How to keep your prostate happy

It might only be the size of a walnut, but the prostate gland can cause some big health problems.

All men are at risk but for many it’s a case of “out of sight, out of mind”.

Ignoring symptoms of prostate troubles can lead to major discomfort – and at the extreme end of the scale, can be life-threatening.

So as we come to the end of Men’s Health Week, what better time to check in on prostate health?

About the prostate

Located between the bladder and the penis, the prostate is responsible for maintaining sperm health.

It wraps around the urethra, the tube in the penis that carries urine from the bladder.

For reasons still unclear, as men age the prostate continues to grow bigger.

This puts pressure on the bladder, which can lead to problems in urine flow.

Bigger not better

Around half of men aged over 50 experience this enlargement or swelling of the prostate, a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

About half of these men will develop lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) as a result.

Symptoms vary from man to man but can include an inability to empty the bladder, incontinence, a weak or variable urine rate, difficulty peeing or frequent urination.

Prostatitis – swelling and inflammation of the prostate – has similar symptoms to BPH and can also cause painful or difficulty peeing, as well as pain in the groin area and flu-like symptoms.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian men, killing more of them than breast cancer kills women.

While the causes aren’t fully understood, risk factors include age and family history.

The most common first sign of prostate cancer is a rise in the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level in the blood, so if you’re seeing urinary problems or changes, consider a PSA test.

Men suffering from LUTS or BHP may also experience sexual health problems.

Studies have shown a connection between these conditions and both erectile and ejaculatory dysfunction.

Tips for a healthier prostate

Aim to eat healthily and enjoy fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants, exercise regularly and keep stress at a minimum for good prostate health.

Herbal supplements like the woody shrub saw palmetto, pumpkin seeds, stinging nettle extract, pygeum, rye grass, beta-sitosterol extract and cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli) may also help.

Berries from the saw palmetto, a type of palm native to the southeastern United States, have traditionally used in herbal medicine to aid the prostate.

Studies have found saw palmetto, or serenoa repens, may help maintain urinary tract health and support healthy urine flow, as well as decrease inflammation.

GO Prostate Support 1-A-Day by GO Healthy contains saw palmetto in a convenient one-a-day formula, along with antioxidants to help reduce free radical damage to the body. It also contains tomato, a source of Lycopene also found in the prostate tissue.

Stock up and make this your month to get on top of prostate health!

* This post is brought to you by GO Healthy’s GO Prostate Support 1-A-Day. Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. Nutritional supplements should not replace a balanced diet.