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There are chemicals that can cause prostatitis and wreak havoc on men’s health, and if you know what these toxins in your environment are you can learn to avoid them. Some chemicals simply make prostatitis symptoms worse, but others have a greater impact your overall prostate health, contributing to enlarged prostate or even prostate cancer. Some of these chemicals in our homes are considered endocrine disruptors, which can affect a man’s testosterone production and hormonal balance.
Overall, it is best to avoid anything that causes inflammation and irritation. Some irritants come from our food and drink. For example, both alcohol and caffeine are irritants that have a diuretic effect, which can make prostatitis urinary symptoms worse. Others substances come from common household products, plastics, and grease-resistant food wrappers.
Chemicals That Can Cause Prostatitis — BPA
Could your lycopene-rich processed tomatoes be loaded with chemicals that can cause prostatitis and other prostate and health problems? While tomatoes can be a good food for prostate health, canned tomatoes can be a problem because the cans are lined with bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical that is linked with several negative health issues for men including erectile dysfunction, testicular cancer, prostate cancer, and endocrine and neurological problems. Because tomatoes are so acidic, the BPA leaches into the food. Instead, look for tomatoes and other foods that are packed in glass or BPA-free packaging. You can also avoid BPA by steering away from certain plastic products and some reusable water bottles.
The FDA has recently banned triclosan that for many years has been found in our antibacterial soaps and healthcare products, citing that they do more harm than good. You may still have a number of these products around the house for some time, so check your toiletries, which may be contributing your prostatitis symptoms. Triclosan (along with its cousin triclocarban) has been one of the most common culprits found in some toothpaste and antibacterial soaps and sanitizers (as well as other products). Studies have linked this endocrine disruptor to a variety of health problems including antibiotic resistance. There are anecdotal reports of triclosan causing prostatitis symptoms for some men. Read product labels to be sure. If triclosan is causing your symptoms, simply eliminating it from your home can help bring relief to your symptoms.
Phthalates are other endocrine disruptors that belong to a class of chemicals that are used as softeners in polyvinyl chloride products. They are found in shampoos, lotions, plastic food storage containers, plastic wrap, and vinyl flooring. Phthalates disrupt an enzyme in the body needed to make testosterone. Avoid microwaving foods in plastic because the chemicals in plastic can leach into the food.
Pesticides and Hormones
You can limit pesticide exposure by buying organic produce, especially for fruits and vegetables that often have the highest amount of pesticide residue such as
- sweet bell peppers,
- hot peppers,
- cherry tomatoes, and
- kale/collard greens.
When shopping, buy organic dairy products, which are free from growth hormones and antibiotics.
It is best to avoid foods cooked in oils that are heated to high temperatures. These include fried foods like French fries, potato chips, and meats. These foods have a negative effect on your overall health and can increase risk for prostate cancer.
Ordering rare is better than well done when it comes to prostate health. Charred meat contains some cancer-causing substances that are detrimental to prostate health. It is also best to avoid processed meats such as certain lunchmeats and bacon. Your prostate health and heart health will both benefit from including more plant-based sources of protein into your diet and reducing the amount of meat—especially red meat—that you eat.
Other Foods to Avoid
There are a number of foods to avoid for prostatitis because they seem to trigger symptoms. Processed foods tend to be high in genetically modified foods, artificial sweeteners, artificial dyes, and other additives, so try to dodge those foods. Many men find that trying a wheat-free diet or another elimination diet helps to relieve prostatitis symptoms and reduce the amount of inflammation in their body as well. Aim for whole foods that are not exposed to hormones, pesticides, and other chemicals.
There may not be one definite chemical that causes your prostatitis symptoms. Overall look for a cleaner living from all of these substances to avoid. While it is possible that your triclosan-based soap was a culprit, it’s more likely that many different things in you environment and diet have all been contributing to your prostatitis symptoms. As part of a whole-body health approach to treating prostatitis, try eliminating the plastics, endocrine disruptors, and processed foods from your home. Consider switching over to organic, hormone-free options. Because many prostatitis cases stem from issues in the body that are unrelated to the prostate itself, you may find that when you clean up your diet and lifestyle and eliminate sources of inflammation, you’ll notice an improvement in your prostatitis symptoms and complete health as well.