The prostate is an organ located just below the bladder, surrounds the urethra, and creates a flow that is part of the semen, which will intervene in the liquefying process that occurs after the semen is expelled. When there is a non-malignant growth of the size of the prostate, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) appears, very common in men, after 30 years; At 60, 50% of men suffer from it and 90% from 70-80 years of age. Almost 100% of men deceased at ages over 85 years old have developed cancer of prostate. In BPH, the prostate being in contact with the urethra can compress it, causing difficulty urinating as the main symptom. The sensation of not completely emptying the bladder is a first warning sign that has to make us think that something in the prostate is not working correctly. Other associated symptoms may be: - Frequent urination - Stopping and resuming urination - Difficulty postponing urination - Weak urine flow - Urge to push to urinate - More frequent need to urinate at night Several studies point to an increase in androgens, especially testosterone, as the cause of prostate enlargement. In men who have undergone castration or who show some alteration and do not produce androgens, BPH does not manifest. In Western medicine, digital rectal examination or palpation of the prostate through the rectum tells us if there is an excessively large prostate. A blood test will be key to differentiate through the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) if the larger size of the prostate is due only to BPH or to a malignant prostate tumour. From a Chinese Medicine instead, prostate issues are commonly related to Kidney deficiency with Dampness. Actually we find in most men suffering from BPH a Kidney weakness, thus the function of transforming, transporting and excreting liquids is compromised and there is excess fluid with moisture and phlegm that accumulate in the prostate and enlarge it. If the Kidney weakness affects the Yin part (the tangible part), it will also present frequent urination but little quantity and dark colour, on the other hand, if the Yang part (the intangible part) is the most affected, there will be post-micturition dripping, more abundant urine and lighter colour. There might be blood stagnation too due to sustained stress or an emotional imbalance which blocks Liver Qi and, as a consequence, stagnate sperm causing stabbing pain in the testicles, lower back or lower abdomen. It can also manifest painful urination. Best treatment would be acupuncture to regulate the Kidney to be able to reestablish the circulation in the area plus herbal medicine to eliminate the accumulation of humidity.
Photo by National Cancer Institute