The prostate gland is a part of the body that generally gets overlooked and forgotten about by most men until they reach middle age. Most of us have heard a public service announcement in regards to prostate screening at one point or another, but if it didn’t apply to you, you probably ignored it.
Many men, especially younger men, believe that the health of their prostate shouldn’t be something that they should be concerned about. If you are one of these people you are wrong, as there are hundreds of thousands of new prostate disorders diagnosed annually in the United States alone.
This is why it is important to keep an eye on your prostate, but if you are unfamiliar with it, you probably have no idea what it is or why it is important. The prostate gland is an important part of the male reproductive system, and is located just beneath the bladder and in front of the anus.
This gland surrounds the male urethra, the tube that runs out of the male body which carries both urine and semen. The role of the prostate gland is to secrete ejaculatory fluid in to the urethra, which mixes with the sperm from the testicles to make semen. About a third of this fluid comes from the prostate gland itself.
What Is the Biggest Concern to Prostate Health?
The biggest concern here is that the prostate can enlarge, and it can do so from the size of about a walnut, all the way up to the size of a lemon. More than half of men over the age of 50 have the problem of an enlarged prostate, making annual checkups essential to keep a close eye on the organ.
The growth itself isn’t a problem in that it is benign, however due to its location in the body it causes additional problems. An enlarged prostate commonly causes issues such as problems with urination in both control and feeling full. Straining to pass urine is another common issue many men who suffer this problem face.
The growth of the prostate, otherwise known as BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia, is one that is progressive. This means that it does get worse over time, and as it does more complications arise also. This can include very serious problems related to the renal system, including damage to the bladder and kidneys.
Can an Enlarged Prostate Affect Your Sex Life?
Not only does an enlarged prostate affect our ability to urinate and the system that processes our urine, but it can also negatively affect a man’s sex life. This includes issues involving sexual dysfunction, such as a lower sex drive, inability to maintain erections and reduced sexual pleasure.
As far as treatment is concerned, the best thing you can do is to monitor the situation and of course to go to your annual examinations. Making certain lifestyle changes may be enough to help reverse things, and to help reduce the size of the prostate.
In cases where lifestyle changes aren’t sufficient to shrink the prostate, certain drugs may be prescribed to help do just that. Surgery is recommended in some very severe cases also.
How Can I Maintain Prostate Health?
One of the biggest favors you can do yourself as far as your prostate health and your health overall is concerned is to exercise. Regular exercise is great for our health in general, and is going to improve the health of the prostate as well. Being overweight is another risk factor to having an unhealthy prostate, so make sure to exercise regularly.
Make sure that you are eating a well balanced, healthy diet as well as this is essential to good health also. Providing your body with the proper nutrients it needs will help to keep the prostate healthy. Antioxidants and other nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties will help to reduce inflammation in the body including the prostate, reducing its size in the process.
Doing this will help to reduce the size of the prostate, and in turn the pressure it is putting on the neighboring organs in the body.
Another good suggestion is to get regular digital rectal exams after the age of 50. This test will accurately tell your doctor whether or not your prostate has enlarged, and is a very important tool in the early detection of an enlarged prostate.