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Copyright 2007


Prostate Gland Simplified

By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

A prostate gland is found only in human males. It is in the lower abdomen between the bladder and penis.

Prostate glands are strongly affected by the male hormone, testosterone, and have two major growth spurts. Upon reaching puberty, the hormones encourage the prostate to grow to average weight of 20 grams. It also grows when men are in their forties.

The prostate gland produces a liquid that is secreted into the semen when a man ejaculates. This liquid nourishes the sperm and keeps it active, as well as being the bulk of semen.

The urethra (a fine tube that carries urine from the bladder out through the penis) passes through the Prostate gland. This close connection sometimes leads to urinary problems when the Prostate gland is infected or larger.

Prostate change

With age, the prostate gland can grow and change, affecting urination patterns and behaviours. Such changes are perfectly normal and donít need to be worried about. Of course, if the effects are annoying, there is treatment available to deal with them.

A gradual enlargement occurred in 60% of men over 50 through the decrease of testosterone and increase in prolactin and estradiol. These changes in hormones result in higher levels of dihydrotestosterone in the prostate which causes an increased production in Prostate cells.

Changes in the prostate gland can affect a manís sexual activity. However, how sexually active a man is throughout his life doesnít affect his chances of Prostate infections and enlargements. High sexual activity can increase the chances of prostate cancer though.

Prostate Problems

From the age of forty, men may begin to notice problems with their prostate and this progresses as they get older.

At 30 years of age, itís unusual for men to have problems with their prostate gland.

Between the ages of 40 and 59, about 60% of men have an enlarged Prostate.

By 60 years of age, about 75% of men have an enlarged prostate.

By 80 years, only one many in five doesnít have an enlarged prostate (so 80% do)

The two most common issues with the prostate gland are prostatitis (infection and inflammation) and Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) (an enlarged prostate). Both are treatable but can become serious is left untreated for too long.

Whether inflamed or enlarged, the prostate squeezes the urethra and makes it harder for urine to pass out of the body. This increases the possibility of a bladder infection and even a kidney infection or kidney failure.

Itís extremely rare, but dangerous, for the urine to be completely stopped by an expanded prostate.

Prostate cancer occurs in about 1 in 11 men, usually I the over 65 age group. Many cases arenít life threatening as it is a slow growing cancer.

Prevention

Prostate problems canít be completely avoided but the risks can be minimised through lifestyle and dietary choices, herbal medicines and massage.

If symptoms have started, then the following could be helpful:

  • Maintain the same level of fluids in a day, but drink it earlier. That is, avoiding drinking in the late afternoon and evening.

  • Avoid drinks that increase urine production, including coffee, cola drinks, alcohol

  • Do pelvic floor and bladder exercises to strengthen the muscles

  • Reduce dribbling after urination by running a finger along the penis from behind the scrotum to the tip. This presses out the final bits of urine out of the penis

  • Avoid sexual intercourse whilst the symptoms are present as it will only aggravate and prolong the problem

Pumpkinseed oil has been shown to reduce the risk of developing an enlarged prostate gland and some health professionals suggest taking daily doses for two to three months a year as a preventatives measure.

Zinc deficiencies have been tied to prostate enlargement so including zinc rich foods can reduce the risk, although an excess of zinc can be harmful so donít take too many supplements. Zinc is available from meat, fish, sunflower seeds, nuts, beans, pumpkinseeds, grains and mussels.

As for general health, the prostate benefits from a healthy, low fat and high fibre diet, exercise and not carrying too much extra weight.

 


© Tash Hughes 2007


Tash Hughes is a professional writer and owner of Word Constructions. Tash is available to write articles and profiles for any business, as well as doing other business documentation projects. You can see her site and services at www.wordconstructions.com.au

 

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