As men approach their forties, familiarity with the prostate gland becomes important. The prostate gland is a walnut sized male accessory sex gland that rests in front of the bladder. It usually enlarges with age and can constrict the urinary tube, thereby causing trouble with urination. Symptoms can include: diminished urinary stream and excessive nighttime urination, frequency and urgency. Usually, prostate enlargement is benign, but prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. It follows that men, age 50 and beyond (or age 40 and beyond if African American or with a positive prostate cancer family history) should see their PCP or urologist for an appropriate evaluation.
As a Men’s Health specialist, I offer my own patients the following tips to help promote prostate health:
- Drink adequate water and fluids and avoid excessive caffeine, alcohol, artificial sweeteners and drugs like decongestants.
- Avoid risky sexual behavior but maintain a healthy sex life.
- Eat a healthy diet. I recommend a mediterranean diet.
- See your doctor yearly for a prostate check or earlier if you observe changes in urinary pattern.
- If you are inclined to be proactive, consider a supplement friendly to prostate health that includes zinc, boron, lycopene and vitamin D. This should not replace an evaluation by a qualified physician or a urologist.
- Stay informed about prostate health by tuning into the latest advances and developments from reliable sources. Recommendations and guidelines change often and today’s evolving health care system can leave patients, consumers and even physicians confused. Avoid recommendations from non-qualified sources more interested in your pocket than your prostate.
- If and when you choose a prostate supplement, ensure that it is manufactured by a reliable and reputable company—like GNC!
I encourage friends, family and of course, patients to always keep prostate health in mind. I encourage all of you to do so as well, especially as the GNC Medical Advisory Board celebrates Men’s Health Month this June. LIVE WELL!