The prostate is an important part of the male reproductive tract.
It is a male gonad filled with muscles which plays an important role both in the normal functioning of the reproductive tract in men during sexual acts (it produces substances that enter into the composition of the ejaculate or sperm) and in a series of actions aimed at protecting the male genital tract from infections caused by various reagents.
The prostate is located in the small pelvis between the bladder (under its bottom) and the rectum (the end of the large intestine) and surrounds the urethra (it is also said that the urinary tube passes through the prostate), which conducts urine from the bladder through the penis to its tip, where it then excretes externally.
This gland is composed of muscle fibers (cells) and glandular epithelial tissue which are surrounded by a dense fibrous capsule. This organ resembles a chestnut in its shape and size, and during the life of a man this gland goes through several stages of development and growth, under the constant control of hormones, primarily testosterone.
Two ureters pass through the prostate in addition to the urethra which are actually the final parts of the ejaculatory ducts. Thus the prostate is the place of crossing of the urinary tract through which the ejaculate (sperm) leaves.
The prostate with seminal vesicles participates in the creation of seminal fluid which has the function of facilitating the movement of spermatozoa, to create a favorable PH value, and as it contains numerous nutritional and energy substances, it is also important for the life and movement of spermatozoa.
The composition of seminal fluid contains many substances that have various biological effects, so among immunoglobulins, spermines, fructose, citric acid and various enzymes there are also prostaglandins which are important for processes such as erection, ejaculation, protection of spermatozoa (they affect the mobility spermatozoa and their revival).
Another important function of the prostate secretion is that it represents a natural mechanism of fighting against infection so the substances in its secretion protect the urogenital tract of men. In any case, the complete function of the prostate (as with other glands in the body) has not been fully elucidated.
What is certain is that it is responsible for a number of important processes in the body that are important for the health of men but also important for the preservation of humanity.
When the structure of this gland is disturbed in such a way as to affect its function then unfortunately the true importance of this anatomically small organ is realized.
Statistics show that of all the internal organs in men, the prostate is the one that gets sick the most.
The changes that occur in the prostate are:
- benign prostatic hyperplasia
- prostate cancer
Unfortunately, as with most diseases, the first symptoms of prostate dysfunction are not noticeable and are often overlooked. When a condition or disease advances symptoms that cause a series of discomforts, you can hardly ignore them. It is important to contact your doctor when you feel pain, regardless of its intensity, in the prostate area, in the lower abdomen, in the back or in the pelvis, because this can be a sign that something is wrong with the prostate.
What also indicates a problem with the prostate are frequent urinary infections accompanied by difficulty urinating for which there is a constant need. The stream of urine is interrupted and insufficient, so the bladder is insufficiently emptied. That feeling that the bladder is not straightened enough is another symptom.
A visit to a urologist is urgent if the patient notices bloody or watery discharge from the penis or accompanied by pus in the urine or seminal fluid.
Likewise, problems with the prostate can be indicated by premature ejaculation or difficulty reaching ejaculation, where the amount of ejaculate is small. Symptoms of prostate disease include painful ejaculation, constant back pain, discomfort in the urinary tract and often weight loss.
It is very important that, when the symptoms appear, a medical examination is performed (where an ultrasound of the prostate may be performed), during which the doctor will establish whether it is a urinary infection or some other disease of the urinary tract because these diseases also have symptoms which are similar to the symptoms of prostate disease.
Another name for the prostate is the chestnut and this name comes from the fact that this important part of the male reproductive tract resembles a chestnut in both shape and size. However, a man is not born with a prostate of this size. Namely, at birth, the prostate is the size of a bean. Its growth takes place slowly until puberty, before it increases suddenly in puberty, during which it reaches its normal size and shape. The average size of the prostate is 3.5×4.5×2.5cm and its mass ranges between 16g and 22g.
The size of the prostate reached at puberty is maintained until the mid-forties, when changes occur again. Around that time, prostate cells start multiplying so the prostate enlarges and this condition represents a naturally expected process and is called an adenoma. It is actually a benign prostate enlargement that is usually not a problem to worry about.
Problems with the prostate most often occur in men at a more mature age, and the reason for this is that the body loses elasticity with age and weight usually increases. All of this causes pressure on the pelvis which almost inevitably leads to prostate problems.
As healthy as physical activity is, in the case of the prostate, any immoderation pays. This is especially true for hiking because the upright position puts a lot of pressure on the pelvis which, as we said, is not good for the prostate.
On the other hand, sitting for too long is equally harmful due to the same effect on the pelvis. It has a bad effect on the prostate and exposure to cold, especially in the cold months, and occupations such as working in a cold store are particularly risky.
Problems with the prostate can also be caused by sexually transmitted infections and some diseases of the digestive or respiratory system, insufficient emptying of the colon, because a full colon also puts pressure on the prostate, while an unhealthy diet, alcohol and cigarette consumption increase the chances of men having prostate problems.
TYPES OF PROSTATE PROBLEMS
Inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis)
Symptoms that indicate prostate inflammation are very unpleasant and difficult to ignore. This disease most often occurs as a result of infection with bacteria, viruses or fungi and it can also be a result of some autoimmune and neuromuscular diseases or mechanical injuries.
Depending on how quickly symptoms related to inflammation arise and the length of the course of the disease inflammation of the prostate can be acute, i.e. that the disease occurs suddenly and that the symptoms are very pronounced. Prostatitis can also be chronic when the symptoms develop slowly and the disease lasts long and persistently.
Inflammation can also occur as a result of placing a catheter in the urethra, some congenital abnormalities of the urinary system, as well as those caused by injury and less often benign prostatic hyperplasia. Prostatitis can be caused by anal sex, stress, excessive sexual activity, activities in a fixed body position (riding or cycling) and urinary retention.
With acute inflammation of the prostate, sufferers experience pain in the genital area, abdomen or back, difficult and frequent urination, watery, purulent or bloody discharge from the penis, elevated temperature (over 39°C), malaise and general weakness. In addition, the prostate is usually enlarged. When prostate inflammation lasts longer than 3 weeks we call it chronic.
Sometimes the course of treatment can be chronic from the very beginning and sometimes chronic inflammation develops from acute. The symptoms of chronic inflammation are less pronounced, with moderate pain in the genital area, with milder disturbances in urination, with the possibility of discharge from the penis, burning during or after ejaculation and impotence. Prostatitis can occur in both younger and older men.
Benign prostate enlargement or benign prostatic hyperplasia
The beginnings of this increase can occur already in the middle of the forties while they are almost inevitable after the age of 80. Many men live with hyperplasia for years without knowing about the change because some symptoms can be quite mild. For some, on the other hand, the symptoms completely disrupt the daily routine. Almost 80% of men after their forties have an enlarged prostate, statistics say.
The cause of hyperplasia is not known but there is a belief that it is caused by male sex hormones, which either stimulate the formation of benign hyperplasia or simply create a favorable atmosphere in the body for that process. This disorder does not threaten the patient’s life but it can make him very uncomfortable. This is especially related to the emptying of the bladder which is difficult and becomes more difficult over time, while the urge to urinate increases especially at night.
The bladder is not emptying enough which creates additional problems because it can cause the development of bacteria and fungi. A medical examination for an enlarged prostate is performed rectally and the doctor checks the amount and speed of urine flow, as well as the pressure during urination.
This is a syndrome of chronic pelvic inflammation, the symptoms of which are most similar to prostate inflammation. It can be a consequence of some problems with the prostate. This is a chronic and very painful disease.
Symptoms include chills and pain in the lower abdomen and back, as well as painful urination and the need to urinate urgently. Prostatodynia is often mixed up with inflammation of the prostate in diagnosis so treatment with antibiotics that help with inflammation do not give results here.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common malignant diseases in men after the age of 50 and is in the first or second place in terms of frequency in relation to all malignant tumors. The exact cause of prostate cancer is not known.
Every tenth man has a genetic predisposition and it is noticeable in the younger population. It has also been proven that the occurrence of prostate cancer is influenced by climate and diet. Severe pain is a characteristic symptom, but a symptom that is not specific enough can lead to the wrong assumption that it is an intestinal or urinary infection.
When symptoms appear, it usually means that the disease has progressed and strong and constant bone pains are especially noticeable. Also, burning during urination, weak stream, frequent urination at night, as well as weight loss can be a warning sign.
In prostate cancer, changes occur on its surface that can be noticed during a rectal examination. Prostate cancer treatment depends on the established degree of the disease. Among the necessary examinations, the analysis of blood, urine and X-ray of the lungs and bones are important.
Prostate cancer usually occurs after the age of 40.
PROSTATE IN THE ELDERLY
It is believed that a man has some kind of prostate disease at least once in his life and this risk only increases with age, so it is considered that every second man after the age of 60 is faced with some problem related to the prostate.
PROSTATE IN YOUNG PEOPLE
Prostate diseases are most often faced by middle-aged and older men but it is not rare for younger men to experience the problem as well. However, problems with the prostate most often arise after the age of 40 and according to some statistics, this is the case with almost every third man at that age.
Treatment of prostate disease depends on the type and nature of the disease.
In case of acute inflammation of the prostate, the treatment is usually carried out with antibiotics, with plenty of fluids, with rest and lowering the temperature. This treatment can last from four to six weeks, and the therapy does not stop even when the symptoms disappear completely.
Treatment of chronic inflammation takes much longer. Antibiotics are the therapy according to the antibiogram and the therapy lasts up to 3 months, with the application of a special dietary regimen.
Non-bacterial prostatitis, the exact cause of which is not known, is more difficult to treat and attention is focused on individual symptoms. An enlarged prostate (benign) is treated with drugs to relieve symptoms (usually to calm the pain) and sometimes antibiotics are used. If there is blood in the urine or there is a complete stoppage of urine – the prostate is operated on.
Patients in whom the disease is located on the organ itself or is only locally advanced are treated surgically or with radiation. Given the possibility of complications, primarily worse urinary control and possible loss of potency (we recommend that you read the text badger fat for potency), and given that more and more prostate cancer is diagnosed in younger men, new operative treatment methods have been developed.
These are laparoscopic radical prostatectomy and robot-assisted radical prostatectomy, after which recovery is faster and postoperative side effects are reduced. Also, brachytherapy is a method that can be applied in one day and preserves erectile function better than other methods.
There are also natural ways of treatment or even a diet that can accompany medication treatment.
Beneficial foods are rich in:
- zinc (and it is good to eat dairy products, fish, shellfish, whole grains and legumes)
- beta carotene (yellow and orange fruits and vegetables and green leafy vegetables)
- flavanoids (vegetables and fruits of bright colors and whole grains)
- vitamin C (from citrus fruits, primarily broccoli, peppers and apples)
- vitamin E (from eggs, vegetable oil, lentils, beans and stone fruits).
When there is a problem with the prostate, you should avoid coffee and unnecessary teas, fatty, spicy and sour, as well as a lot of sugar. Regular exercise and avoiding stress are also recommended.