It is well known that stress can have a big effect on your overall health and wellbeing. High levels of stress can leave you feeling run down, tired, and increase the risk of catching viruses. If you are battling a long-term illness then stress can have a big impact on how your body copes with the disease.
What isn’t so well known is the severity of the effect stress and anxiety has on prostate conditions such as prostate cancer, prostatitis and an enlarged prostate, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BHP. The benefits of stress management and emotional therapy on prostate health may also be surprising to many.
Stress and prostate health
High levels of stress and anxiety can impair the body’s immune system and prevent it from fighting off disease and illness. When a man is diagnosed with any kind of prostate problem they can experience increased levels of stress and anxiety resulting from worry, fear or even anger about having the problem. This can lead to the prostate disease worsening due to the immune system being unable to fight it.
It is important to recognize the role that stress and anxiety plays in contributing and causing prostate problems. It is always better to try and prevent a disease than attempting to treat it once it has already developed. Therefore, addressing stress and its causes is highly important when considering prostate health.
Stress and prostate cancer
The progression of early prostate cancer can be slowed by reducing the amount of stress in your life whilst also eating a healthier diet and exercising regularly, according to Dean Ornish MD. Ornish and his team at the University of California found that these lifestyle changes could put a stop to the progression of prostate cancer.
The study followed 93 men who had prostate cancer. Some of the men followed a primarily vegan diet, exercised regularly and took part in relaxation methods such as yoga for one hour a day and were found to score much better on the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test which was used to follow prostate cancer growth. The men who followed this healthy lifestyle noticed a 4% decline in their PSA count compared to the men who did not follow the healthier program who saw a 6% increase in the PSA count. In addition, the men who adopted the healthy lifestyle changes were less likely to require additional treatment.
A research team at Ohio State University has found a like between stress and the spread of cancer cells in many types of cancer, including prostate cancer. Their research shows that stress triggers a “master switch” gene in the body known as ATF3, which is expressed in all types of cells as a response to stressful conditions. This gene usually causes normal and benign cells to self-destruct if they have been irrevocably damaged, but the research suggests that cancer cells coax the immune system to release ATF3 in order for them to travel round the body and infect other areas. With stressful conditions being the most likely trigger for the release of this gene, the research shows that stress can cause the cancer to worsen and spread.
Stress and prostatitis and BPH
Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate that results in pain in the pelvis and genital area and is the cause of a variety of urinary tract symptoms. In a small percentage of cases, prostatitis can be caused by a bacterial infection with the remainder of cases mostly being the result of chronic non-bacterial prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Stress can have a large impact on both types of prostatitis. Stress can worsen the symptoms of bacterialprostatitis but it can actually have a role in causing non-bacterial prostatitis developing.
Some experts believe that men who suffer stress unconsciously focus their stress on their pelvic floor muscles; in the much the same way as a person may get tight back or neck muscle due to stress. Chronic tightening of the pelvic floor muscles can lead to prostatitis and so men who take steps to reduce stress in their lives can lower the risk of developing the disease. Lowering stress levels can also ease the symptoms of someone who already has prostatitis.
Stress can have an impact on men who suffer and enlarged prostate, or BPH. Symptoms such as painful urination, urinary frequency and urinary urgency can be made worse by stress and anxiety. In 2007, a study carried out by the University of Iowa found that men who reacted the strongest to mental stress had the most severe BHP symptoms. One explanation for this could be that adrenaline is released in the body as a response to stress. This adrenaline causes the urethra to narrow, making passing urine more difficult and sometimes painful.
If you suffer from any kind of prostate condition then your healthcare provider should be able to inform you and organize any treatment you require. You should also enquire about emotional therapy as part of your treatment to help you combat stress and anxiety.
Emotional therapy can include a variety of different methods including:
The goal is to reduce stress, anxiety and tension and promote a sense of calm and peace. Another critical part of emotional therapy is social support. If you are suffering with any kind of prostate problem then you may greatly benefit from emotional support from friends and family, as well as other men who are going through the same conditions.
Another way to help improve the symptoms of prostate problems is to take a nutrient supplement to help ensure your body is getting the right amount of nutrients to help combat the symptoms of prostate problems and maintain prostate health. Knowing your body is receiving the best and right nutrients can also help to relive any stress you may be feeling about whether or not your lifestyle is healthy enough. So if you are suffering any prostate problem then you should ensure not to ignore emotional therapy in your treatment as a natural way to combat stress and improve prostate health.
So do you want to know how I naturally cured my own enlarged prostate and dropped my PSA from 4.2 to 2.1 in just three short months? To find out Click Here.
Collins MM, Meigs JB, Barry MJ, et al. Prevalence and Correlates of Prostatitis in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study Cohort. Journal of Urology 2002;167:1363–66. PMID:11832733.
Ullrich PM, Turner JA, Ciol M, Berger R. Stress Is Associated with Subsequent Pain and Disability Among Men with Nonbacterial Prostatitis/Pelvic Pain. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 2005;30:112–18. PMID: 16173907.
Wallner LP, Clemens JQ, Sarma AV. Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Prostatitis in African American Men: The Flint Men’s Health Study. Prostate 2009;69:24–32. PMID: 18802926.