Your Prostate: The prostate is a gland about the size and shape of a walnut that rest just below the bladder in men. Its primary function is to produce fluid for semen. The prostate passes through two main phases of growth. The first happens early in puberty, when the prostate grows in size. Second phase ushers from around age twenty five, when the gland begins to grow more. This second phase prostate enlargement many times result into what is known as an enlarged prostate (BPH).
Health conscious guys take care of their prostate from an early age to live and enjoy a comfortable life in their old age. The actual cause of prostate enlargement is not known but it is common for the prostate to enlarge as men grow older. BPH (Benign prostatic hypertrophy) is a disorder prostate enlargement that can prove to be discomforting. It is not linked to cancer nor elevates the risk for prostate cancer. But if left untreated, prostate enlargement (BPH) can cause serious nasty problems for men.
Studies showed that a small amount of prostate enlargement is present in many men over the age of 40. It then goes up to almost 50% for men in their 60”s and increases to more than 90% with men over the age of 70.
BPH and Prostate cancer can be similar and includes the following symptoms:
- Bathroom trips more often than normal throughout the day.
- Weak urine steam
- Difficulty starting urine flow or only producing trickles.
- Annoying urge to urinate several times at night
- An uneasy feeling that the bladder is still full even just after urinating
- Light or strong pain with urination or presence of blood in the urine( may indicate infection)
- Retention of urine (inability to urinate)
- Pausing and starting several times while urinating
These preliminary symptoms may take a period of time to become a distressing issue but if left unchecked, prostate enlargement (BPH) can lead to:
- A deficient bladder.
- Urine backflow leading to bladder or kidney infections.
- Serious blockade in the urine flow.
- Kidney failure.
9 HELPFUL TIPS FOR A HEALTHY PROSTATE
- Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
- Consume more fruits and vegetables in your diet that contain lycopene ( a powerful antioxidant) such as tomatoes, pink grapefruits , watermelons, papaya and guava.
- Limit consumption of meats and dairy. Less meat and dairy products can reduce hormonal effects on the prostate.
- Avoid smoking
- Eat more fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, pink grapefruits, watermelons, papaya and guava which contain lycopene - a powerful antioxidant. Also good choices are cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale.
- Inform your professional healthcare provider of any family history of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer in a father or brother more than doubles a man's risk of developing this disease.
- If possible, include food with more sources of soy in your diet like tofu, soy nuts or soy flour or powders.
- Eat food rich with selenium - an essential trace mineral that is important for many bodily processes, including cognitive function, a healthy immune system, and fertility in both men and women. Selenium reduces risks of cancer. It can be found in wheat germ, tuna, herring and other seafood and shellfish, beef liver, kidney, eggs, sunflower and sesame seeds, cashews, mushrooms, garlic and onions.
- Get a PSA Test (Prostate-specific antigen). PSAis a protein produced exclusively by prostate cells. There is a simple blood test to measure the PSA level and this may help to detect early prostate cancer. The chance of having prostate cancer goes up as your PSA level increases blood test and digital rectal exam annually, starting at age 50. Men at high risk, such as African American men or men with a strong family history of prostate cancer should begin testing at age 45.
It is never a waste of time and energy to be prepared in the prevention of anything unexpected. It is always wise to take care of your prostate even if you are not feeling any unexplained symptoms. Prevention is the best medicine.