For this reason, the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society recommend that all men over 40 have a rectal exam once a year to screen for prostate cancer. After BPH surgery, the tissue removed is routinely checked for hidden cancer cells. In about 1 out of 10 cases, some cancer tissue is found, but often it is limited to a few cells of a nonaggressive type of cancer, and no treatment is needed.
Foods For An Enlarged Prostate
Studies clearly show that a diet that is low in phytochemicals creates poor health and specifically a study focused on urology showed that men who consumed large quantities of refined carbohydrates and meat had an increased risk of having a swollen prostate.
A healthy diet is one of the best ways that you can prevent and treat a swollen prostate and foods that are particularly good at relieving a swollen prostate are-
Onions & Garlic
According to research done in the field of Urology, onions and garlic have been shown to reduce prostate swelling in addition to strengthening the immune system. Onions and garlic are rich in compounds called alliums, which slow down aging and promote a healthy prostate and prevent cancer. Scientists have indicated that men should eat a combination of 10 grams of garlic, onions, leeks or shallots each day for the best protection.
High In Zinc
High In Omega-3
High In Lycopene
High in Beta-siosterol
High In Vitamin C
*A great resource for those looking to improve their nutritional health is found in a book called Super Immunity by Dr. Joel Fuhrman which includes healthy recipes.
Saw palmetto is taken in the form of an extract which is made from the fruit of a plant known as serenoa repens. It contains rich fatty acids and phytosterols which have been found particularly effective in treating a swollen prostate. Saw palmetto is often recommended by urologists as studies have shown that it provides prostate swelling relief in one in three men who take it. The reason it is effective is due to its chemical makeup which is similar to the prescription drug for prostate swelling called Proscar (this drug blocks the production of hormones that cause the swelling).
Some men experience side-effects from saw palmetto one of which can be gastrointestinal upset and is why it should be taken with food. Another side effect of saw palmetto is that it may increase the chance of bleeding or impact your hormones. Men with known heart conditions will want to review what dosage should they decide to take with a physician as it can affect cholesterol levels. For typical dosing of saw palmetto, most physicians recommend taking about 320 milligrams twice a day with a waiting time of about four to six weeks for results.
On an interesting note, it is more common for balding men to experience swelling of the prostate as well as prostate cancer and saw palmetto extract has been suggested by some as a potential herbal option for men who are losing their hair. Studies related to this pattern show that men who have lost some or all of their hair have a 69% greater risk of developing prostate cancer. Even more alarming is the pattern that the younger a man is when he loses his hair (especially at the front of his head) are six times more likely to receive a diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer by the time they reach the age of sixty.
Please remember that it is important to research whether an herbal remedy is right for you by exploring if it will have side-effects or interfere with medications that you are already taking. Any herb is a drug and some can have quite powerful impacts on the body and is why we recommend reviewing your herbal and vitamin supplements with your physician and pharmacist before using them.
Pygeum is an evergreen tree found in the higher elevations of central and southern Africa and is also known as pygeum africanum. The bark is often used for prostate swelling, and while it is typically safe for most people to use, some side effects include nausea and abdominal pain.
Historically, the powdered bark was used in tea for relief of urinary disorders and today it continues to be used for symptoms such as decreased urine flow. European scientists developed the modern fat soluble extract that is used today as results have been quite positive. Most physicians when they recommend pygeum recommend 50-100 mg twice a day.
Rye Grass Pollen Extract
Rye grass pollen extract which is made from three types of grass pollen: corn, timothy and rye and men that took this extract showed improvement in their swollen prostate symptoms compared to those who were taking a placebo. It has been shown to help men urinate more fully and less frequently.
has been found to reduce BPH symptoms and is widely used in Europe;
often in combination with other herbs such as pygeum or saw palmetto.
Stinging nettle is used in a variety of forms such as teas, tinctures,
breams and extracts. The most popular form prescribed by physicians
are the freeze dried leaf capsules. Be aware that some side effects
from nettle are a mild upset stomach and skin rash and may lower
blood pressure among other things so be sure to research if this
herb is right for you.
Why You Need To See A Physician
In most cases symptoms such as the ones provided in this article are typically a simple swelling of the prostate, however, it can also be prostate cancer and this should be ruled out by a physician. In addition, it is a good idea to have your urine tested to see if you have an infection which can be caused by the urine backing up in the urethra and bladder which can lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs).
See our article on Holistic UTI treatments for more information.
Several tests will help your physician to identify what the problem may be and decide if surgery is needed. Below are the most common tests that are done to discern this-
Rectal Exam (DRE)
Specific Antigen (PSA)
Over the years, researchers have tried to find a way to shrink or at least stop the growth of the prostate without using surgery. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several drugs to relieve common symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate.
The drugs act by relaxing the smooth muscle of the prostate and bladder neck to improve urine flow and to reduce bladder outlet obstruction.
As not all herbal and prescription drug treatments are effective there are some other options that may be explored for a swollen prostate-
For chronic swelling of the prostate, some doctors recommend surgery to remove part of the prostate. Below are examples of the types of surgery performed for chronically swollen prostate-
After surgery many men worry about whether surgery for BPH will affect their ability to enjoy sex. Some sources state that sexual function is rarely affected, while others claim that it can cause problems in up to 30 percent of all cases. However, most doctors say that even though it takes a while for sexual function to return fully, with time, most men are able to enjoy sex again.
Complete recovery of sexual function may take up to 1 year, lagging behind a person's general recovery. The exact length of time depends on how long after symptoms appeared that BPH surgery was done and on the type of surgery. Following is a summary of how surgery is likely to affect the following aspects of sexual function.
Most doctors agree that if you were able to maintain an erection shortly before surgery, you will probably be able to have erections afterward. Surgery rarely causes a loss of erectile function. However, surgery cannot usually restore function that was lost before the operation.
Although most men are able to continue having erections after surgery, a prostatectomy frequently makes them sterile (unable to father children) by causing a condition called "retrograde ejaculation" or "dry climax." During sexual activity, sperm from the testes enters the urethra near the opening of the bladder. Normally, a muscle blocks off the entrance to the bladder, and the semen is expelled through the penis. However, the coring action of prostate surgery cuts this muscle as it widens the neck of the bladder.
Following surgery, the semen takes the path of least resistance and enters the wider opening to the bladder rather than being expelled through the penis. Later it is harmlessly flushed out with urine. In some cases, this condition can be treated with a drug called pseudoephedrine, found in many cold medicines, or imipramine. These drugs improve muscle tone at the bladder neck and keep semen from entering the bladder.
Most men find little or no difference in the sensation of orgasm, or sexual climax, before and after surgery. Although it may take some time to get used to retrograde ejaculation, you should eventually find sex as pleasurable after surgery as before. Many people have found that concerns about sexual function can interfere with sex as much as the operation itself. Understanding the surgical procedure and talking over any worries with the doctor before surgery often help men regain sexual function earlier. Many men also find it helpful to talk to a counselor during the adjustment period after surgery.