In my capacity as a natural health practitioner running a busy clinic and coming into contact with lots of women, whom have partners, the subject of prostate issues is one that is often discussed.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men with around 46,500 cases diagnosed in the UK every year. More than 80% of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men who are over 65 and here are some of the symptoms they need to be aware of:
- Frequent urination
- Weak or interrupted urine flow or the need to strain to empty the bladder
- The urge to urinate frequently at night
- Blood in the urine
- Blood in the seminal fluid
- New onset of erectile dysfunction
- Pain or burning during urination, which is much less common
** WARNING Don’t ignore the above symptoms. If you are experiencing any, see your GP immediately.
There is no screening programme for prostate cancer and GPs usually carry out a rectal exam, to check the prostate for swelling and carry out a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test. However, it can be normal to have some PSA in the blood test but, it doesn’t mean they have prostate cancer and even if they have high levels of PSA, there are other reasons why that may be so, including a urinary tract infection, vigorous exercise like cycling, recent ejaculation and some medications. Here is an article about the confusion around PSA testing, with a link to Cancer Research’s latest research, with scientists from Oxford and Bristol shedding some light on how unreliable the test is: Is the PSA test reliable?
However, there are a few things men can do to help maintain good prostate health, including eating lots of my lovely prostate-protecting tomato soup. Tomatoes are packed with lycopene and many studies have shown that this offers protection to the prostate gland. The soup also contains pumpkin seeds that contain phytosterols, known to protect the prostate gland, as well as zinc, an essential mineral for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPA) – an enlarged prostate.
When men attend my clinic for colon hydrotherapy treatment, I will check their prostate before I insert the speculum and begin the colonic treatment, by carrying out adigitial rectal exam. The prostate should feel firm with a smooth surface but, with age it can feel spongy. If it feels hard or lumpy, I would suggest that it get checked out by a GP.
For many years now I’ve been recommending saw palmetto to men who have BPA or raised PSA. Known as serenoa repens, this is a native palm plant of South Eastern United States and the berries are used in prostate protecting supplements. Here is an interesting abstract where serenoa repens was used, together with bromelain, quercertin and a steroid, to reduce histologic prostatitis, successfully: Abstract on Prostatitis.
The saw palmetto that I have been recommending is made by a very well known and well respected Swiss company called A. Vogel. It’s called Prostasan and is a traditional herbal medicine used to relieve urinary discomfort in men with an enlarged prostate, and you can learn more about it here. Learn about Prostasan.
It’s always, always important to support immune health, especially as we move into our 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond, so men need to think about taking a good quality multi vitamin/mineral supplement daily and, of course, a live bacteria probiotic capsule twice daily before meals. There’s more research than you can shake a stick at, proving that probiotics help positively influence the immune system.