If you are reading this, there is a whopping 85% chance that at some point as you age, you’ll suffer an enlarged prostate. If you’re already experiencing this, you might be familiar with a relatively new approach to an enlarged prostate from the medical community: watchful waiting. This essentially means: “do nothing while we keep an eye on it to see if things get worse.”
From a medical perspective, this is actually a major improvement over invasive surgery or toxic medications. But who wants to have a health issue and just wait around? There are plenty of safe and natural actions to take when dealing with an enlarged prostate.
But first, what is an enlarged prostate and what causes it?
Why the prostate enlarges
In many ways, an enlarged prostate is completely natural and probably a sign of a long and full life. At roughly age 25, a man’s prostate gland slowly grows throughout the rest of his lifetime. As a result, it’s no surprise that by age 80, somewhere around 85 percent of men experience it.
Nevertheless, it is worse for some men than others—why is that?
It depends on a man’s testosterone levels. Testosterone production slows down in men throughout the aging process. For some men, testosterone production slows down more than others and is often replaced or correlates with an increase in estrogen. This spurs prostate growth on even more.
The symptoms of an enlarged prostate most affect urinary and sexual function. As the prostate enlarges, it pushes on the bladder and the urinary tract, which can result in difficulty urinating, frequent urinating, the feeling that one’s bladder is never empty, a weak urine flow and dripping and leaking urine even long after urination. It also contributes to impotence.
Avoiding and managing an enlarged prostate naturally
Your diet is important for both avoiding and managing an enlarged prostate. As it is a rise in estrogen (coupled with a drop in testosterone) that spurs the enlargement of the prostate, avoid foods that encourage estrogen production or that mimic estrogen functions. These foods are called phytoestrogens, and they include soy, dried fruits, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, chickpeas, beans, peas, pumpkin seeds and alfalfa sprouts.
Too much alcohol and caffeine contribute to an enlarged prostate. Use both of these in moderation and if you are struggling with an enlarged prostate currently, consider removing them from your diet altogether. Both alcoholic beverages and caffeinated beverages are “diuretics,” meaning they consume more of the body’s available water than they replenish, thereby increasing the frequency of urination. This is a problem for men with an enlarged prostate and while they should avoid diuretic drinks, also look out for diuretic medications most prescribed for high blood pressure, glaucoma and edema.
There is a correlation between obesity and an enlarged prostate. Maintain a healthy weight and get regular exercise.
While there is no known connection between an enlarged prostate and stress, there is a connection between an enlarged prostate and levels of the cortisol hormone in the body. Cortisol is the hormone most associated with stress, and it is also linked to cardiovascular disease. That being said, manage your stress—especially if you have an enlarged prostate—because if you don’t, you’re running a higher risk for cardiovascular disease.
You can consume a few natural herbs supplements to help with an enlarged prostate. Saw palmetto helps to calm the bladder and decrease the frequency of urination. Some evidence suggests that stinging nettle slows or stops the growth of prostate tissue. And pumpkin seed oil has been shown to help urinary flow normalize when suffering from an enlarged prostate.
A Northwestern University Medical School study in 1998 found a link between prostate function and the level of function of the nerves going to the prostate. Damage to these nerves often occurs due to subluxation of the L3 vertebrae in the lumbar region. Regular chiropractic adjustments can prevent or repair L3 issues.
An enlarged prostate is not something one must simply “wait and watch.” There are ways to deal with it, prevent it and reduce it. As with any ailment—the cure can be found in the cause. Let’s find the cause.