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12-17-2012

(What you need to know)

Jennifer Boudreaux, P.D.

Remember the phrase, "What you don’t know won’t hurt you?" Well, nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to sensible prostate health and treatment. So, let’s discuss the most common disorders and some sensible ways to lower your risks.

As you probably know, the prostate is a male reproductive gland that lies beneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra, which is a passageway for urine and semen. When the prostate swells, it pinches the urethra and causes problems with urinating.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is simply an enlargement of the prostate gland. This condition usually occurs in men around the age of 40. Symptoms include frequent urination, dribbling after urination, and difficulty starting urination.

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Prostatitis is an infection of the prostate gland, producing inflammation. Symptoms include difficulty urinating, aches, fever, chills, painful urination, back pain, and blood in the urine. Prostate cancer is a slow growing form of cancer, and often is not diagnosed until after the age of 65. Symptoms include blood in the urine and urinary blockage.

How can you avoid these problems? Through diet, exercise and the right supplements. A diet low in fat and red meat and high in fruits, vegetables, and fiber can improve your odds of a healthy prostate. Fruits and vegetables high in a pigment called Lycopene (such as tomatoes), may also help prevent the development of BPH and prostate cancer. Among your supplements, be certain to include Vitamin E, Selenium, and especially Zinc. Because Zinc is highly concentrated in the prostate, it plays an important role in preventing diseases in this part of the body.

So just remember, get all the facts about sensible prostate health and please don’t procrastinate if you think you or your loved one has a prostate problem. Act quickly to avoid what could be a serious disorder. A little prevention goes a long way.

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