What is the Prostate and What Does It Do?
The prostate is a golf ball-sized gland located between the
bladder, rectum, and penis in the male genitourinary system.
It surrounds the urethra, which is the passageway for urine
from the bladder and sperm from the testis. The prostate produces
and secretes a milky alkaline fluid that makes up about
25 percent of the volume of sperm. Prostatic fluid provides
energy for sperm on the journey to the female egg, contains
enzymes required to break through proteins, and contains a
natural antibiotic to help prevent infections.
Why Does the Prostate Gland Enlarge?
The prostate gland grows slowly from birth to puberty. Between
puberty and age 30 it grows more rapidly as the endocrine
system enters adulthood. Between the ages of 30 and 45
the size of the prostate typically remains relatively unchanged.
However, the prostate gland often begins to grow again for
most men after the age of 45. Generally, the prostate will continue
to grow for the rest of a man’s life. There is no known
physiological reason for the enlargement of the prostate but
the cause is believed to be due to an increase in androgen
hormones in the body, specifically DHT.
What Are the Signs? How Is It Detected? When Should It Be Treated?
Prostate enlargement is generally associated with clinical
symptoms like difficulty urinating or ejaculating, urinary
frequency or urgency, incomplete emptying of the bladder,
incontinence, or terminal dribbling. It is recommended
that men over the age of 40 have yearly prostate exams as
a preventative screening technique. If the prostate begins to
harden and enlarge a preventative strategy should be implemented
to help reduce or prevent further growth and development
Naturopathic Treatment for Prostate Enlargement
Our goal is to determine the underlying causes of prostate
enlargement for each patient and formulate a treatment
strategy that addresses those underlying causes. Diets high
in pesticides, chemicals, cholesterol, and alcohol are associated
with prostate enlargement. Diets low in essential nutrients like
zinc and essential fatty acids are also linked to prostate enlargement.
Several botanicals, like saw palmetto, and nutritional
supplements have been shown to reduce prostate enlargement
by reducing the formation of DHT. Naturopathic treatments
are also indicated for people with current urinary
symptoms. Hydrotherapy, botanical medicine, acupuncture,
massage, and homeopathics have been used successfully for
decades to treat symptoms of prostate enlargement. If you
are interested in more information please consult your naturopathic
physician about individualized treatment.