6 Ways to Deal with a Prostatitis Flare-Up
When your prostatitis symptoms “flare-up,” it can be frustrating and even overwhelming. If you have been suffering from recurring prostatitis symptoms, do not feel like there is no hope. There are actually many things you can do to determine what may be causing your symptoms and several ways to deal with a prostatitis flare-up.
There are two types of chronic prostatitis that can have symptoms returning for months: chronic bacterial prostatitis and the more-common chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS). Affecting about 95% of the men who have prostatitis, CPPS does not usually have bacteria present and is often caused by problems elsewhere in the body and outside of the actual prostate itself.
You want to relieve your immediate symptoms, but you also want to get to the source of your problems so that you can prevent future flare-ups. The best long-term treatment plan for chronic prostatitis involves a multimodal whole-body approach that looks at your diet, stress management, lifestyle adaptations, and a number of natural and alternative treatments. You may have more than one cause of your prostatitis symptoms, which may be why it is so difficult to treat. That is why experts recommended trying several different approaches.
One of the first steps to take is to relax both your mind and muscles. In about 50% of the cases of prostatitis, the pelvic pain is due to chronic tension in the pelvic floor muscles. One of the largest contributors to this pelvic tension is stress. Because having a difficult-to-treat and painful condition that does not go away increases your stress and anxiety, these issues can actually contribute further to your problems.
Learn different techniques for reducing stress and determine your best way to manage stress in order to help relieve prostatitis. This may include exercise (which is helpful for treating both prostatitis and stress), breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi, mediation, or by talking to a therapist.
There are several alternative treatment programs for pelvic tension that also address the accompanying psychological component of this tension. Cognitive behavioral training is often part of programs to relieve pelvic tension. Some men unknowingly clench their pelvic floor muscles when they are stressed or anxious. This can lead to inflammation and chronic tension in the pelvic floor muscles and lead to pain, urinary problems, and even sexual problems. This chronic tension can develop over many years, so it can take some time to correct it and retrain your body, but it can lead to success. Because managing your stress and anxiety works to address the cause of the pelvic floor disorder, it can help you to manage your pain and prevent future flare-ups.
Try Alternative Treatments
Besides managing stress, anxiety, and other psychological causes of prostatitis, there are a number of other alternative treatments for prostatitis that are worth trying. You can try several different alternative treatments to help you deal with a prostatitis flare-up. Alternative treatments are drug-free therapies that include simple treatments you can do at home like applying ice packs to the area or sitting in a hot sitz bath. If sitting is painful, you may take pressure off the prostate area by sitting on special cushions and pillows.
Other, more-involved alternative chronic prostatitis treatments may require help from a trained professional. Your options include acupuncture, biofeedback, prostate massage, trigger point release therapy, and intrapelvic physiotherapy or pelvic floor rehabilitation. You can do some of these therapies at home by yourself or with the help of a partner once you have learned how to perform them. Combining these methods with stress management or a cognitive training program can help you find more long-term relief.
Change Your Diet
The best holistic treatment plans for prostatitis look at your whole body health to determine what is causing you prostatitis symptoms, and one of the most important aspects is your diet and nutrition. Studies have found that there are certain foods to avoid for prostatitis because they exacerbate prostatitis symptoms. If you eat a lot of spicy foods or acidic foods, your diet can be causing your prostatitis flare-ups. Try eliminating spicy foods, caffeinated beverages, hot peppers, chili, alcohol, wheat, and acidic foods from your diet to see if it helps.
Keep a record of what you eat in a food journal. If you notice that your symptoms get worse after eating a certain food, stop eating it for a while. It is important to stay well hydrated, as dehydration is a potential cause of prostatitis. Food allergies and intolerances can also lead to prostatitis flare-ups.
Try Prostate Supplements
In addition to a healthy prostate-friendly diet, there are several well-researched supplements for prostatitis. A few of them are even part of the treatment protocols recommended by urologists. Supplements can help you deal with a prostatitis flare-up by reducing inflammation, maximizing prostate health, and supporting better pelvic and urinary health.
Some of the supplements that have the most successful clinical studies and research behind them are Graminex pollen, quercetin, and turmeric (curcumin). Pollen extracts and quercetin are often combined in phytotherapy, which men use to relieve sexual pain, reduce inflammation, and support immunity. Other supplements that have significant research for prostate and urinary health are probiotics, plant sterols, green tea, stinging nettle, pygeum, phytonutrients like DIM, cranberry, saw palmetto, and vitamin D.
Supplements can also help men suffering with chronic bacterial prostatitis. A study shows that taking certain supplements like curcumin, quercetin, saw palmetto, and stinging nettle with antibiotics can help resolve chronic bacterial prostatitis symptoms better than antibiotics alone. (Cai 2009)
Perhaps this method to deal with a prostatitis flare-up has caught your attention. The good news is that sex is one treatment for prostatitis. It is important to maintain a healthy sex life because avoiding sex or having a lack of sex can lead to prostatitis because semen can accumulate in the prostate and cause inflammation. Try to ejaculate at least once a week to clear the fluids out of the prostate. If pain during sex is a problem and barrier to sex or ejaculation, there are some helpful, natural treatments for sexual pain like phytotherapy.
Take Medications for Prostatitis
Natural and alternative treatments are usually the best plan for dealing with a prostatitis flare-up, but there are drugs for prostatitis if you have not had success with other treatments. There are no medications that “cure” chronic prostatitis, but they can help relieve severe symptoms. Antibiotics should only be used if you have bacterial prostatitis (and may be necessary if you have acute bacterial prostatitis). Antibiotics are not recommended or helpful for treating CPPS and can lead to more serious complications and problems.
In the short term you may get some acute pain relief with anti-inflammatory drugs, but these medications are not safe for long-term use. That is why it is smart to look into natural and alternative treatments for managing pain. There are a number of medications that can help manage severe urinary symptoms, muscle spasms, or neuropathic pain. All of these medications do come with side effects, so be sure to research and find out if the benefits of these medications outweigh the risks.
If you follow these 6 ways to deal with a prostatitis flare-up, you may be able to resolve your pelvic pain long-term. Follow a natural, whole-body approach to determine the causes of your prostatitis, and employ several different treatments. You need to keep an open mind and be patient with some of the therapies. You will find that treating your prostatitis in several different ways (including diet, exercise, psychological health, supplements, and alternative therapies) is going to put you on the path to better prostate and pelvic health.
Cai T et al: results from a prospective randomized study. Int J Antimicrob Agents 2009 Jun; 33(6): 549-53