Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate either as a result of bacterial infection or decreased immune or muscle related function. Prostatitis prevention involves a number of lifestyle, diet and other natural remedies to assist you in maintaining prostate health and learning how to prevent prostatitis.
Men with prostatitis experience extremely debilitating symptoms that, until recently, were thought to be caused mainly from a bacterial infection of the prostate gland. It is now known, however, that bacterial infection accounts for only a very small fraction, about 5 percent, of cases of prostatitis. The cause of bacterial prostatitis is obvious, and generally easy to diagnose; infection with some type of bacteria (usually E. coli).
Basically, if you’re a man, you have a 50% chance of getting prostatitis in your lifetime so learning tips on prostatitis prevention is essential to prostate health.
If you’re younger than 50 you also have a greater risk than do older men. The incidence declines for men between the ages of 50 and 69, and then rises again slightly for men 70 and older.
Risk Factors for Prostatitis
There are specific risk factors for the different types of prostatitis and each of these have different remedies for prostatitis prevention.
- Bladder and/or urethra infection
- Insertion of any device, such as a urinary catheter, into the urethra
- Presence of a sexually transmitted disease
- HIV infection
- Trauma (e.g., riding horses)
When it comes to nonbacterial prostatitis, however, researchers have not clearly identified the risk factors, although they suspect genetics may be involved.
Overall, what we know about risk factors for prostatitis and prostatitis prevention has been gathered from studies that have focused mainly on white men. Therefore it is possible that other groups experience the disease at different rates or have different risk factors. For example, a recent study that involved African-American men evaluated 703 black men ages 40 to 79 and found that 6.7 percent had a history of prostatitis. Factors found to be associated with increased risk of developing prostatitis in this study included:
- Presence of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)
- Poor physical health
- Poor emotional health
- Low levels of social support
- Elevated levels of stress
On the other hand, factors associated with prostatitis prevention in this study included more frequent sexual and physical activity.
Another study was done in China, where researchers collected and evaluated data from 12,743 men ages 15 to 60. A total of 1,071 (8.4%) reported having prostatitis-like symptoms, and 571 (4.5%) were found to have chronic prostatitis. In this study, it appeared that prostatitis prevention factors such as alcohol use, cigarette smoking, fatigue, lack of sleep, and frequent intercourse were associated with prostatitis-like symptoms. (Liang 2009)
Learning how to prevent prostatitis is not an easy task.
However, the good news is that we do understand some of the factors for prostatitis prevention that have been linked with an increased risk of developing the disease.
The following guidelines can help increase your chances of preventing prostatitis and getting back to health if you are already suffering from this disease.
|Maximize fruit and vegetable servings: Fruits and vegetables contain high levels of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which can help fight infections and inflammation and contribute to overall health. Poor general health is a risk factor for prostatitis, and fruits and vegetables are an antidote. Read more|
|Consider a wheat-free diet
Although you won’t find any published studies on the topic of a wheat-free diet and prostatitis (at least not yet), there are anecdotal reports from men who have eliminated wheat products from their diet and who then experienced significant reduction or even elimination of prostatitis symptoms.
Probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, may be an effective addition to antibiotic therapy for men who have bacterial prostatitis and are looking for natural prostatititis prevention. More on the benefits of probiotics
|Eat healthy fats: A low-fat diet that includes healthy fats (omega-3s, monounsaturated) promotes prostate health, while a high-fat diet activates a protein complex that promotes inflammation. (Vykhovanets) Read more|
|Choose plant protein over animal protein: Plant protein gives you all the nutrients and health benefits needed for prostatitis prevention. Diets rich in plant protein have been shown to reduce rates of prostate disease Read more|
|Consume green tea: Green tea contains substances called catechins that have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research indicates that these catechins can be helpful in reducing infection and prostatitis prevention. (Yoon) Read more|
|Avoid foods and additives that are harmful to prostate health: Some foods, supplements, additives and nutrients are especially harmful to the prostate, including but not limited to meat, calcium, chondroitin, and foods high in sugar. Read more on foods to avoid|
|Take the right supplements: Several supplements are helpful in prostatitis prevention if you have prostatitis, including Saw Palmetto, Quercetin, Rye grass pollen, Vitamin D, Zinc, indole-3-carbinol (DIM), Beta sistosterol, Pygeum africanum, Stinging Nettle Root and Green tea extract. See also Top Supplements for Prostatitis|
|Hydrate often: Drinking pure water and staying properly hydrated is essential for prostate health, as dehydration and urinary tract infections are risk factors for prostatitis and can worsen symptoms. Read more on water and prostate health|
|Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight is detrimental to overall prostate health and especially if you are suffering from prostatitis. Read more|
|Exercise regularly. Physical activity has a huge effect on prostatitis prevention and inflammation. Exercise should be a part of your daily routine. Read more on exercise and prostate health|
|Manage stress. Chronic stress can be very detrimental to the body in prostatitis prevention, weakening the immune system, altering your hormonal balance, and overall exacerbating prostatitis symptoms and making you more susceptible to disease. Read more|
|Experiment with natural therapies: Natural prevention and treatment approaches for prostatitis include acupuncture, biofeedback, myofascial trigger point release, prostate massage, homeopathy, and nutritional supplements.Read more on natural therapies and treatments for prostatitis
|Maintain hormone balance. Hormone management and hormone balancing play a major role in prostate health. More on hormones and prostate health|
|Practice safe sex. Some sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea, can cause bacterial prostatitis so practice safe sex for prostatitis prevention.|
|Maintain a healthy sex life. Sex seems to be healthy for your prostate and for prostatitis. Ejaculating two to three times a week is often recommended, especially if you are taking antibiotics.|
|Practice good hygiene: Keep your penis and surrounding area clean to reduce the risk of infection|
|Be aware of urinary tract symptoms: See your doctor if you develop any new or worsening symptoms involving your urinary tract or prostate. Read more on urinary tract infections|
|Avoid injury to the perineal area: Activities such as riding a horse or a bicycle may cause injury or restrict blood flow to the perineal area and exacerbate symptoms. Read more on blunt trauma and the prostate|
|Avoid exposure to BPA: This toxin has been linked to an increased risk of prostatitis as well as prostate cancer (Read more). In addition, for preventing prostatitis, it is best to stay away from other environmental chemicals that can increase the risk of developing prostate cancer [PDF] as well|
|Drink cranberry juice: Cranberry juice can help with prostatitis prevention and treating urinary tract infections. These small fruits have antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and other infection-causing organisms. More on cranberry and prostate health|
|Don’t hold it: Use the bathroom regularly to avoid irritating your urinary tract or possibly causing a urinary tract infection. When you do use the bathroom, do not strain to empty your bladder, as this can cause irritation as well and will not help in preventing prostatitis.|
|Limit or avoid alcohol: Moderate intake of alcohol (1 to 2 drinks daily) may be safe for some men, but if possible, avoid alcohol, as it can make your symptoms worse. Read more on alcohol and prostate health|
|Avoid constipation: Include high-fiber foods in your diet every day, and drink plenty of water as well to facilitate movement through the intestinal tract to avoid constipation. Straining to eliminate can trigger prostatitis symptoms if your prostate is inflamed.|
|Avoid spicy foods: These can worsen your prostatitis symptoms.|
|Cut caffeine intake: Coffee, colas, some energy drinks, tea, and chocolate are likely caffeine sources and can irritate your prostate and worsen prostatitis symptoms.|