“Of late, I have noticed of late that I need to urinate more frequently,” Vinod , a 50 year old executive wrote to his friend who was an Ayurvedic physician, “It’s a real nuisance especially at night when I have to get up many times to go to the bathroom. Do you think I might have a prostate problem?”
Vinod was correct in that his was indeed a case of prostate enlargement. The prostate is a walnut shaped gland that produces seminal fluid, and is located below a man’s bladder. The gland can get enlarged with time- especially in the case of men between 45 and 60. This condition is called the benign enlargement of the prostate or BPH which stands for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Normally the entire gland gets slightly enlarged, and most men don’t experience much difficulty. However, if the gland gets abnormally enlarged, it compresses the outlet of the bladder and this may interfere with normal urination. There could also be a sense of hesitation in starting the flow of urine, with the stream of urine diminishing in size and force. In many cases, a burning sensation is felt during urination and at times, it becomes impossible to urinate – or the urine may contain blood.
On the advice of his friend, Vinod consulted a famous Ayurvedic physician in Kerala, a beautiful state in South India that is renowned for its legendary families of Ayurvedic physicians. He told Vinod that Ayurveda, the world’s oldest system of holistic healing, describes two conditions known as mootrakruchra and mootraaghaata, which coincide with the symptoms of BPH. Mootrakruchra is characterised by severe pain in passing urine whereas in mootraaghaata, there is total suppression or intermittent flow of urine during urination. The symptoms can be obstructive or irritative. Obstructive symptoms include hesitancy, weak stream, intermittency, incomplete emptying, and terminal dribbling. Irritative symptoms include increased frequency, increased urination during nights, urgency, painful urination blood in urine, absence of urination,, urinary tract infection, and urinary retention.
Even though the prostate seems to be an older man’s health problem, these imbalances begin much earlier in life. The good news is that most prostate problems can be prevented by making simple lifestyle and dietary changes to restore balance. Take hot baths. Urinate as soon as the urge arises. Take time to urinate when it is convenient. Sit on a hard chair instead of a soft one whenever possible. Drink eight or more glasses of water every day. Reduce stress.
Pelvic floor muscle exercises are useful to prevent urine leakage. They strengthen the muscles of the pelvic region that both support the bladder and close the sphincter. Some form of light exercise such as swimming, jogging, or walking is preferable, as is avoiding a completely sedentary lifestyle.
As far as diet is concerned, consume more of cow’s ghee, butter, milk, garlic, ginger and asafoetida. For prostate health, a diet of warm, cooked, easily digestible, light yet nourishing foods are best. Organic vegetables cooked in mild spices, whole grains, light proteins such as mung dhal soups, and sweet, juicy fruits should all be taken.
Gokshura whose botanical name is Tribulus terrestris, has been traditionally used in treating urogenital conditions. Take two teaspoons of the fruit, grind coarsely, and bring to a boil in two cups of water until about half the water remains. Take a cup of this. You can also take it along with sugar and milk if you prefer.
Things to avoid include eating sour and fried items as well as spicy food, smoking and alcohol. You should avoid allopathic medications for colds and allergy that contain decongestants. Other drugs that may exacerbate symptoms are certain anti-depressants and drugs used to treat spasticity. Avoid dampness and cold temperatures. Do not let the bladder get too full.
With a little care, Ayurveda can help you to successfully deal with the problem of an enlarged prostate. But if you have any of the symptoms, it is important you see a physician at once, for an enlarged prostate can get infected- or other complications can follow. So doesn’t neglect a prostate problem…try Ayurveda. It can help.