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What is the prostate gland?
PROSTATE GLAND PROBLEMS
by Tash Hughes of Word Constructions
The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. It is located between the bladder and penis, with the urethra passing through it.
Hormonal changes in his forties will create some changes in a manís prostate. Many of these changes are perfectly normal and nothing to be worried about, but some changes can lead to problems.
If in doubt, a doctor should be consulted about changes in urination patterns and behaviours. Annoying but harmless symptoms may be treatable so a doctor can provide relief.
The following symptoms should be seen by a Doctor:
Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. It is often caused by bacteria ad treatable by antibiotics, but not always. Prostatitis can lead to retention of urine and bladder problems.
Specific symptoms include:
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH)
Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) is a growth of the prostate so that it becomes enlarged and may squeeze the urethra and limit urine flow out of the body.
This is more common in older men. Itís rare for the urethra to be so blocked that urine is completely stopped but the complications of that happening are serious Ė infections of the bladder and kidneys and then kidney failure.
Note that this is only one source of urinary problems in men. The type and severity of a urinary problem isnít determined solely by the size of a manís prostate gland.
In the first instance, a GP can help with urinary and prostate problems. If required, the Doctor will refer patients to an urologist or other specialists.
In order to determine whether itís a prostate problem, the Doctor will do a physical examination which will include a rectal exam (ie inserting a finger into the rectum to feel the prostate.)
A urine sample will also be tested. This will also alert the doctor to any kidney problems or prostate cancer. If a bacterial infection is suspected, a blood test may also be conducted.
Treatment can be for the symptoms or the prostate, depending on the situation. For instance, a non bacterial prostatitis canít be healed by antibiotics but by dealing with the symptoms instead.
There are lifestyle factors that can help, especially at the beginning of any problems. There are also herbal remedies, medications, massage and surgery available.
Pumpkinseed oil is believed to be effective in reducing the risk and severity of prostate problems, mainly through its levels of zinc. Some practitioners suggest all men over 40 should take daily doses of pumpkinseed oil for two to three months a year.
Some plant products contain phytoestrogens which can help suppress the growth and enlargement of the prostate. Phytotherapy can be effective very quickly as it reduces inflammation, but the therapy must continue for six months to several years to solve the core problem. The three recognised phytomedicines as safe for use against prostate problems are pumpkinseed oil, Serenoa pal, fruit extract and an extract of African plum crust.
Conventional medicines will need to be taken as a long term solution, except for when antibiotics are appropriate.
The medicines work in one of three ways:
Prostate massage requires a doctor to insert a finger into the rectum to reach the prostate from behind. For 10 to 20 minutes, the prostate is massaged to help drain out toxins which then reduces the swelling. This is more common in Europe than Australia.
Surgery is required in serious cases or when other treatments arenít appropriate or effective. Unfortunately, surgery is fairly common as men donít realise they have a problem until it is more advanced.
The three surgical procedures for correcting prostate problems are the transurtheral resection of the prostate (TURP), transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP) and an open prostatectomy (for very large glands.)
Tash Hughes is the owner of Word Constructions and assists businesses in preparing all written documentation, including website and blog content. Tash also writes parenting and business articles for inclusion in newsletter and web sites.