Prostate Health for Young Men

November 2, 2017 at 9:06 am  •  0 Comments

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It’s often assumed that prostate problems only affect seniors. In my practice as a naturopathic doctor, I have found it affecting men in their forties and even thirties. For this reason, I feel it is important that all men of all ages be educated about the topic and know their options for promoting prostate health.

Know Thyself (and your Prostate)

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that sits below the bladder. The urine tube passes through the prostate and the back part of the prostate can be seen and felt by your doctor with a finger check test in your lower bowel (called a digital rectal examination, or ‘DRE’).   The prostate makes an important fluid that is mixed with the semen to keep the sperm cells viable after ejaculation. The prostate can be prone to bacterial and non-bacterial infections and can get swollen for other reasons.

The most common signs of prostate disturbance:

  • Frequent urination
  • Urgent desire to urinate
  • Taking longer to urinate
  • Difficulty starting to urinate
  • Dripping of urine at the end of urination
  • Leakage of urine (incontinence)
  • Waking more than once to urinate
  • Blood in the urine
  • Painful urination
  • Pain between belly button and upper thighs

Most Common Prostate Problems in Young Men

There are different types of prostate problems but the most common type in younger men is called ‘prostatitis’ – a slightly swollen and inflamed or irritated prostate. It can be irritated due to infection (eg: bacterial, viral or yeast), immune system disturbance or chemical exposure, even poor nutrition can predispose toward prostatitis. Another issue some young men face is an enlarged prostate, called benign prostate hyperplasia, or ‘BPH.’ In this situation, the prostate enlarges due to poor lifestyle factors, diabetes and family history.

Prostate Cancer in Young Men?

It does happen, young men can get prostate cancer, although it is very uncommon. Most people with prostate cancer are over 50, so this is often seen as a good time to get prostate related tests (eg: PSA blood test and DRE, possibly an ultrasound). However, if you have a family history of prostate cancer, especially in a younger age group (under 60) or you have had an enlarged prostate (BPH), you may want to get tested sooner. A study appearing in the American Journal of Men’s Health in 2015 assessed the levels of fitness (moderate or low) in 18-26 year old healthy African-American men, they took blood samples to measure growth factor hormones and exposed prostate cancer cells to these blood samples; they found that those with low fitness levels had a higher risk of promoting prostate cancer cell growth likely due to the fact that they had higher hormone levels. This exemplifies the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Start now, tips for a healthier prostate

  • Ensure regular exercise 3-5 hours weekly
  • Ensure a healthy diet with high amounts of vegetables. Sufficient dietary selenium and zinc and sufficient levels of vitamin D have important roles in prostate health. Good sources of selenium include fish, mushrooms, seeds and brazil nuts. Good sources of zinc include red meats, spinach, mushrooms, seeds and beans. Green tea and white tea are good beverages that are high in antioxidants which has a protective effect on the prostate. Lycopene-containing tomatoes are also very beneficial for prostate health.
  • Herbs can help prostate health and include saw palmetto, nettle and rosemary

 

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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.