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Prostatitis is usually caused by bacteria, but a nonbacterial form of the disease also exists. Prostatitis is the most common genitourinary ailment in men younger than age 50, but the bacterial form occurs most often in men age 70 and older. If left untreated, infection can spread to the testicles and epididymis (tubules in back of the testis) and, in severe cases, destroy the prostate gland.
Signs and Symptoms
What Causes It?
Risk factors for prostatitis include the following.
What to Expect at Your Provider's Office
Your health care provider will do a physical examination of the prostate and use laboratory tests, such as urine analysis or blood cultures.
Antibiotics usually are given by mouth. In cases of sudden and severe prostatitis you may require an intravenous administration. Depending on the severity, treatment last from foyr to six weeks. Stool softeners, anti-inflammatory drugs, and hot sitz baths may all help to relieve symptoms.
Over the Counter
If fever and pain persist, you may need surgery.
Complementary and Alternative Therapies
Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Teas should be made with 1 tsp. herb per 1 cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, or 10 to 20 minutes for roots.
Studies show saw palmetto (Serenoa ripens) may be as effective as Proscar (a common prostate medication). Dose of 160 mg twice a day is difficult to achieve in tea or tincture; extract standardized for 85 to 95 percent of fatty acids and sterols is recommended.
Cernilton, a flower pollen extract (500 to 1,000 mg two to three times a day), has been used extensively in Europe to treat prostatitis caused by inflammation or infection. It also has a contractile effect on the bladder and relaxes the urethra.
Take a combination of the above herbs (1 cup tea or 60 drops tincture three times a day).
Some of the most common remedies used for prostatitis are listed below. Usually, the dose is 12X to 30C every one to four hours until your symptoms get better.
Kegel exercises increase pelvic circulation and improve muscle tone.
Contrast sitz baths: You will need two basins that you can comfortably sit in. Fill one basin with hot water, one with cold water. Sit in hot water for three minutes, then in cold water for one minute. Repeat this three times to complete one set. Do one to two sets a day, three to four days a week.
May improve urinary flow and decrease swelling and inflammation.
May help reduce symptoms. Focus may be on the lower abdominal area, lower back, and around the sacrum.
Be sure you follow your health care provider's instructions for treatment and keep using the treatment as directed even if you start to feel better.
Men should have a yearly prostate examination after age 40, even if they have no symptoms of prostate problems. In recurring cases, you may need ongoing treatment with periodic checkups.
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