• Is it Prostate Cancer or BPH? Understand the Signs

    by Dr. Payal Bhandari
    on Oct 30th, 2017

Throughout the decades of adult life, hormonal balance provides the cornerstone of physical well-being for both genders. Male health is a delicate system, with a large number of physiological processes working in sync to maintain the proper functioning of a man's body, including physiological health and reproductive processes.

As the years go by, especially after the age 50, this homeostasis is highly likely to be disrupted, often as the direct result of our stressful 21st-Century lifestyle, full of nutritionally poor, packaged, over-processed foods, harmful toxins, and other, disruptive chemicals present in our environment. Sooner or later, this lack of healthy balance inevitably affects the core systems of male physiology, translating to malfunctions and disease of essential organs affecting  reproductive health.

When prostate problems arise, most men experience immediate concern about cancer. While this is a valid issue to be aware of, fortunately the vast majority of prostate diseases are benign by nature, relatively easy to treat, and do not pose a significant danger to male health, aside from the uncomfortable accompanying symptoms.

What Is the Prostate?

A walnut-sized male reproductive organ, the prostate gland is located right under the bladder and in front of the rectum. The urethra — the tube that carries urine from the bladder through the penis, runs through the prostate. The primary function of the prostate gland is to produce semen, a fluid that contains various nutrients to protect sperm. During ejaculation, the muscles of the prostate push this fluid into the urethra and expel the fluid out of the body.

What Are the Most Common Prostate Problems?

As aging progresses, men are increasingly likely to experience prostate problems.  Most prostate problems are benign; even prostate cancer since it is easily treatable and has a low mortality rate. Regardless, since all men are at risk for these disorders, timely education and early diagnosis are important tools for prevention and receiving appropriate treatment.

Common prostate problems are:

What Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?

As a natural part of aging, the size of the prostate slowly begins to increase, especially after the age of 50, likely due to hormonal changes and abnormal cell growth. The aging process can be accelerated with poor nutrition.

What Are the Signs of BPH?

Having an enlarged prostate causes several characteristic and often unmistakable symptoms, such as:

What Is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer, interestingly, is common in countries where the diet is rich in animal protein.  The cancer’s presence is detectable in most elderly males beyond a certain age in the first world. This is largely due to the massive presence of toxins and hormones in animal products. The liver metabolizes and converts these toxins into harmful cancer-promoting cells which the overburdened immune system is often unable to destroy.

Fortunately, the progression of prostate cancer is incredibly slow and rarely terminal.  Only 10 percent of the affected men with prostate cancer die as a direct result of this disease. The  cancer, if detected early on, can be carefully monitored.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?

While the vast majority of men diagnosed with this disease don't experience any symptoms, in later stages signs can be reminiscent of having an enlarged prostate, and are typically the following:

What Are the Benefits of Working With an Integrative Physician When Diagnosed With Prostate Conditions?

When experiencing the symptoms of prostate problems, talking to your integrative functional medicine physician is crucial for determining the root cause of your condition. Integrative medicine offers a wide selection of contemporary and alternative medicinal solutions to relieve symptoms and even eliminate your problems completely.

Whether you are experiencing benign prostatic hyperplasia or prostate cancer, your personalized treatment plan should center around a nutritionally dense diet, rich in dark leafy vegetables and devoid of sugar, processed foods, unhealthy fats, fish, and animal proteins. Alcohol, caffeine, nicotine-containing products, and various over-the-counter medications also contain substances that could trigger your symptoms. All of these items should be avoided.

Lifestyle changes, de-stressing, proper supplementation, and a personalized physical exercise program carefully designed through the instruction of your integrative physician are incredibly important components of becoming symptom and disease-free. Paired with contemporary medications and diagnostics, these methods work wonderfully well to aid your recovery and support your body to overcome all prostatic diseases.

Do you need an integrative functional medicine physician in San Francisco?

Dr. Payal Bhandari, M.D., a San Francisco-based integrative medicine specialist, encourages you to contact her and her team if you suspect that either you or your loved ones may be experiencing prostate problems of any kind. Offering highly empathetic, discreet, and customized care, she understands the physical and emotional concerns patients have with prostate disease. Dr. Bhandari, M.D. can support the healing journey holistically, utilizing the best contemporary and alternative medicinal solutions available. Book an appointment today!

Author Dr. Payal Bhandari Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. is a leading practitioner of integrative and functional medicine in San Francisco.

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