Prostate Health

Advice for Women: How to Tell If Your Man May Have a Prostate Problem




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.

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The Self-Beneficial Virtues Of Prostate Care




Prostate-GlandOne 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.

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Powerful Herbal Remedies Scientifically Proven To Heal An Enlarged Prostate (BPH) or Prostatitis




Prostate Herbal RemediesIf you’re familiar with conventional treatments for prostate disorders and are interested in finding out more about gentler, safer, more natural remedies to heal your prostate condition, then you’ll want to read every last word of this article.

Research has shown that there are safe, non-drug, non-surgical natural remedies that work every bit as effectively as prescription drugs in healing common prostate conditions.

You may have already heard about the amazing healing power of saw palmetto and how it can help heal even the most enlarged prostate. You may even be taking it yourself. But, as you’re about to discover, there are two other very powerful, and highly effective healing herbs proven to heal an enlarged prostate (BPH) or prostatitis, as effectively as prescription drugs.

Healing Herb #1) Pygeum africanum

The first of these powerful healing herbs is Pygeum (Pygeum africanum) and it is used extensively in France and other European countries to treat prostate disorders. In several double-blind studies pygeum was shown to improve prostate symptoms significantly with no appreciable side effects. One such study also found that pygeum increased sexual ability.

Pygeum comes from the African prune tree, an evergreen that grows in central and southern Africa. Historically, natives found its powdered bark to be an effective treatment for urinary disorders. Europeans in Africa took note and pygeum came into use as a valuable treatment for BPH.

In France, over 80 percent of all doctors’ prescriptions for BPH include pygeum extract. The extract from pygeum contains phytosterols that have been shown to produce anti-inflammatory effects on the prostate. Studies show that pygeum also reduces prolactin levels and blocks the accumulation of cholesterol in the prostate. Other studies show that pygeum acts as a mild antibiotic, which is why it helps relieve the symptoms of prostatitis as well as BPH. Controlled research studies conducted in European countries have clearly demonstrated pygeum’s effectiveness in treating prostate disorders. An example is a double-blind study involving 263 patients that was carried out in eight centers in Germany, France and Austria (Barlet, 1990). A double-blind study is one in which neither the doctor nor the patient knows whether he is taking the medication or a placebo until the end of the trial. The therapeutic results were significant. They showed a remarkable 66 percent improvement in the group receiving pygeum and there were no significant side effects. An Italian study of men suffering from BPH or chronic prostatitis was done to evaluate the efficacy of pygeum on those conditions (Carani, 1991). Because of the high frequency of association of sexual disorders with those two pathologies, the study was also extended to include a study of sexual disturbances. The results showed that pygeum extract improved all the urinary parameters they investigated and there was also improvement in sexual function. No side effects were observed during the treatment.

Healing Herb #2) Stinging Nettle Root (Urtica dioica)

An herb that grows wild in the United States, stinging nettle has been shown to have a highly therapeutic effect on the prostate gland. Like pygeum, urtica dioica contains phytosterols that exert a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on prostate tissue. Scientists have found that Urtica dioica works synergistically with pygeum. In fact, doctors in Europe commonly prescribe a Urtica/Pygeum combination for patients who suffer from prostate disorders. In a recent study using a combination of pygeum and urtica dioica, of the 2,080 patients suffering from BPH, a vast majority of the patients showed marked improvement in their symptoms by the end of the study (Schneider, 1995). Another study conducted by the Department of Clinical Pharmacology of Tokyo College of Pharmacy in Japan (Hirano, 1994) investigated the effect of Urtica dioica on BPH tissue. The conclusion was that stinging nettle root inhibited certain activity in the prostate to suppress prostate cell metabolism and growth.

With such impressive results from treatments that have proven to be effective, are without dangerous side effects, and are preferred by European doctors, why is it that the medical establishment in the United States continues to put so much emphasis on drugs and surgery? Possibly part of it is our fascination with new technologies, part of it training. Undoubtedly, a large part of it is the immense profitability for drug companies who aggressively market their products to the medical establishment. Merck, manufacturers of Proscar, has predicted sales of the drug will soon reach $1 billion a year. And this despite its known health hazards!

Julian Whitaker, M.D., a well-known physician and critic of currently established medical practices, says our government “continuously and irresponsibly ignores the findings of these superior botanical supplements” and has “jumped into bed with the drug companies.” Michael Murray, N.D., a leading researcher in the field of natural medicine and co-author of the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, illustrates the fallacy of assuming that drugs are the only answer for treating prostate problems. In Health Counselor magazine he reports that numerous studies on the saw palmetto extract have shown it to be effective in nearly 90 percent of patients, usually in a period of four to six weeks. In contrast, Proscar is effective in reducing the symptoms in less than 37 percent after taking the drug for one year! Murray states, “Clearly, the saw palmetto extract is superior to Proscar. Although Proscar has received much attention, based on the clinical trials, it is much less effective than the extract of saw palmetto berries. Less than 37 percent of patients on Proscar will experience clinical improvement after taking the drug for one year and it must be taken for at least six months before any improvement can be expected.”

An additional drawback is that Proscar can result in decreased libido, ejaculatory disorders and impotence. Another alarming hazard of Proscar is that it can cause birth defects in male infants if a pregnant woman comes in contact with it. It is absorbed through the skin, so just handling the bottle could be dangerous. There have also been reports that even coming in contact with the semen of a man taking Proscar can cause these birth defects, but this has not been substantiated as yet. In contrast, phytonutrients are safe and effective treatments for prostate health problems. They are virtually free of harmful side effects, far less expensive than drugs (in terms of money, not to mention the price of terrible side effects), and they have the advantage of enhancing other life functions besides the specific condition for which they are being given.

Healing Herb #3) Saw Palmetto

If you’re like most men who suffer from prostate problems, chances are you’ve heard of Saw Palmetto, and may even take it.

But what you may not know is that Saw Palmetto extract does much more than simply relieve you of your symptoms. Scientists have determined that saw palmetto extract may actually reverse the hormonal mechanism that causes prostate disorders.

Brief History Of Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto is a dwarf palm that grows in the southeastern United States. Its berries were used by the American Indians to treat genitourinary tract difficulties and as a general tonic as well. In the 1960s, European research on saw palmetto led to it becoming the most popular phytomedicine in Europe for treatment of an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In Germany, saw palmetto and other plant extracts are used to treat nearly 90 percent of BPH patients.

How Does Saw Palmetto Work?

To understand how saw palmetto works, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what causes the prostate gland to become enlarged in the first place. It’s widely believed that the primary culprit that causes prostate enlargement is a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is a derivative of testosterone that causes the prostate tissue to grow abnormally large. An increase in the production of DHT begins to occur in men with age (usually after 45).

Research has revealed that the extract of the saw palmetto berry contains very powerful compounds. These compounds found hidden in saw palmetto berry extract consist of fatty acids, and phytosterols (plant sterols). These compounds combat prostate disorders in three unique ways:

1) They inhibit the production of DHT.

2) They inhibit the binding of DHT to androgen receptors in the prostate cells.

3) They block the effect of estrogen on prostate tissue (acts as an aromatase inhibitor).

In recent years, scientists have discovered a synergistic effect by combining the herbs Pygeum africanum, Nettle Root and Saw Palmetto. In fact many prostate formulas now have this combination of herbal ingredients, which have proven to be the most effective herbs in fighting prostate health problems.

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Discover Important Facts About Prostate Disease




The prostate is a male sexual reproductive gland, normally weighing around 20 grams and measuring about 3 centimeters in diameter, about the size of a walnut. It is located beneath the urinary bladder, and directly in front of the rectum. A portion of the prostate gland engulfs the upper part of the urethra, the tube in which urine exits the body from.

Within the prostate gland are hundreds of smaller glands each packed with thousands of cells that are responsible for creating an alkaline fluid that eventually contributes to the individual’s semen. Semen is made up of both sperm and several seminal fluids, made by the prostate gland and two other nearby glands. The fluid made by the prostate contains fructose and is slightly basic and is therefore both an energy supply to be utilized by the sperm and a protective shield against the mild acids present in the vagina.

Fluid production by the prostate is controlled by the male sexual hormones testosterone, made by the testes; dehydroepiandrosterone, made in the adrenal glands; and dihydrotestosterone made in the prostate itself. These hormones are also called ‘androgens’, and are also responsible for a man’s sex drive and secondary sex characteristics, such as facial hair, a lower voice, and increased muscle mass.

There are three common disorders in men that affect the prostate. The first is prostate cancer, a malignant tumor of the prostate gland. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, but if caught in the early stages is usually not fatal. It is most prevalent in men over the age of 50. Early stages of the disease usually have no symptoms, but eventually the added size to the gland may begin to impinge on the urethra, causing urinary problems such as pain, or blood in the urine. A prostate specific antigen (PSA) test can often detect prostate cancer even in its early stages, and is therefore a good test for a man over 50 to undergo regularly.

Another common prostate disorder that can mimic prostate cancer is called benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. BPH is basically a condition in which the prostate enlarges and impinges on the urethra, much like it would in the middle stages of prostate cancer, causing difficulty urinating, frequent urges to urinate, and pain while urinating. Simple tests can be done to determine if an individual is suffering from BPH or prostate cancer. BPH is not fatal, does not lead to cancer, and a number of treatments are available today to alleviate the symptoms.

Finally, the prostate itself is vulnerable to infection. The same bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) can also infect the prostate, leading to prostatitis. Prostatitis usually involves some of the same symptoms involved in BPH with respect to urinary difficulties, yet is usually also accompanied by fever, chills, and pain in the lower back. Like most bacterial infections, prostatitis is usually treated with antibiotics.

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Diet For Healthy Prostate – Why Soy Is Not Just For Women




Researchers from Canada have found that having a diet of red meat, organ meats, soft drink and bottled water increased the risk of getting prostate cancer. They compared the diets of 80 men with prostate cancer, and 334 healthy men, and the diet just described more than doubled the risk of developing prostate cancer.

So what prostate diet can reduce the risk of prostate cancer? Swedish researchers examined the diet of 1499 men with prostate cancer and 1130 men who were healthy, and they published their findings in the Cancer Causes and Control journal. They found that eating foods rich in phytoestrogens decreased the risk of prostate cancer.

Phytoestrogens are plant molecules that have a weak estrogenic effect. They are made converted in the intestines from plant precursors by bacteria as they digest food. They are taken up by the same parts of the body that process the hormone estrogen.

Interestingly, one of the treatments for prostate cancer by doctors involves using estrogens to reduce the level of testosterone in men with advanced prostate cancer. It does this indirectly, through its effect on the hypothalamus, as less luteinizing hormone releasing hormone is produced by the hypothalamus. This means not as much luteinizing hormone is released by the body, which suppresses the production of testosterone.

High doses of estrogens for men can lead to cardiovascular complications. But phytoestrogens obtained from diet, in less quantities than a drug, and with a milder effect to start with, should not pose a problem. And researchers don’t yet know what exactly causes phytoestrogens to have such a protective effect, whether it is similar to that of the estrogen treatment for advanced prostate cancers. And they don’t know which phytoestrogens are the most active.

So what phytoestrogen foods could you include in a diet for a healthy prostate? Soy beans and nuts are a good source. Soy and nuts contain a type of phytoestrogen called isoflavones, whilst berries and seeds contain lignans. Foods could include peanuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and berries.

The only possible concerns with soy is that a study in mice found that male mice that had a type of heart disease that people also have, suffered heart failure when fed a soy based diet. Whether this extrapolates to the human population is yet to be established. But it may be wise for those me who have this particular genetic heart condition, dilated cardiomyopathy, to be cautious about soy products in their diet.

But for other men, soy products could be good news. A meta analysis, which is a study of related studies, published in the International Journal of Cancer, found that diets high in soy lowered men’s risk of prostate cancer by 30%.

Another important mineral to consider for men is zinc. Zinc is used by men’s bodies to make some of the male hormones, and for general prostate health. A deficiency in zinc can lead to problems with the testicles, the prostate, and the health of the sperm. Foods that are great sources of zinc include seeds like pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower; nuts like almonds, brazil, cashews and walnuts; and foods like lettuce, oats and onions. Raw onion is particularly suggested by Paul Bedson, a natural therapist. He also suggests vegetable juice made of equal parts of beetroot, carrot, and cucumber in cases where the prostate gland is enlarged. Cranberry juice, a cup drunk three times a day, is also recommended in this case.

2. Australian Healthy Food, March 2006
3. Australian Healthy Food, November, 2005
4. Paul Bedson, The Complete Family Guide To Natural Healing

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