Protect your prostate
We have received several requests for this topic. Prostate health is commonly overlooked until it is too late. The diagnostic tests have been greatly over-utilised and misinterpreted. Men, we need to learn how to protect ourselves. It is our health, it is our responsibility.
The problem: Prostatitis
What is it? It means an inflammation of the prostate.
Identifying Symptoms: Commonly, a heightened urgency and an increased frequency of urination are noted by a patient. One may experience painful or difficult urination as well. If you find yourself waking up several times per night to urinate, this may be one of the possible underlying problems.
Action Steps: Inflammation is caused by a multitude of factors. The most logical cause includes monitoring the fluids that you are consuming.
Coffee, soft drinks, alcohol and any type of drink that contains a lot of sugar and caffeine produces inflammation. Inflammation is generated due to the ph and acidity of the liquid consumed.
Ph level measures the acidity of foods on a scale ranging from 1 (most acidic) to 14 (most basic). Water, with a pH of 7, is neutral. Most soft drinks weigh in with a pH level between 2,0-4,0.
If this acidity is strong enough to dissolve teeth and bones, it certainly will impact your prostate. Drink more water. A common recommendation is between 2-3 liters. This recommendation varies depending on your height, weight and activity levels.
The problem: Benign prostate hyperplasia
What is it? An enlarged prostate gland
Identifying Symptoms: This swollen gland can press onto your urethra, causing a frequent, weak stream of urine.
It is believed that the bladder is never fully emptied during urination which causes an increase in frequency. It is very common to need to go to the bathroom several times per night.
Action Steps: The prostate grows larger due to an increase in the number of cells (hyperplasia). However, the precise reason for this increase is unknown. A variety of factors may be involved, including androgens (male hormones), estrogens, and growth hormones.
These hormones are directly affected by your diet, inflammatory markers, dehydration status and glandular functions. Hormones are produced by glands. These glands and the hormones they produce are affected by systemic and lifestyle factors.
The problem: Prostate cancer
What is it? A disease in which the cells of the prostate gland begin to mutate and multiply beyond its borders.
Identifying symptoms: Prostate cancer usually does not cause signs or symptoms in its early stages. Prostate cancer that is more advanced may cause signs and symptoms such as:
Decreased force in the stream of urine
Blood in your urine
Blood in your semen
Swelling in your legs
Discomfort in the pelvic area
Action Steps: Historically it is diagnosed with rising blood levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA).
Recently PSA tests have been deemed inaccurate in proper diagnosis. The founder of the test suggested its use to cease. A digital rectal exam has been most accurate in determining abnormal shape and consistency of the prostate gland.
PSA testing can’t detect prostate cancer and, more important, it can’t distinguish between the two types of prostate cancer — the one that can kill you and the one that won’t.
Instead, the test simply reveals how much of the prostate antigen a man has in his blood. Infections, over-the-counter medications, and benign swelling of the prostate can all elevate a man’s PSA levels, but none of these factors signals cancer. Men with low readings can still harbour dangerous cancers, while those with high readings might be completely healthy.
Next week’s column will focus on women’s health. We have received a tremendous amount of emails regarding breast cancer. October was breast cancer month. Let’s look at the facts regarding this condition. Please email us further questions.
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