Guest Post by Margaret Keely
Men are notoriously secretive about their health. Many times, they will do everything to avoid going to the doctor, since there may be an element of fear or they may simply think they are like Superman and are immune to everything.
As a woman, you are privy to your man’s overall well being. If you live with your boyfriend or are married, you’ll be able to pick up on some signs that may clue you in to a possible problem that your man may have. He can’t be in denial if you’re keeping an eye out for his good health.
Check his bathroom activities
Does your man stand up during the meal to urinate? Does he frequently disappear to head out to the bathroom? When you’re at a party or other gathering, does he position himself near the bathroom, or does he frequently walk out to relieve himself? This is a very strong sign that there may be a problem with his prostate. Prostate problems affect the man’s ability to urinate since an enlarged prostate presses on the bladder and urethra.
Check his nocturnal bathroom trips
Does your man get up during the middle of the night to go pee? Does he do it more than once during the night? If so, this may be a clue to a problem with his prostate. While it’s normal to get up once during the middle of the night to urinate, if he does it often, especially to the point that it already disrupts his sleep, then you should encourage him to make an appointment with the doctor the next morning.
Listen to what your man is saying
Does your man say he noticed there’s a bit of blood in his urine? Do you see some blood in his semen when you have sex? Does he complain that he doesn’t feel that he has emptied his bladder completely after urinating? Does he say that he sometimes has difficulty doing so, or that he feels a bit of pressure or pain on his pelvic area? If the answer to these questions is yes, then your man is definitely being dense and needs to see a doctor right away. He may brush it off as a sign of ageing, but as a wise woman, you know that these are symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored.
If your instincts are telling you there’s something wrong, then lovingly encourage your man to visit his doctor to get a check up. If he’s over 50, then he should definitely get his prostate checked. If your man is being stubborn, perhaps you can casually mention that any problem may affect his ability to perform. That should get him to see his doctor quickly!
Just because your man experiences these symptoms doesn’t mean a death sentence. However, ignoring it can become a problem later on. The earlier something is detected, the sooner he can avail of treatment and correct any problems. Help your man take care of himself, and be his eyes and ears for his good health.
Margaret Keely is a health care advocate, educator and writer. She educates nurses by continually developing the program for nursing courses for high quality nursing education.
Guest Post by Margaret Keely
Medical experts say that prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of death among American men. In fact, it falls second to lung cancer as being the most common men killer. Prostate cancer usually occurs in men aged 40 and above, although younger men might also be at risk. The exact cause of prostate cancer has yet to be identified, but experts have concluded that certain changes in lifestyle and diet can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. But how exactly can you prevent it? Let’s discuss it here.
Undergo prostate exam. If you are at least 40 years old, you are advised to go through a prostate exam once a year. This will monitor your prostate health and determine if you have prostate cancer. You have two exam choices: digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA). DRE involves checking your prostate for signs of cancer through the rectum, while PSA measures the PSA level in the blood. Talk to your doctor about the exams and what needs to be done if you’re found to have prostate cancer.
Improve your diet. Eat lots of fruits of vegetables. Incorporate whole grain, soy products, and omega-3-rich foods into your diet as well. Make sure to consume foods with high levels of folate like cabbage and broccoli. And remember to lower your intake of high-caloric and fatty foods.
Have a regular time for exercise. Regular exercise has been proven to reduce the risks of virtually all kinds of illnesses, cancer included. So try incorporating exercise routines into your daily activities. If you’re a busy person, thirty minutes to one hour of exercise will already do a lot. You can try running, cycling, and other aero exercises. Morning is the best time to exercise, but you can choose any time of the day, for as long as you religiously commit to your exercise schedule.
Quit smoking. Smoking is one of the risk factors of prostate cancer. In fact, it is a risk factor of other types of cancer and diseases. Quitting, however, is somewhat difficult to do, so it requires persistent effort and dedication. If you find it extremely hard to quit, you might want to seek professional help.
Increase your selenium intake. Selenium has antioxidant properties that are believed to lower the risk of prostate cancer. It is found in eggs, sunflower seeds, brown rice, and chicken, although selenium supplements are also now available. If you decide to take supplements, make sure to consult your doctor. The doctor needs to ensure that you will benefit from supplements and that your existing medical conditions, if there is any, won’t be affected.
Have enough Vitamin D. Vitamin D can be found in cheese and fish liver oil, but sunlight is the most abundant source. A 15-minute exposure to morning sunlight is recommended. Make sure, however, not to overexpose yourself to sun. Overexposure, especially to afternoon sunlight, can be damaging and can eventually cause skin cancer.
Prostate cancer often doesn’t manifest itself. This is why you need to constantly monitor your prostate health. Partner with your doctor to make sure you will never be a candidate for prostate cancer.
Margaret Keely, a health writer and a nursing education course provider, hopes to increase people’s cancer awareness level.
The prostate gland is a vital part of the male reproductive system that serves an important sexual function. But if you don’t already know this… you’re not alone. In 1995, the London Times reported on the results of a survey that asked men about their prostate glands.
The vast majority (89%) of the men surveyed didn’t even know where the prostate is located! Sixty-two percent of them mistook it for the bladder, and only about half of them knew that only men could have prostate problems!
What’s even more embarrassing is that the women they interviewed knew more about the prostate than we men do. Knowing what your prostate gland is, and how it functions will help you understand its importance and why it can cause difficulties when it’s not functioning properly.
So What Exactly Is The Prostate Gland?
The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland that surrounds the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis) and lies at the base of the bladder. This gland secrets about 25% of the seminal fluid that’s combined with sperm during ejaculation. The prostatic fluid acts as a lubricant to prevent infection in the urethra and protects and energizes sperm.
The three common diseases of the prostate are benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), commonly known as an enlarged prostate, prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) and prostate cancer.
From Normal To An Enlarged Prostate (BPH)
In a newborn male the prostate is very small, about the size of a grain of wheat. At the onset of puberty it begins to grow dramatically until around the age of twenty. Then it normally remains fairly constant in size for a number of years. However, due to hormonal changes that take place after the age of 40, the prostate begins to significantly bulk up. The gland can grow to many times its normal size, and in extreme cases it can even grow as large as a grapefruit. This is a condition referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. As the prostate enlarges, it narrows the diameter of the urethra and puts pressure against the bladder, obstructing the flow of urine, resulting in discomfort and troublesome symptoms.
Prostatitis – Inflammation of the Prostate
Inflammation of the prostate, known as prostatitis, afflicts men both young and old. It is usually the result of a bacterial infection. For more information about prostatitis, make sure to see our other resources on this site related to prostatitis.
Prostate Cancer – The Condition No Man Ever Wants To Be Faced With
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. So if you’re concerned about the likelihood of ever being stricken with this deadly disease, the wise thing to do is to be aware of the facts so that you can take positive action to help keep your prostate healthy. Knowledge really is power. We have an entire page on Prostatehealthtips.com devoted to prostate cancer, so make sure to read that if you are concerned about prostate cancer.
Another great source of information about prostate health is the WebMD page on prostate health.
One of the most prevalent health risks men over the age of 50 faces are prostate problems. Located between the bladder and the penis, the prostate is a small gland that promotes proper sexual functioning and a healthy reproductive system. Due to a variety of reasons, cancer of the prostate has become one of the most common forms of cancer to strike men.
The good news is that with proper prostate care the chance of developing prostate cancer and other prostate problems can be drastically reduced.
The beginning signs of prostate issues are difficulty urinating and other troubling symptoms. The first stage of prostate disease is Enlarging Prostate (EP). This is the stage where prostate care can be most effective. Men over 50 should have regular check ups to ensure their prostate gland is healthy and working properly. An EP can also lead to painful urinary infections.
There are a variety of therapies and approaches to treat prostate problems. Prostate care for EP usually begins with a regiment of drugs called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors or 5ARIs. This class of drugs influences prostate care by slowing the body’s creation of DHT, a hormone that leads to an enlargement of the prostate.
Another drug, alpha blockers only treat symptoms. This class of drugs can ease the muscles in the bladder and increase urine flow. In a sense, it is like taking an Aspirin for a headache – there is still an underlying cause.
The reality of prostate care has changed over time. Years ago it was usually a fatal condition. Research and discoveries have linked proper diet, exercise, healthy habits and regular check ups to helping avoid prostate problems entirely.
Prostate care has come a long way in a short period of time. New therapies, drugs and surgeries are less invasive and are highly successful in treating prostate conditions.
If you are concerned about the condition of your prostate or are looking for more information on prostate care, there are a variety of sources on the Internet and in magazines that can help you become informed about the extent of prostate problems affecting men over 50.
Prostate infections are extremely difficult to diagnose and treat because many doctors do not order the right tests and even when they make the correct diagnosis, they often fail to treat the condition long enough or they fail to treat infected partners.
Symptoms: Chronic prostatitis is characterized by a feeling of having to urinate all the time, discomfort during urination, terrible discomfort when the bladder is full and having to get up many time each night to urinate. Benign prostatic hypertrophy or large prostate causes difficulty starting stream and dribbling. Prostate cancer rarely causes burning on urination or urgency.
Tests: Total and free PSA blood test to screen for cancer, check your prostate and sometimes order a sonogram of the prostate. If I am suspicious of a prostate cancer, I will refer you to a urologist for further evaluation. Your doctor can order a urinalysis and urine culture. If abnormal, your doctor will treat a urinary tract infection, but it is usually normal. Then, your doctor may do a special swab for chlamydia and gonorrhea and request a semen culture. No test is available for practicing physicians to diagnose mycoplasma or ureaplasma and the test for chlamydia is not dependable. The only dependable test for prostate infection is for your doctor to massage your prostate to collect secretions and immediately check your secretions for white blood cells. If a) he sees more than 5 white blood cells in your secretions under the microscope, or b) the white blood cells are clumped together; or c) your urine has a positive leukocyte esterase or nitrite test and your urine culture and semen do not grow a germ, the odds are overwhelming that you are infected with chlamydia, mycoplasma or ureaplasma or something else that cannot be diagnosed.
Failure to see white blood cells in your secretions does not rule out a prostate infection. Most urologists do not order semen cultures because they claim that they are always contaminated with germs from the skin. Recent studies from Cornell and Mexico City show that they are wrong (2,3). Most men collect semen cultures from the vagina or mouth which always is contaminated. If the patient is asked to shower and clean himself with soap and water, then collect the specimen with his hands and then let it squirt into the culture jar without touching it, the culture is very dependable (2).
Prostate infections are extraordinarily difficult to cure because antibiotics do not accumulate in high concentrations in the prostate. So most men have to take appropriate antibiotics for many months and their partners have to take the same antibiotics for a much shorter duration. I often prescribe a quinolone antibiotic called Tequin for several months, or a combination of Tequin and doxycycline. If you do not feel much better by six weeks, you may need to ejaculate frequently or find a kind urologist who will agree to massage your prostate at least once a week while you take the antibiotics. UCLA researchers report that 40 percent were cured, 20 percent were initially cured and then had a recurrence perhaps because the partner was not treated, 21 percent were improved and only 21 percent had no improvement. All the men who had bacteria in their semen cultures produced sterile specimens after treatment.
Treatment of prostatitis with long-term antibiotics is controversial and not accepted by many doctors; discuss this with your doctor.