Prostate Health Awareness

November 4, 2015 at 4:14 am  •  0 Comments

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One of the most common problems men face is related to the prostate gland. This gland is about the size of a walnut and is located just below the bladder and it surrounds the urrethra (the urine tube). For such a small gland, it can cause some challenging symptoms such as persistent pain and changes in urination. The three most common prostate issues are: prostatitis, prostate enlargement and prostate cancer. By knowing the symptoms of each of these three prostate issues, you will be more informed and know to seek appropriate advice. In this article, I’ll describe these conditions in the spirit of better informing everyone about men’s health issues in the global educational Movember awareness campaign.

Prostatitis

This refers to an irritation or inflammation of the prostate gland or surrounding tissues. This is a common problem for men, affecting about 50% of men over the course of your life. Despite being more common with aging, it is one of the more common urologic diagnoses for men under 50 years of age. The most common symptom experienced is pain, though this pain can be felt in a wide range of areas, from just below your belly button all the way down to your upper thighs. The causes of prostatitis are quite wide and can include infections, tight pelvic muscles, autoimmunity, etc. Treatments are catered to the cause and can range from antibacterial and anti-inflammatory medications, to stress management, to physiotherapy, or different supplements.

Prostate Enlargement

This is technically referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It’s estimated that over 90% of men inevitably experience this problem, though it affects the quality of life of approximately one-third of men over 50. In this case, the prostate tissue expands and squeezes the urine tube which affects the ability to urinate. Common symptoms of BPH include weak and dribbling urine stream, waking at night multiple times to urinate, or just simply going to urinate much more frequently than before. It’s something that can definitely disrupt your lifestyle and energy. Typical treatments involve medications to relax the muscles of the prostate and urethra, or surgical reduction of the prostate. Herbal medicines and other supplements can also be effective to reduce the symptoms of BPH; common ones include saw palmetto, nettle, African plum, or beta-sitosterol.

Prostate Cancer

This is the most common cancer experienced by men, affecting about 1 in 8 men. There are a range of prostate cancer types: many are very slow growing and don’t significantly affect your health and longevity, though other prostate cancer types are much more aggressive. The symptoms are similar to those of BPH so it’s important to seek medical advice when you have changes in urination, or if you notice blood in your urine, or develop back or pelvic pain for no known cause. Treatments can range from surgical removal of the prostate, radiation, hormone therapy, or watchful waiting. As a general proactive approach to detecting prostate cancer, it’s a good idea to get a prostate exam by age 50, or sooner if you have a family history of prostate cancer. Supportive naturopathic options include herbal immune support and developing a healthier diet.

Dr. Rahim Habib ND
About the Author

Rahim Habib is a registered naturopathic doctor with over 15 years of experience in general family practice. He has a special interest in helping patients comprehensively detoxifying their bodies for preventative and therapeutic benefit. He also has a special interest in children’s health, assisting kids in their learning and behavioural health with conditions such as ADHD, Autism spectrum, asthma, allergies and childhood obesity. He also helps adults with chronic conditions, such as thyroid disorders, infertility, inflammation, obesity, autoimmunity, dementia and cancer care. He is the director of the Four Seasons Naturopathic Clinic for Detoxification and Healing and can be reached at 905-597-7201 or www.FamilyNaturopath.ca.