Natural Prostate Health Tips:
You may think that it’s kind of weird for a female naturopath to be discussing prostate issues, but I had a partner die of colon cancer and the cancer spread to his prostate. I miss him.
He had no clue that there were actually alternative treatments that he could do for his cancer. He knew something was wrong, but when he went to his doctor, they couldn’t find anything. He happened to be a veterinarian who worked in a teaching hospital, so he went to the horse barn, pulled out the ultrasound machine and did an ultrasound on the place on his body that hurt. He saw what he thought was a lump, so he took a videotape of the procedure, took it to his doctor who looked at the tape and said, “Gosh! I think you are right!” So, he was scheduled for surgery, but when they opened him up, the cancer had advanced too far. They closed him up without doing anything and sent him home to die. Which he did.
I made up my mind that if I could help anyone develop lifestyle changes that helped them overcome or prevent cancer of any kind that I would do just that–and there are some basic things that every person can do to prevent and overcome cancer. It just so happens that there are some specific things men can do for their prostate health so I’m sharing them.
Prostate Disease Statistics:
- Prostate disorders usually begin after age 35
- By age 50, over 25% of all men have an enlarged prostate
- By age 70, that increased to over 50% and by age 80 it’s 80%
Signs of prostate dysfunction include many bladder outlet obstruction symptoms such as:
- Getting up to pee more than normal for the amount of fluids you ingest
- Can’t empty your bladder all the way or sensations of incomplete emptying
- Increased frequency of urination
- Smaller stream of urine–takes a long time to empty bladder
- Foam in the urine- sign of protein in the urine (a sign of kidney disease)
- Hesitancy with intermittency and decreased flow of urine
- Terminal dribbling or urinary incontinence
- Pain during intercourse, burning sensations when urinating, tugging sensation around the base of the penis, low back pain, blood in the urine or an orange staining in the underwear may have a different cause than Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)
Products that can keep the prostate healthy and decrease the PSA scores:
Saw Palmetto is the herb of choice for Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) because it tones the prostate, affects the hormones in a positive way and is also a urinary remedy. Tonic value: Strengthens and builds body tissues and encourages muscle mass. Anabolic. Hormonal: Estrogenic actions good for impotence, reduced or absent sex drive, testicular atrophy, premature ejaculation (in women it has been used for breast enlargement) Urinary remedy: Saw Palmetto is nicknamed the “plant catheter” because it strengthens the neck of the bladder and helps reduce enlarged prostate glands. It is used as a diuretic to improve urine flow (raw parsley is excellent for this as well) and it acts as a urinary antiseptic in cystitis. Take up to 3 capsules daily.
Raw Hulled Pumpkin seeds (Food of choice for BPH) Dose: 4 teaspoons/day raw and hulled. Sources: Huckleberries, Local Co-ops, Winco (about $1.75/pound) and Health Food Stores
Foods are the strongest medicines we use but, “If a little is good a lot ain’t necessarily better.”Eating a BUNCH of them can give you diarrhea. All you need is a couple tablespoons/day maximum.
How to use pumpkin seeds:
- Put them in a bowl next to the stove and eat a small handful once a day
- Put them in sandwiches if you like crunch
- Put them in omelets and salads
- Put them in stir fry or on top of steamed vegetables
- Add them to cookie recipes
Raw Fruits: 1 to 2 cups/day
Raw Vegetables: 1 to 2 cups/day. If you can’t chew them, juice them!
Power Foods For Prostate Health Include:
- Wheat Germ oil— (high in zinc and opens up the seminal vesicles- great for infertility) Dose: 1/3 tea/day or 3 capsules/day.
- Oatmeal (Aveno sativa)— Great zinc source and fiber even for blood type O. Dose: about cup cooked oatmeal per day or 3 cups/week.
- Parsley— awesome source of minerals and highly recommended for most health problems. Dose: 2 tablespoons/day chopped.
- Zucchini— I think there’s a reason why God made an excess of zucchini. Dose: 5 cups cooked or raw per week.
- Yellow dock tea— Dose: 1 cup/day max. Do not use if you have sensitive teeth or gouty arthritis.
- Watermelon is a great diuretic and good for the kidneys as well as the prostate. Dose: 3 cups/day in season.
- Unsweetened Cranberry Concentrate: For urinary tract infections you will want to add unsweetened cranberry concentrate to your diet for a couple of weeks. That is NOT cranberry juice off the shelf with all the sugar in it. You can get this product at the Co-op or at Huckleberries. It comes in an 8oz. bottle and costs about $8. Dose: Take 2 Tablespoons/day. Chase it with water and it will taste sweeter. Cranberry causes a tightening of the bladder sphincter muscles and causes the inside of the bladder to be slicker so bacteria cannot stick to it. Good brands are Knudson’s or Tree of Life.
Techniques to Help the Prostate:
- Inguinal massage technique–Move that lymph for about 3 minutes/day. Lying down on the bed, face up, massage from where your legs attach to your body up towards the heart. Pay special attention to the lower abdomen just above the base of the penis. Be gentle. It should not hurt, but you should feel pressure.
- Total Body Massage–Once a week is best, but every other week is the very least you should shoot for.
- Reflexology points–Achilles tendon and heel area. Massage each leg about 5 minutes/day.
- Exercise: Dead Lifts to increase circulation in the pelvis area. Start light. Breathe in as you lift the weights. Breathe out as you set them down. Bend at the knees. Squeeze your buttocks, throw your shoulders back and stick your chest out. Do about 2 sets of 10/day and work up from there. Don’t overdo it. Repetitions are much better for your body than the amount of weight you lift.
The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test. What is it? How often? How is it scored?
The PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is a protein produced only by the prostate gland. The current recommendation is to get a PSA test done once a year beginning at age 50. Other doctors recommend less frequent testing. I am a proponent of getting that base level test done so that if there is a problem in the future, there is something to compare to. Some men have a predisposition to prostate cancer or have had cancer. For this group of people the PSA test is recommended more frequently.
PSA Tests Can Be Elevated For Several Reasons Including:
- Benign Prostate Enlargement (BPE)
- Age or Race (Blacks have higher PSA. Indians have the lowest amount of PSA)
- 0-4 nanograms/milliliter is normal
- 4-10 ng/ml is slightly elevated
- 10-20 ng/ml is moderately elevated
- >20 is considered elevated
There are two types of PSA–Free and Attached.
The Free fraction is elevated with Benign Prostate Enlargement and the Attached fraction elevates with tumor involvement. Since there are both false positive and false negative tests, scientists are still studying various aspects of the Prostate Specific Antigen.
The “finger test” may pick up enlarged prostate, but increased PSA may not accompany enlarged prostate.
OK, men… now get out there and take care of yourselves because we love you and want you around for awhile.