Beating The Odds With Unique Tips For Prostate Health
According to the National Institutes of Health all men will develop an enlarged prostate at some point as long as they live long enough. Most men over the age of 40 have mild to moderate prostate enlargement, and by the time men reach 80 over 90 percent have significant prostate enlargement.
If you’ve ever experienced the symptoms of prostate enlargement, called benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), then I don’t have to tell you that it can be more than just inconvenient. Symptoms including frequent nighttime urination, feelings of incomplete voiding, and pain can interfere with sleep and with your quality of life. So whether you currently suffer from BPH or not, it is sensible to take sensible steps to keep your prostate healthy so that you can reverse or avoid the unpleasant symptoms.
Unfortunately, if you go to your doctor or other medical professional, you’re unlikely to get much help. At best, most doctors only know how to prescribe dangerous drugs that can rob you of your manhood. Commonly prescribed drugs such as finasteride are notorious for creating irreversible, long-term reductions in important masculine hormones such as DHT and testosterone. Men who use finasteride often suffer from what is known as “post finasteride syndrome”, which can involve such a dramatic drop in testosterone that men can become depressed, fatigued, and apathetic. And sex? Forget about it. Men treated with those drugs often lose all interest.
Fortunately, however, there are some natural ways in which you can protect your prostate and potentially reverse existing prostate enlargement. Read on, and let’s take a look.
Talk to most medical professionals and you’re likely to get the explanation that BPH is the result of excessive androgens (male hormones) such as testosterone and DHT. However, researchers have long since discredited that myth. The myth was generated initially because it was found that castrated males never developed BPH, and so it was wrongly assumed that androgens caused BPH. But it turns out that when researchers have investigated the matter, what they have found is that androgens are necessary for BPH to occur, but they don’t cause BPH.
It is unfortunate that the myth persists because many of the treatments prescribed by doctors such as the one already mentioned - finasteride - essentially castrate men, but by chemical means rather than mechanical means. What many healthcare professionals seem to overlook is that men need androgens. It’s what makes us men. Not only do androgens make us men, they make us happy, motivated, and optimistic. So solutions that reduce androgen levels can sometimes have the effect of reducing BPH symptoms, but at the expense of manhood. I don’t consider that a very good trade!
The good news is that although the doctors and pharmaceutical companies haven’t caught up just yet, researchers have been finding other causes of BPH. Perhaps one of the reasons that the pharmaceutical companies haven’t caught up just yet is that what the researchers are finding is that many of the causes of BPH may be nutrition and lifestyle related rather than the sort of thing that can be turned into a patented drug. That’s bad news for the drug companies, but good news for you.
So What Does Cause BPH?
Of course researchers haven’t necessarily identified all of the potential causes of BPH just yet. But they have found a handful, and correcting these things may be just the thing to keep your prostate healthy.
A recent Turkish study found that men with BPH had lower levels of vitamin D and higher levels of aldosterone than men who didn’t have BPH. The implications of this study haven’t yet been tested, but it is reasonable to think that elevating vitamin D levels into the normal range and lowering aldosterone levels into the healthy range may help to reduce BPH.
Vitamin D is a hormone that our skin naturally produces when exposed to sunlight (specifically UV rays). Because most of us get very little full skin exposure to unfiltered sunlight, many modern people are found to have low levels of vitamin D. One of the safest ways to increase your vitamin D levels, therefore, is to get out in the sun with lots of skin exposed and without any sunscreen applied as often as possible. Then, it is important not to shower or bathe immediately afterward because the vitamin D that gets produced needs to then be absorbed.
Getting vitamin D through sun exposure is the safest because it is impossible to produce too much. Your body is smart enough to only produce as much as it needs. But let’s face it, most of us aren’t going to get enough sun on our skin to produce enough of the nutrient. So obtaining vitamin D through food is another way to obtain the nutrient. Most foods contain no vitamin D, but some foods like fatty fish (sardines, mackerel, and so forth) contain substantial amounts. And butter and egg yolks also contain some of the nutrient, though not a great deal. So if you eat fatty fish, butter, and eggs regularly, you may be able to obtain enough.
You can also consider supplementation with vitamin D. Supplementing with 400-1000 IU per day is considered safe by most vitamin D experts, but all the same, you may want to get a blood test for vitamin D periodically to check your vitamin D levels because while having low levels can be problematic, so can having high levels. So you want to aim for “just right”.
When it comes to aldosterone, one of the possible reasons for elevated levels is because of insufficient dietary salt. Of course that’s not the only reason, but it is one of the reasons that you can easily control. The “salt is bad for you” doctrine has been a favorite myth among medical professionals and laypeople alike for a number of years, but it turns out that it’s simply not true that salt is harmful for health. A number of studies have debunked that myth. And, in fact, it turns out that a low salt diet can cause health problems, including, elevated aldosterone. So a simple and tasty thing you can do to help protect against elevated aldosterone is to eat adequate salt. Generally, you can know how much is enough judging by taste: if you want more salt, you might need it.
Another recent study, this time from Taiwan, found that BPH is linked to sleep apnea. Men who suffer from sleep apnea are nearly three times as likely to develop BPH. In order to do justice to the subject of sleep apnea we’ll need another article, which will be forthcoming soon. But for now, here are some tips to reduce sleep apnea and your risk of BPH:
- Sleep on your side instead of your back
- Keep your sleeping environment on the cool side of comfortable
- Incorporate some healthy forms of exercise into your life a few times per week. Resistance training and high intensity interval training are some of the best for reducing fat tissue which can reduce the occurrence of sleep apnea
Take these steps, and you will be on your way to protecting your prostate and even helping to reverse any existing enlargement.