Stress and Prostatitis
Stress and prostatitis are more connected than you might think because stress and emotional problems may be a causative factor in chronic prostatitis. Stress or emotional health tension can elevate prolactin levels, which can lead to damage of the immune system and result in inflammation, as well as cause an imbalance in the neuroendocrine system, which leads to chronic pain. The tension brought on by stress and emotional health can lead to chronic tension disorder, neuromuscular tension disorder, and other pelvic floor disorders.
Research on Stress and Prostatitis
Researchers in a 2009 study found that men with high stress levels, poor emotional health, and lack of social support were associated with a history of prostatitis. These findings were consistent with the findings of a 2002 Harvard study. The Harvard study observed that men who reported severe stress at work or home were 1.2 and 1.5 times more likely to suffer from prostatitis compared to men who reported stress-free lives. Other studies have found that the amount of stress you are under can affect the amount of pain you are in, with more stress equating more pain.
Several other studies on stress and prostatitis have found prostatitis to be unusually common in men with a history of psychological conditions, especially anxiety disorders and panic disorders. Researchers in Taiwan compared the health records of men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) with records of randomly chosen men. The men who had been dealing with CP/CPPS were twice as likely to have a previous diagnosis of an anxiety disorder. The results of this study show that men with CP/CPPS have higher rates of anxiety than men who do not have CP/CPPS.
Patients with chronic prostatitis caused by stress and emotional health problems may have success with stress management for prostatitits. Patients need to learn how to deal with their source of stress to help solve their resulting medical problems. Alternative prostatitis treatments that patients may find helpful in relieving stress include cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, yoga, and tai chi. Some therapies for pelvic floor disorders include acupuncture, biofeedback therapy, trigger point release therapy, and reflexology.
You cannot eliminate stress completely from your life, and methods to manage stress may take some time to work. In the meantime, you may find relief from alternative supportive care measures for prostatitis such as sitz baths and heat therapy. Look to natural prostatitis treatments such as supplements, phytotherapy, and diet that can reduce inflammation. Learning about some of the foods to avoid for prostatitis and getting some allergy testing can give you a starting point for reducing inflammation and tension in the body. If you have tension in the pelvic area you want to avoid exercises like Kegels, which can increase tension and make your prostatitis symptoms worse.