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Types of Male Prostate Concerns and Ways To Resolve Them

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The male reproductive system comprises of different organs; one such organ is a walnut-shaped gland called the prostate. The prostate gland is located at the base of the urinary bladder just in front of the rectum. It is surrounded by the urethra at the neck of the urinary bladder. In men, the urethra plays a dual function, it passes urine from the urinary bladder and even carries semen out of the penis during sexual climax. The prostate contains the thin tube that passes urine and semen coming through the urethra. It has might job of making alkaline fluids that helps in nourishing the sperms and leaves the urethra out of the penis as ejaculate (semen). This prostate fluid is very important for males to be able to become fathers of their children. [1, 3]

There are two main growth spurts seen in the prostate gland. First is during the adolescent years fuelled by testosterone (male sex hormones) made by the testicles. At this time, the average weight of the prostate is 20 grams. The second growth spurt occurs in adult men, who are in their 30s. [3]

Poor prostate health can make men feel sick. Prostate health can get tremendously negatively impacted by various factors including aging, ethnicity, and genetics which cannot be changed as well as diet, lifestyle, and exercise habits. Men can face different kinds of prostate health issues, the most common being an enlarged prostate because of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and the deadliest being prostate cancer. A man can suffer from one or more of these prostate concerns. It is not necessary that doctors would always know the definite cause of men having problematic prostate. If not treated well on time, prostate problems can lead to other health issues like problems having sex, kidney failure, bladder stones, UTI, stress because of chronic pain, and swelling in areas near the prostate. Thankfully, there are many ways to resolve any prostate health issue. Keep reading to learn about different prostate concerns and ways of prostrate support to achieve good prostate health. [1, 3, 4, 5]

Types of Prostate Problems

The three main forms of prostate diseases that most people are familiar with and many men usually experience are:

1. Prostatitis: It is a medical condition characterized by inflammation (swelling and pain) in the prostate. Mostly it happens in young adult men belonging to the age group 30-50. It can be caused by bacteria or due to unknown exact reasons. Therefore, it is of different types:

  • Chronic Prostatitis- It is a non-bacterial type of prostatitis, usually referred to as chronic pelvic pain syndrome. As there is no known exact cause of this condition, it is very difficult to manage it. Researchers believe that it is caused by some tiny infectious organisms, though not bacteria. Other possible causes of long-term inflammation inside the prostate gland may be the body’s response to earlier UTI (Urinary Tract Infection), chemicals present in the urine, nerve damage in the pelvic area, sexual abuse, problems with pelvic floor muscles, chronic anxiety issues. Mostly, doctors are unable to identify infection in men suffering from chronic prostatitis. Its symptoms vary among patients and there is no single diagnostic test for this type of prostatitis. The indications include long-lasting discomfort and pain in the belly, scrotum/penis, the area between the anus and scrotum, and the lower back. The treatment may include medications called alpha-blockers to relax the muscles in the urethra that passes through the prostate. Even relaxation exercises, warm baths, and physical therapies may help.
  • Bacterial Prostatitis- Bacteria can suddenly cause infection of the prostate gland- acute bacterial prostatitis, that gets soon resolved with antibiotics. This happens only with some men. When a bacterial infection stays for longer periods and keeps recurring, the symptoms appear gradually, and may take more time to get treated, the condition is known as chronic bacterial prostatitis. The symptoms include partial emptying of the urinary bladder, chills, fever, and body aches.
  • Asymptomatic Prostatitis- It is a minor prostate health issue associated with no symptoms and usually doesn’t require treatment. Men may learn about it following their health check-ups or diagnostic tests for other health concerns. [1, 3, 4]

2. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH): This condition is commonly known as enlarged prostate. It is an age-related health concern in which men tend to have their prostate glands growing in size with advancing age. Usually, it is seen in men who are older than 40 years. BPH can occur due to hormonal changes in older men, inflammation, aging, and fibrosis. It is not a fatal disease but can affect the life quality of the sufferer. The symptoms include waking up often to pass urine of unusual color or smell and experiencing pain while ejaculating or urinating. [1, 2]

The enlarged prostate can narrow down the urethra and put pressure on the base of the urinary bladder, thereby causing obstructed urine flow. Such blockages can sometimes lead to sudden acute retention of urine in the urinary bladder which is very painful but can be temporarily relieved by releasing urine through a catheter. Less commonly, the retention can be chronic, resulting in a dangerous, painless build-up of urine in the urinary bladder. This ongoing urinary retention is associated with higher bladder pressure which can further damage the kidney. Treatment may include lifestyle changes, watchful waiting, and medications to shrink the size of the prostate. In serious patients, surgery may be done to get a wide channel in the urethra passing through the prostate. [3]

3. Prostate cancer: It occurs when cancerous cells are formed in the prostate gland. Usually, seen in older men who have crossed their mid-age. Its contributing factors include aging and family history. However, it can be managed with approaches like active surveillance, chemotherapy, HIFU, androgen deprivation therapy, prostate removal surgery, and watchful waiting. [2, 3]

Ways of Prostate Support

  • Regular exercise
  • Eating a prostate-friendly diet (plant-heavy Mediterranean diet)
  • Limiting intake of alcohol and processed foods
  • Reduce stress
  • Testosterone Replacement Therapy
  • Take natural health supplements
  • Get a prostate health exam done every year. [4, 5, 6]

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VitaPost Prostate Plus is a popular dietary supplement containing vitamins, minerals, and botanical extracts that promises support for a healthy prostate, healthy urine flow, and urinary health. Two capsules in a day are its recommended dosage.

References:

  1. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/prostate-problems
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/prostatediseases.html
  3. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/prostate-disease
  4. https://prostate.org.nz/2014/12/5-steps-better-prostate-health/
  5. https://www.menstclinic.com/blog/5-ways-to-stay-on-top-of-prostate-health
  6. https://www.prostateplus.net/

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