Getting old is not for sissies. No matter how good a life style we live now we still “Have to pay the piper” for the many past years we had a different life style. Hopefully we have evolved to a better, healthier life style but certain things still happen to us as it will to any older engine. For men, it is Benign Prostate Hyperplasia; an enlargement of the prostate.
Normally the prostate is the size of a walnut. But as men age the prostate enlarges and causes uncomfortable problems which is designated as BPH (Benign Prostate Hyperplasia): the urgency to “pee”, especially nocturia (the individual has to wake at night more then once to void (i.e. to urinate). This can leave him tired in the AM and maybe throughout the day especially since for some it is difficult to fall asleep immediately again. Besides the urgency to urinate there is the dribbling. This can be embarrassing if it is in the underwear or even coming through certain colored pants like khaki. It can limit the male to activities where he would be away from a bathroom. There is the slowing down of the stream so that he ends standing over a urinal for excessive time, often when there is a line behind him.
All the latter is because as the prostate increases in size it pinches the flow of urine from the bladder to the penis and not only causes the slow flow and dribbling but also stops the bladder from emptying on the first try. The latter can be just from the pinching or causing a backflow of some of the urine as if it was making a “U” turn. This leaves excess urine in the bladder which needs emptying sometimes soon after the first try or at least in the near future. This partially empty bladder leads to the uncomfortable feeling of urgency. This leads to the stress of feeling old, unmanly, loss of confidence for going to places where you have to sit for long periods of time like out to dinner or a movies. It can also increase the occurrence of urinary tract infections since the urine left in the bladder can be like stagnant swamp water to breed unwanted bacteria. This is specially true if the male does not want to frequently interrupt a meeting often to excuse himself to urinate.
In previous blogs and in my book I write a lot about the advantages of testosterone and enumerate the laboratory tests a male should undergo to check his testosterone levels and the hormones that are also necessary to check at the same time. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a very strong testosterone – like hormone that derives from testosterone. This is especially true with very high levels of testosterone and/or with aging. In many cases I do not at first check the DHT unless I feel there are signs or symptoms that require the test. One of these is signs and symptoms of BPH. This is because DHT is believed to be a main causal factor for the enlargement of the prostate. Baldness is also attributed to DHT along with other evolutionary and DNA factors This does not mean that a man on testosterone needs to stop the advantages of it. There are many natural and pharmaceutical ways to interfere with this conversion of testosterone to block higher levels of DHT. Since we know the enzyme 5-alph reductase is what converts testosterone to DHT we can block this process either naturally or with pharmaceuticals. I do not like to give medical treatments without seeing and examining a client but typically one can try combinations of saw palmetto, zinc with copper, pumpkin seed, beta sterols (which are plant steroids without the negative side effects),pygeum and a few other herbs. A good supplement for BPH will have most in one capsule. Remember each person is an individual so one does not always get the results wanted by following the instructions on the bottle. I usually recommend a loading dose higher then the bottle states. I may maintain this dose according to the results and then tweak them or let the client do so.
I also refer those reading this to my other blogs on prostate and also on testosterone and especially for easy clarification and greaat information to my book; Emotional Vampires and Your Hormones: an holistic physician’s view of how stress affects your well-being and what you can do about it.