Does anyone want to talk about prostate function? Of course not, but burying our heads in the sand will not make it go away. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that prostate issues in the U.S. increase exponentially with age and warning signs can begin at age 35.
About half of all men over the age of 60 exhibit signs related to an aging prostate, because the prostate gland tends to grow over time. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, prostate gland issues are strictly an age-related phenomenon that begins around age 40. Other influential factors include race, family history, and oddly enough, where you live.
Men of African descent are in the highest risk category, while men living in China are in the lowest risk category, states a 2018 publication from the Prostate Cancer Foundation. The report goes on to say that men in Sweden and U.S. residents living north of Philadelphia, PA, Columbus, OH, and Provo, UT have the highest environmental risks.
So, what’s a guy to do? Be as proactive as possible. Don’t put off that exam, just because it’s uncomfortable or embarrassing. Like Nike says, “Just do it!” Problems caught early can often be successfully treated.
What Does Normal Prostate Function Look Like?
As men age, there is a loss of testosterone and the prostate gland grows, which brings about a variety of lifestyle changes. Good nutrition and a regular exercise program are essential to healthy prostate function. According to the National Cancer Institute, healthy men with normal prostate function do not have urination issues, nor blood in their urine, their prostate is about the size of a walnut and it helps produce semen.
Warning Signs of Abnormal Prostate Function
- Need for frequent urination, especially at night
- A weak, slow or intermittent urine stream
- Trouble starting and stopping
- Feeling like you have to go, even after just going
- Dribbling after urination
- Bladder not emptying completely
- Blood in the urine
Who’s at Risk?
Men age 45+ and who have the following:
- A family history of prostate function issues
- Other medical conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and circulatory diseases
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Erectile dysfunction
5 Ways to Lessen Your Risk
- Cut down on sugars, sweets, sodas, coffee, and alcohol to increase prostate function
- Eat more greens and vitamin C-rich veggies like tomatoes, bell peppers, snap and snow peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kohlrabi
- Add ginger to your diet
- Exercise for one hour, 5 times per week
- Take prostate health supplements like URINOZINC®
– MedlinePlus, National Institute of Health, Enlarged Prostate, https://medlineplus.gov/enlargedprostatebph.html – U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999-2014 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Cancer Institute; 2017. Available at: www.cdc.gov/uscs – Prostate Cancer Foundation, Top 7 Things to Know About Prostate Cancer, https://www.pcf.org/c/the-top-7-things-to-know-about-prostate-cancer/ – Prostate Cancer Foundation, 2018 Prostate Cancer Patient Guide, https://www.pcf.org/2018patient/ – National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Prostate Enlargement, https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/prostate-problems/prostate-enlargement-benign-prostatic-hyperplasia – National Cancer Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health, Understanding Prostate Changes – A Health Guide for Men, https://www.cancer.gov/types/prostate/understanding-prostate-changes – U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: An Overview, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1477638/