What and Why?
Your prostate gland is wrapped round the urinary pipe as it leaves your bladder and is about the size of a small tomato. It lies right next to the last part of your bowel, which is one reason why doctors sometimes feel this area with a gloved finger inserted through your anus.
It matures at puberty as part of your male sexual apparatus. Whenever you ejaculate, sperms out of storage behind your bladder are mixed with a mucoid fluid which pumps from your prostate, flushing them down your urethra. It is particularly rich in zinc and contains an enzyme to activate the sperms and citric acid to prime it, plus protein-splitting enzymes that liquefy the fluid and enable the sperms to swim through it. This prostatic fluid makes up most of your semen, which is why vasectomy (to prevent sperm getting out) does not alter its volume or appearance much.
Half your prostate consists of the glands for making the fluid, which accumulates continuously in its cells and ducts between ejaculations; another quarter is muscle for pumping it out during each one. The glands are arranged in three layers, the innermost of which are very prone to swell gradually as you age.
The material which engorges them is rich with protein and can with patience be massaged out during a prolonged rectal examination — though this is not practical as a form of treatment. The swelling can accumulate to many times the size of your original gland, obstructing your urinary flow to a dribble and making it difficult to start. The frequent need to urinate at night can often be traced to this cause.
Cancer and infection (including thrush) can both complicate this condition, but protein accumulation by itself is the commonest form of prostate disorder. It affects a large minority of men in developed countries from the age of forty and seems to be a consequence of eating meat in any quantity. Zinc deficiency plays some part since diseased prostates and their semen contain strikingly less of it and supplements can be corrective.
Doctors for some reason pay little or no attention to maintaining and restoring prostate health, confining their interest to distinguishing the cancers from the protein swellings, and surgical removal of the gland.
What can I do?
Advice to maintain and maximise your health
1. Prevention hangs on eating the diet for health, with meat meals restricted to a few occasions each week. Wholemeal cereals, legumes (pea family) and root vegetables not only contain ample protein but are rich in Zinc too.
2. Treat swellings: When some degree of non-cancerous prostate swelling is discovered embark on a special cleansing diet of raw vegetables and fruits for three weeks, and repeat it for one week each month. Avoid all meat, fish, poultry and hard cheese for six months. This will prevent any further protein accumulation in your prostate.
3. Supplement this with food-state Zinc 15mg and Vitamin C twice daily at mealtimes. This rapidly corrects any zinc deficiency, enabling your prostate to function better and contribute to its own recovery.
4. Herbal treatment: Three drops of echinacea tincture in a teaspoonful of cold water every night, which helps remove the swelling. Prost-8+, a product based largely on saw palmetto, offers another herbal approach which can be combined with echinacea.
5. Help ease fluid congestion: Sponge just behind your scrotum alternately with hot water (one minute) and cold (thirty seconds), for three cycles finishing with cold. Repeat this night and morning to stimulate contraction of the muscle in your prostate, which will extrude some of the fluid congestion each time.
6. Massage: Have ten minutes of firm massage to your lower spine (as far as your buttocks) daily if possible. Each massaging stroke should approach your mid-line upwards and inwards from both sides, successively starting a little lower down. Taken together the strokes are like the branches of a herring-bone laid along your spine, tail downwards. They stimulate the nerves that control your prostate muscle to reinforce the effect of sponging.
7. Cooperate with your doctor to identify the nature of your swelling, but only agree to surgery if six months of the above gives no improvement.
8. If your prostate swelling is cancerous you are more likely to be offered female hormone treatment than surgery.