Knowledge about old men seems to be similar to common knowledge about prostates. Where are they? Who are they? What are they doing? —James Green, “The Male Herbal”
For most men, a prostate gland creates concerns only as they grow older. The issue concerning its health comes to the fore when men find sexual enjoyment waning; or when their doctor raises concern over a higher than normal count of prostate-specific antigens, or PSA. Most men will talk about the unknown gland when a higher PSA count (usually 4.0 ng/ml or higher) signals abnormal growth, and a potential marker for prostate cancer.
There are mitigating factors, of course, and a PSA 4.0 ng/ml, or higher, could just as easily reflect (according to detractors) a long drive on a rocky road. But it is wise to keep a wary eye on the results of this test. Only when the problem is benign prostatitis can herbal solutions to this condition be explored more productively.
Unfortunately, even older men with good PSA tests routinely ask for product information to improve libido over general prostate health. Ironically, many over-the-counter stimulants can exacerbate the very problem most men detest: difficulty urinating and a full bladder that stresses the prostate gland and limits sexual pleasure.
Without question, prostate health is paramount, and not just for sexual pleasure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, http://www.cdc.gov, prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths among men. In 2007, the most recent year numbers are available, 223,307 men in the United States were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 29,093 of them died.
To put this in perspective, in that same year, according to the CDC, 202,964 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 40,598 of them died. The disease, like prostate cancer, is easily treated if found in time.
For men, it is never too early (and perhaps even better) to pursue prostate heath at a yonger age, and several alternative approaches will be suggested here. The first comes from iHeathTube.com:
On the website eHow.com, Hildegard (2011) reported a proper diet can also play a role. “Dr. James Balch, a urologist and author of the book ‘Prescription for Cooking and Dietary Wellness,’ writes, ‘If a man wants to stay out of the operating room and avoid cancer of the prostate, he needs to go full blast in avoiding the high-fat junk foods and environmental toxins that contribute to prostate problems, and to start a wise nutritional program that includes the basic supplements that affect the prostate’” (Hildegard, p. 1).
Thus, following a high-fiber, low-fat diet, including flaxseed oil, plenty of water and a daily multivitamin can greatly improve a man's ability to ward off or battle prostate issues that may prove serious later in life (Hildegard, 2011).
Taking care of the prostate can start as early as a man chooses to be proactive about his health. Green (1991) wrote that “‘men push their worries into their prostate’” (Green, p. 101). Thus, it can be argued, stress reduction is also beneficial, no matter what a man’s age or level of maturity.
The prostate gland, which sits just beneath the bladder, and surrounds the urethra, is in a critical position. If for whatever reason, the prostate is stressed, enlarges or becomes inflamed, the urethra running through the prostate can be pinched off, like pinching a drinking straw, which obstructs the flow of urine. In older men, this can cause the urine to stagnate, back up and distend the bladder (Green, 1991).
Most men give little thought to this until the problem becomes chronic; and while herbal supplements have been shown to help, the importance of understanding the prostate cannot be overstated.
Relevant evidence has been acquired by Dr. Ira Sharlip, professor of urology at the University of California at San Francisco, for example, demonstrating that relaxing the body’s muscles is the core of a successful method of treatment for chronic nonbacterial prostatitis. Dr. Sharlip points out that an abnormal increase in stress is one cause of male prostate dilemma (Green, 1991).
In fact, Green (1991) said “learning stress management techniques, enjoyable exercise, pulling worry back out of the prostate and, if necessary, using herbs like Valerian, Crampbark and Scullcap that help relax muscles, assist the successful employment of this technique” (Green, p. 106).
A stress exercise that can help, for example, builds overall reproductive and prostate health, and can be found simply by stopping the flow of urine. Once executed, simply remembering this exercise not only keeps the prostate supple, but helps maintain sexual control.
There are many websites with this information, but not many of serious interest; simply, practice helps, and once the muscle is identified and exercised regularly, even with dry runs, sexual endurance increases and the prostate gland is strengthened and toned (Green, 1991).