Prostate Health: Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Solutions to Prostate Problems

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Father Project

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Father Project

prostate health

It's time to start thinking about prostate health, as the risk of issues, such as an enlarged prostate gland and prostate cancer, increases with age.

Your prostate gland is a small gland that helps make semen. It's located below your bladder and wraps around a tube that carries semen and urine.

Prostate problems are common in older men, especially if you're over 50, and can range from an enlarged prostate gland to prostate infections, prostate cancer, and more.

Regular visits with your doctor, especially if you experience symptoms of a prostate problem, can reduce your risk of complications.

Plus, there are steps you can take to improve your prostate health, lower your risk of medical complications, and maintain an exceptional quality of life!

Here's what men need to know about prostate health.

Stay on top of your nutrition with our Definitive Guide to Healthy Eating for Men!

What Are the Symptoms of Prostate Problems?

Common signs and symptoms of prostate health problems in men include:

  • Blood in urine
  • Blood in semen
  • Frequent urges to urinate
  • Getting up at night to urinate
  • Burning urination
  • Painful urination
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Dribbling of urine
  • Lower back, hip, rectal, or upper thigh pain
  • Stiffness
  • Weak urine streams
  • Other urinary changes

See your doctor at the first sign of a prostate problem, as seeking treatment early is the best way to avoid serious complications.

What Are the Risk Factors for Prostate Issues?

Any man can develop prostate cancer or other prostate problems, but some have a higher chance than others.

Common risk factors for prostate health issues include:

  • Being older than age 50
  • Family history of prostate problems
  • Personal history of prostate issues
  • Obesity
  • Poor dietary habits
  • Lack of exercise
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Other chronic diseases

Adopting healthy habits is the best way to maximize your prostate health — and your overall health and wellness!

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How Does My Doctor Diagnose Prostate Problems?

To find out if you have an enlarged prostate gland, prostate cancer, or other prostate issues, your doctor discusses your symptoms and medical history.

They complete a physical exam, including a prostate exam when needed, and may recommend you undergo a urine test, blood tests, ultrasounds, MRIs, urine flow tests, or prostate biopsies to look for signs of cancer and other prostate abnormalities.

If needed, your specialist may insert a thin lighted tube inside your bladder and urethra to get a more in-depth view of these structures.

What Is the Treatment for Prostate Abnormalities?

The most appropriate treatment for prostate issues depends on the type and severity of prostate health problems you encounter.

Your doctor might recommend watchful waiting, medications, laser therapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), cryotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, prostate removal, or other minor surgeries.

You might need radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or hormone therapy if you have prostate cancer.

Adopting prevention measures is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of prostate problems.

See the program 38,000 guys over 40 are using to get results like these

Best Ways to Improve Prostate Health

Some of the best ways to maximize prostate health and lower your risk of prostate cancer and other diseases include:

Eat Nutritious Foods

Nutritious foods you can eat to enhance prostate health include:

Fruits and Vegetables

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables (aim for at least 5 servings daily) to reduce your risk of prostate cancer and other types of cancers.

Choose fresh fruits with starchy and non-starchy veggies each day.

Examples of non-starchy vegetables include tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini, leafy greens, and other non-starchy veggies.

Aim to fill half of your plate with these types of veggies.

Examples of starchy vegetables include sweet potatoes, corn, peas, dried beans, lentils, and other legumes.

Fill one-fourth of your plate with starchy veggies or whole grains, and the other one-fourth of your plate with nutritious protein foods.

Doing so improves your overall health and wellness in addition to maximizing prostate health.

It helps you maintain a healthy weight, which further reduces the risk of prostate cancer and other prostate problems.

Whole Grains

Pick whole grains in place of refined grains to optimize prostate health in men.

For example, pick whole-grain bread over white bread, brown rice over white rice, oatmeal or whole-grain cereal over sugary cereal, and whole-grain pasta over regular pasta.

Whole grains contain more fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals than refined grains and aid in healthy weight management.

Healthy Fats

Replace foods high in animal fat with heart-healthy fats to enhance prostate health in men.

Choose olive oil, walnut oil, other plant-based oils, nuts, seeds, avocados, and nut butters in place of high-fat meats or baked goods.

Nutritious Protein Foods

Pick nutritious protein foods to maintain a healthy weight and improve prostate health.

Examples include chicken, turkey, fish, shrimp, other types of seafood, eggs, seitan, veggies burgers, or other plant-based meat substitutes.

Fill one-fourth of each plate of food with these or other nutritious, protein-rich options.

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Limit or Avoid Certain Foods

When exceptional prostate health is your goal, steer clear of the following foods whenever possible:

Sugar-Sweetened Drinks

Choose water over sugar-sweetened drinks.

Examples of beverages to avoid include sodas, sweet tea, lemonade, and sugar-sweetened energy or sports drinks.

Steer clear of sugar-sweetened coffee drinks and protein shakes containing added sugar when possible.

Fried Foods

Fried foods are high in fat and total calories, so limit them when excellent prostate health is your goal.

Choose baked or grilled foods instead of fried foods.

Steer clear of fried chicken, chicken-fried steak, French fries, fried cheese curds, mozzarella sticks, and onion rings when possible.

Sweets and Baked Goods

Eating too many sweet treats and baked goods increases your risk of weight gain, cancer, prostate problems, and other chronic diseases.

Limit or avoid desserts and other sweets as much as you can. Consume sweet-tasting fruit instead!

Processed Meats

Processed meats increase your risk of certain types of cancer since many contain preservatives, high levels of sodium or sugar, and other additives.

Limit or avoid ham, salami, pepperoni, deli meats, hot dogs, sausage, and other highly processed meats.

Red Meat in Excess

Lean, organic red meat is loaded with protein and other essential nutrients but avoid fatty cuts of red meat, processed red meat, and eating meat in access.

The American Institute of Cancer Research says that eating more than 18 ounces of red meat weekly increases your risk of certain types of cancers.

Sugar-Sweetened Condiments

Believe it or not, many condiments contain added sugar.

This includes ketchup, barbeque sauce, many salad dressings, and more.

Don't go overboard with condiments and read the nutrition facts labels.

This makes it possible to choose other condiments, such as mustard or oil with vinegar, that contain little to no added sugar.


Drinking alcohol can increase urine production, irritate your bladder, and make symptoms of an enlarged prostate worse.

Limit or avoid alcohol if you can.

If you choose to drink, do so in moderation.

Learn the answers to some of the most asked questions about drinking alcohol!


Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity is a risk factor for prostate problems, which is why healthy weight management is so important for prostate health and wellness.

If you're overweight or obese, turn to the Fit Father Project to help you reach your goal weight.

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If you’re in your 40s, 50s, & 60s, you need to eat and exercise differently to lose weight & actually keep it off…

Get Enough Exercise

Exercise is very important for prostate health and your overall health.

Find time each day, or most days of the week, to fit in at least 30 minutes of planned exercise.

Focus on workouts that combine aerobic exercise (jogging, cycling, stair climbing, rowing, rope jumping, burpees, etc.) with strength training workouts.

Work all of your major muscle groups (chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, abs, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves) at least twice weekly.

Many strength-training exercises allow you to train multiple muscle groups at once.

In addition to planned exercise, keep your body moving all throughout the day as much as you can.

Aim for at least 45 minutes per day.

This could be as simple as walking your dog, going grocery shopping, cleaning your floors, washing windows, or working in the yard.

Take Dietary Supplements for Men

Taking dietary supplements for men is one of the best ways to maximize prostate health, improve overall health and wellness, prevent nutritional deficiencies, and keep testosterone levels as high as possible.

Supplements for men to consider, if your doctor gives you the OK, include:

You can also try immune support supplements to promote a strong immune system or Burn RX supplements to boost energy and your body's metabolism.

Your doctor can personalize a dietary supplement regimen just for you based on your prostate health and whether or not you take any medications.

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Increase Your Water Intake

Regardless of how much you weigh, it's important to drink plenty of water.

This is especially true if you're overweight or obese, as water can fill you up without extra calories.

Men can aim for 16 cups of water (or other fluids) daily, though your personalized fluid needs vary based on your size, physical activity level, and the amount of fluid you lose through sweating.

Drink water when you wake up each morning and before meals if your goal is weight loss for better prostate health.

Find out the BEST way to start drinking more water and avoid dehydration!


Improve Sleeping Habits

Getting the right amount of sleep helps reduce prostate disease risk factors, such as obesity.

To get the sleep needed to maximize prostate health, sleep in a cool dark room, avoid caffeine and alcohol late in the day, and don't go to bed hungry or very full.

Avoid screen time right before bed and keep stress levels as low as possible.

Use a sound machine or fan if it helps block out loud sounds.

Learn some sleep and weight loss facts including how you can leverage sleep to improve your health.


Reduce Stress

Stress is a chronic disease risk factor, so limit it as much as you can!

Take days off from work when needed, consider a massage, meditate, or try yoga or tai chi.

Spend time with friends and family and get outdoors when you can to relax, unwind, and destress.

Lighten up a busy schedule and know that it's OK to say no to activities and do what's best for your mental health.

These stress and mental health tips will help you live a longer and healthier life!


Don't Smoke

Smoking raises your risk of cancer and other health issues, so avoid it to optimize prostate health.

If you're not a smoker, don't start and if you struggle to quit, see your doctor or support groups for assistance.

Taking medications can reduce cravings for tobacco and increase your chance of quitting long-term.

It often takes more than one try to quit smoking, so don't give up!

Be Safely Sexually Active

Studies show that staying sexually active appears to lower your risk of prostate cancer.

However, additional research shows that exposure to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) raises the risk of prostate cancer in men.

Therefore, safe sex with one monogamous partner is important.

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Erin Coleman B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Father Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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*Please know that weight loss results and health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on prostate health.

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Father Project

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