It is well known that stress has a significant effect on your overall health and wellbeing.
It leaves you feeling run down, tired, and increases your risk of catching viruses. If you are battling a long-term illness, then stress has a big impact on how your body copes.
What isn’t so well-known is the severity of its effects on prostate conditions such as prostate cancer, prostatitis, or BPH. The benefits of stress management and emotional therapy on prostate health may surprise you.
Stress and prostate health
High levels of stress and anxiety impair the body’s immune system and prevent it from fighting off disease and illness.
When a man is diagnosed with any kind of prostate problem, they experience increased levels of stress and anxiety. This can lead to prostate disease worsening due to the immune system being unable to fight it.
It is important to recognize the role that stress and anxiety play in contributing to prostate problems. It is always better to try and prevent a disease than attempting to treat it. Therefore, addressing its causes is important when considering prostate health.
Benefits of reducing stress
The progression of early prostate cancer can be slowed by reducing the amount of stress in your life. Also, by eating a healthier diet and exercising regularly. According to Dean Ornish MD and his team at the University of California, these lifestyle changes could put a stop to the progression of prostate cancer.
The study followed 93 men who had prostate cancer. Some of the men followed a primarily vegan diet and exercised regularly. They took part in relaxation methods such as yoga for one hour a day. Their scores on the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test were much better and were used to follow prostate cancer growth.
The men who followed this healthy lifestyle noticed a 4% decline in their PSA count compared to the men who didn’t. Those who didn’t saw a 6% increase in the PSA count. In addition, the men who adopted healthy lifestyle changes were less likely to require additional treatment.
A link between stress and cancer
A research team at Ohio State University found a link between stress and the spread of cancer cells in many types of cancer. This includes prostate cancer. Their research shows that stress triggers a “master switch” gene in the body known as ATF3, which is expressed in all types of cells as a response to stressful conditions.
This gene usually causes normal and benign cells to self-destruct if they have been irrevocably damaged. But the research suggests that cancer cells coax the immune system to release ATF3 in order for them to travel around the body and infect other areas. With stressful conditions being the most likely trigger for the release of this gene, the research shows that stress can cause cancer to worsen and even spread.
Furthermore, it has been suggested that stress can fuel tumor growth. Researchers from the Dalian Medical University in China have located a key mechanism, which chronic stress triggers. This is believed to fuel the growth of cancer stem cells that tumors originate from.
More specifically, the researchers have studied this mechanism in mouse models of breast cancer.
Their findings — reported in The Journal of Clinical Investigation — point the finger at the hormone epinephrine, but they also suggest a strategy to counteract the effects of stress mechanisms on cancer cells.
“You can kill all the cells you want in a tumor,” notes co-author Keith Kelley, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, “but if the stem cells, or mother cells, are not killed, then the tumor is going to grow and metastasize.”
Stress, Prostatitis (Chronic pelvic pain) and BPH
Prostatitis (also known as pelvic pain) is an inflammation of the prostate that results in pain in the pelvis and genital area. It is also the cause of a variety of urinary tract symptoms.
In a small percentage of cases, prostatitis can be caused by a bacterial infection. Most other cases are the result of chronic non-bacterial prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain. Stress can have a large impact on both types of prostatitis. For one, it worsens the symptoms of bacterial prostatitis, but it also has a role in non-bacterial prostatitis.
Some experts believe that men who suffer stress unconsciously focus it on their pelvic floor muscles. As a result, tightening of the pelvic floor muscles leads to prostatitis.
Reducing anxiety levels also eases the symptoms of someone who already has prostatitis. Stress has an impact on men who suffer from an enlarged prostate, commonly known as BPH. Symptoms like painful urination, urinary frequency, and urgency are made worse by stress and anxiety.
In 2007, a study carried out by the University of Iowa found that men who reacted strongest to mental stress had the most severe BPH symptoms. One explanation for this could be that adrenaline is released as a response to stress. This causes the urethra to narrow, making passing urine more difficult and painful.
If you suffer from any kind of prostate condition, then your healthcare provider should be able to inform you and organize the treatment you require. You should also inquire about emotional therapy as part of your treatment. This helps you manage stress and anxiety.
Emotional therapy includes a variety of different methods, including:
- Group therapy
- Breathing therapy
- Guided Visualization
The goal is to reduce stress, anxiety, and tension to establish a calm environment for your body. Another critical part of emotional therapy is social support.
If you are suffering from a prostate problem, then you may greatly benefit from the support of friends and family. Finding online or in-person communities with other men going through the same conditions can also help.
Another way to help improve the symptoms of prostate problems is to take a nutrient supplement to help ensure your body is getting the right amount of nutrients. This will help combat the symptoms of prostate issues and maintain prostate health. Ben’s Total Health for the Prostate is specifically designed to help men over 50 maintain a healthy prostate, and it also boosts the immune system and energy levels. While this supplement is helping prostate health, its immune system benefits can also combat the effects of stress may be having.
Knowing your body is receiving the best, and right nutrients and antioxidants help to relieve any stress you may be feeling about whether or not your lifestyle is healthy enough. So if you are suffering any prostate problem, then you should ensure not to ignore emotional therapy in your treatment as a natural way to combat stress and improve prostate health.