When patients come to me for advice about specific medical problems, they usually have been told that they need medication or surgery, and they are seeking ways to avoid those treatments. Sometimes they have already tried medications, which have produced significant side effects.
Usually, they have many treatment alternatives but they have no information about their choices. One example of effective alternatives is the reduction in blood pressure that meditation produces. Others are the dietary changes and exercise programs that lead to lowered cholesterol. Since the medical treatments for these two conditions are often more dangerous than the problems, it is worth seeking safer alternatives.
Dr. Dean Ornish has shown that patients with heart disease can often avoid surgery and reverse their heart disease with a combination of a low-fat diet, meditation, and exercise. Norman Cousins healed his ankylosing spondylitis (a form of arthritis of the spine) with laughter and high doses of vitamin C. He wrote about his experience in the New England Journal of Medicine, and followed this article with a book, The Anatomy of an Illness. Many patients have cured their digestive disturbances simply by avoiding certain foods.
Over and over, we are seeing the results of lifestyle changes in health care. A recent scientific medical conference put on by the American College for Advancement in Medicine was entitled: Lifestyle Medicine—Medicine for the Nineties. Researchers and physicians both attended and taught at this scientific meeting. Much of it related to the role of dietary supplements in medical therapy.
Dietary supplements are amongg the safest and most effective choices in health care. They are almost free of side effects, they are easy to take, they are relatively inexpensive, and they usually enhance many life functions besides the specific condition for which they are being given. Following is an example of how nutritionally oriented physicians might use supplements as part of the treatment for a specific health problem. This is a suggestion that is supported in the medical literature and in the experience of many physicians.
Remember this is an example, not a prescription for you, and the supplement list is in addition to many other health practices. Other supplements may be helpful, and you may not need all of these to get results. For more information on any one supplement, look for its description in Dietary Supplements. No one program is appropriate for everybody, but these suggestions are good starting points from which individual programs can be modified.
Prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH) is a common affliction in men as they age. The prostate gland sits beneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra, the outflow channel for urine. Symptoms of enlargement include difficulty starting or stopping urination, frequent urination, urination at night, slow urine flow and a frequent sense of urgency to urinate. Surgery to remove some of the prostate tissue is commonly performed if the symptoms become severe enough.
There are many healthy approaches to managing prostate enlargement. If the symptoms are not severe, there is no risk from trying the alternatives to surgery. The new medication for BPH, finasteride or Proscar®, is not as effective as the herbs and other dietary supplements, and it has potential side effects. Adding pumpkin seeds to your diet is claimed to be helpful by many patients. They contain zinc and essential fatty acids that may help the condition. The following program of supplements is what I recommend for management of prostate problems:
|Basic Multiple Formula||3||3|
|Vitamin C 1000 mg||3||3|
|Magnesium aspartate 200 mg||1||1|
|GLA 240 mg (from borage oil)||1|
|Vitamin E 400 IU natural mixed||1||1|
|Saw palmetto standardized 160 mg||1||1|
|Pygeum africanum 25 mg||1||1|
|Nettle (Urtica dioica) standardized 125 mg||1||1|
|Zinc 50 mg||1|