Tips for a healthy prostate by ryandenney

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									                Tips for a healthy prostate




The prostate is a doughnut-shaped male gland that is an important organ in
the male body. It secretes a thin, milky, alkaline fluid that increases sperm
motility and lubricates the urethra to prevent infection. Prostate secretions
are extremely important for successful fertilisation of the egg.

As men age, the prostate enlarges and has been associated with urination
problems in males over 50 years of age. Depending on the degree of
enlargement, the prostate can press against the urethra and impede the flow
of urine, causing symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).

As discussed in the previous article, you are advised to seek proper
diagnosis at the first signs of symptoms.

Serenoa repens, also known as Serenoa serrulata (saw palmetto) is a small
shrubby palm, native to the southern part of North America. The fruit, which
is a one-seeded dark brown to black drupe is the part used in this herbal
supplement. The lipid content of the fruit consists predominantly of free fatty
acids together with triglycerides, diglycerides, monoglycerides and
phytosterol.

Since the development of the liposterolic extract of saw palmetto, there have
been more than 20 trials on its use for the treatment of BPH.
Studies conducted by researchers have also highlighted the benefits of saw
palmetto. In 1996, Carbin and co-workers used a combination of 480 mg
Saw Palmetto and 480 mg of pumpkin seed extract on 53 patients for a
period of 3 months. Findings showed that there was significant improvement
in urination symptoms and patient evaluation of the therapy were better
compared to placebo. Another study by Bach and Ebeling in 1995
demonstrated a therapeutic effect for 320 mg saw palmetto in BPH which
was maintained for 3 years. Peak urinary flow and postvoid residual (PVR)
was fully established after about 12 months and was then maintained in the
ensuing 24 months.

Saw palmetto is well tolerated by most people and causes relatively few side
effects. About 2% of patients reported adverse reactions in a French open
trial of 500 men. A majority of complaints were minor gastrointestinal
problems such as nausea which resolved when the herb was taken after
meals.

You may want to answer the self-assessment to help you assess your health
status pertaining to urination problems. The is especially beneficial for those
who suspect that they have problems such as frequent urination, trouble or
delay in starting urination, weak stream of urine, incomplete emptying of the
bladder sensation after urinating and leaking after leaving the toilet.




 International Prostate Symptom Score (I-PSS) to assess urinating
                            problems.


                                           Less
                                                                             More than
                                           than 1   Less than
                                  Not at                        About half    half the   Almost
       In the past month                    in 5    half the                                      Score
                                   all                          the time       time      always
                                           times      time




 1. Incomplete emptying
 How often have you had the
 sensation of not emptying your
 bladder?
2. Frequency
How often have you had to
urinate less than every two
hours?




3. Intermittency
How often have you found you
stopped and started again
several times when you
urinated?




4. Urgency
How often have you found it
difficult to postpone urination?




5. Weak Stream
How often have you had a
week urinary stream?




6. Straining
How often have you had to
strain to start urination?




                                     None       1 time    2 times      3 times     4 times   5 times


7. Nocturia
How many times did you
typically get up at night to
urinate?




Total I-PSS Score




                                   Score: 1-7: Mild 8-19: Moderate 20-35: Severe
  Quality of Life due to Urinary
                                                            Mostly                 Mostly
           Symptoms                Delighted     Pleased               Mixed                    Unhappy      Terrible
                                                           Satisfied             Dissatisfied




 If you were to spend the rest
 of your life with your urinary
 condition just the way it is
 now, how would you feel about
                                      0             1         2          3            4             5             6
 that?




Source: American Urological Association symptom index for benign prostatic hyperplasia. The Journal of Urology.
                                               August 2003;170:541




Other beneficial tips to consider:

      • Taking a zinc supplement in combination with the herbs, Saw
        palmetto and pumpkin seed to promote a healthy prostate.
      • You may also consider a combination of evening primrose oil and fish
        oil, which supplies the omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids
        respectively
      • Foodwise, increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. These
        are rich in vitamins, minerals, plant pigments, fibre and other
        compounds such as plant sterols that can help the body to heal itself.
      • Reduce excessive meat or animal fat intake.
      • It is advisable to drink at least 8 glasses of water (however, not too
        much before bedtime) a day.
      • Mild exercises such as swimming and walking improves blood
        circulation to the prostate
      • Avoid or reduce stress
      • Quit or avoid smoking
      • Learn up more about the condition
      • Do not suffer in silence. Seek medical help and support from family
        members

								
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