What’s up with Men’s Prostate Health?
Get the lowdown on this important contributor to male wellness
What is the prostate gland?
The prostate gland is a small male reproductive organ in men, located just below the bladder. The urethra (the tube carrying urine from the bladder) runs through the middle of the prostate to the penis, letting urine flow out of your body.
One of the main roles of the prostate is to produce the fluid that protects sperm. The muscles of the prostate also help to project seminal fluid into the urethra during ejaculation.
One component of prostate fluid, an enzyme called Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), aids in the success of sperm by liquefying semen that has thickened after ejaculation. This thinning action allows sperm to swim more freely. The prostate gland also filters and removes toxins that may surround sperm making sure that quality sperm is produced.
The prostate gland erection nerves are responsible for erections, encouraging the penis to swell and harden with the extra blood flow to it.
Why is it prostate health important?
The prostate is one of the most important glands in the male body. It is crucial for a healthy sex life because one of its functions is to provide some of the liquid that carries sperm.
In younger men, the prostate gland is about the size of a walnut. However, as a man ages it can enlarge to the size of an apricot and by age 60 can be as big as a lemon. This potential enlargement is one of the reasons why maintaining prostate health throughout adult life is so important.
The prostate gland produces an important enzyme, 5 alpha-reductase, which converts testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), and which is about ten times more powerful than testosterone alone. One of the important purposes of DHT is to promote male sex drive and functionality. If you build up toxins in the prostate it may affect the production of DHT, which may then lower your libido as you start to get a bit older.
The old saying “if it ain't broke don’t fix it” DOES NOT apply to prostate health. A better mantra for prostate health is “prevention is better than cure.”
While the prostate is in a great location for delivering important fluids and squeezing things along when the time is right, unfortunately, its position around the urethra can be a liability if the gland swells or grows. A swollen prostate compresses the urethra and irritates the walls of the bladder, interfering with normal urination. A growing prostate can also signal cancer.
Good prostate health is an important contributor to men’s overall wellness.
Who is affected by prostate health?
- Prostate problems are more common in men after the age of 50.
- Family history is also an indicator of prostate problems – if other males in your family have had prostate cancer, for example, it increases your risk too.
- Although some studies have been undertaken, it is unclear why some men get an enlarged prostate and others don’t.
- Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men around the world. In New Zealand, for example, it is the most common – responsible for 600 deaths each year. And one in eight Kiwi men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their life. Prostate cancer is the second highest cause of cancer death in men in the U.S, causing 26,000 deaths in 2016.
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia is said to affect 90 percent of men at the age of 70, and prostatitis is the most common reason for men under the age of 50 to see an urologist.
8 symptoms of poor prostate health
The most common symptom of poor prostate health is difficulty emptying the bladder, with the following symptoms:
- The need to urinate frequently during the night.
- Urinating more often during the day.
- Urinary urgency – the urge to urinate can be so strong and sudden that you may not reach the toilet in time.
- The urine stream is slow to start.
- Urine dribbling for some time after finishing urination.
- A sensation that the bladder isn't fully emptied after urination.
- Lack of force to the urine flow, which makes directing the stream difficult.
- The sensation of needing to go again soon after urinating.
Other signs of poor prostate health
There are other signs of poor prostate health, apart from urinary difficulties, including:
- Reduced sex drive. You have had what you consider to be a healthy sex drive for years, but it has been gradually waning.
- Trouble keeping an erection. All is well to start with, but your erection fails long before it should.
- Less sexual satisfaction.
Scientists aren’t exactly sure why the bathroom and bedroom problems are interlinked but if toxins are present in an enlarged prostate gland they may interfere with the production of the hormone DHT. Also, if you are on prescription drugs for your condition, these may interfere with, and lower, your libido.
Another symptom that may occur with an enlarged prostate is prostate pain. This may occur when the prostate gland becomes infected, although the exact causes are unclear. The symptoms of prostate pain can include:
- Pain in the abdomen and/or lower back.
- Pain in the groin.
- Pain or burning on urination.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult your health provider.
What causes poor prostate health?
Many men experience urinary symptoms as they age, which may be caused by inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis). In older men, symptoms may be the result of a blockage in the tubes due to a benign (non-cancerous) enlargement of the prostate gland – called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
One study suggests an enlarged prostate can be contributed to by a high-calorie intake, as well as diets high in red meat and some kinds of polyunsaturated fats. Researchers suggest that excess calorie consumption can somehow (they are not sure how) promote prostate enlargement. The excess body fat that accumulates and its effect on hormone levels may be the link.
Urinary symptoms may become noticeable enough that they require treatment. However, not all urinary symptoms are due to changes in the prostate. Also, some men have enlarged prostates and yet experience few, if any, symptoms.
What are the treatments for prostate problems?
When men start having urinary difficulties – one of the first signs of potential prostate problems – they often ignore them, as it’s hard to know the reason. WebMD suggests you should see a doctor when anything changes, as these problems could be symptomatic of something more serious, such as bladder cancer, bladder stones or prostate cancer.
When the symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland are mild, doctors may adopt what's known as ‘watchful waiting.’
With regular checkups once a year or more often, doctors can watch for early problems and signs that the condition is posing a health risk or a major inconvenience.
The driving force in treatment is whether the symptoms are affecting your quality of life – and whether a blockage is causing serious complications, such as the inability to urinate, blood in the urine, bladder stones, kidney failure, or other bladder problems.
What might your doctor prescribe for prostate problems?
If urinary problems are caused by infection, or enlargement of the prostate gland, your doctor’s recommendations may include:
- Antibacterial medication to treat bacterial prostatitis.
- Medication to improve the flow of urine and other symptoms, such as an obstruction caused by an enlarged prostate.
- Surgical procedures to open blockages.
- Medications that reduce the tone of the muscles of the urethra and prostate, reduce the size of the prostate gland, or relax the bladder.
3 things you can do at home to support prostate health
- Maintain a healthy diet. Eating prostate-friendly foods like fruit, vegetables (especially red vegies like tomatoes), whole grains and nuts can help improve prostate health. Fish and plant-based proteins like tofu are also healthy options. It’s also recommended that you cut back on sugar and salt.
- Exercise. It is well known that exercise helps improve overall health, strengthens the immune system, combats stress, increases energy and improves your quality of life. Losing weight may also be helpful in reducing symptoms of some prostate conditions. It is important to get 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day. This may include jogging, biking, swimming or even a brisk walk.
- Supplements. There are a variety of natural supplements and herbal remedies that help support prostate health. These include Saw Palmetto, Lycopene, Zinc, Pygeum and Green tea. However, while these and other similar natural supplements may help balance hormones on their own, it is sometimes better to consider an option that has a broader spectrum of efficacy, such as Prostate PowerFlow.
Prostate PowerFlow and prostate health
When taken daily, Prostate PowerFlow’s formulation works to support prostate health. It contains the following four key active ingredients:
- Saw Palmetto Native Americans from the Seminole tribe in Florida traditionally ate its berries for food and to treat urinary and reproductive problems associated with an enlarged prostate gland.
- Lycopene Tomato-derived lycopene supports a healthy prostate and has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers. It can help stop the enlargement of the prostate and prevent this condition from progressing to prostate cancer.
- Selenium Selenium provides antioxidant protection. Prostate PowerFlow provides up to 50 percent of the Selenium RDA to support men’s prostate health in New Zealand (RDA varies in different countries).
- Zinc is necessary for the manufacture of testosterone, which is the key male hormone for potency and fertility. Low zinc levels may contribute to low sperm count and low libido.
Good prostate health is a key for men coping with the inevitable hormonal changes that accompany aging. Prostate PowerFlow with Saw Palmetto, Zinc, Lycopene and Selenium may help alleviate the natural side effects of growing older.
To support your prostate health, it is suggested that you take two capsules of PowerFlow daily; one in the morning and one in the evening with food.
Prostate PowerFlow is 100% natural and free of unpleasant side effects. It is manufactured in New Zealand to the highest standards, with thorough testing and guarantees of no adulteration or undeclared ingredients.
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Disclaimer. This information is provided for general informational purposes only and does not substitute for the advice provided by your medical professional. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.