By C.J. Hammond
A healthy prostate is every man’s dream. Unfortunately, many men do not understand what it is and what its function is. Additionally, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in men. In daily life, it could mean making travel plans according to the available bathrooms en route, but it can also be more serious. Moreover, any infection in your prostate can affect not just urination but also sexual function and other organs. This one gland holds so much of your body’s ability to function normally, yet it is often neglected. You can avoid such discomforts by keeping your prostate healthy. Here’s why and how.
Why You Need to Care About Your Prostate
Neglect, as in other cases, can aggravate the risk factors for prostate cancer. But before we get into that, let’s understand the function of a healthy prostate. It is a small gland located under your bladder. It aids in sperm production, controls urination, activates the male reproductive hormone testosterone, and closes the urethra during ejaculation. Physical inactivity and aging are major factors for prostate cancer and can cause the prostate to enlarge and thus lead to a host of problems.
You cannot survive without a prostate. When something’s wrong with your prostate, you will experience poor bladder control, greater urine urgency for a little amount of urine, pain, body aches, abdominal discomfort, and other problems. It’s important to take care of it before it’s too late to do much of anything. Additionally, these issues are not exclusive to men in their middle age and above. You cannot be too early in exercising precautions. After all, you can’t see it through to the end until you’ve built a lifelong habit of making healthier choices and exercising self-discipline.
Besides prostate cancer, your gland can also enlarge due to aging. This is known as BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia. Unlike other conditions that make it difficult to hold your urine, enlargement affects your ability to release it. In prostatitis, the prostate swells due to inflammation. This condition may be caused by bacterial infection, and its key symptom is pain while urinating. Prostatitis is the most commonly occurring problem with the prostate. In the U.S., 10 to 15% of men will at one point in their lives suffer from prostatitis. These men’s mental health also declines naturally due to prostate issues.
Therefore, you should pay special attention to taking care of your prostate health, no matter your age, because neglecting it is quite risky.
Guide to a Healthy Prostate
June is Men’s Health Month, the perfect time for you to start over and take better care of your mind and body. Here are a few ways you can keep your prostate healthy:
- Exercise. The right exercises can lift your mood, improve your mental health, and lower the progression of prostate cancer over time. Yes, prostate cancer screenings show a significant reduction in its severity among men who were prescribed an exercise routine after diagnosis. Men’s mental health is often badly influenced by prostate issues. So, for an overall healthy body and mind, don’t sit for more than 30 minutes straight. Walk around. Stay on your feet as much as you can.
- Watch what you eat. You need to eat foods rich in antioxidants to combat any damage to your cells that prostate cancer may impose. A plant-rich diet is a great starting point. Certain foods can also help keep your prostate healthy, such as nuts, tomatoes, legumes, and anything with omega-3 fatty acids.
- Take supplements. If you can’t figure out how to fit all the needed nutrients in your diet, start taking supplements for a healthy prostate. Additionally, don’t forget to sit in the sun and get some vitamin D. It’s an easy way to get your body everything it needs when you’re not in the mood for something healthy. Just remember sunscreen!
- Ditch the alcohol. If you want to avoid inflammation, you have to avoid alcohol, which is a risk factor for prostate cancer. Processed foods are also a big no-no, because they reduce antioxidants and can cause a lot of cell damage. They also often have zero nutritional value and do more harm than good. Replace them with green, leafy vegetables, and fruits for a change.
- Stop smoking. Smoking is cancerous and is the cause of many types of cancer. Treat smoking as a major risk factor for prostate cancer and avoid it.
Prostate cancer can ruin men’s mental health, and that’s just one of its effects. Sometimes it grows slowly and can be caught in time to prevent massive damage. But in other cases, prostate cancer is deadly, abrupt, and aggressive. Its symptoms include:
- erectile dysfunction
- pain or burning sensation while urinating
- blood in the urine or semen
- bone pain
- trouble controlling urine
If you notice any of these signs, talk to your doctor immediately. Some people are at higher risk of prostate cancer, like African Americans, those with a family history of prostate cancer, smokers, and those who eat an unhealthy diet. Prostate cancer screening is also recommended for men above the age of 55. This is because aging is often the reason behind this cancer and other prostate problems. Obesity is another cause you need to watch out for.
Prostate cancer can be harmless, too. But in its severe form, it can spread to other parts of your body, such as the bladder, or reach your bones via your bloodstream. This might result in bone pain. Although it can be treated in that condition, there is no guarantee that it can be cured fully, so it is best to invest in prevention before the cure. As for erectile dysfunction, it is treatable. There are hormonal treatments available, surgery, and medication to help your prostate become healthy again.
The prostate is a small gland that plays an important role in urination and fertility. A healthy prostate can be maintained through regular and frequent exercise, a good, nutrient-rich diet, and by avoiding smoking, drinking, and processed foods. Early signs of prostate problems include struggling with urination, erectile dysfunction, pain in bones, and blood in the urine or semen. If you’re 55 years old or older or have someone in your family suffering from prostate issues, you’re at higher risk of developing prostate cancer, so it’s best to get screened as soon as you notice something amiss.
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