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Many men do not care or even know the important part at their reproductive organ especially prostate gland. The prostate gland has an important job which is to produce a thick, milky-white fluid that becomes part of the semen, the liquid ejaculated during sexual activity. The prostate isn’t that big about the size of a walnut or golf ball. The prostate is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It also wraps around the upper part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. That means prostate problem can affect urination and sexual function.
What are the problems? If your ‘man’ have problem like pain during urination or often urinate at night, you have to check and detect the problem early and take precaution. Whilst if you do not have any problem related to this you have to know on ways to prevent it from developing.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Is very common in older man. It is not cancerous but it characteristic is the organ will enlarged. During puberty, the prostate goes through a phase of very rapid enlargement, but this levels off once puberty is completed. During in mid-life, the prostate will begins growing again, but at the slow pace. It is thought that these periods of growth result from increased levels of male hormones such as testosterone. Testosterone is produced throughout a man’s life and, subsequently, the prostate grows throughout a man’s life.
The very common symptom for BPH is it very difficult to urinate or cause dribbling after you urinate. Also you may feel the need to urinate a lot, often at night (5).
Start with bacterial infection or inflammation of the prostate. Prostatitis can cause burning or painful urination, the urgent need to urinate, trouble urinating, difficult or painful ejaculation, and pain in the area between the scrotum and rectum or in the lower back. Prostatitis have two types which is first acute bacterial prostatic. It only show mild symptom for have difficulty in urinate and can cause fever, chills, or pain.it also start with bacterial infection. Second is chronic bacterial prostatic when an infection often come back again and again. This is a rare problem that can be hard to treat. You may need to seek your doctor to help you feel better (5).
The growth of cancerous cells inside the prostate, which may break out of the gland and affect other parts of the body. It is the most common types of cancer in men. Usually prostate cancer grows slowly and is initially confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. However, while some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or even no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly It occurs mainly in older men (1,5).
So, here are few simple tips how can you manage or care your prostate gland. There also way to prevent it.
Healthy Eating – Better Health!
First you must aim for a healthy eating pattern and healthy eating is easier than you might think. following heart healthy, low animal fat and low carbohydrate diet. You must choose whole-grain bread instead of white bread and choose whole-grain pasta and cereals. Besides, choose healthful fats, such as olive oil, nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), and avocados. Limit saturated fats from dairy and other animal products. Avoid partially hydrogenated fats (trans fats), which are in many fast foods and packaged foods. High antioxidant fruit and vegetables is always good for your body to prevent cancer-causing oxidant eat more fish because it have a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. As obesity has been linked to prostate problem consider limiting sugar intake too. Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks, such as sodas and many fruit juices (1,2,3,4).
Exercise For Everyone!
In addition to eating a healthy diet, you should stay active. Regular exercise will decrease your risk of developing some problems, including heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer although relatively few studies have directly assessed the impact of exercise on prostate health, those that have been done have concluded, for the most part, that exercise is beneficial.
If you have any kind of symptom as pain when urinate, often urinate especially at night. Recommend screening for prostate problem between age 55 to 70 years. Your doctor may do rectal exam for physical test and blood testing for prostate specific antigen (PSA) (5).
Erectile dysfunction is not something uncommon in Malaysia. 3 in 10 Malaysian men reported that they have great difficulty of getting hard enough. According to National Health and Morbidity Survey Malaysia (NHMS), erectile dysfunction or impotence is the inability of a male to produce or maintain an erection during sexual activity.
Globally, it is estimated that 100 million men having ED problem but even with such figure people tend to consider ED as a taboo topic to discuss as it is consider as an embarrassment and people do not want to seek medical help for this. It is not taboo to talk about ED, since it is your health concerns. Sexual well being is one of the component in being healthy holistically and as we aged our body does not function as it used to be which is why ED is common among men age 40 years old and above.
ED can cause by various factors such as physical factors, psychological factors and many more. Physical factors commonly occur among older man due to certain medical condition that they have such as heart disease, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, liver or kidney problem, Peyronie’s disease, and alcoholism. These medical conditions usually affect the nerves and blood vessels that are responsible for erection which explains why people with such condition are at higher risk of getting ED. ED can caused by psychological factor too. Emotional issues can distract a man of any age from becoming aroused, which includes worry of unable to achieve or maintain an erection, prolonged emotional distress related to economic, professional or social issues, relationship conflicts and depression.
Commonly prescribed erectile dysfunction treatment include Stendra (avanafil), Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil) and Levitra or Staxyn (vardenafil). Apart from medication, lifestyle changes such as exercise, healthy eating, stress management, and quality sleep, will help to alleviate this problem too.
According to study not all types of exercise helps with ED, exercise such as cycling might not be helpful for ED according to National Health Service, UK, however doing weight bearing exercise can increase the natural production of testosteron, which is a significant factor in erectile strength and sex drive. Apart from weight bearing exercise, kegel exercise which improve your pelvic floor, yoga and aerobic exercise which targeted to improve stamina and overall fitness also help. In general, exercise will improve sexual health as it improve your blood circulation, hormone regulation, stamina, and endurance thus improving sex drive and erection problem.
Apart from exercise nutrition also plays important role in ED. Study found out that man who have a 42 inch waist are 50% more likely developing ED than men with a 32 inch waist. Also, being obese increase men risk of getting vascular diseases and diabetes thus contributes to ED. Reduce or stop smoking and consuming alcohol also has shown tremendous good effect with ED problem. Smoking in the long time effects the vascular health, it cause blood supply to the penis becomes restricted due to the blockage or/and narrowing of the arteries thus causing the erection problem. Whilst as for the consumption of alcohol, it suppress the central nervous system that is responsible for releasing nitric oxide ( a chemical that is responsible for producing and maintaining an erection), which is why the more men drink alcohol the more likely men having ED problem.
In conclusion, talk to your doctor regarding your condition, you might think that your condition is too petty to discuss but by letting your doctor know about it, it gives different perspective to your whole treatment plan.
Some people say that male do experience menopause period, while some other say that male does not experience menopausal period like women. Which one is true? According to study that was conducted in 2000, there are certain condition which makes male experience this sort of menopausal period, but to label it as menopause like what is experiencing by women is not accurate since the process is different (6).
The pathway in which male experience dropping in their testosterone hormone occurs when aging men, experience reduction in testosterone concentration due to the decline in Leydig cell mass in the testicles or a dysfunction in hypothalamic-luteinizing hormone which in return will cause low testosterone production (6).
Andropause is when a drop in testosterone production in men who are age 50 or older. Many doctors use the term andropause to describe aging-related hormone changes in men. Men do experience a decline in the production of the male hormone testosterone with aging, but this also occurs with conditions such as diabetes and others.
Hormone changes are a natural part of aging. Male menopause is different from female menopause in several ways and not all men experience it. It doesn’t involve a complete shutdown of your reproductive organs. However, sexual complications may arise as a result of your lowered hormone levels. Unlike menopause in women, when hormone production stops completely, testosterone decline in men is a slower process. The testes, unlike the ovaries, do not run out of the substance it needs to make testosterone. A healthy male may be able to make sperm well into his eighties or longer. Testosterone levels vary greatly among men. In general, older men tend to have lower testosterone levels than do younger men. Testosterone levels gradually decline throughout adulthood (1,2).
What are the Sign and Symptom of andropause?
Recognizable signs and symptoms of low testosterone levels may include:
Changes in sexual function.
Testosterone plays a key role in libido in men. However, someone with low Testosterone will likely experience a more drastic drop in their desire to have sex. This might include reduced sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, fewer spontaneous erections. Your testes might become smaller as well.
Changes in sleep patterns.
Sometimes low testosterone causes sleep disturbances, such as insomnia, or increased sleepiness.
Various physical changes are possible, including increased body fat, reduced muscle bulk and strength, and decreased bone density. Swollen or tender breasts (gynecomastia) and loss of body hair are possible. Rarely, you might experience hot flashes and have less energy. Low testosterone levels in the body also can contribute to smaller-than-average sized testicles.
Low testosterone might contribute to a decrease in motivation or self-confidence. You might feel sad or depressed, or have trouble concentrating or remembering things.
How do Men Stay Healthy ?
The most common type of treatment for symptoms of male menopause is making healthier lifestyle choices. For example, your doctor might advise you to:
What you eat has a major impact on testosterone as well as other hormone levels. Therefore, you must pay attention to your long-term calorie intake and diet strategy. Constant dieting or overeating may disrupt your testosterone levels. Eating enough protein can help maintain healthy levels and aid in fat loss, which is also associated with your testosterone
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to prevent many lifestyle-related diseases. Interestingly, it can also boost your testosterone.
What are the treatment for andropause?
Apart from living a healthy lifestyle, to prevent or minimize risk of andropause to occurs. According to World Health Organization (WHO) male who experience dropping in the level of testosterone, should be offered treatment with testosterone replacement therapy.
Thus, if you ever experience any of these symptoms, it is best to consult medical professionals, if the underlying cause is either lifestyle of psychological, necessary steps will then taken in addressing the actual problem behind, it could be due to stress or depression, low self esteem, or it could be due to obese or overweight, smoking, or too much alcohol intake as well.
In general, oyster is the type of shellfish. Not only that it is important for ecosystem since one of its function is to filter pollutants out of the water and provide habitats for other species, like barnacles and mussels, it also is an excellent source of zinc, copper, iodine, iron, potassium, and selenium. Since oyster is rich with nutrients it is used in the supplement product as well for various reasons.
Oyster supplementation (1,2,3)
When it comes to oyster supplementation, people always thought that it come from its shell not the meat, but the truth is, it is coming from its creamy flesh meat!
Oyster creamy flesh meat is cleaned and depurated. It is then processed and made into capsules, powder, and tablets. This is actually good news as well to those who cannot consume slimy meaty food, thus can take it in tablet or capsule form.
Many people have started to consume oyster for its known ability to increase the testosterone hormone level in male. It is also well known for its benefits in supporting men’s reproductive health as it contains high level of zinc.
Since oysters are high in zinc, oyster extraction supplementation is highly recommended to those who are deficient in this nutrient. This is a very important nutrient that can helps your immune system and improves your body’s metabolism function as well.
Zinc is a trace mineral that is essential for various body functions, such as protein synthesis, collagen formation, wound healing, and healthy immune function. Apart from that, it is also needed to support prostate and reproductive health, especially for males. Individuals who have digestive disorders such as Celiac Disease and Chron’s Disease and/or on vegan diet are at higher risk of zinc deficient, thus require zinc supplementation.
Zinc deficiency can lead to fatigue, impaired senses of taste and smell, poor appetite, slow wound healing, poor immunity, and hair loss as well.
What does study findings say? (4,5)
In 2003, study in Japan has used oysters, as it contains significant amount of zinc to investigate whether it can improve reproductive health of mice. This study was conducted three groups of mice, where the first group was supplemented with diet that is rich in zinc from oyster, the second group was supplemented with zinc from zinc carbonate and the third group was fed with diet that deficient in zinc.
This study found out that, mice that was supplemented with zinc either from oyster extraction or zinc carbonate has improved serum level of zinc, sperm motility and maturation, increase successful pregnancy rate, maternal weight gain, number of live fetuses, fetal body weight and better embryonic development as compared to mice that is fed with diet deficient in zinc. Thus, this study suggested that oyster extraction is a useful supplement that can prevent reproductive defects from zinc deficiency, and the bioavailability of zinc may be identical to zinc carbonate.
Another recent study that was conducted in 2018, with regards to men’s reproductive health and oyster, is the review article that concluded, zinc is vital in men’s reproductive health, since the adequacy of zinc content in seminal plasma is needed for men’s germination, normal sperm function and fertilization. The review also noted that, seminal fluid deficiency causes infertility, and many studies prove that the association of the seminal plasma zinc concentration with physiology and pathogenesis roles of sperm and its quality. Study also indicates that men who is smokers have higher possibility in becoming infertile as toxin in cigarettes can lead to oxidative stress that can hinder efficacy of seminal fluid and sperm parameters.
To date, there is no meta- analysis or /and systematic study with regards to oyster specifically and men’s reproductive health. However, randomized controlled trial and review articles from few studies such the two above, is able to portrays that zinc deficiency may hinder sperm quality and fertility of men. Since oyster has significant amount of zinc, thus it can be used to treat or prevent men’s reproductive health problem. Furthermore, study also noted that the content of taurine and glycogen also will help in alleviating this problem.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition when the prostate is enlarged but it is not cancerous. It is also known by few other names such as benign prostatic obstruction, benign prostatic hypertrophy, and enlargement of prostate. According to National Health Morbidity Survey Malaysia (NHMS), 16% of Malaysian men above the age of 40 years old suffer from this problem. The sign and symptoms of this problem is usually worsened as men get older, which is why NHMS reported that the percentage of men with symptomatic BPH increases from 10% among 40-year-old men to 33% among 75-year-old men.
Among the sign and symptoms for this problem are:
Most of these symptoms usually come from a blocked urethra or/ and an overwork bladder from tyring to pass the urine through the blockage in the bladder. For BPH, the size of the prostate is not necessarily showing the severity of the problem, men can have greatly enlarged prostate but little blockage and a few symptoms or minimally enlarged prostate but greater blockage with more symptoms.
The cause of this condition is rather not well understood, but there are probably two reasons for this according to scientist, first, throughout their lives, men produce testosterone (male hormone) and a small amount of estrogen (female hormone), but as men aged, the amount of active testosterone is decreased leaving a higher proportion of estrogen, which promotes the prostate cell growth hence the enlargement of prostate. Second, it is due to the dihydrotestosterone (DHT) hormone, which plays roles in prostate development and growth, as men get older, they continue to produce and accumulate high levels of DHT in prostate which encourage prostate cells to continue growing. This is also theorized because men who does not produced DHT do not develop BPH.
There is various treatment that can help with BPH depending on individual severity and condition. Discuss with your healthcare professionals regarding your condition so they may suggest better treatment plan for you. The treatment plan is usually involved lifestyle modification such as:
As for the treatment from healthcare professionals usually include prescription of medication (alpha blockers, alpha reductase inhibitors etc), minimally invasive procedures (transurethral needle ablation, high intensity focus ultrasound, prostatic stent insertion) and surgery (laser surgery, open prostatectomy, Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP)). Bottom line, talk to your doctor regarding your condition no matter how insignificant you may think things that occur to you, that might actually be a symptom to a disease.