Did you know, one in four men over 55 will suffer from some sort of prostate disease, usually prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP) or, the most feared, prostate cancer. Clinically it can be difficult to tell these diseases apart, as they all have similar features.
Signs and symptoms of prostate disease can be -
Slowed or delayed start of the urinary stream
Weak urine stream and straining to urinate
Dribbling after urinating
Strong and sudden urge to urinate
Incomplete emptying of the bladder
Needing to urinate two or more times a night
Inability to urinate
Pain with urination or bloody urine (these may also indicate infection)
History or recurrent urinary infections
The prostate is a small gland in the male reproductive system which sits just below the bladder and also surrounds the urethra. The tube carrying urine to the bladder is known as the urethra - when a male’s prostate is healthy, there is no problem with the flow of the urine. However, as the prostate enlarges, it may constrict the urethra, limiting the urine flow. Obviously, once the prostate gland shrinks in size, urine will flow normally again. If you experience any of these symptoms it is recommended you see a healthcare professional.
There are several nutrients and herbs which we have found can aid maintaining a healthy prostate and relieve the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
Saw Palmetto is a well known herb which has been around for many years and has been found to help in the treatment of urinary disturbances, low libido in men and as a general male tonic. It is believed to contain anti inflammatory properties especially when combined with Curcumin and Lycopene. Saw Palmetto contains plant based chemicals which are thought to affect the levels of testosterone in the body plus reduce the enzymes which promote the growth of prostate cells. Generally, Saw Palmetto is more beneficial when combined with other herbs and nutrients.
Phytosterols as a supplement often used to help lower cholesterol. However, Phytosterols can also be helpful for prostate health. Phytopin is a natural extract containing phytosterols which is extracted from pine oil. By binding to the prostate gland, Phytosterols can help reduce the inflammation and swelling of the prostate gland. It can therefore help increase urinary flow and decrease residual urine in the bladder.
Lower levels of selenium may also contribute to a higher level of risk of developing advanced prostate cancer. Selenium may also reduce the risk of certain cancers including prostate, breast, colon, gastric and lung cancer.
I have written often about the benefits of Curcumin, the active ingredient in Turmeric. Curcumin is often included in a prostate supplement because of its anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Lycopene and Zinc also play a role in maintaining prostate health.
I often tell the story of my father who was scheduled for a prostate operation, because of an enlarged prostate. He wasn’t a great believer in herbs, however after giving him a bottle of Saw Palmetto as a birthday present, to his delight, the prostate operation wasn’t required. He told me it was the best birthday present I’ve ever given him. Now there’s a great idea when your struggling to come up with an idea for a birthday or Father’s Day gift!!
For further information on prostate health or other health issues, call to see Bev and the team at Go Vita, Your Health Shop at 5 North St, Batemans Bay or phone on 0244729737. Don’t forget to tune into Bev and Marianne on Go Get Healthy on 2EC at 12.15pm every Wednesday.