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This Gland is Your Gland!

Lifestyle Notes: The Prostate Gland

by Diane Bargonetti, ND


Why shouldn’t men eat meat? Actually, no one should eat meat, but the topic of this month’s column is the prostate gland, found only in men. And men who eat diets loaded with fat, especially red meat and pork, are more at risk for prostate cancer than those who eat less fat.

Men with the highest amount of fat in their diets – pork, beef or lamb – have a 79 percent greater risk of advanced prostate cancer than men with the lowest amounts. Men who eat cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and kale three times a week have a 41 percent lower risk of developing prostate problems.

The prostate gland is located under the bladder and partially surrounds the urethra. The primary function of this gland is to produce fluid that aids sperm mobility.

At birth the prostate is pea sized; at early adulthood it is about the size of a walnut. But with age, the continued growth of the prostate gland can create problems like BPH (enlarged prostate) or prostatitis (inflamed prostate).

I am going to address prostate concerns from the perspective of prevention and anecdotal therapies, but if you are experiencing some of the beginning trouble signs of either prostatitis or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) these tips will be of service to you also. Just to clarify, the symptoms for prostatitis can include:

· A constant feeling of fullness in the bladder even with frequent urination

· A painful feeling between the rectum and scrotum

· A burning feeling during urination, possibly with blood or pus.

BPH has similar symptoms like frequent, painful desire to urinate with a reduced stream of urine; inflammation around the prostate gland; lower back and leg pain or unusual bouts with impotence. Remember, a weakened stream of urine, frequent urine, and blood or pus in the urine should always be investigated for more serious problems, so check with your healthcare professional for complete diagnosis and treatment options.

The prostate is the most common site of disorders in the male genitourinary system and the aforementioned disorders are common among men, so don’t panic – just be proactive.

I strongly urge that all young men (and those not so young) practice good preventative prostate healthcare. So, besides checking with your healthcare professional, here are a few holistic suggestions for you to consider.

DIET TIPS

Think the three F’s: eat low fat, consume more fiber and stay fit. Remember, prostate problems can be as simple as poor nutrition and too little exercise!

Many men have an exhausted lymph system from overuse of antihistamines, internal congestion and lack of exercise. The lymph nodes located throughout the body, in effect, drain impurities from the blood, functioning like the “body’s health police.” Here are some things you can do to rejuvenate your lymph:

· Deep breathing exercises

· Sitting with your feet elevated

· Adding cabbage, pineapple, grapes, papaya and melons to your diet. (They break down excess or stagnant proteins in the lymphatic channels.)

· Eat tomatoes, red grapefruit, apricots and watermelon. They are rich in lycopene (an antioxidant), which shows great promise as a prostate protector.

· Watch the taboo trans fats (fried foods, cakes, cookies), caffeine, alcohol and too many acidic, spicy foods.

· Eat one to four ounces of raw pumpkin seeds daily. They are rich in zinc and helpful for almost all prostate troubles.

· Drink lots of water to promote kidney function. (

If you are experiencing the beginning symptoms already mentioned for prostatitis or BPH, drink the juice of one lemon in water every morning for two weeks to cleanse sediment in the system.

VTAMIN THERAPY

I recommend adding essential fatty acids (EFA’s) to your diet either through food (salmon, cold water fish, flaxseed oil) or supplements. Remember, the body cannot make EFA’s. Because hormonal imbalances are associated with prostate problems, and the essential fatty acids nourish the hormonal system of the body, EFA’s are essential for good prostate health.

Check your daily vitamins for the trace mineral selenium. Selenium has proven effective for healthy immune and thyroid functioning, as well as showing promise for lung and prostate cancers. It’s an important antioxidant and anti-cancer mineral. Natural sources include: bran, brazil nuts, brewer’s yeast, broccoli, brown rice, carrots, garlic, onions, potatoes, seafood (especially tuna, swordfish and oysters) and wheat germ.

HERBS

Certain fat-soluble extracts of the berries from the saw palmetto palm tree can help relieve symptoms of enlargement of the prostate.

Pygeum is a large evergreen tree native to central and southern Africa that has been used extensively in France and other European countries to treat prostate disorders. Many naturopaths feel that pygeum is even more effective if taken in conjunction with saw palmetto.

Nettle root (Urtica dioica), a perennial plant that grows worldwide, has been used in Germany for more than a decade to treat prostate disorders. Most naturopaths believe nettle root boosts the effectiveness of both saw palmetto and pygeum, so look for herbal remedies that contain all three. Be sure to use as directed.

The homeopathic remedy Thuja Occidentalis, in 3x-12x or 6c-12c potency is very effective with disease involving glands, but as with most homeopathic remedies it has many other uses like helping dandruff, common warts and even achy joints.

Please make your healthcare professional aware of all herbal remedies you are taking.

PHYSICAL THERAPIES

Exaggerate the lifting and shaking process of urinating. This preventative measure will ensure that potential toxins don’t accumulate in that region. This simple procedure is well worth teaching to the young males in your family.

Here is a great exercise for you to try. I call it the prostate pump. Gently constrict the area between your anus and your testicles and hold for approximately 15 seconds. Then, release and repeat in sets of ten.

Prostate problems, although common, are nonetheless inconvenient – and disturbing at best. Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in men, next to skin cancer and the second biggest cause of cancer death, next to lung cancer. So, get involved with preventative prostate healthcare now!

Blessings, “Dr. Di” drdibargo@earthlink.net


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