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Prostate Problems

Overview

The prostate is a small gland (about the size of a walnut) that is part of the male reproductive system. It sits low in the pelvis, and surrounds the part of the neck of the urethra.  The function of the prostate is to help make semen.  Problems with the prostate can cause urinary difficulties and impotence in men.  These problems include an enlarged prostate, bacterial prostate infections, prostate cancer and a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia.  Some of these prostate problems are serious and life threatening, while others can affect your daily life to the point of obsession.  Because the prostate is so involved in sexual functioning, prostate problems can affect your personal life, your emotional health and your self esteem.  In addition, because of its position in the body Ė around the neck of the urethra Ė inflammation and enlargement of the prostate can cause problems with urinating.  The partial incontinence that accompanies some prostate problems can be embarrassing for some men, and take a serious toll on their ability to enjoy life.

 

What Are The Most Common Prostate Problems?

  • Acute bacterial prostatitis - an inflammation of the prostate caused by a bacterial infection.

  • Chronic bacterial prostatitis - repeated bouts of acute bacterial prostates. It is most often caused by a defect in the prostate that allows bacteria to gather and cause repeated infections.

  • Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome is the most common form of prostatis. Like bacterial prostatitis, the symptoms come and go, and while there is no evidence of bacteria found in the urine or semen, prostatic fluids do contain cells that the body produces to fight infection.

  • Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis causes no pain or inflammation, and is often only discovered when a doctor is doing tests for other conditions.

 

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

As men grow older, the prostate gradually enlarges. Because the prostate gland surrounds the urethra, this enlargement can eventually cause problems with urination, or pain.  This is the most common prostate problem among men over fifty.

 

Prostate Cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in men of all ages.  Prostate cancer is seldom fatal, with a 93% 10 year survival rate overall.  Because prostate cancer often causes no symptoms for years, it may be in the advanced stages before it is detected. A doctor can often detect prostate cancer and other non-symptomatic conditions with a simple examination.  Itís recommended that men over fifty have regular exams to check for prostate enlargement.

 

Symptoms of Prostate Conditions:

∑  Frequent urination, especially having to get up several times during the night

∑  Inability to urinate

∑  Trouble starting or stopping urination

∑  Painful urination

∑  Weak flow of urine

∑  Dribbling after having finished urinating

∑  Painful ejaculation

If any of these symptoms are accompanied by fever, lower back pain or pain in the thighs and hips, see a doctor immediately for treatment.  If you are unable to urinate at all, the same applies.  Both of those are extreme conditions that need immediate treatment.

 

What Causes Prostatitis and Other Prostate Conditions?

While doctors can tell you that most of the symptoms of prostatitis and other prostate conditions are caused by the enlargement of the prostate, there are still a lot of gray areas regarding exactly what causes the enlargement and/or inflammation of the prostate.  Among the causes that have been implicated in prostatitis are:

  • Bacterial infection accounts for the largest number of acute prostatitis conditions.

  • Auto immune disorder Ė many doctors believe that chronic prostatitis may be an auto-immune response similar to diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Physical injury, neurological problems and stress

Itís important to note that prostatitis (enlarged or inflamed prostate gland) seems to be a symptom of an underlying problem.  Even more importantly, because prostatitis is itself a symptom, it is possible to reduce or prevent prostatitis by attacking the root causes of the problem.

 

Treatments for Prostate Conditions:

The traditional medical community offers a number of treatments for prostatitis and other prostate disorders, including:

  • Antibiotics to treat acute prostatitis

  • Prostate massage to fully empty the prostate

  • Surgery, up to and including prostatectomy

  • Herbal and nutritional supplements

Over the past ten years, there has been considerable interest in the medical community in a number of natural and herbal treatments that seem to reduce the incidence of prostatitis and decrease the symptoms.  The most promising of these are:

  • Saw palmetto has been widely used in Europe for decades to treat BPH (benign protostatic hyperplasia).  Its active ingredient, beta-sitosterol is an aggressive anti-inflammatory which may prevent the buildup of cholesterol in the prostate, and thus prevent the enlargement and painful symptoms of prostatitis.

  • Lycopene, a carotenoid found in tomatoes and other red and pink fruits and vegetables, is a potent antioxidant used in the treatment of prostate cancer.  There are multiple studies that confirm its effectiveness in reducing the risk of prostate cancer, and there is evidence that Lycopene works directly in the prostate regulating tumor suppressing genes.

  • Quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples, onions, red wine and green leafy vegetables seems to inhibit the androgen receptor in prostate cancer cell lines. In laymenís language, according to a Mayo Clinic study, treatment with quercetin may be effective in treating prostate cancer.

  • Phytonutrients and isoflavones found in various plants, along with several trace minerals have all shown early promise in treating the inflammation that causes pain and urinary problems in those with prostatitis.

 

As with so many other conditions that affect our health these days, proper nutrition seems to promise prevention and treatment of prostate conditions.  A daily health supplement that contains beta-sitosterol, Lycopene and other phytonutrients that have proven beneficial in treating prostatitis and prostate cancer can help prevent prostatitis and lessen the severity of the symptoms.

 

Unfortunately, the lack of oversight of herbal supplements may make it difficult to choose a quality supplement for your overall prostate health.  Because we are familiar with the high standards of quality that Xtend-Life puts into every one of its products, we have no hesitation in recommending Total Balance Men's.  In addition to the full complement of daily nutrients it includes a blend of phytonutrients and minerals that have been proven effective in treating and preventing the symptoms of prostatitis.  These include saw palmetto, beta sitosterol, Lycopene and a proprietary blend of herbal extracts that has been developed by their own research team.  You may also want to try Total Balance Men's Premium.

 

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