There are specific prostate-related health issues that men should be aware of as they age. Once men hit the age of 40, they are more susceptible to prostatic diseases, but there are steps that you can employ to prevent or alleviate the physical manifestations of these maladies.
Prostate Gland Overview
Situated between the rectum and bladder, this small organ plays a significant role in men’s reproductive and sexual health. The gland produces and secretes a substance called prostatic fluid, which plays an integral role in ensuring the health of sperm and preserves the genetic code that sperm carries. Healthy sperm is necessary for the insemination process that precipitates pregnancy and the eventual birth of child.
The Impact of Age on Prostatic Health
Optimal glandular health and function is predicated on a normal and steady systemic production and release of sexual and reproductive hormones such as testosterone. As men age, bodily concentrations of these chemicals gradually decline. Such an occurrence can greatly impact prostatic structure and function, which could result in the onset of numerous ailments.
Common age-related maladies include the following:
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) – This condition, sometimes referred to in simple terms as an enlarged prostate, is quite common in men (particularly those aged 50 and older). Though the organ’s size has increased, the structure is not malignant. However, the condition can precipitate several untoward, potentially life-altering symptoms like impotence and other sexual performance problems, urinary difficulties (frequent urination, increased nighttime urination, interrupted urinary streams and painful or burning sensation when voiding). The condition can be treated using medications and various surgical interventions.
- Chronic Prostatitis – This ailment occurs when the gland is chronically inflamed. Also categorized as chronic pelvic pain syndrome, the illness often produces physical manifestations including discomfort in the groin, penis and lower back. The condition can be treated with medications, surgery or lifestyle alterations.
- Diminished Testosterone – Declining hormonal levels can exert a significantly adverse effect on the organ, which can result in uncomfortable prostatic symptoms, as well as precipitate a host of other potentially life-altering manifestations like fatigue, decreased libido (sex drive), weight gain, declining muscle mass and bone weakness. Depending on the severity and the exact underlying cause, testosterone imbalances can be treated using medications, various natural remedies and hormone therapy.
- Cancer – The abnormal growth of prostatic cells is quite commonplace for men aged 50 and older. If detected in its earliest stages, this malignancy is highly treatable using one or a combination of therapeutic protocols such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. In the condition’s most infantile stages, some physicians might even recommend watchful waiting, taking no remedial action but closely monitoring the disease’s progress.
Steps Men Can Employ to Improve Prostatic Health
Aging men can improve their prostatic health by displaying vigilance and executing specific lifestyle changes that include the following:
- Receiving Frequent Medical Evaluations – Men over 40 and certainly those older than 50 are encouraged to receive yearly physical examinations. These exams will include a thorough check of the prostatic gland. Any suspected maladies can be diagnosed and treated.
- Adhering to a Nutritious, Balanced Diet – One way to improve or limit prostatic maladies is by practicing a diet rife with nutritious foods like produce and grains while limiting or eliminating the intake of potentially detrimental products like red meat and processed, frozen, sugary, heavily salted and canned foods.
- Eliminating Unhealthy Vices – Optimal prostatic health could be achieved by avoiding potentially harmful habits such as cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol intake and overindulgence in food.
- Becoming Physically Active – Researchers have concluded that men who exercise routinely are less likely to become stricken with various prostatic ailments than those who do not.
- Augmenting Diet With Natural Supplements – Certain naturally occurring substances have been known to reduce or potentially alleviate the symptoms associated with various prostatic illnesses.