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COLUMN: Do you have a healthy prostate?

NATURAL JOURNEY by Lisa McNiven

Sometimes we all get sick and tired about hearing about this gland but this is serious business! Prostate cancer is so common now and it’s something we can all be aware of and get checked for prevention.

Even though women do not have a prostate their knowledge of its health is mandatory for their loved ones. The prostate may be swollen or it may be harbouring cancer cells, therefore, it is very important to have your PSA blood values done by your medical doctor. The physical examination is important as well so don’t avoid this as it may save your life!

At my office I send off saliva hormone testing for men which provides readings for testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, androstenedione and estradiol. Yes, you may be thinking what does all that mean? Well, as men get older their testosterone drops and their libido and performance may be lowered. Knowing your level may give you insight as to why these signs and symptoms are happening.

There are alternative treatments to raise these levels, which a naturopathic doctor can recommend. The other thing to think about is the amount of estrogens you are ingesting via the environment and food and beverages. For example, beer with hops in it is one of the major culprits for prostate enlargement and it lowers testosterone! Hops (Humulus lupulus) consist of estrogens which indirectly bind to testosterone therefore making it unavailable to the body.

Google the German Beer Purity Act of 1516. This was an interesting fact I read. Before this time beer always contained stimulating herbs, but then it was changed to hops, which cause a sleepy effect. There are beers available that are hops free.

Helpful herbal formulas are available containing such herbs as saw palmetto, pygeum and nettles. Homeopathic remedies are also available for specific subjective symptoms regarding the effects of the swelling. Be sure to ask for your PSA blood test from your MD!

 

Dr. Lisa McNiven, BSc., RN, ND is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine at Naturopathic Services, 277A Foord St., Stellarton www.drlisa.ca

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