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Men's Health
Understand prostate health issues by reading this Theralogix blog and learn about three prostate issues BPH, prostatitis, and prostate cancer.

Health care usually doesn’t fall at the top of a man’s priority list. In fact, a recent survey by Cleveland Clinic revealed just how strongly some men feel about going (or not going) to the doctor. Let’s take a look at the staggering statistics:

  • 72% of men would rather do household chores than go to the doctor
  • 77% of men would rather go shopping with their significant other than visit their healthcare provider
  • 41% of men were told as children that men shouldn’t complain about their health issues
  • 82% of men want to stay healthy and live longer for friends and family, but only 50% participate in preventative care

 If going to the doctor is at the bottom of your list, it may be time to move it up. Routine doctor visits are important for your overall health, and for keeping your prostate healthy as you age.

This article  provides information about the prostate and how certain prostate health issues may affect you.

About the Prostate

The prostate is a small gland that is part of the male reproductive system. It helps make semen (the fluid that is released through the penis when you ejaculate). The prostate surrounds part of the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of your body). It sits low in your pelvis, below the bladder, and in front of the rectum.

A healthy prostate is generally about the size of a walnut. Throughout your life, the prostate goes through two main stages of growth.  The first happens during puberty when it doubles in size. The second stage begins at around age 25, and it continues to grow as you age.

male reproductive system

The prostate is a small gland that is part of the male reproductive system. It helps make semen (the fluid that is released through the penis when you ejaculate). The prostate surrounds part of the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of your body). It sits low in your pelvis, below the bladder, and in front of the rectum.

A healthy prostate is generally about the size of a walnut. Throughout your life, the prostate goes through two main stages of growth.  The first happens during puberty when it doubles in size. The second stage begins at around age 25, and it continues to grow as you age.

essential guide to prostate healthy

How Prostate Health Issues Affect You

As you get older, the size and health of your prostate can change. Some prostate issues may be uncomfortable and lead to a lower quality of life. Others may be more damaging to your health in the long run. Let’s dive a little deeper into the three most common prostate health concerns.

Prostate Health Concern #1

Usually the size of a walnut, your prostate may grow to be the size of an apricot by the time you are 40. And by the time you are 60, it may be as large as a lemon. As the prostate gets bigger, many men experience the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (also called BPH).

BPH is an enlargement of the prostate gland, which commonly occurs as men get older. If you have BPH, you are not alone. In fact, it’s the most common prostate problem for men over age 50.

An enlarged prostate can press against and pinch the urethra. This causes the urethra to narrow and may trigger urinary concerns such as urinary frequency, urgency, and decreased urinary flow. If you find yourself urgently running to the bathroom, waking up several times throughout the night to urinate, or have a hard time getting a strong stream of urine, you may consider addressing these issues with your physician..

Studies show that BPH is strongly associated with erectile dysfunction (ED) and other sexual side effects. It is unclear why men with BPH also often have a lower sex drive, trouble keeping an erection, and less sexual satisfaction. The link between BPH and ED may be physical, but it may also be connected to genetics, age, lack of sleep, or anxiety.

Fortunately, there are treatment options that may lessen the symptoms of BPH. These treatment options include medications, minimally invasive procedures, and prostate surgery. For men with mild to moderate symptoms, certain nutrients may provide some relief..

Prostate Concern #2

Prostatitis is a condition that involves inflammation and swelling of the prostate gland and the area around the prostate. Men with prostatitis often experience painful or difficult urination and may have pain in the groin, pelvic area, or genitals.

Although prostatitis affects men of all ages, it is the most common urinary tract problem for men under 50 years old.  In fact, it is responsible for about two million visits to healthcare providers in the U.S. each year.

There are four different types of prostatitis, but the most common is chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS). Prostatitis becomes “chronic” when symptoms last for three months or longer.

You can often treat CP/CPPS with prescription medications, such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, or alpha-blocking medications. Sometimes a doctor will prescribe a combination of these medicines to decrease the inflammation, pain, and discomfort.

Some complementary and alternative treatments may be beneficial for prostatitis symptom relief. These treatments include warm baths (sitz baths), heat therapy (heating pad) to the affected area, physical therapy, relaxation exercises, acupuncture, and phytotherapy.

Prostate Health Concern #3

Sometimes cells in the prostate gland begin to grow out of control. These abnormal cell changes may lead to prostate cancer. Although some types are more aggressive and develop quickly, most types grow very slowly and remain confined to the prostate gland.

Prostate cancer mainly affects older men. About 60% of men are diagnosed  after the age of 65, and it is rare before age 40. Although it is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it, and the survival rate pretty high. Still, the American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 248,530 new cases in 2021.

Treatment and Risk Factors

There are some risk factors beyond your control that may threaten your prostate health, such as age, ethnicity, and family history. However, you can still focus on maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle to help reduce your risk of chronic disease.

 Some healthcare providers may screen for prostate cancer using a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, which can help detect prostate cancer early. You should discuss with your physician if screening is right for you.

If you find out you have prostate cancer, there are several treatment options. Some stages do not warrant treatment, and your doctor may choose to proceed with careful observation, commonly referred to as “watchful waiting” or “active surveillance.”

For others, with more aggressive formsr, treatment options include:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Cryotherapy (cryosurgery)
  • Hormone therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Vaccine treatment
  • Bone-directed treatment

If you’re among the majority of men that would rather do household chores or go shopping with their significant other instead of going to the doctor, try to muster up the motivation to make an appointment this year. Routine visits with your healthcare provider can help detect issues early so that you can stay healthy for the people you care about. And if you’re already experiencing prostate symptoms, consider visiting your healthcare team even earlier to determine your best course of action.

For more information, follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter @Theralogix!

essential guide to prostate healthy

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