Good prostate health lies in prevention: avoiding red meat, white sugar, bleached flour, food additives and flouride, whilst increasing consumption of pumpkin seeds (rich in zinc), organic vegetables and fruit, and taking herbs such as Saw Palmetto.
INFECTION, ENLARGEMENT AND CANCER are three common prostate problems. Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in Canadian men, accounting for almost one in four diagnoses. Statistics reveal that one in eight men will develop prostate cancer during their lifetime; after age seventy, one in 28 will die from it. These grim statistics should act as a wake-up call for men! Are men really listening??
Symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland typically appear in men after 50 years of age, but in many cases they develop earlier and could start as early as 30 - 40 years! An enlarged prostate does not necessarily indicate cancer, but it is a symptom that should not be ignored. Unfortunately many men have the attitude that they are "bullet proof" and that they don't have a problem it is always somebody else… my neighbor, uncle, brother, colleague, friend etc. because admitting it would be weakness!! However smart women (many of them are smarter than men anyway!) are finding out about his problem and hopefully can convince him to do something about it the "natural way!"
It is not common for the prostate gland to become enlarged as a man ages. This condition is referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and its exact cause is still not known and it is believed that high level of estrogen might be the reason for it. Both prostate enlargement and cancer are linked to hormonal changes that occur as men get older, called "andropause" which is similar to the menopausal changes that occur in women. Statistics show that approximately 75% of males between 30 and 40 will develop enlargement of the prostate. This increases to 90% of men in the age of 65 and over years!
Early detection can make it possible to catch prostate cancer before it spreads to other sites in the body. Careful rectal examination of the prostate gland, however inconvenient it may be, is the simplest and most cost-effective way of detecting prostate cancer. It is suggested that every man should have an annual digital rectal examination, beginning at age35 - 40. A blood test to detect elevated levels of substance called prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is an excellent screening test for prostate cancer. PSA is currently the most valuable "tumor marker" available to diagnose prostate cancer and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. A PSA level between 0 - 4 is considered to be within normal range, and a level over 10 is assumed to indicate cancer until proven otherwise. If a man's PSA level is found to be high, the test should always be repeated.
WATCH FOR THE SYMPTOMS
Here are some symptoms to watch out for. You need to be checked out by your health care practitioner if you experience any of them:
- a weak, hesitant or interrupted flow of urine
- difficulty in controlling the flow of urine
- pain or straining to maintain a stream of urine
- blood in the urine or semen
- a sensation of incomplete emptying of the bladder
- frequent urination, especially at night!!
- infection of the bladder
- pain or stiffness of the hips, thighs and lower back
PREVENTING PROSTATE PROBLEMS
Prevention is key to prostate health! Good dietary habits and supplements can help to avoid most problems associated with this potentially troublesome gland. The following are simple guidelines to clean up your diet and environment, and to enrich your nutrition and supplementation. It may be possible to follow each and every one of these recommendations, but a few alterations to your current practices can make as significant difference!
Watch out for:
- a weak, hesitant or interrupted flow of urine
Try to avoid:
- daily consumption of red meat
- refined poisonous white sugar and table salt (use cane sugar and himalayan salt), excess alcohol, coffeine, tobacco, white enriched bleached flour products,hydrogenated fats (deep-fried vegetable oil), margarine (one molecule away from plastic), processed and junk food, pop drinks
- chemicals added to food (artificial preservatives such as BHA, MSG, nitrites, sodium benzoate, processed meats and sausages, artificial coloring and flavoring, and sweeteners such as aspartame, neotame, Nutrasweet, Equal, Splenda, and saccharine (e.g. Sweet 'N Low), found in diet sodas, diabetic food and other processed low-calorie foods
- fluoride (did you that almost 98% of all cities and municipalities in B.C. are now fluoride free thanks to the work of HANS=
Health Action Network, Vancouver, B.C?), chlorine, aluminum and Teflon cookware, and amalgam mercury dental fillings
Try to include:
- zinc, the single most important nutrient for a healthy prostate gland since certified organic pumpkin seeds are an excellent source.
- other nutrient-rich seeds are hemp, flax, sunflower, sesame
- unrefined, cold pressed nut and seed oils such as flax, hemp, walnut, evening primrose, sesame, fish oil, all GMO-free
- certified organic fresh leafy green vegetables, whole grains and raw wheat germ (includes freshly pressed juices of carrots, green vegetables, wheatgrass, citrus fruit, mangoes
- chickpeas, pistachios, almonds, Brazil nuts, lentils, beans, oatmeal
- apples, onions, tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, papaya, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnip
- additional nutritional supplements such as vitamin C, B6, B-complex, bee pollen, echinacea, ginseng, buchu, goldenseal, uva ursi, chaparral, parsley, St. John's Wort tea, horsetail bath.
Of the herbs listed, Saw Palmetto is the most commonly used for protection the prostate. Studies have shown it to be an effective alternative to prostate surgery. Men using it also experience an increase in libido and ability to function better sexually. It must be used long-term to shrink the prostate, but many men notice an improvement within six weeks. Saw Palmetto can be used to increase strength and muscle mass, and it works best when combined with exercise programs.
And remember: GOOD PROSTATE HEALTH BEGINS WITH PREVENTION!
Copyright © 2000 Klaus Ferlow