PSA test is taken by millions of men yearly to determine the health of their prostate and as a preventative measure to stop certain prostate conditions from developing in the future. PSA or prostate-specific antigen is an enzyme (glycoprotein) produced within the confines of the prostate gland. While most of it is kept in the prostate gland, some of it is released into the bloodstream. The PSA test measures the amount of the enzyme which is released into the bloodstream. High levels of PSA usually indicate that one has developed a condition that is endangering the health of the prostate.
PSA levels are measured to determine whether a man has developed one of three conditions: benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate), prostate cancer or prostatitis (prostate inflammation). In most instances, elevated PSA values are associated with development of prostate cancer. However, as referred to above, this is not always the case. This article will focus on prostaitis, how a PSA test can help to diagnose it and what you can do to reduce its symptoms.
Distinct indication that you have contracted prostatitis, in addition to elevated levels of PSA, is experiencing symptoms such as burning sensations while urinating and groin pain. It should be noted that there seems to be a fair amount of controversy regarding the accuracy of PSA tests and whether they should be used as reliable markers for diagnosing conditions such as prostatitis. Some claim that the test, if taken regularly, can be used to spot the onset of such conditions before they cause significant damage to the prostate. Others are stating that, in addition to being inaccurate method of diagnosis, it can also cause unnecessary treatment or over-treatment by doctors.
Once the prostatitis diagnosis has been reached based on psa values, treatment options need to be considered by a patient in consultation with his doctor. The kind of treatment administered to a patient suffering from prostatitis will vary, depending on what caused it. If a person contracts bacterial prostatitis, an anti-bacterial agent will be prescribed. If it’s of a viral nature, it is treated with anti-viral medication. Since most men who suffer from prostatitis experience discomfort in the pelvic region, pain killers may be prescribed as well.
Those who would rather treat the condition through alternative methods should consider nutritional supplements and herbal treatments that promote prostate health. The following herbs, vitamins and minerals have shown to be beneficial in reducing prostatitis symptoms: vitamin C (500mg to be taken twice daily), zinc, magnesium, selenium, lycopene, saw palmetto, liquorice root and nettle root. Although generally considered safe, supplementing with herbs is something that you need to discuss with your physician.