Puberty is the journey we make from childhood to adulthood in our teens, and during that time, we begin producing large amounts of hormones from our endocrine system, which includes your thyroid, hypothalamus, adrenal gland, testes, and your prostate gland. The last of these organs is not as well known as some of the others, but it is very important to your long- term reproductive health.
Several conditions can affect your prostate gland as you age, and the complications from them can range from mild to severe. Keeping this organ healthy is possible through some basic steps, so let’s explore this by examining the functions of your prostate gland, what illnesses can affect it, and what you can do to take care of it.
If you live in the Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, or Greater South Florida area and you’re struggling with the symptoms of prostate illness, Drs. Craig Herman and Steven Kester, and the hard-working medical team at Urology Center of Florida can help.
The function of your prostate gland
This organ in your endocrine system is a small gland, about the size of a walnut and weighing a single ounce, located under your bladder and in front of your rectum. Its primary responsibility is producing the ejaculate your semen needs to travel through your penis and out of your body. The ejaculate also contains zinc, citric acid, and enzymes that help to lubricate your urethra (the opening that leads from the penis out of the body) and nourish sperm cells.
Conditions that affect the prostate
Over time, your prostate may start to enlarge, and early on can be asymptomatic. This happens for around age 40, although it affects a higher percentage of men around age 55.) The larger size increases the risk of conditions like:
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
Also known as enlarged prostate, this is a common, noncancerous condition that while not life threatening can affect your ability to urinate by putting pressure on your bladder’s base. This can create obstructions in the urinary tract that lead to urinary retention.
This inflammation of your prostate can come in the form of bacterial prostatitis or non-bacterial prostatitis and is common in men from 30 to 50. The cause is frequently unknown, and the nonbacterial type is both more common and harder to treat because the symptoms vary from person to person.
More common in men over 50, its overall cause is often unknown, but family history and age generally play a role. While early stages are confined to the prostate, as it develops and becomes more aggressive, it can spread to other systems and become more dangerous to your whole body.
Ways to keep your prostate healthy
Here are some ways to keep a healthy prostate to prevent these diseases:
- Exercise regularly: Physical activity can help to reduce the chances of your prostate getting larger as you age.
- Keep a healthy weight: Keeping your weight under control helps to reduce the pressure on your bladder and reduce the likelihood of a change in your prostate.
- Maintain a healthy diet: Fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins can make a big difference in your prostate health.
- Stop using tobacco products: Smoking and other tobacco products can increase your risk of prostate cancer, so quit now.
- Get regular screenings: Starting at 50, regular screenings can help detect any changes in your prostate. If you have a family history you may need to start sooner.
Taking care of your prostate will help you live longer and healthier, and these are simple steps to accomplish this. If you are having problems with urinating or ejaculating or having other issues in your pelvis, make an appointment via phone or message with Drs. Herman, Kester and Urology Center of Florida today to get yourself checked out.