Truck drivers face an increased risk of prostate problems due to the many hours they spend driving. The reasons for this are the long periods of time they spend in a seated position as well as the pressure from automotive vibrations. Truck drivers sit for several hours each day they are behind the wheel. This prolonged sitting puts pressure on the prostate gland and can cause pain and discomfort. This is because sitting for long periods of time can actually cut off circulation to the prostate, bladder and uretha which can cause pain and discomfort.
The prostate gland is part of a man’s reproductive system and has an important role in the male reproductive system. The prostate gland is the size of a walnut. It is located in front of the rectum just below the bladder which stores urine. The prostate gland wraps around a tube (the urethra) that carries urine from the bladder out through the tip of the penis. The primary function of the prostate gland is to secrete a slightly alkaline fluid which forms part of the seminal fluid. This is the milky fluid which carries the sperm. During a man’s orgasm (sexual climax), the muscular glands of the prostate squeeze the prostate’s fluid into the urethra. Sperm, which is made in the testicles, also go into the urethra during orgasm. This milky fluid carries the sperm through the penis during orgasm.
Prostate Problems are common in men after the age of 45. At the age of 45 the prostate gland begins to enlarge. An enlarged prostate is a non-cancerous condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia ((BPH). In BPH the enlarged prostate squeezes the urethra, which slows or stops the flow of urine, making it difficult for men to urinate. The majority of men over the age of 45 have an increased risk of prostate enlargement, although they may not have any symptoms at this time. However, it is estimated that by the age of 60 as many as 80% of men actually have some degree of urinary problems due to an enlarged prostate gland. An estimate of 35% of men will have undergone surgery to relieve BPH symptoms by the age of 80. A standard approach for BPH patients who have mild symptoms is watchful waiting.
Symptoms of prostate enlargement include:
1. Frequent urination
2. Urinary urgency
3. Straining to urinate
4. Difficulty starting
5. Incomplete emptying of the bladder
6. Inability to urinate at all
7. A weak urine stream
8. Terminal Dripping
9. Lower back pain
11. chronic pelvic pain syndrome
12. A sensation that the bladder has not completely emptied
Your physician can perform a physical exam which may include a digital rectal exam (DRE). This is relatively simple test to check the prostate which involves the physician inserting a lubed finger into the rectum to feel for prostate abnormalities. Your physician may also do additional screenings and discuss various treatment options with you if prostate cancer is found. Prostate cancer treatments include surgery which involves the removal of the prostate gland or radiation therapy.
Truck drivers typically have terrible eating habits. It is crucial for all men to maintain a healthy prostate for as long as they can. One way is for them to eat foods and consume herbs which positively affect prostate health. This includes increasing their intake of fresh fruits and vegetables which are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Foods with a high lycopene content are very important. This includes tomatoes, grapefruits and red peppers. Vegetables should include cruciferous varieties such as broccoli, cabbage and kale.
Exercise is very important in maintain a healthy prostate. Far too many truck drivers fail to exercise on a regular basis. A sedentary lifestyle creates congestion and stagnation in the prostate which is why it is so important to exercise regularly. It is easy to keep a few pieces of portable exercise equipment in the truck for convenience. Exercise increases the circulation in the body which brings fresh blood and oxygen into the region of the prostate. So for all of you drivers who put off exercising or find excuses to avoid it, think of the good it can do for the health of your prostate gland. Make a committment to include exercise as part of your daily activities.