Most men know very little about the prostate and a survey once showed that 89 per cent of men didn’t know where the prostate was located. Embarrassingly studies have also shown that women know more about the prostate and prostatic problems than men!
So what exactly is the prostate? It is an important doughnut shaped organ about the size of a walnut, which surrounds the beginning of the urethra (tube from the bladder to the penis) at the base of the urinary bladder. Its main function is to produce about 25 per cent of the semen in every ejaculation and plays an important part in the male reproductive system. This prostatic secretion protects and nourishes the sperm (produced by the testicles) and helps to prevent the urethra from becoming infected.
The most common problem affecting the prostate is prostate enlargement (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy or BHP) and is strongly related to normal aging. This condition does not produce symptoms unless it starts to press on the urethra and obstruct the outflow of urine; BHP is not considered as a risk factor of prostate cancer. BPH can present with any of the following symptoms all of which gradually increase if nothing is done about it:
Complications can occur with urine retention in the bladder when it is not completely emptied after passing urine. Urine retention can lead to recurring urinary infections or incontinence (as urine dribbles around the blockage). In more serious cases kidney failure can occur.
The prostate can be examined by the physician putting an index finger in the rectum – a slightly uncomfortable, but not painful medical procedure. Digital examination can reveal if the prostate is enlarged.
Orthodox treatment of this condition is with drugs in milder cases and surgery in more severe cases. One drug used is finasteride which can sometimes slow down the enlargement of the prostate. There are two main types of surgical operations for BPH: removal of the prostate or boring a hole in it to ease the flow of urine (transurethral resection or TUR). The drugs can of course have side effects and the surgery almost always has a downside.
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine and has over 200 years of clinical evidence of its effectiveness with BPH. The selection of a remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity – Law of Similars. Homeopaths believe that this is the only way to regain a state of complete health by treating all the signs and symptoms of the individual. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat enlarged prostate but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility.
Homeopathy has several safe remedies available to treat BPH that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities (what makes it better or worse) of the complaints. Following are some remedies which are helpful in the treatment of BPH: