Easing Prostate Infection Discomfort

Learn about the symptoms of prostate infections and discusses self-help remedies and supplements

If you are a man over the age of 50, you probably have a prostate problem -usually a benign enlargement of the gland. Herbal and nutritional therapies can ease discomfort and even preclude and delay the need for conventional medicines and surgery. Symptoms include frequent, urgent need to urinate, particularly at night; difficulty or hesitancy in urinating; inability to empty the bladder; a weak urine stream or dribbling; burning sensation during urination; and experiencing fever, chills, pain behind the scrotum or painful ejaculation. In addition, prostate infections such as blood in the urine or semen require prompt medical treatment. If you have any symptoms of a prostate condition, consult your doctor immediately: a simple blood test can help to distinguish a benign prostate disorder from cancer.

These disorders typically cause urinary complaints because they affect the prostate, the walnut-sized gland that is located below the bladder and surrounds the urethra - the tube that transports urine out of the bladder. By far, the most common problem is BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or hypertrophy), a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate, which occurs in more than half of men over the age of 50. The condition can progress for many years, with few or no symptoms at first. It is not a risk factor for prostate cancer, but a doctor should evaluate your condition to rule out cancer and prostate inflammation (prostatitis), which are more serious.

What causes prostate problems?

As men age, the prostate typically enlarges. No one is sure why this happens, though male sex hormones may play a role. Depending on the degree of enlargement, the prostate can press against the urethra and impede the flow of urine, causing the symptoms of BPH. Less often, men develop prostatitis, which is usually caused by a bacterial infection that begins elsewhere in the urinary tract, or cancer. In these conditions, swelling of the prostate or growth of a tumor can disrupt urine flow.



Self-help

Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, especially beer. Reduce consumption of liquids in the evening. Foods rich in Soya may benefit men with prostate problems. Tofu, miso and other Soya products contain healing substances called isoflavones, which may help to protect against prostate enlargement and prostate cancer. One of the key nutrients for prostate health is zinc, which has been shown to reduce the size of the gland and relieve BPH symptoms. Because zinc interferes with copper absorption, it is important to take copper too (dosage: 30mg zinc and 2mg copper daily). Extra vitamin E can aid in preserving prostate health; as an antioxidant, it scavenges free radicals, which can damage DNA and lead to cancer (dosage: 400 IU daily).

A report in the medical journal Urology concluded that Saw Palmetto (derived from a dwarf palm tree), can be very effective in easing symptoms of BPH, partly by altering hormone levels (dosage: 160mg twice a day between meals). Combined with nettle (dosage: 250mg twice a day), it may curb inflammation and swelling in chronic cases of prostatitis and slow down BPH progression. When taken with saw palmetto, raw pumpkin seeds (high in zinc and amino acids) have aided in the treatment of BPH. The essential fatty acids in flaxseed oil (dosage: 1 tablespoon (14g) daily) also help to prevent the swelling and inflammation of the prostate in BPH and prostatitis. The amino acids glycine, alanine and glutamine, taken together each morning on an empty stomach, may also relieve symptoms, though they do not slow prostate growth (dosage: 500mg. each daily; after one month, add a mixed amino acid complex). It is essential to discuss supplement use with your doctor.

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