Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an enlarged non-cancerous prostate. This is a very common ailment in men. There are certain things you can do to alleviate the problem as well as prevent it in the first place.
The prostate gland is a single donut-shaped gland about the size of a chestnut. It sits under the bladder and it surrounds the upper part of the urethra (the tube that carries the urine from the bladder to the penis). The prostate, one of the so-called accessory glands in the male reproductive system, secretes a lubricating, alkaline fluid that makes up about one-third of the semen volume.
Like all glands, the prostate needs good circulation from both the blood vessels and the lymphatic system. Any blockage of fluids going to or leaving the prostate can cause it to enlarge. Since it surrounds the urethra, prostate enlargement can constrict this tube and make urinating difficult and painful.
Other symptoms associated with prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) include: intermittency of the urinary stream, decreased size and force of the urinary stream, and almost constant overflow or dribbling. Prostatitis occurs frequently with other problems like sciatica, diabetes, kidney disease, and arthritis.
Prevent Prostate Problems
- Exercise! Walking is especially beneficial to the prostate. The movement of muscles and organs in the pelvic cavity during walking helps circulation to and from the gland. Constant sitting during most of your childhood and adult life only adds to your chances of having prostate problems.
- Avoid intense sexual excitement without a natural conclusion of ejaculation. Continued excitement without ejaculation causes engorgement of the gland and if this continues, it can lead to structural and functional damage. Develop regularity in sexual habits if possible.
- Limit meat. A diet rich in meats (either beef or poultry) can cause problems. It’s not the meat itself that causes problems. Many of the detrimental effects are due to residual hormones and additives in meat and meat products.While many of the hormones used in cattle production have been outlawed, many poultry producers still feed hormones to chickens and turkeys to speed their growth period and get them to market sooner. These hormones can be found later in your grocery store meats and cause havoc with your system. The hormone testosterone has the ability to awaken dormant cancer in the prostate. (This is the reason the male source of testosterone, the testicles, are sometimes removed after prostatic cancer has been diagnosed.)
- Include lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and juices in the diet. These foods have a cleansing effect on the urinary tract as well as the rest of the body.
- Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day.
- Minimize your coffee and alcohol consumption. Over-indulgence of either predisposes you to prostate troubles.
Natural Prostate Solutions
If you already have BPH, here are some natural ways to treat the problem.
- Take prostate supportive supplements. Start with a multivitamin that contains zinc, vitamin C, A, E, and phosphorus. For advanced prostate support, add supplements like saw palmetto, cranberry powder, stinging nettle, and ashwagandha.
- Exercise. The benefits of exercise like walking vigorously for at least 30 minutes each day can’t be stressed enough. Another exercise that helps "massage" the prostate should be performed at least twice daily. Lie flat on your back, pull your knees up toward your chest as far as possible, then press the soles of your feet together. While holding the soles pressed together lower the legs as far as possible with a forceful movement. Repeat 10 tp 15 times. Bicycling while lying on your back is also helpful.
- Use a slant board for 15 to 20 minutes every day. Your feet should be elevated 18 inches above the head for best results. Slant boards are available where exercise equipment is sold, or you can easily make your own. On a slant board your internal pelvic organs will move away from the prostate and allow for better circulation.
- Use sitz baths and heat packs. Sitz baths have given immense relief to prostate sufferers. Sit, preferably on a folded towel, for 15 to 20 minutes in a bathtub containing at least 6 inches of hot water (110° F to 120° F). The water should be about as hot as you can stand it. Since you will be in the tub for 15 to 20 minutes you will need to add more hot water to keep the temperature high enough. Use a sitz bath two or three times a week. Massage and apply moist hot packs to the lower back as well as directly above the pubic bone in front will also help prostatic circulation. Be sure to use moist heat packs, which allow for deeper heat penetration than a simple electric heating pad.
- If your BPH is accompanied by lower back or sciatic pain, seek help from a knowledgeable chiropractor. The pain may indicate the nerve supply to the prostate is irritated due to a spinal or pelvic subluxation or misalignment.
- Colonic irrigation. Edgar Cayce, the famous psychic, felt that a man who took a monthly colonic would never develop prostatitis. Before your body can use its full energy to build and repair, toxic waste material must be removed. It has been said that it would take six months of a cleansing diet, or one week of fasting to do as much cleaning as one colonic.