Prostatitis

Managing Prostate Pain

The male prostate is an important gland for reproduction.

But in late adulthood, it is a common cause of urinary problems.

In some cases, young patients and adults can also experience an ailment called prostatitis.

It features inflammation of the prostate, and one of the leading signs is pain, often caused by swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland.

In this article, we are briefly reviewing the following topics:

  • What causes prostate pain and when to worry

  • Medical treatments and natural remedies for prostate pain

  • When is it appropriate to find medical help

  • Recommended supplements to prevent prostatitis in the first place

Causes

Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate, but this organ is deep within the body. So, why would it become inflamed?

What are the most common causes of prostate pain?

Prostate pain is often caused by swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland. Infection, non-infectious agents, or prostate cancer may cause this inflammation.

  • Acute bacterial prostatitis: It features inflammation of the prostate due to bacterial infection of the gland. The predominant symptom is pelvic pain. It also causes urinary symptoms, similar to urinary tract infections. It can cause painful ejaculation and erectile dysfunction in very severe cases (1).

  • Pelvic pain syndrome: It is a pain syndrome located in the pelvis or the perineal region. These patients do not have a urinary tract infection, and the pain lasts for 3 months or more. The most common diagnosis in these cases is chronic prostatitis (2).

  • Prostate cancer: It is not the most common cause of prostate pain. However, the incidence of prostate cancer increases as we age. Thus, it should be taken into consideration as a possibility in high-risk patients. However, the only way to be 100% sure is through screening. Pain symptoms in prostate cancer are essential to predict the stage of cancer and related issues (3).

What can prostate pain be a sign of?

As noted above, prostate pain can be a sign of prostatitis or prostate cancer. In the majority of cases, it is due to a urinary infection that became complicated. The urinary bladder is located above the prostate. Thus, the infection can migrate from one organ to the other, causing acute prostatitis (1).

In other cases, it can be a sign of sexually transmitted diseases. First, the patient contracts a urethral infection, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. Then, the bacteria migrate through the urethra and reach the prostate. The association of sexually transmitted diseases and prostatitis may even increase susceptibility to prostate cancer (4).

Finally, prostate pain is sometimes a sign of prostate cancer. Thus, your doctor will consider your risk of prostate cancer and will act accordingly.

Depending on the sexual activity of the patient and his age, doctors can suspect one cause or the other. With suspicions in mind, it is possible to evaluate the patient with clinical tests. For example (5):

  • A prostate ultrasound can detect structural alterations of the gland

  • A digital evaluation (DRE) of the prostate is important to detect the sensitivity of the gland

  • Blood exams such as PSA can guide doctors in cases of prostate cancer

  • When prostate cancer is a possible cause, a prostate biopsy is sometimes required for diagnosis. However, it is important to be aware that a biopsy can have significant side effects, which you can read more about in this article.

In most cases, prostate pain improves with antibiotic treatment because the infection is the most common cause.

Pain relief

Relieving pain in prostatitis is not always easy. As you will see, different treatments can apply depending on the type of prostatitis. We can also use natural remedies in mild cases or in chronic pelvic pain.

What are some natural remedies for prostate pain?

One of the best natural remedies for prostate pain is following an anti-inflammatory diet. Reduce your intake of spicy and acidic foods. At the same time, increase your intake of omega 3-rich foods and berries. This works best for patients with chronic prostatitis because pain symptoms tend to be more manageable.

Other remedies for patients with chronic bacterial prostatitis include pelvic floor muscle training exercises. Kegel exercises are useful to relieve the symptoms of chronic pelvic pain syndrome. They strengthen the pelvic muscles in the pelvic floor and may also improve urinary symptoms and sexual dysfunction (6).

What treatments provide the fastest relief for prostate pain?

In cases of acute bacterial prostatitis, prostate pain is more severe. Patients need faster relief, and it often comes from antibiotics. A bacterial infection causes most cases of acute prostatitis. Thus, patients will only relieve their pain in the pelvic area when the infection is controlled.

This might take one or two days, and in the meantime, they can use painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications. In some cases, men may have prostatitis yet exhibit no symptoms or signs of infection. This is known as asymptomatic prostatitis.

In the majority of cases, your doctor will need to perform additional tests before giving you antibiotics. After culture results, he will know more about the infecting bacteria and its susceptibility. Treatment often lasts 2 weeks, but in some cases, it may extend for up to 6 weeks. You will likely feel improvements in your symptoms in the first week or so (7).

Keep in mind that, even if you find fast relief from prostate pain, that doesn’t mean you should stop your treatment. Stopping your antibiotic therapy before time will cause a relapse of the symptoms. It may also result in antibiotic resistance.

What are the safest treatments for prostate pain?

After your doctor has confirmed a diagnosis of prostatitis, he will discuss treatment options. The majority of treatments for prostate pain are quite safe. They will only become dangerous when not consumed properly.

For example, antibiotics are useful to counter bacterial infections. But they can cause alterations to your gut microbiota when used excessively. And over-the-counter painkillers are excellent to reduce swelling and pelvic pain. But exceeding the right dose can cause toxicity and stomach ulcers.

Perhaps one of the safest treatments for prostate pain is natural supplements. In the last part of the article, we will mention some of them and how they work. They do not provide instant pain relief and will better be used in mild cases. They are often recommended, along with a healthy diet for patients who want to prevent prostate issues.

When to seek medical help?

If you’re having prostate symptoms, seeking medical help is always the best idea. But is prostatitis a medical emergency? When do you need urgent medical attention?

Chronic prostatitis is usually not a medical emergency. When it causes chronic pelvic pain, patients sustain mild symptoms for a long time. But acute bacterial prostatitis is a different story. It is associated with more severe pelvic pain and involvement of the urinary tract.

If your prostate symptoms appear suddenly and unexpectedly, it can be acute prostatitis. If that’s the case, you need to clear the infection with antibiotics. Other treatments may also help to control the pain, including beta-blockers and painkillers (7).

But prostatitis is not the only concern your doctor has if you have prostate problems. Depending on your age and medical history, you might need to evaluate even mild urinary symptoms. Prostate cancer is a serious health concern in men, but it does not always have evident symptoms. It is often slow-growing and insidious, but you should not neglect your condition if you have it.

What symptoms, along with prostate pain, indicate that you should see a doctor?

You may experience severe urine pain, among other symptoms of prostatitis that include (7):

  • Frequent and painful urination

  • Flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills

  • Painful ejaculation or sexual dysfunction

  • Pelvic pain, groin pain, or rectal pain

Moreover, there are signs and symptoms of the prostate that should alarm you to seek medical help. Ask your urologist about your prostate health if you are a senior experiencing the following symptoms (9):

  • Urinary tract symptoms such as frequent urination

  • Weak urine stream or interrupted flow of urine

  • Waking up several times at night with the urge to urinate (nocturia)

  • Finding blood in the urine or semen (hematuria)

When is prostate pain a medical emergency?

Stress and prostatitis are sometimes related to each other. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect your symptoms. Unlike chronic cases, acute prostatitis is considered a medical emergency. Thus, talk to your doctor if you suddenly start to experience the symptoms above.

If you neglect a prostate infection for a long time, there are complications such as (7):

  • Epididymitis: An infection of a structure in the testicle that causes severe testicular pain.

  • Prostate abscess: It forms as a mechanism of defense against the infection.

  • Sepsis: One of the most severe consequences of a long-standing infection.

  • Depression: Experiencing constant pain can affect a man’s quality of life and can leave him with feelings of depression and anxiety. If you are experiencing such emotions it is important to talk to your doctor.

In some cases, neglected cases of acute prostatitis turn into chronic prostatitis without severe consequences. In these cases, patients start having chronic pelvic pain. The condition is often suspected because there is no trace of urinary infection.

Best diet and supplements to avoid prostate issues

Most men are worried about their prostate health, especially if they have a relative with advanced prostate cancer. But a proper diet and selected supplements can help you relieve prostate issues or avoid them in the first place.

If you have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and worry about prostate cancer, it’s time to start a healthier diet. One of the best diets to prevent prostate issues is a plant-based diet.

As the name implies, it favors fruits and vegetables, reducing the intake of red meat and animal protein. In this type of diet, try to include more anti-inflammatory foods like olive oil. And do not forget antioxidants, as in blackberries and turmeric. They will protect prostate cancer cells, prevent BPH and other prostate issues.

You can also use supplements to avoid prostate problems. For instance:

  • Selenium supplements: It is one of the best dietary supplements to prevent prostate cancer. It is a trace element that is not abundant in foods. But your body needs it to activate antioxidant enzymes (10).

  • Quercetin: It is a natural substance with anti-inflammatory properties. Quercetin is beneficial to relieve prostatitis and avoids other prostate issues (11).

  • Saw palmetto: One of the most widely used supplements to improve prostate health. Saw palmetto improves urinary symptoms, and it is appropriate for patients with BPH (12).

What foods can help keep your prostate healthy?

The most recommended foods to maintain your prostate health are found in a plant-based diet. We can highlight the following:

  • Berries: They are the most significant source of antioxidants in nature. As such, berries are useful to protect your cells and prevent prostate issues (13).

  • Broccoli: It is a cruciferous vegetable with fiber and many health properties. Consuming more broccoli is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer (14).

  • Tomatoes: They have a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, known to prevent prostate cancer (15).

  • Fish: It is not a plant, but you can use it safely instead of red meat. Eating more fatty fish can increase your circulating levels of omega 3. These essential fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, reducing BPH and prostate cancer mortality (16).

What food should you avoid if you are concerned about your prostate health?

If you want to keep a healthy prostate, there are certain foods you need to avoid. Some cases of prostatitis are triggered by foods, and you will need an exclusion diet to find out trigger foods. Exclusion diets work by restricting foods one by one while monitoring your symptoms. The primary purpose is finding the food group that is causing the alteration.

But in general, you will have a healthier prostate if you avoid processed foods and red meat. Most processed foods inflammatory. Either directly or indirectly, they trigger inflammatory cytokines. Processed sugar and simple carbs are pro-inflammatory, too. They also release a peak of insulin that promotes growth factors and may favor cancer development.

Similarly, red meat is associated with a higher incidence of prostate cancer. It may be due to the saturated fatty acid or the nature of the animal protein. Either way, health authorities recommend reducing your red meat consumption to prevent prostate problems and other issues (17).

One of the simplest ways to start treating urinary tract issues, as a result of prostate disorders, is Prostate Healer.

This powerful healing tincture contains 9 of the most potent rejuvenating herbs available in Ayurvedic science. It’s an effective, fast-working tincture, and because it is an all-natural formula and non-GMO, there are no side effects.

It has been formulated to effectively combat BPH and prostatitis and provide symptomatic relief from urgency, frequency, and nocturia. It works on the prostate, kidney, and bladder simultaneously, coaxing cells gently to resume normal function.

Sources

  1. .Brede, C. M., & Shoskes, D. A. (2011). The etiology and management of acute prostatitis. Nature Reviews Urology, 8(4), 207.
  2. Pontari, M. A., & Ruggieri, M. R. (2008). Mechanisms in prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. The Journal of urology, 179(5S), S61-S67.
  3. Heim, H. M., & Oei, T. P. (1993). Comparison of prostate cancer patients with and without pain. Pain, 53(2), 159-162.
  4. Cheng, I., Witte, J. S., Jacobsen, S. J., Haque, R., Quinn, V. P., Quesenberry, C. P., … & Van Den Eeden, S. K. (2010). Prostatitis, sexually transmitted diseases, and prostate cancer: the California Men’s Health Study. PLoS One, 5(1).
  5. Ludwig, M. (2008). Diagnosis and therapy of acute prostatitis, epididymitis and orchitis. Andrologia, 40(2), 76-80.
  6. Siegel, A. L. (2014). Pelvic floor muscle training in males: practical applications. Urology, 84(1), 1-7.
  7. Davis, N. G., & Silberman, M. (2019). Bacterial Acute Prostatitis. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.
  8. Carter, H. B., Albertsen, P. C., Barry, M. J., Etzioni, R., Freedland, S. J., Greene, K. L., … & Penson, D. F. (2013). Early detection of prostate cancer: AUA Guideline. The Journal of urology, 190(2), 419-426.
  9. Carter, H. B., Albertsen, P. C., Barry, M. J., Etzioni, R., Freedland, S. J., Greene, K. L., … & Penson, D. F. (2013). Early detection of prostate cancer: AUA Guideline. The Journal of urology, 190(2), 419-426.
  10. Menter, D. G., Sabichi, A. L., & Lippman, S. M. (2000). Selenium effects on prostate cell growth. Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers, 9(11), 1171-1182.
  11. Duclos, A. J., Lee, C. T., & Shoskes, D. A. (2007). Current treatment options in the management of chronic prostatitis. Therapeutics and clinical risk management, 3(4), 507.
  12. Suzuki, M., Ito, Y., Fujino, T., Abe, M., Umegaki, K., Onoue, S., … & Yamada, S. (2009). Pharmacological effects of saw palmetto extract in the lower urinary tract. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, 30(3), 271-281.
  13. Prior, R. L., & Cao, G. (2000). Antioxidant phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables: diet and health implications. HortScience, 35(4), 588-592.
  14. Traka, M., Gasper, A. V., Melchini, A., Bacon, J. R., Needs, P. W., Frost, V., … & Ball, R. Y. (2008). Broccoli consumption interacts with GSTM1 to perturb oncogenic signalling pathways in the prostate. PloS one, 3(7).
  15. Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis, M., & Bowen, P. E. (2005). Role of lycopene and tomato products in prostate health. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular Basis of Disease, 1740(2), 202-205.
  16. Szymanski, K. M., Wheeler, D. C., & Mucci, L. A. (2010). Fish consumption and prostate cancer risk: a review and meta-analysis. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 92(5), 1223-1233.
  17. Popkin, B. M. (2009). Reducing meat consumption has multiple benefits for the world’s health. Archives of internal medicine, 169(6), 543-545.
  18. Figueiredo, J. C., Grau, M. V., Haile, R. W., Sandler, R. S., Summers, R. W., Bresalier, R. S., … & Baron, J. A. (2009). Folic acid and risk of prostate cancer: results from a randomized clinical trial. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 101(6), 432-435.

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