Prostate Disorders

The prostate is the male gland in the reproductive system, responsible for the production of all the components of semen, except for the sperm cells themselves. The prostate is located between the bladder and the urethra, in the centre of the pelvic cradle. There are many causes for aches and pains in this region and in most cases they are not really a cause for and may not even require treatment. The more common causes of prostate pain or discomfort are actually due to the diet, although this is not widely known. Stimulants like alcohol and caffeine generally cause symptoms involving the glands. In problems of the prostate, the long –term consumption of coffee, tea, chocolate, wine or beer can cause a dull ache, or sharp spasm of pain, and slight but constant irritation. Complete abstinence from alcohol and caffeine for at least two weeks would suffice to ease any such symptoms.

Prostate disorders are of various types. The most important among these are prostatitis, which is the inflammation in the prostate gland, and hypertrophy, or enlargement of the gland. Prostatistis could be either chronic or acute. The disorder can cause considerable pain, but treatment is usually extremely effective. Hypertrophy, the most common affliction of the prostate gland usually affects elderly men. The warning symptoms of most prostate disorders are fairly clear, but if ignored or allowed to go unnoticed the consequences can be far reaching.

Symptoms of Prostate Disorders

There are various warning signs that you should notice with the onset of any kind of prostate disorder. While prostate cancer is the biggest concern there are other prostate disorders like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatitis that could also cause be responsible for some of the symptoms:

  • Changes in urine flow and volume
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Presence of blood in urine or semen
  • Pain or burning sensation with passage of urine
  • Problems with urination and achieving an erection
  • Pain caused by ejaculation
  • Lower back pain and stiffness

Causes of Prostate Disorders

Since there are different types of prostate disorders, it follows that there are many causes for the same. While some disorders may occur independently others may develop because of the presence of another undiagnosed or untreated health condition. Most prostate disorders are age related as prostate disorders are uncommon in young adults.

Prostate Enlargement:

The causes for prostate enlargement are not clearly understood, but the link between prostate enlargement and aging is undeniable. The main factor in prostate enlargement however seems to be the very presence of the testicles, as individuals who had undergone removal of the testicles at an early age never developed the condition, while prostate enlargement was seen to be reversed upon removal of the testicles in patients suffering from testicular cancer. There are no other known risk factors for prostate enlargement.


Prostatitis is an inflammatory condition typically caused by a bacterial infection. In such cases the condition can be treated quite easily with antibiotics. In many cases however there is no definite cause identified and doctors also try to find any other health conditions that may be contributing to the problem. Non-bacterial causes of prostatitis could include:

  • Immune system disorders
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Injury or trauma to the prostate gland

Prostate Cancer:

As in the case of any other type of cancer, prostate cancer is also caused by changes or mutations in the DNA. In some cases these DNA changes may in fact be inherited, in which case it is a hereditary disease. In the case of prostate cancer inherited DNA changes are uncommon however, as most of the changes occur during a man’s lifetime. Most other causes are again speculative, but some researchers believe that hormonal factors, such as high levels of testosterone could increase the risk.

There are certain risk factors for prostate cancer, but these are by no means definite as very often individuals with multiple risk factors do not develop cancer, while individuals at low risk succumb to the disease, This said, statistics indicate that the disease tends to occur more commonly in certain groups such as among men over the age of 50, men of African American descent, those who suffer from obesity, those who follow diets low in fruits and veggies while high in red meats and smokers.

Remedies for Prostate Disorders

Prostate cancer is typically treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy and surgery. In most cases this treatment is extremely effective and because of the slow progression of prostate cancer the disease can be prevented from spreading.

Prostatitis treatment depends on the type of prostatitis, but in most cases it is treated with painkillers and medications like alpha-blockers. While this can help with acute prostatitis, chronic cases may also be treated using natural remedies. Some methods of natural care that have been supported by scientific studies include:

  • Acupuncture has been found to help provide relief from inflammation and pain although the mechanism of action is not understood.
  • Hyperthermia or heat therapy has also been found to help in the treatment of chronic prostatitis. This approach involves the application of heat to the prostate in order to provide relief from the symptoms.

Whether it’s an enlarged prostate, prostatitis or prostate cancer that’s being treated natural methods of treatment can offer some help in minimizing and relieving symptoms or in reducing the side effects of treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. Treatment with popular herbal remedies that use ingredients like saw palmetto, ryegrass, stinging nettle, green tea and milk thistle among others are also believed to help, but not all of these claims are supported by research. Some studies in fact suggest that some of the positive findings in regard to a few of these herbs may have more to do with the placebo effect.

Diet for Prostate Disorders

The role of diet in prostate disorders is not completely clear, but there are several studies being conducted into the link and some that already suggest that diet may have a role to play in the development and outcome of certain types of prostate disease. According to some natural health enthusiasts the following diet tips could help:

  • Consume foods rich in anti-oxidants like grapes, most types of cherries and berries, apples and plums among various other fruits.
  • Reduce intake of saturated fatty acids, dairy products, yeast, sugar, because these items when consumed, place an increased load on the immune system.
  • Do not consume any alcoholic or caffeinated products, especially after your dinner.
  • While it is important that you consume an adequate amount of water, you should make sure that your fluid intake is spaced out through the day. Avoiding drinkning large amounts of fluid at one go, especially for at least 2 hours before you go to bed.

Some studies suggest that the highest risk, and the strongest symptoms of Benign prostatic hypertrophy are to be found among men who consume the most calories. In addition to this, men whose intake of protein is more than normal also had a higher risk of BPH. On the other hand, soy and foods like legumes, apples, and onions may prevent the symptoms of Benign prostatic hypertrophy.

Suggestions for Prostate Disorders

Prostate disorders are typically associated with age, but there are other factors that increase the risk for developing prostate diseases. Most studies seem to indicate a higher risk among men leading sedentary lifestyles. Stress levels may also be an influencing factor. Exercise and physical activity are therefore extremely important to men. Whether you join a gym and pump iron or simply play tennis over the weekends and go for daily walks, it would be a good idea to keep active. Physical activities like these and others like swimming and various sports can also help to alleviate stress, further lowering your risk of not just prostate disorders, but various other lifestyle diseases as well.


  1. Walsh, P.C., Worthington, J.F., 2013. Dr. Patrick Walsh’s Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer. Grand Central Publishing.
  2. Yuting C. Clinical observation on combined treatment of 360 cases of prostatitis with acupuncture of Sishenchong point, etc. and self-drafted prescription I, II, and III. World J Acupunct-Moxibustion. 2000;10:1–4.
  3. Zeitlin SI. Heat therapy in the treatment of prostatitis. Urology. 2002
  4. Dec;60(6 Suppl):38-40; discussion 41. Review. PubMed PMID: 12521593.

Prostate Disorders Treatments - more information
Prostate Disorders - Frequently asked questions