Prostate growth is a continued process throughout life in most men. This rarely causes problems until later in life. However, continued growth leads to enlarged prostate with symptoms in men who fall in the high risk group. When the prostate is enlarged enough, it can cause urinary symptoms because the prostate is located just beneath the urinary bladder and the tube called urethra that carries urine from the bladder out to the penis, passes through the centre of the prostate gland. An enlarged prostate can squeeze the urethra and block urine flow requiring immediate treatment at the best urology clinic in Chennai.
Are hormones a cause for prostate enlargement ?
The main function of the prostate gland is reproductive. It produces semen that adds nutrients to sperm for transportation in the female reproductive tract and help with fertilization of an egg. This makes us understand that the prostate gland functions under the control of sex hormones. Researchers propose that it might be due to aging changes affecting cells of testicles, in turn altering hormonal balance as men grow older.
Men produce testosterone, a male hormone, and small amounts of female hormone called oestrogen as well. With aging, the amount of active testosterone in the blood decreases, leaving a higher proportion of oestrogen. Scientific studies have suggested a theory that prostate enlargement could occur because of the higher proportion of oestrogen, influencing increased activity of substances that promote cell growth within the prostate gland. Another theory states that a drop in blood testosterone levels in older men can produce and store dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a male hormone that plays a role in cellular development and prostate growth. It is also observed that men who do not produce DHT do not develop benign prostate enlargement.
Types and causes of enlarged prostate
Apart from the normal aging process and hormonal imbalance, there are certain infectious conditions that increase the chances of prostate enlargement otherwise known as prostatitis. They can be classified based on the types of prostate enlargement as follows:
- Acute bacterial prostatitis is an acute infection of the prostate gland caused by sudden bacterial infection more common in men aged 40 to 60 years.
- Chronic bacterial prostatitis occurs as recurrent infection of the prostate, seen more in men aged 50 to 80 years. Recurrent bladder infection can cause reflux of urine from the bladder in to the prostatic duct. Such chronic urinary infection is commonly associated with prostatic stones.
- Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis presents no symptoms and is seen as an incidental finding when undergoing tests for other conditions.
- Chronic prostatitis happens to be the most common though the cause is least understood. Men of any age may be affected by this type of prostatitis. Common risk factors include autoimmune diseases, stress and pelvic floor spasms. Recurrent episodes of prostatitis can cause bladder stones that develop when the bladder is not emptied completely. This causes the urine to become concentrated and get crystallized to form stones. Along with treatment for prostatitis, it is necessary to get the stones removed. Kidney stone laser treatment cost in Chennai is affordable and cost effective, making it accessible to all men with complications of bladder stones that may be caused by prostatitis.
What foods are good for shrinking the prostate ?
Certain foods that have an effect on testosterone and other hormones of the male body are known to have an impact on prostate health. It is observed that diet consisting of meat or dairy products can increase the risk of prostate enlargement. The chances are higher if a man does not include enough vegetables into his diet. A diet rich in certain vitamins and minerals can keep prostate healthy. Making some healthy changes to diet habits and choosing certain foods may help to manage symptoms of prostate enlargement such as increased urinary frequency and urgency. Best foods for prostate health are:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids in fishes like salmon, tuna and flounder are rich in omega-3 fatty acids can slow the enlargement of prostate.
- Mediterranean Diet consisting of fresh vegetables, fish, avocados, olive oil and fresh fruits, along with whole grains are all heart healthy and prostate healthy. One tablespoon of olive oil, balsamic vinegar or Italian dressings daily can reduce prostate inflammations.
- Nuts are rich in zinc, a trace mineral found in high concentrations in the prostate. It functions to help balance testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. Men with benign prostatic hyperplasia have lower levels of zinc up to 75 percent than those with healthy prostates. Food sources of zinc are easier to absorb than zinc supplements. Sesame seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, shell fish and legumes are also high sources of zinc.
- Tomatoes are packed with the antioxidant lycopene, known to benefit prostate gland cells. Cooked tomatoes in sauce or soup, helps to release the lycopene for better assimilation.
- Soy foods such as tofu, soymilk, soy curd and cooked soy beans contain isoflavones that reduce prostatic growth.
- Broccoli is a green vegetable with prostate healthy nutrients that releases all its nutritional value when cooked with a bit of olive oil. Other cruciferous vegetables like bok choy, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage also contain a chemical known as sulforaphane that promotes healthy prostate.
- Berries like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and gooseberries are excellent sources of antioxidants, which help to remove free radicals and control inflammation.
- Oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits are citrus fruits high in vitamin C which can help to protect the prostate gland.
- Onions and garlic are healthful additions to prostate diet.
- Cayenne and vitamin C found in bell peppers can help to stop prostate inflammation.
- Green tea can boost immune system to benefit a man’s prostate health.
- Asian Mushrooms cooked in soups, stews and pasta sauces have inflammation reducing properties .
Along with focusing on specific foods, dietitians and specialists at the best urology clinic in Chennai recommend appropriate treatment, an overall pattern of healthy eating, active lifestyle and holistic approach in the management of enlarged prostate.