Men's Health

Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy

Prostate Inflammation

There are 3 prostate conditions that can cause a man grief. The first: prostatitis/prostatosis is inflammation or infection of the prostate. Although medically it is almost always treated as an infection, bacterial infection of the prostate is quite rare. Much more common is lymphatic congestion and inflammation, which is very painful. Unfortunately, prescribed antibiotics don't help nor do the prescribed muscle relaxers, tranquilizers and psychotherapy. This is a physical problem.

Neurovascular dynamics (NVD) and diathermy are very effective against prostatosis. NVD directly moves the lymphatic fluid, draining the prostate. In stubborn cases, diathermy to the area speeds recovery. In addition, some men need specific herbs to support prostate function and prevent recurrence of the condition.

Lifestyle changes which support good prostate function include: a whole food diet rich in soy products, vegetable fiber and zinc. In particular, I recommend raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas) which are an excellent source of dietary zinc. Hot sitz baths will sometimes relieve mild cases. Regular sexual activity also is important to prevent prostatic inflammation, together with adequate physical exercise.

Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy

The second condition that afflicts almost every American man over the age of 45 is benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). There are a variety of surgical procedures used to treat this condition medically and, recently, drug therapy has been explored, with mixed results. The surgery is effective for 15 to 20 years, and may then need to be repeated if you have the surgery at a young age (40's or 50's).

Since this condition is silent, what should you watch for? Early symptoms include: urinating more frequently, especially at night; difficulty beginning urination; urinary stream that's weak or thin; difficulty stopping the stream; and/or dribbling after urination seems complete. These symptoms may progress to urinary urgency and inability to empty the bladder completely. In its most severe form, BPH can cause urinary retention (complete inability to urinate) that is a medical emergency, requiring catheterization.

You may have noticed that all of these symptoms relate to the urinary tract, rather than the prostate. That's because as the prostate enlarges it closes the urethra, making it difficult to impossible for the bladder to empty. So, the doctor's first job is to determine where the problem lies - is it your prostate or is it your bladder? You may simply have a bladder infection.

Let's assume you do have BPH. The question I hear most often is: Are there alternatives to surgery?

Absolutely! First of all, studies have shown that doing nothing and, in essence, "living with" the symptoms causes no problems for most men. However, if the symptoms are too distressing, there are other options, as well. Although the prescription drugs have been somewhat disappointing, I have been successfully "shrinking" prostates the entire time I've been in practice, as did Dr. Martin before me. This particular condition, which is a functional problem, is remarkably accessible to NVD. In most cases, I also use herbal preparations to limit the recurrence of BPH. It is a fallacy to assume that saw palmetto will work for everyone. In some cases, saw palmetto can be combined with another herb to maximize its effect. Other men need a different herb entirely. I recommend you have your prostate examined at the RFHC and obtain a personalized herbal program if you are over 45 years of age. [see Treatments/NVD]

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