For Men Only: Prostate Health - HopeHealth (2024)

Samuel Tomlinson, MD

A healthy prostate is an important aspect of overall well-being for men. The prostate is a gland about the size and shape of a walnut that plays an important part in male reproduction. It is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. A tube called the urethra runs through the center of the prostate gland and carries urine from the bladder to exit outside the body.

The main functions of the prostate are to help make sem*n, the fluid that carries sperm, aid in pumping out sperm during sex, act as a filter to protect sperm from toxins, and produce hormones responsible for the male sex drive.

Most men will have some kind of prostate issue during their lifetime, with symptoms that can affect urination and/or sexual function. Medical issues such as inflammation, enlargement, or cancer of the prostate can press on or restrict the urethra and cause symptoms affecting urination. Urinary and sexual symptoms vary widely in men and can range from none to mild, moderate, to severe.

Prostatitis is when the prostate becomes inflamed. The two types are acute prostatitis and chronic prostatitis. There are a variety of medications to help manage symptoms of both acute and chronic prostatitis.

Acute prostatitis is caused by an infection, which is usually bacterial, and symptoms include sudden painful urination, a weaker urine stream, chills, and fever. It is typically treated with antibiotics.

Chronic prostatitis, also known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome, includes symptoms of persistent or recurring discomfort, pain, or burning with urination, an increased urge to urinate, difficulty emptying the bladder, and/or pain with ejacul*tion. While the exact cause of chronic prostatitis is often unknown, it is linked to chronic inflammation with or without infection.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is commonly referred to as an enlarged prostate. This is a common, non-cancerous medical condition that happens as men age. It usually occurs after age 50, when the prostate may even double or triple in size. While the size of the prostate does not always cause symptoms, the most common symptoms are related to urination.

Symptoms can include a frequent or urgent need to urinate, urinating more at night (typically two to four times), difficulty starting urination, a weak or start-and-stop stream, dribbling, or an inability to fully empty the bladder. Less common symptoms include urinary tract infections, blood in the urine, or not being able to urinate. The inability to urinate is a medical emergency, as this can damage the kidneys and increase PSA, a prostate-related substance in the blood, if not treated quickly. BPH can also affect sexual function, causing a decreased sex drive or erectile dysfunction.

There are many treatments for BPH, including medications, surgery, and other minimally invasive procedures. The type of treatment depends on the symptoms, the size of the prostate, and any other health conditions a man may have. Men can make an informed decision about treatment for BPH by discussing symptoms and treatment with their primary health care provider.

Men with higher levels of testosterone or who have jobs or hobbies that may irritate the prostate, such as riding horses, motorcycles, bicycles, or operating tractors and backhoes, may be at an increased risk of prostatitis and BPH over time.

Prostate cancer affects one in eight men in the United States at some point in their lives and the risk increases with age. The risk of prostate cancer is higher in African American men and in those with a family history or positive genetic testing for prostate cancer.

The good news is, the chance of dying from prostate cancer is low since most prostate cancers are slow-growing. Prostate cancer screening guidelines are as follows:

  • Age 50 for men at average risk of prostate cancer and expected to live at least 10 more years.
  • Age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes African American men and men who have a first-degree relative (father or brother) diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65.
  • Age 40 for men at even higher risk or those with more than one first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65.

The screening for prostate cancer is a simple blood test called PSA or prostate-specific antigen. Slightly elevated levels of PSA may be normal, but increased levels may indicate the presence of prostate cancer. A digital rectal exam may also be completed. Other tests to confirm the diagnosis of prostate cancer include imaging tests and biopsies. PSA tests may be recommended annually or bi-annually depending on risk status. Prostate cancer is easier to treat and cure if caught early. It is recommended that men talk to their primary health care provider about prostate cancer screening and follow-up testing.

If prostate cancer is diagnosed, there are many treatments available, including active surveillance for slow-growing cancers with further testing at scheduled intervals, surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy. Working with a urologist and/or oncologist along with the primary health care provider to develop a treatment plan can help men make the best decision for themselves.

A healthy lifestyle can help men lower their risk of developing prostate problems. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular physical activity, consuming a healthy diet, managing stress, and getting adequate rest are all part of the equation to lower the risk of prostate issues as well as other lifestyle-related conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Developing a relationship with a health care provider built on trust and honest conversations can help men make informed decisions on when to screen for prostate cancer, and opens a dialogue for when prostate or other medical issues arise.

Dr. Samuel Tomlinson is a family medicine physician serving patients at HopeHealth in Kingstree and is accepting new patients. Call 843-355-5628 or visit for more information.

For Men Only: Prostate Health - HopeHealth (2024)


What is the best drink to shrink prostate? ›

What shrinks the prostate naturally? Natural remedies, such as soy, green tea, pygeum, grass pollen, and saw palmetto, may help to naturally shrink the prostate in some people. Other strategies, such as behavioral changes may also help to shrink the prostate naturally.

What is the best exercise for the prostate? ›

Kegel exercises are easy exercises you can do before and after your prostate cancer treatment to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles help control your urine flow. Kegel exercises are one of the most effective ways of controlling incontinence without medication or surgery.

How to detox the prostate? ›

10 Great Foods For Prostate Health
  1. Tomatoes. Not only are tomatoes versatile and delicious, but they also contain lycopene, which has been shown to help reduce the risk of prostate cancer and slow the growth of prostate tumors. ...
  2. Berries. ...
  3. Cruciferous Vegetables. ...
  4. Green Tea. ...
  5. Fatty Fish. ...
  6. Pumpkin Seeds. ...
  7. Walnuts. ...
  8. Garlic.

Are prostate supplements any good? ›

Supplements cannot cure or treat prostate-related issues. However, many claim to help prevent or lessen the symptoms associated with prostate problems, generally by reducing inflammation. The prostate gland wraps around the urethra and helps produce fluid in sem*n.

What is the number one food for the prostate? ›

Cruciferous vegetables.

Bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage and kale are high in essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help reduce inflammation and maintain a healthy prostate. These vegetables also contain phytochemicals that are known to prevent the growth of cancer cells.

What is the Japanese method for shrinking the prostate? ›

Rezūm Water Vapor Therapy treats the source of BPH — your enlarged prostate. This short, in-office procedure uses the natural energy stored in a few drops of water to shrink the prostate. So urine can flow freely.

What are 10 drinks to avoid with an enlarged prostate? ›

You should avoid drinks that increase your urination. These can dehydrate you. These include caffeine-containing drinks such as coffee, green tea, black tea and soft drinks or sodas. Alcohol can also dehydrate you.

What is a simple trick for prostate problems? ›

Reduce the amount of fluids you drink in the evening. Urinate as soon as you get the urge. When you visit the bathroom, take your time to empty your bladder completely. This should reduce the need to make many subsequent toilet trips.

Does sitting affect the prostate? ›

When you sit for long periods, it puts pressure on your prostate gland and inflames it over time. Try to avoid long bike rides and sitting down for too long. Get moving. Make time to exercise at least three times a week.

Do bananas help the prostate? ›

No credible research has specifically found that eating bananas lowers your risk of prostate cancer, but they can still be a good food to include in your diet to support your overall health.

Is cranberry juice good for the prostate? ›

Cranberry juice is rich in phytonutrients which are known to be good for bladder health. This may be one of the reasons it is helpful for those with an enlarged prostate.

Is coffee good for the prostate? ›

One to 3 cups a day can lower your odds of aggressive prostate cancer by nearly a third -- no matter what your health condition is. If you have or used to have prostate cancer, the news could be good for you, too. Researchers also found that 4 or more cups of coffee a day may help delay the disease's progression.

What is the number one prostate supplement? ›

Life Extension PalmettoGuard. Life Extension PalmettoGuard is our pick for the best overall prostate health supplement because it consists of just five active ingredients to support prostate health: saw palmetto, nettle root extract, beta-sitosterol, boron, and rosemary extract.

What is the best thing to drink for your prostate? ›

Besides teas, other drinks can help improve overall prostate health and potentially reduce symptoms of BPH:
  • Water. Staying hydrated is crucial for overall good health, including that of the prostate.
  • Tomato juice. Tomatoes are a good source of lycopene. ...
  • Citrus juice.
Nov 16, 2021

What vitamin is best for the prostate? ›

There are also multivitamins and specialized formulas that contain various combinations of vitamins and minerals. Many prostate supplements contain various ingredients believed to support prostate health. The most common are saw palmetto, selenium, zinc, and beta-sitosterol.

What should I drink before bed for an enlarged prostate? ›

If you suffer from an enlarged prostate it can help to drink more water and to reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol. However, when it comes to drinks there is also one that's particularly beneficial if you suffer from this condition and that's green tea!

What shrinks the prostate fast? ›

Options include:
  • Alpha blockers. Alpha blockers work by relaxing the smooth muscle of the bladder neck and prostate. ...
  • 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. These medicines shrink the prostate. ...
  • Combination therapy. ...
  • Tadalafil (Cialis).
Mar 1, 2024


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