Every Nutrient
    The Pros and Cons of Saw Palmetto

    The Pros and Cons of Saw Palmetto

    As men get older, the prostate will probably begin to get too large. Symptoms of this include an urgent need to urinate, waking up in the middle of the night (often more than once) to go, and a weak stream. It may also feel like you haven’t completely emptied the bladder, and the flow may start and stop.

    This is an uncomfortable problem, but not life threatening. In fact, it has nothing to do with the formation, risk or likelihood of developing prostate cancer, a much bigger problem.

    In the last decade, doctors have been telling male patients to take saw palmetto supplements to help fend off BPG, and it may be very effective. Men using it report that they have fewer problems. The body responds like it used to, and it’s a great relief.

    Why would there be any cons to such a wonderful situation? It could be deadly. While there is no relationship between benign prostate hyperplasia and prostate cancer, there is a risk involving prostate cancer and the use of saw palmetto.

    Many doctors now use a special blood test as a means of diagnosis. The test is called PSA (prostate specific antigen), and it can detect cancer early in men who are asymptomatic or help to confirm cancer in men who have symptoms. This can be a lifesaving test.

    If a man is taking saw palmetto, two important things will be a problem. First, the herb will mask any symptoms a man might have to warn of the problem. These symptoms can include blood in both urine and semen, pain in the pelvis and swelling in the upper legs.

    What’s more dangerous is the masking of the PSA test. It is very likely that this test will be skewed at least somewhat if the patient is taking saw palmetto.

    This does not necessarily mean that you should avoid the herb. What you should do is talk to your doctor about it. If the herb is stopped for a certain amount of time before the blood tests, the doctor can safely check for cancer. Therefore, it is very important that you tell the doc before your pre-checkup blood tests.

    Saw palmetto is not a miracle herb, but it can make you more comfortable without recourse to medications. Handling it properly is the key to safe usage.

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