OVER the last few weeks we have been looking at products to help women – PMS support, menopause support and urinary tract issues. So this week I thought we had better have a look at natural ways to support a man’s health, as promised last week.
One of the main problems which affect men as they get older is an enlarged prostate gland. The prostate sits very close to the bladder, so when it becomes inflamed it can press on the bladder leading to problems which include frequent urination, problems passing water and poor flow.
If any man is suffering from these uncomfortable symptoms, they should first of all do what most men try and avoid doing at all costs, and go to the doctor. This is important.
The doctor will be able to check the symptoms and the prostate and give you a definite diagnosis – often much more accurate than diagnosing your self.
Also, although this inflammation of the prostate gland is usually just age related and is referred to as benign prostatic hypertrophy, it can, on rare occasions, also be linked to the start of prostate cancer, something which should really be ruled out as soon as possible.
Once you have a diagnosis and you know there is nothing sinister going on, there are things in natural medicine which can help to try and reduce the swelling in the prostate gland and therefore reduce the uncomfortable symptoms related to it.
One of the most popular and well-known herbs for this job is saw palmetto.
Initially discovered by the Native Americans, saw palmetto is still used today as many people have reported good effects from it. It is thought to work by reducing the inflammation in the prostate gland, which in turn helps to decrease the swelling and the pressure on the bladder. This should help to return a more normal flow and reduce the number of visits to the toilet, especially through the night.
One of our favourite saw palmetto products is Nature’s Aid Saw Palmetto Complex, which combines saw palmetto with pumpkin seeds, zinc and nettle.
I mentioned pumpkin seed last week, as we have found it useful in supporting urinary continence and control for women. It has been included in the saw palmetto complex, as it has also been noted to help men with this problem. Zinc is a mineral which is important for male sexual health their whole lives, as it looks after the health of the prostate and is involved in the production of their sexual hormones.
Low levels of zinc have been linked to the development of acne in teenage boys and to the development of an enlarged prostate in older men, which is why a good dose of zinc has been included in this complex.
Nettle has for years been used as a kidney tonic by herbalists and is thought to help improve urinary flow, which is why it has also been added to the saw palmetto complex.
All these things together make a very good combination in our opinion, and we are not wrong judging by some of the feedback that we have had.
One of the nicest stories came from a man who was having to pay a visit to the bathroom every hour, his flow was poor and he never felt like he truly emptied his bladder, leading to discomfort.
He and his wife had for years enjoyed coaching holidays, but, with his prostate problems developing, he had felt unable to comfortably carry on with them. They both felt that this was spoiling their retirement.
We suggested he try the saw palmetto complex.
He reported back after two months that he was much more comfortable, he was not getting up in the night as much and he felt he was emptying his bladder better. Another month down the line he came in to tell us that he and his wife had just booked a coaching holiday as he was much more comfortable and confident in his bladder.
That was a few years ago, and the gentleman still takes saw palmetto complex and regularly goes on holidays with his wife.