Herbal Supplements
Enlarged Prostate and Herbal Remedies

"All men will have an enlarged prostate if they live long enough." So you would better be prepared!

General
The prostate is a male reproductive gland with the function of producing the fluid that carries the sperm during ejaculation. Enlarged prostate is the condition when the gland has grown bigger. As prostate surrounds the urethra (it is, actually, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out through the tip of the penis) when growing bigger it can press on it (the urethra) and cause urination and bladder problems. This condition is often called benign prostatic hypertrophy or benignprostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Prostate enlargement happens to almost all men as they get older, and usually starts to enlarge after he reaches age 40 years. In men older than 60 years it is the most common health problem. 90% of men over 80 have this condition.

Symptoms
Common symptoms are:

· A weak stream of urine

· Difficulty starting urination

· Dribbling of urine, especially after urinating

· Leaking of urine

· More frequent urination

· A strong and sudden urge to urinate, especially at night

· A sense of not emptying (or incomplete emptying of) the bladder

· Urinary retention (complete inability to urinate)

· Blood in the urine

· Pain with urination

Some men with an enlarged prostate may have no symptoms.

Causes

Normally, the healthy prostate is about the size and shape of a walnut. It wraps around the urethra just a little bit below the bladder. When the prostate begins to grow it narrows the urethra and the bladder muscle forces urine to go through it by contracting more powerfully. And as a result, the bladder muscle becomes thicker and more sensitive. As the prostate grows larger and the urethra is squeezed more tightly, the bladder might not be able to empty completely. All these cause the man wanting to urinate more often. It also may cause urinary tract infections and a sudden inability to urinate. It case when the bladder does not empty completely there is a risk for developing urinary tract infections. Other health problems may be the bladder stones, blood in the urinea and incontinence. In rare cases it can lead to bladder and/or kidney damage.

Medical Approaches

Once the diagnosis of prostate enlargement is made, your doctor may recommend you medical or surgical treatments depend on the symptoms. As for the medical treatment – two types of medications have been approved to be useful in case of prostate enlargement:

1. Alpha-blockers, that relax the muscles in the prostate and may relieve the symptoms (for example Prazosin (Minipress, Hypovase), Terazosin (Hytrin), Alfuzosin (Xatral), Indoramin (Doralese), Tamsulosin (Flomaxtra) and Doxarosin (Candura)these are also a class of medications used to treat high blood pressure). Two thirds of the people treated with alpha 1-blocker medications report an improvement in symptoms. Some common side-effects of alpha-blockers include tiredness, dizziness, light-headedness, weakness and headaches.

2. Finasteride (Proscar) or Dutasteride (Avodart), that lowers levels of hormones produced by the prostate, reduces the size of the prostate gland, increases urine flow rate thus decreasing the symptoms of BPH. This can reduce the size of the prostate by up to 30 percent and may delay your need for surgery. Potential side-effects of these drugs include a reduced sex drive, difficulty in maintaining an erection and breast tissue. These medicines are present in your semen, so you should use a condom if your partner is pregnant or likely to become pregnant.

Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat chronic prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate)

Prostate surgery may be recommended if you have:

· Incontinence

· Urinary retention

· Recurrent urinary tract infection or blood in the urine

What kind of surgery?

1. TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate) - the doctor scrapes away the innermost core of the prostate through a small telescope inserted in the urethra; it reduces pressure on the urethra.

2. TUIP (transurethral incision of the prostate) - the doctor passes an instrument through the urethra to make 1-2 small cuts in the prostate; the result is the same.

3. TUMT (transurethral microwave thermotherapy) - microwaves are used to produce heat that destroys enlarged prostate tissue. It is one of the newer procedures less risky than TURP and has shown good early results.

The doctor should tell you the potential risks and benefits of medication and surgery.

Alternative Approaches

A standard treatment for an enlarged prostate is to remove surgically a substantial part of the prostate. That gets rid of the urination problem but gives not very pleasant result for men. Nerves passing along the prostate often get cut as well - this will almost certainly lead to the end of a man's sexual life. After the operation this organ will function as a channel through which urine flows. Oral medications(finasteride) cause the problem in erection as the interrupt certain hormonal processes. Herbal preparations are claimed NOT to interfere with sexual function.

What are these herbal remedies?

Saw palmetto extract is the far better known herbal medication to reduce the size of an enlarged prostate. It contains compounds that naturally support hormone metabolism and can inhibit the action of a key enzyme (called 5-alpha-reductase) that converts testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone, the hormone that may cause the prostate to enlarge). It also may prevent DHT from binding to receptor sites in prostate tissue, and it can block estrogen's effect on the prostate (as estrogen is produced at low levels in men).

Saw Palmetto preparations must contain the fat soluble components of the drug, so drinking a saw Palmetto tea won’t help. The internal dose is 1 to 2 grams of Saw Palmetto berry, 320 milligrams lipophillic ingredients extracted with lipophillic solvents, or equivalent preparations.

Pygeum may in many cases be superior for the treatment of the condition.The tree’s bark contains phytosterols that act as an anti-inflammatory to the prostate and is appeared to reduce the bladder's sensitivity to the need to urinate. Pygeum has also shown to inhibit the proliferation of cells that induce BPH, and in turn causes the prostate to reduce in size.

The root of the Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) is also used for herbal treating the enlarged prostate. Though it may not decrease prostate size, it can eventually slow the growth of some prostate cells and ease the symptoms of reduced urinary flow, frequent urination, and incomplete emptying of the bladder.

Vitamins (A, C and E) and minerals (Zinc, Selenium, Lycopene ) play also an important role in treating the enlarged prostate.

Herbal treatment should start with a proper diagnosis and followed under the permanent supervision of your doctor.

These tips may also help it treating the condition (especially its mild cases):

· Urinate at your first urge ASAP

· Avoid alcohol and caffeine

· Spread out fluids throughout the day – don’t drink too much at once or just before the bedtime.

· Try not to take over-the-counter cold and sinus medications that contain decongestants or antihistamines, that can increase BPH symptoms.

· Keep warm and exercise regularly.

· Perform Kegel exercises (pelvic strengthening exercises).

· Reduce stress. Nervousness and tension can lead to more frequent urination.

 
 
Testimonials
Reynard
2012-04-14 18:23:44
See video at http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/just-the-flax-maam/ regarding flax seed and Flomaxtra
M yaqoub Khan
2011-09-20 00:14:02
Living in Pakistan with a BPH , Doctors have advised me for TURP as TUMT yet not available in Pakistan. I am afraid of TURP as i am in my 50's now and some friends of mine say that it is too early to operate the prostate.
If anyone have any suitable advise for me.
hobo
2011-04-15 20:37:29
Emergency Remedy:
You can't urinate and you are experiencing pain.

Ice Pack between you scrotum and anus. Ice in a zip lock bag wrapped in a thin layer of cloth. 15 to 20 minuets and you should be able to urinate.

Beats the heck out of the emergency room and a Foley catheter.

Taught to me by an RN who had experience providing 24 hour a day home care to elderly men.

That said this is an emergency stop gap procedure. Get to an Urologist the next day and get on medication. It's too late to wait for natural remedies to kick in.

Find out what your trigger is for causing your prostate to seize up and eliminate it from your diet. For me it is beer, 3 beers and I lock up tight, can't pee and it feels like giving berth to an elephant. I went for 9 years with out any alcohol. Last year I carefully tried whine and limited hard liquor. I can now enjoy wine with a meal and a cautious drink in the eavening.

One beer I can get away with, but the risk is just too great so I stay away from my trigger.
ehuds
2008-07-13 11:51:29
I am a type 2 diabetic and i am looking for supplements instead of the medication I am taking. I also started having a problem with ed. This is something that has to be addressed. I feel that there are alternatives for this problem instead market drugs. Please respond
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