The prostate, a small walnut-shaped gland, is crucial for male reproductive health and function. After all, the main “job” of the prostate is to produce seminal fluid. However, this small gland is prone to various conditions that impair its function.
Prostatitis is one of these problems. Chances are high you, or someone you know, have experienced prostatitis, and it can be frustrating.
In this post, we will discuss how to prevent prostatitis, so read on to find out.
What is prostatitis?
Prostatitis is a medical condition that causes the prostate to become swollen, inflamed, and tender. More precisely, prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. Numbers show the prevalence of prostatitis is about 8.2%, and it accounts for 8% of visits to urologists.
This condition can be very painful, especially when men urinate or ejaculate. Passing bowel movements is also painful. Urinary symptoms can be particularly troublesome, but painful as well. The pain from an infected prostate is usually located in the abdomen, groin, lower back, perineum (the area between the anus and the scrotum), or testicles.
There are four types of prostatitis:
- Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome (the most common type)
Causes depend on the type of prostatitis and whether it’s chronic or acute prostatitis. Sometimes the main cause is a urinary tract infection. It can be bacterial or nonbacterial prostatitis.
In other cases, it can be due to injury or even a urinary catheter. Sometimes doctors never find the cause of prostatitis. Repeated urinary tract infections are particularly problematic and may lead to prostatitis. For that reason, some cases of prostatitis are difficult to recover from.
For some men, recovery can take months or even years. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic treatment or recommend another suitable treatment approach, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, depending on the cause.
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How to prevent prostatitis: six tips
The reality is there is no certain way to prevent prostatitis. But there is a lot you can do to lower the risk of prostatitis.
Whether you have problems with the prostate tissue or want to keep this gland healthy, the tips listed below can help reduce the likelihood of developing prostatitis.
1) Have good hygiene
Probably the best way to ensure your penis and area around it are healthy and infection-free is to keep them clean. Adopt proper hygiene habits. Make sure to wash your genital area regularly, especially if you have frequent urination.
But hygiene of the genital area is not the only thing that matters. Dental hygiene is important too. While this may seem like such an odd suggestion, evidence shows a connection between periodontal disease and prostatitis. Men with periodontal disease are more likely to have prostatitis symptoms after the PSA test.
For that reason, you should brush your teeth and floss regularly. While the mechanisms underlying this connection are still unclear, it could be down to the fact poor oral hygiene can cause inflammation and bacterial infection in other parts of the body.
2) Increase physical activity levels
When it’s possible, strive to stand up and move. You should also make regular exercises an integral component of your lifestyle, e.g., at least three times a week. Go to the gym, stretch, take a walk; there are many options to keep moving.
Sitting for long periods can put pressure on your prostate and lead to prostate inflammation eventually. It may be best to avoid long bike rides or, in general, avoid sitting down for an extended period.
Evidence shows walking helps reduce symptoms of chronic prostatitis. Also, aerobic exercise is linked to significant improvements in prostatitis pain, anxiety, depression, and quality of life. Exercise is also useful for men with prostatic calculi (prostate stones).
3) Stay hydrated
How much water you drink during the day can either help you reduce the risk of prostatitis or increase it. You see, some types of prostatitis occur when bacteria in the urinary tract make their way from the urethra into the prostate and prostatic fluid, where they cause urinary tract infection and inflammation.
This is where staying hydrated steps in. Water intake can keep the urine dilute and bladder flushed out. Urination reduces the presence of bacteria in your urinary tract and thereby may help protect the prostate gland.
While any type of fluid would do, water is the best option because it doesn’t damage your health as sugar-laden beverages. You may also want to reduce your intake of fizzy drinks, tea, coffee, and cola.
Keep in mind, if you have a diagnosed medical problem with your kidney or something else, consult the doctor about steps you should take and the most suitable amount of water you should drink. Healthy men should strive to drink six to eight glasses of water a day.
4) Change your diet
Nutrition is crucial for our overall health and wellbeing. The reason is simple; diet supplies our body with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients we need for good health.
Every part of your body relies on these nutrients for proper function, and the prostate fluid is not the exception. Some foods can benefit your prostate health, whereas others may harm it and contribute to prostate infection.
You may want to avoid or reduce consumption of spicy foods, which could irritate the bladder and worsen prostatitis symptoms. The goal is to eat a healthy diet, including an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Your diet should be high in nutrients that can help keep your body healthy, infection and disease-free.
Generally speaking, you should try to avoid or at least reduce intake of alcohol, saturated fat, high-fat dairy, and red and processed meat for prostate health.
On the flip side, to support prostate health, you may want to increase your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids, tomatoes, berries, cruciferous vegetables, citrus fruits, and zinc-rich foods such as nuts, legumes, and shellfish.
5) Lose weight or maintain it in a healthy range
Your weight can also influence prostate health and its function. Being overweight, especially having excess fat in the abdominal area, is associated with prostate problems, including prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia or enlarged prostate.
Weight loss can help reduce the risk of prostate and improve the general health of this important gland. If you’re already of healthy weight, you should strive and maintain it in the normal range.
Weight loss may seem like such a difficult task, especially for men who have been trying to slim down unsuccessfully. However, persistence is crucial. Successful weight loss requires a combination of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and other healthy habits.
6) Manage stress
Evidence confirms men who deal with severe forms of stress at work or home are more likely to report prostatitis than those who are relatively stress-free. Stress may enhance prostatitis-related pain, as well. Not only can stress deplete energy levels, cause weight gain, and affect your health in many other ways, but it can also harm your prostate.
For that reason, you should manage your stress and never ignore it. Many people make a mistake by ignoring stress believing it can go away on its own. But it doesn’t work that way.
Everyone’s got their own stress management method. If not, you may want to try reading, going outside, practicing deep breathing, exercising, or other methods.
Prostatitis is a common condition with uncomfortable symptoms, including pelvic pain and weak urine flow. While there is no foolproof way to prevent prostatitis per se, there’s a lot you can do to significantly reduce the risk of this condition and infected prostate stones.
Make healthy lifestyle habits, and you will be able to protect your prostate more effectively. If you have prostate problems, make sure to see your doctor.
Find out 12 Steps To Better Prostate Health.