If you're one of the 75 percent of men 50 years and older with an enlarged prostate gland, you know the drill: increasingly frequent nighttime visits to the bathroom, a sense of urgency, trouble getting started, and then having more of a dribble than a steady stream. Though not a life-threatening condition, prostate enlargement (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH) definitely reduces quality of life. At its worst, it can lead to urinary tract infections or sometimes even complete blockage.
The usual two choices given for the treatment of BPH are:
- prescription drugs
Drugs may relieve symptoms, but they have significant side effects, including decreased libido and impotence in some men. The most popular drug for BPH, Proscar (finasteride), also artificially decreases PSA, making prostate cancer harder to detect.
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), a surgical procedure that involves cutting away abnormal prostate tissue, may relieve symptoms but it does nothing to stop prostate growth. In fact, in about 15 percent of all men who have a TURP, symptoms return within a year, and 20 percent require repeat surgery within 10 years. Except in the most severe cases, we don't recommend this treatment option, which has numerous complications, including impotence.
Our Integrative Approach for Prostate
At the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine, our approach to BPH is effective, non-invasive, and virtually free of negative side effects. We focus on proven natural therapies to relieve BPH, including targeted nutritional supplements and specific dietary recommendations. We include a prostate-healthy diet, low in sugar, alcohol, and saturated and processed fats, and high in zinc. Our professional staff will show you how to get started on this nutritional program, and stay on it.
Exercise is essential for your entire body, including the health of your prostate. Keeping your body in tip-top shape is a frontline defense against all forms of disease. It boosts the immune system and releases pent-up tension and stress as well as promoting an overall sense of well-being. We can help you create a workout regimen specifically tailored to your needs.
Supplements That Shrink the Prostate
Our medical team will prescribe a clinically tested nutritional supplement regimen that has been demonstrated to reduce symptoms of BPH as well as Proscar, but with none of the side effects of the drug. It includes saw palmetto, pygeum, nettle root, flower pollen extract, lycopene, and other compounds, in a dose appropriate for your particular condition.
What if I Have Prostate Cancer?
Although we do not treat cancer per se, we do offer our patients who have cancer, therapies and nutritional supplement regimens that boost the immune system, lower PSA, and support overall health.