The prostate gland, which is normally about the size and shape of a walnut, wraps around the urethra between the pubic bone and the rectum, below the bladder. The main function of the prostate gland is to store and produce seminal fluid. Seminal fluid is a milky liquid that nourishes sperm.
A man’s prostate gland usually starts to enlarge after middle age. This manifests as a benign (non-cancerous) enlargement of the prostate that blocks the flow of urine through the urethra which acts as the chute through which urine and seminal fluid is passed out of the body. This condition is medically called Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH).
In the early stage of prostate enlargement, the bladder muscle forces urine through the narrowed urethra by contracting more powerfully. As a result, the bladder muscle becomes thicker and more sensitive, causing a need to urinate more often.
As the prostate grows larger, it may press on the urethra. This narrowing of the urethra can cause some men with prostate enlargement to have trouble with urination. Prostate enlargement may be the most common health problem in men older than 60 years of age.
Ayurveda and the Prostate Gland
The enlargement of the prostate is called Vatasthila in Ayurveda. This is because prostate enlargement is usually caused by an imbalance of Vata dosha, it’s important to avoid Vata aggravating foods. These include dry, cold, and light foods and bitter, astringent, and pungent tastes. Instead, favor a Vata pacifying diet, which includes sweet, sour and salty tastes and warm, oily foods.
Causes of Prostate Enlargement
The prostate gland is positioned such that it is prone to congestion and other imbalances. For example, when we stand, the pelvic region is pressured at the exact point where the prostate gland is situated.
The specific cause of most of these symptoms is unknown although they may be related to hormonal changes brought on by aging. As a man ages an increased amount of hormones such as estrogen and prolactin decrease the rate at which testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) into which testosterone is converted by 5-alpha-reductase, are eliminated from the prostate. This excessive accumulation of DHT is thought to be responsible for the problems of the prostate gland.
- Extended periods of being seated or leading a sedentary lifestyle can put consistent pressure on the pelvic region, causing congestion of tissues in and around the prostate gland.
- With an advancement in age, our body tends to accumulate weight and lose its flexibility. This increases the amount of pressure on the pelvic area which in turn leaves the prostate gland more vulnerable.
- Overindulgence in sex can lead to a lot of pressure to build up in this region.
- Being constipated can lead to the lower bowel becoming overloaded, stressing the prostate gland.
- Controlling the urge to urinate or pass stools can lead to an enlarged prostate.
- Consuming very dry, cold and light foods along with bitter, pungent and astringent tastes can lead to a Vata dosha imbalance. One must avoid foods made from refined flour, processed meat, as well as packaged and frozen foods. Also, consuming very small quantities of food can also disturb this dosha.
- An imbalanced lifestyle like irregular eating and sleeping habits can negatively impact prostate health.
- Recurrent UTIs could be related to an enlarged prostate, especially in older men.
While any of the above reasons could be the cause of an enlarged prostate, in rare cases it could also be prostatic cancer.
Enlarged Prostate Test
The simplest test that your doctor will ask you to take is a sonography.
Another way would be for the doctor to conduct an examination of your abdomen and penis. They could also feel the prostate through the wall of your rectum to feel for lumps or abnormalities. This is called a digital rectal examination (DRE).
Your doctor could recommend a blood test to check the functioning of your kidneys. A prostate specific antigen (PSA) test is used for ruling out the possibility of prostate inflammation (prostatitis) or prostate cancer. Please note that you must not take a PSA right after a prostatic massage as that might fudge the results. If the blood test shows elevated levels of the protein PSA, biopsy of the prostate gland could be done to check for cancerous growth.
This can show infection or the presence of blood in the urine.
Symptoms of Prostate Enlargement
As the prostate grows larger and the urethra is squeezed more tightly, the bladder might not be able to fully compensate for the problem and empty completely. Rarely, blockage from prostate enlargement may cause repeated urinary tract infections and gradually result in bladder or kidney damage.
However, many men with an enlarged prostate have no symptoms or they start to show much later. Those who show BPH symptoms may have one or more of the following:
- Difficulty in starting urination
- Dribbling of urine, especially after urinating
- A feeling of not emptying the bladder
- Leaking of urine
- More frequent urination and a strong and sudden desire to urinate, especially at night
- Blood in the urine
- Feeling a burning sensation when passing urine
- Excessive libido
Home Remedies for BPH
1. Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey in a glass of warm water. Drink it twice daily. The astringent properties of ACV will help soothe inflammation of the prostate gland.
2. Make watermelon tea to detoxify your system. Enjoy a serving or two of watermelon and collect the seeds. When you have 10-20 gms of seeds, boil them with half a liter of water. Let the decoction cool, strain and drink. You should drink half a liter of this tea daily for 10 days to get optimum results.
3. Pumpkin seeds contain diuretic properties and plenty of zinc, a nutrient that helps repair and build the immune system. These are best eaten plain. The seeds can be made into a tea much the same way as watermelon seeds.
Natural Cure for Prostate Enlargement
Here are some herbs, supplements, dietary and lifestyle recommendations as well as yoga postures that are excellent for gallbladder natural treatment.
|Ayurvedic Supplements (to be taken under physician’s guidance – Consult Now)||