Understanding and Treating Prostate Problems

The three most common problems with the male prostate are infection, enlargement and prostate cancer:

Infection

Infection of the prostate, also known as Prostatitis can fall into one of four categories:

  • Acute bacterial prostatitis
  • Chronic bacterial prostatitis
  • Chronic non-bacterial prostatitis
  • Prostatodynia (chronic pelvic pain syndrome)

Acute bacterial is the least common, although it is easier to detect and treat. Men with this condition usually have a UTI (urinary tract infection). Your doctor will be able to check for bacteria by testing a sample of your urine, doing a urethral swab or a digital rectal exam. If bacteria are found, then you will be given a course of antibiotics to treat the infection.

Chronic bacterial is when infections are re-occurring frequently and this is usually due to some kind of defect in the prostate. This would require investigation by a urologist to find the cause, which would then be treated and followed by a course of antibiotics to rid the prostate of any remaining infection.

Chronic non-bacterial is when men have all the symptoms of chronic bacterial prostatitis, but no bacteria or underlying cause is found. Prostatodynia (chronic pelvic pain syndrome) is thought by most doctors to be the same entity. Since there is no probable cause, it is possible that they could be stress related.

In order to prevent any form of prostatitis, men should make sure they drink plenty of water (at least 8 glasses per day); avoid too much coffee, alcohol and spicy foods; make sure they urinate regularly and have frequent sex.

Enlarged Prostate Gland

A man’s prostate will usually begin to enlarge after he reaches the age of 40. This is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The precise cause is unknown, but is thought to be due to the decrease in male hormones and other degenerative cell damage.

The prostate gland surrounds the urethra (the tube which carries urine from the bladder to the tip of the penis) and therefore, when it becomes enlarged, it begins to press down on the urethra causing problems with urination.

In the earlier stages of BPH, the bladder muscle compensates by becoming thicker and forcing urine through the urethra more powerfully. This causes the bladder muscle to become sensitive, which is why men begin to feel the need to urinate more frequently as they grow older.

In some cases, the BPH may cause other problems due to blockage, such as frequent UTIs, bladder and/or kidney damage, and sometimes acute urinary retention (unable to urinate), which is a condition requiring immediate medical attention.

Prostate Cancer

This is the second biggest cancer killer of males in the United States. Fortunately though, it is very slow growing and therefore any radical treatment measures, such as surgery or radiation, are usually postponed by doctors until they are felt to be really needed. On the other hand though, because it is slow growing, if you don’t prostate protocol reviews have regular, annual physicals, then it may go undetected for many years without causing any symptoms. Therefore, it is very important, particularly for men over the age of 40 (or younger if there is a family history of prostate cancer) to have an annual prostate examination, together with a blood test for PSA levels. These are included as standard in an annual physical examination and help with early detection.

Like all cancers, diet is the single most important factor in the prevention and the fight against mutating cancer cells. It is very important that you keep your diet healthy, drink lots of water and take supplements for any nutrients that your body may be lacking in.

It may be a good idea to take supplements anyway – even if you think your diet is sufficient in vitamins and nutrients – especially if you have already been diagnosed with cancer. There are some excellent and reasonably priced brands available specific to male health, which will ensure that you are getting the daily recommended levels.

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