enlarged prostate

  1. Enlarged prostate surgery can cause more problems

    Your enlarged prostate doesn’t need surgery

    Gentlemen, you’re probably grateful that your enlarged prostate isn’t prostate cancer…but anyone would agree that it’s no picnic either.

    As the thing swells, it starts to push against the urethra or cause it to become irritated and inflamed. That leads to the panicky feeling that you’ve got to go…RIGHT NOW…even when your bladder isn’t close to full.

    And once you’re going, it can lead to the frustrating “stops and starts” that keep you standing in front of the toilet or urinal for an embarrassing amount of time.

    So I can certainly understand why you might be excited by a new study that suggests there’s a surgery that can give you the relief you’re so desperate for, especially in the wee hours.

    The procedure is called a prostatic artery embolization (PAE), and it involves running a catheter up your leg and into the prostate artery to partially block the flow of blood by dropping some tiny beads in there. Supposedly, that can reduce the swelling and ease the symptoms.

    But don’t get on the horn and dial up a surgeon just yet… because there’s more to this than meets the eye.

    And at first glance, it looks like a wild success. Every single man reported fewer nighttime trips to the bathroom and a better overall quality of life, just a month after surgery.

    But this isn’t slam dunk the researchers are making it out to be…because they only had a 100 percent success rate with the men who actually responded after surgery.

    A third of the men who had the surgery went AWOL in a month’s time!

    And while all the men who didn’t disappear reported improvements after one month, the numbers at the three-month mark started to get ugly.

    By that point, less than half the initial group reported improvements!

    If they can’t even find all the patients who had the surgery, how can these researchers be so sure that the risk of complications (like a bleeding problem or infections) is ACTUALLY low?

    Even the “improvement” they’re touting is a matter of opinion: The men went from a nightly average of more than three bathroom breaks to less than two. Night after night, that’s still a lot of urgent wake-up calls from the prostate.

    Even if the risks of surgery are truly low, I don’t think you need to face them to shrink your prostate and end the frustrating toilet trips.

    Prostate enlargement can be caused by a diet high in fat and low in fiber, so making some basic dietary changes to turn those two around is a good place to start.

    Time-tested natural remedies such as saw palmetto can also help.

    If you still can’t get any relief, it’s time to work closely with a holistic medical doctor. If you’re in the San Diego area, I can help. Make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

    Not in Southern California? Not a problem! I can also offer advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

  2. The mineral your prostate is begging you for

    When you talk to your doctor about prostate health, the last thing you'd expect from him is a natural prostate solution that heads prostate troubles off at the pass.

    Luckily, you have other options -- and they start with the manly mineral that's essential for your prostate health.

    It's zinc, and here are the two most important things you need to know about it:

    1) The highest concentrations of zinc in your body are in your prostate.
    2) Up to 60 percent of American men don't get enough zinc.

    Clearly, your prostate needs its zinc. And just as clearly, it's not getting it. You'll want to fix that ASAP, because studies have shown that zinc can inhibit the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT, the androgen that makes prostates swell.

    In other words, shrinking zinc levels lead to a growing prostate -- and that's the one part "down there" you want to keep small.

    That's not all zinc can do for you: This mineral is critical to all-around male sexual function. It can help you to maximize your testosterone production, and even make sure the testosterone you already have stays around longer.

    But since your body doesn't store zinc, you need to find a way to get it every single day -- and unless you're really into oysters, that's going to mean a supplement.

    Don't grab the first one off the shelf, because the most common zinc supplements are made from zinc sulfate, a form of the mineral that's lousy on stomachs.

    Think gas and diarrhea. Think embarrassing moments. Then think about something gentler, like zinc citrate or zinc monomethionine. It's worth a couple extra bucks.

    You don't need too much -- about 25 mg a day should do the trick for most men, and remember not to go overboard here: Too much zinc can be as bad for you as too little.

    Don't stop with your minerals -- antioxidants can also play a key role in prostate health, especially the lycopene found in tomatoes. One study from Harvard found that men who ate foods high in this deep red pigment slashed their risk of prostate problems by 45 percent.

    But like zinc, lycopene is something we just don't get enough of from diet alone. In fact, you'd have to eat a large tomato at every meal and two at bedtime to get what you really need.

    No one loves tomatoes that much -- so while you're shopping for the right zinc supplement, pick up some lycopene as well.

  3. The biggest secret in prostate health

    The only thing worse than the sheer hell of an enlarged prostate is the disappointment of yet another failed treatment ... But luckily, there's another option on the table: a cheap, widely available and perfectly natural way to get the relief your prostate is begging you for -- and the only shortcoming is the name.

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