The Gleason grading system assigns a grade to each of the two largest areas of cancer in the tissue samples. Grades range from 1 to 5, with 1 being the least aggressive and 5 the most aggressive. Grade 3 tumors, for example, seldom have metastases, but metastases are common with grade 4 or grade 5.
The two grades are then added together to produce a Gleason score. A score of 2 to 4 is considered low grade; 5 through 7, intermediate grade; and 8 through 10, high grade. A tumor with a low Gleason score typically grows slowly enough that it may not pose a significant threat to the patient in his lifetime.
Once the grade is established, your physician will need to have additional information before determining a course of treatment. He will need to “stage” your tumor which is dependent upon the size and how far it has spread.
There are two systems used for “staging” the tumor. One of them is TNM and the other is ABCD Rating. They both evaluate the size of the tumor and the spread in reference to nearby lymph nodes and if the cancer has spread beyond those parameters.
The staging system determines whether the tumor is “Localized,” “Regional” or Metastatic. Within each of these categories are divided into categories that are more precise.
Using the TNM method, you have Stage I (could also be referred to as T1.) These are tumors that cannot be felt. Using the ABCD method the staging is considered “A.”
TNM Stage II or B or T2 are tumors that you can feel but are still confined to the prostate gland.
In Stage III or C or T3 tumors have broken through the prostate capsule. They may have invaded the seminal vesicles.
T4 indicates that tumors are growing into muscles and organs that are nearby.
Stage IV, D or N+ or M+. This staging refers to tumors that have invaded either the pelvic lymph nodes (N+) or into other distant areas of the body (M+).
If you receive a diagnosis of cancer and different treatment options from your doctor, it would be prudent to get a second opinion. This is a normal practice and one which can help you make intelligent decisions about the most important step you may take in your life.
Getting that second opinion may confirm the diagnosis but help you to adjust the staging and your treatment options. A second opinion may also lead you to a special clinical trial of new cancer treatments that your current physician is not aware of.
Try and locate a prostate cancer support group in your area. Speaking to other men who have experienced prostate disease can do wonders in learning how to deal with your diagnosis and treatment options.
Prostate Cancer Treatment & Therapy Options:
Again, it can’t be stressed enough, early detection is imperative in combating prostate cancer. The challenge is that in the early stages there are no symptoms of prostate cancer. By the time symptoms appear in the form of urinary complications, the cancer has spread beyond the prostate.
Treatment options vary depending upon several factors such as age, overall health of the patient and whether there is evidence of bladder infection or kidney damage resulting from an enlarged prostate.
Faced with the enormity if your disease, when you add treatment options into the mix it can be overwhelming to say the least. This is why we recommend that second opinion. We will take a look at some of those options here. Just remember, that the best option for you will be the one that you and your doctor determine is the best route for your situation. When it comes to treating prostate cancer there’s no such thing as “one size fits all.”
There are some questions that you will need to address before selecting any of the options your physician may recommend. These shouldn’t be taken lightly, as you will be making decisions that will absolutely affect the rest of your life.
Let’s take a look at some of those now: Treating and Surviving Prostate Cancer
SEX AFTER PROSTATE DIAGNOSIS
There is no way to sugar coat it. If you are diagnosed with any form of prostate disease you will experience some type of erectile dysfunction, even if it is a surgical procedure using the nerve sparing technique.
There is no need to repeat the treatments we’ve already covered, but let’s take a moment to review some of the possibilities that are available to men AFTER being diagnosed with prostate disease who experience erectile dysfunction:
• There are now numerous erectile dysfunction drugs (EDDs) available. These drugs promote erections by increasing blood flow to the penis.
• There is a substance called Prostaglandin E1 that can produce erections. It is produced naturally and can be injected almost painlessly into the base of the penis before sex.
• A penile implant or prostheses can restore an ability to achieve an erection.
• There are vacuum devices that are designed especially to create an erection by placing around the entire penis before sex.
While erectile dysfunction will most likely begin immediately following surgery for prostate removal, if the technique of nerve sparing is used there is a possibility of recovery within a year of the procedure. If non-nerve sparing is used the recovery of erectile function is highly unlikely.
There are studies that report sparing nerves on both sides of a prostate have regained erectile function in 60 – 70% of men. Also, erectile dysfunction drugs appear to work for up to 43% of men whose prostate was removed surgically. This shows a promising trend.
There is some difference when radiation therapy is used. The man will also experience erectile dysfunction but it usually doesn’t happen until six months after beginning treatment. However, there is also good news here showing that as many as 50-60% of men regain erections with the use of EDDs.
When hormonal treatment is the route taken, erectile dysfunction will usually occur between two and four weeks after beginning treatment and is linked with decreasing sexual desire. Unfortunately the studies do not show the same results as the previous two treatments having little or no impact on erectile dysfunction. The good news, however, is that normal erectile function returns when the hormonal therapy is ended.
Mens Health Self Care strategies for a Health Prostate
NATURAL TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR BPH
It may seem as though we have come full circle, but even if your diagnosis leaves you free of prostate cancer, you may still have Benign Prostate Hypertrophy. Rather than using hormonal or alpha blockers, many men have opted for a natural approach to avoid some of the unpleasant side effects of the drug therapy.
The two prescription drugs, inasteride (Proscar) and terazosin (Hytrin) make lots of money for drug companies because they are the only two approved by the FDA to prevent prostatic proliferation (the growth of new prostate cells that cause BPH in men over 50).
Before beginning an exploration of natural treatment options, it must be perfectly understood that there is no substitute for your physician. These options are presented as just that. . .options, and you should consult your physician before undertaking any new treatment options whether medical or homeopathic.
First we will look at 7 different therapy options. These options are Ayurveda, Reflexology, Food Therapy, Imagery, Hydrotherapy, Vitamin and Mineral Therapy and Yoga. We present you with a brief synopsis of each therapy as it relates to prostate problems.
The Ayurvedic approach to all disease is to first make certain that you have received an appropriate diagnosis from a medical professional.
If the prostate diagnosis is benign the "flowing" approach can be used. Mix the following herbal powders: Punarnava, Gokshura and Shilajit. Ingest just 1/4 teaspoon a day either dry or added to warm water.
An alternative is to drink any one of horsetail, ginseng or hibiscus tea, consuming as much as you wish each day. All of these herbs should be available at your health food store or by mail order.
Reflexology is the pratice of directing energy toward specific pressure points in the body. Reflexology sessions begin with relaxing the total body then shifting the focus of the reflex to those areas of greatest need.
For our purposes that would be the prostate, endocrine, pituitary, parathyroid, thyroid and adrenal glands as well as the pancreas with the reflex in the hands or feet. You can find reflexology charts that give you the reflex points at most health food stores or schedule a session with a professional reflexologist.
The key to affecting positive change in the prostate by eating specific foods is including any foods high in zinc. The properties in zinc have been proven beneficial in shrinking an enlarged prostate.
Take a daily supplement of zinc. In addition to a low-fat diet, particularly avoiding saturated fats, consider adding one or two tablespoons per day of flaxseed oil to your diet as well as pumpkin and sunflower seeds, both know for their high content of zinc.
Imagery is closely associated to hypnosis, both practices incorporating positive visualization techniques to effect positive changes. Here is one exercise proven beneficial for our purposes here:
Close your eyes; breathe out three times and imagine entering your body through any opening you choose. Find your prostate and examine it from every angle. Next, envision putting a thin golden net around the gland. This net has a drawstring that you can tighten.
Cinch the drawstring so that the net is wrapped snugly around the prostate. As you do this, picture the prostate shrinking to its normal size. Then imagine using your other hand to massage your prostate. Sense that urine can now flow evenly and smoothly.
The recommendation for this exercise is to practice it twice a day, three to five minutes per session for six cycles of 21 days on and 7 days off.
A hot sitz bath comes highly recommended for the treatment of an inflammed prostate. Sit down in a tub filled with comfortably hot water to a depth of your navel. Soak for twenty to forty-five minutes and follow with a cold bath or shower. This treatment should be done once a day for thirty days or until the symptoms are gone.
Vitamin and Mineral Therapy
The ideal vitamin and mineral treatment for prostate problems incorporates herbal medicine. The following regimen is recommended to help control symptoms:
• 400 international units of Vitamin E per day
• 30 milligrams of zinc twice a day
• 1 milligram of copper twice a day
• One tablespoon of flaxseed oil a day
• 160 milligrams of saw palmetto twice a day
Flaxseed oil and saw palmetto are easily obtainable in any health food store.
Certain Yoga poses can increase blood flow to the groin, thereby relieving certain prostate problems. You can find books on Yoga that include these poses, as well as many others, at any herbal or homeopathic store. The two poses that will benefit prostate problems are the "knee squeeze" and the "seated sun" along with the "stomach lock."
To do the "stomach lock," lie on your back and take a deep breath. Breathe out until all air is expelled from your lungs, then pull in hard on your buttocks, groin and stomach muscles. Hold this pose for a count of three then release the muscles. It is recommended that this session is repeated two or three times a day, three times a session to help prevent prostate trouble.
You should not use this yoga pose if you suffer from high blood pressure, hiatal hernia, ulcers or heart disease.
Diet change strategies:
Not enough can be said about the healing power of pumpkin seeds! It seems hard to believe, doesn’t it? Why do these little seeds have such a profound effect on prostate problems?
Did you know that pumpkin seeds contain fatty oil that is a natural diuretic? The medical community scoffs at the idea that increased urine flow may have anything to do with an increase in urine flow. However, in addition to being a natural diuretic, these seeds contain as much as eight milligrams of zinc equivalent to a half cup per serving!
Some doctors recommend taking 60 milligrams of zinc each day as part of the regimen to combat BPH! However, make certain you are in contact with your regular physician because this amount is way more than the daily value.
The point is studies have proven that zinc reduces the size of an enlarged prostate.
Those little pumpkin seeds are high in the amino acids: alanine, glycine and glutamic acid.
According to recent study men who were taking the supplements of these amino acids with a dose of 200 milligrams each day, BPH symptoms showed significant relief.
Did you know that after Proscar was approved by the FDA, that agency banned all nonprescription drugs for BPH? According to Varro Tyler, Ph.D., dean and professor emeritus of pharmacognosy (natural product pharmacy) at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, the ban was initiated for two reasons.
First, the FDA purported that there was no credible evidence to show that any over the counter (OTC) products were effective in the treatment of BPH. Second, the agency also expressed a viewpoint that those who used OTCs might put off getting proper treatment while their disease worsened.
“What the FDA overlooked,” says Dr. Tyler, “was the considerable evidence in Western Europe that certain phytomedicinals (plant based medicines) are effective in treating BPH and that people using them experience an appreciable increase in their comfort level. Perhaps the most popular of these is saw palmetto. The beneficial effects include increased urinary flow, reduced residual urine and decreased frequency of urination.”
Saw palmetto can be found in southeastern states. It is a small palm tree. The Seminole Indians ate the seeds as food. Who knows? Maybe they found it helped their urinary problems.
The reason it works is because it contains a compound that turns testosterone into dihydrotestosterone thus preventing the transformation of the testosterone. It is exactly the same way that Proscar works, but in a different way.
Half a dozen studies have proven saw palmetto as an effective treatment. In one of them, a clinical trial of more than 2000 German men with BPH received substantial easing of PBH symptoms after a daily does of one to two grams of saw palmetto seeds.
It is interesting to note, Science News reports, “30% of all American men have undiagnosed prostate cancer by age 60-but the incidence is only about 1% among Arctic Intuit men of the same age group.” It is believed that this is a result of a diet high in fish oil. This may be something to consider in your own diet.
The Ayurvedic approach to all disease is to first make certain that you have received an appropriate diagnosis from a medical professional.
To begin with, the patient should forgo all solid foods and subsist on water only for two or three
days. The intake of water should be as plentiful as possible. Nothing should be added to the
water except a little lemon juice, if desired. The water may be taken cold or hot and it should be
taken every hour or so when awake. This will greatly increase the flow of urine.
An enema may be taken once a day during fasting to clear the lower bowel of accumulations.
After a thorough cleansing of the bowels, hot and cold applications may be used directly on the
prostate gland and its surrounding parts. The heat relieves the tissues and a brief cold
immersion tones them up. The patient should take alternate hot and cold hip baths. These are of
great value in relieving pain and reducing congestion. The hot bath should be taken first for 10
minutes, followed by a cold bath for one minute daily.
After the short fast, the patient should adopt an all-fruit diet for three days. The fruits should
include apples, pears, oranges, grape-fruit, grapes, sweet limes, mangoes, melons and all other
juicy fruits. This will help to clear toxins from the body and will also enable excess fat to be
reduced to some extent.
The exclusive fruit diet should be followed by a diet, consisting of two meals of fruits and one of
cooked vegetables for further seven days. The vegetable meal should be taken in the evening
and should consist of all kinds of cooked vegetables, preferably steam cooked. Thereafter, the
patient may adopt a well-balanced diet of three basic food groups, namely (i) seeds, nuts and
grains, (ii) vegetables and (iii) fruits.
The short lemon juice fast followed by an all-fruit diet and a further period on fruits and
vegetables may be repeated after two or three months if necessary depending on the progress
Pumpkin seeds have been found to be an effective home remedy for prostate problems and
many patients have been helped by their use. These seeds are rich in unsaturated fatty acids
which are essential to the health of the prostate.
Heavy starches, sweet stimulants and highly seasoned foods are entirely forbidden, as they
cause direct irritation on the prostate gland and bladder. The diet should also exclude spices,
condiments, salt in excess, sauces, red meats, cheese, asparagus, watercress, greasy or fried
foods, alcohol, tobacco and too much tea or coffee. The patient should avoid hurried meals and
must chew his food thoroughly and slowly. Water should be taken between meals and not at
The patient should avoid sexual irregularities in eating and drinking, long periods of sitting and
vigorous exercise. He should guard against constipation by taking plenty of fruits, bran and nuts.
All efforts should be made to tone up the general condition of the body. With a general
improvement in health, the condition will be greatly relieved. Surgery should be resorted to only
if the condition does not improve even after the dietary treatment and other measures outlined
Vitamin & Nutrient Associations
EATING foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as oily fish may help to prevent the spread of prostate cancer, research has revealed.
Omega-3 and omega-6 are essential fatty acids that work together to promote good health. The body cannot make them, so eating a diet rich in the substances is important.
Fish and certain oils such as canola and flaxseed are sources of omega-3 while raw nuts and seeds contain omega-6.
In laboratory studies, scientists at the Paterson Institute at the Christie Hospital in Manchester, England found that omega-3 fats could block the spread of cancerous cells.
Dr Mick Brown, chief scientist in the research group, said the results of the research published in the British Journal of Cancer suggest a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids might help to inhibit the spread of the disease in men with early prostate cancer.
Because omega-3 and omega-6 work together, it is important to maintain a balance of the two for good health.
"Omega-6 fats, found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, increased the spread of tumor cells into bone marrow. This invasion was blocked by omega 3 fats – the ones found in oily fish," Brown said in a statement.
"It is possible to have a healthy balance of these two types of fat – we only need about half as much omega-3 as omega-6 – that will still stop cancer cells from spreading," he added.
The researchers believe omega-3 fatty acids interfere with functions of omega-6, which cancer cells may use as a source of energy, and prevent them from spreading beyond the prostate gland.
Prostate cancer is more treatable and has a better survival rate if it is diagnosed and treated in its earliest stages.
"Some tumours develop slowly in the prostate without producing symptoms and sometimes when symptoms do develop, it is because the cancer has already spread.
"Eating a diet with the right balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fats may well help to keep prostate cancer within the prostate gland where it may be monitored safely or more easily treated with surgery or radiotherapy," said Noel Clarke, a co-author of the study.
Prostate cancer is the third most common cancer in men worldwide with 543,000 new cases each year, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France.
Professor John Toy, medical director of the charity Cancer Research UK which publishes the journal, said the role of diet in prostate cancer is not fully clear and that more studies were needed.
"Cancer Research UK advises people to reduce their risk of cancer by eating a healthy diet, high in fibre, fruit and vegetables and low in red and processed meat," Toy said.
Even when we try to eat well, we're disadvantaged. The nutritional content of most food has been compromised over the years, not only by deficient soils and modern production, transportation, storage and processing methods, but also by the enormous amounts of chemical and artificial substances added to promote growth, storage life, taste and appearance.
It's for this reason that more and more medical authorities are advocating the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. However, finding them in the right combination can be both confusing and costly.
The nutrition products I am going to recommend you make use of knowledge gained from the botanical world's 6,000 year history. They incorporated health building nutritional herbs with the best modern technology to help our bodies cleanse and detoxify so that the cells - the tiniest living units - can be as fully nourished as possible.
This allows the cells to grow, repair and to perform their functions with the best possible efficiency so that we feel and look better and are more able to prevent and fight disease. Once the body begins to clear itself of toxins it can more efficiently absorb nutrition.
Aloe Vera Juice is a refreshing and anti-bacterial drink, you might find that taking this daily, diluted in some filtered water will not only refresh you like ‘a shower inside you’ but also assists in dealing with any digestive issues you may also be experiencing.
You may find benefit from our information on detoxification as well as a bit about detoxing because of change of diet
It may be due to difficulties with your digestive system that is causing your body to be starved of key nutrients, vitamins or minerals. In this case you may find useful answers by reviewing our article on Nutrition For Your Cells. There is also more information here about why is nutrition such an issue nowadays?
It may be that your metabolism has slowed due to pressures that have been placed on your system through life in general or through specific “challenges” you have faced in the last few months or last few years. Review this by looking at our article about balancing your Metabolic Rate.
Further reading through our articles on the Prostate health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.
Whatever type of prostate disease you experience, it need not be an immediate death sentence. Every day new strides are being made in the detection and treatment of prostate ailments.
More important than the prostate gland is the other organ that can control your prognosis. It’s the one that fills the space between your ears.
No matter how dark the day may appear, there is always another chance to experience a brighter day tomorrow.
Avoid too many idle hours.
Develop a positive mental attitude and outlook. Your mind is powerful medicine when used appropriately.
Fill your days with healthy food, happy people, good friends and family.
Use the natural therapy technique of Imagery and see yourself alive, well, whole and enjoying everything this world has to provide.
You are more than a diseased prostate!
We wish you well in your search for solutions to this Prostate problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.
More Resources available about the Prostate :
What is Prostate Cancer?
Cancer of the prostate is directly linked with the male sex hormones(androgens). If the levels of sex hormone increases the growth rate of cancer also increases. It is found that after the removal of testes there is marked reduction in the size of tumor.
(To read the rest of this article click on the Title above here.)
National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's)
– Online at http://www.cdc.gov/
Contact them offline, too, for more information at:
4770 Buford Hwy, NE
MS K64, Atlanta, GA 30341
Toll-free information line: 1-888-842-6355
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services –
The U. S. Food and Drug Administration will give you information about “natural therapies as well as the stringent guidelines that drug companies must follow in order to certify a drug and earn FDA approval. Contact them at:
Food and Drug Administration
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, Maryland 20857
References (Natural Treatment Options):
-"Natural Prescriptions", by Robert M. Giller, M.D. and Kathy Matthews
You can obtain information about clinical trials from:
The National Cancer Institute at: http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials
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