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  1. #1
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    Prostatitis. Any Success Stories?

    Hi there. Ok full disclosure, I'm only 36, but I thought you guys would be the guys to talk to about this.

    My story. I've been riding/racing for 23 years. For 10 of those I was pretty much full time, either as a high end amateur or low(est) end pro...depending on year/team. I stopped racing in 2007 but since then I've still ridden more than fifteen thousand km a year. This past March I've started dealing with prostatitis (non-bacterial). The culprit may have been the combination of using a rock hard Flite TT as my only saddle (I had 3 of them!) and sitting on the floor at home all the time (I dunno why...just where I have always sat). The saddle was too wide for me and so I always sat forward on it.

    So, here I am. I've had to cut out caffeine, riding, spicy foods, citrus, tomatoes, running, skiing, roller-skiing, weight-lifting. The only thing I haven't cut out is sex. Thank lord. It's 3 1/2 months in and it's better....but feels like I'm just managing it. I'm struggling with the massive change in lifestyle that I've had to endure. The only thing saving me is an awesome wife who's 100% supportive.

    I've bought a selle smp, but never sat on it...too scared. I just want my life back...even if I can't ride again...it would be nice to stay in shape somehow.

    Who has gone through this and seen the other side? Any experiences to help?

    Oh, and as an aside...I'm cool with recumbent riders...just not recumbents...no offense to any recumbent riders out there, I think it's great you're riding, whatever it's on.

  2. #2
    Retired dabbler hobkirk's Avatar
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    My first post on a bike forum and it's about my prostate! Life is just full or irony.

    Prostatitus sucked! It was impossible to do many, many things. At times I'd have to find a place to pee with tremendous urgency within 30 minutes of peeing. Getting up less than 4 times a night was good. I am 64, had had a high PSA test at my last physical, so I was glad it turned out be be just bacterial prostatitus was bacterial. The urologist screwed up and only gave me one weeks scrip, but after a return visit with the prostatitus back he gave the correct scrip. It took awhile for all the symptoms to abate, but it sure changed my perspective on things. I was considering having my prostate removed before the symptoms fully abated, and that's with a warning that removal might not cure the problem!

    36 - why I still had over 20 years of running left in my knees at that age! I'm getting into biking and a gym because I've steadily ballooned without a huge calorie consuming activity. I think know exactly the significance of your phrase "getting your life back." Good luck.

  3. #3
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    You guys have scared me. I have mild BPA that I treat with Avodart and have assumed it will get worse over the years (I'm about to hit 62). But, other than a couple of nightly wake ups) it doesn't interfere with anything. What is all this stuff about no riding,skiing, etc? Does it get painful? Or are we talking about the unfortunate effects of pressure and jolting on an un-emptied bladder?
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

  4. #4
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I got rid of the only saddle which irritated my prostate -- a narrow padded Marin. I have the best luck with either traditional tensioned leather or a Serfas ARC, which has an indentation where some other modern saddles have a notch or cutout. I take Saw Palmetto daily, and it has evidently terminated my brief bout with BPH symptoms.

    Why give up tomatoes? The lycopenes they contain are very prostate-friendly -- tomatoes and pink grapefruit are in integral part of my diet, which aims to reduce the odds of getting prostate cancer.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  5. #5
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    Well, any physical activity seems to make it worse right now...don't know why. I was told nothing acidic in terms of foods...though to be honest I haven't found they're a problem. Coffee certainly is...ow. I take Saw Palmetto...hasn't done much of anything for me yet, but I know these things take time.

    Anyone out there had this and come back to ride?

  6. #6
    Senior Member TomT74's Avatar
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    ^^^
    yep. But, I did ride recumbent for awhile and still have one bent. I'm riding a Serfas Rx on a tourer with bars at seat height and no problems now.

  7. #7
    Crispy Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Man, I feel your pain.

    I had a bout of bacterial prostatitis a few years back and found it was the perfect thing to wish on your worst enemy.

    I'll have a balky prostate every so often now but when I've had my WBC checked it's not elevated and it doesn't seem to be related to my riding, thank goodness. Clears up after a few days and I'm good.

    May be related to a decline in sexual activity but maybe not.

    When I visited a physician for my initial episode I asked if there was anything I could do to avoid a repeat occurrence. He suggested that I ejaculate more often. I asked for that in the form of a prescription but he declined. My wife suggested I talk to the hand.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  8. #8
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    I had this problem when I was 59. Went to my urologist a guy I have known for years. He put me on 3 advils 3 times a day for two weeks. Also ejaculate at least once a day. My problem was I really couldnt pee and had to strain and felt like I always had to go. After about 48 hours things were looking good. Went back for a follow up after two weeks and got checked again. Thing were back to normal. Whenever I fell something like it comming on I reach for
    the advill for about a day or so. Seems to work for me.
    One other thing. I actually get off the bike more often or I stand up on the pedals.
    There were NO restrictions on eating. I could eat what I wanted.

  9. #9
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    I was also about 36 when I had my first bout with prostatitis. Like you I had been riding over 20 years. I entered my first race when I was 13, raced off and on until I was 20, then got into mountain biking, and later a mix of road, mountain, and touring. My mileage isn't as high as it used to be, so by 36 I was carrying a bit of a spare tire but overall ate healthy food and stayed active. I'm 39 now and still active, but it would be good to lose ten or fifteen pounds (working on it). I pretty much always used racing saddles...a Flite was my longest used saddle (even on my mountain bikes I rode narrow saddles) and in later years Brooks B17. The effect of the saddle of open to much debate, but of course most saddles put pressure on the perineum, which could affect blood flow down there. My regular doctor, and my brother who is a doctor and a cyclist, do not think the saddle has anything to do with it. They both see patients with similar symptoms who are not cyclists. The specialist I saw did advise switching to a cut-out, but for comfort reasons more than anything else. I tried a conventional cutout saddle and switched back to the Brooks after a single ride! It was my fault though...I knew I was buying a saddle that was too wide and too padded. I may try a Brooks Imperial. The Brooks B17 is totally comfortable most of the time, but when I have a flare up that feels like sitting on a golf ball a cut-out saddle would be nice.

    I did not cut out caffeine, alcohol spicy foods, citrus, tomatoes, etc. I probably drink two cups of coffee a day (three some days), and most days I will have a beer or a glass of wine with dinner. My doctor did not think diet had much effect, but again this is one of those areas open to debate since the evidence isn't absolutely clear. If my symptoms had gotten worse, or not gotten better, I probably would have started to cut things out of my diet just to try something. I have read about using saw palmetto on some sites, as well as cutting out spicy or acidic foods, alcohol, and caffeine; but these are all things I enjoy so much! And everything I've read says that sex, or at least regular ejaculations, is supposed to be excellent treatment for prostatitis!

    Since 2006 I have had flare ups usually in late Winter to early Spring. Flare ups have happened during periods when I haven't been riding at all. Neither my doctor or the urologist wanted to give me a PSA test. They said they don't like to give those to guys in the 30s and that the test results would not change their opinions as to how I should be treated - which is basically to not treat it. My regular doctor, as well as my previous doctor, put me on long courses of antibiotics when my symptoms were at their worst. I hated taking lots of antibiotics, and when I finally saw a urologist he agreed that I should not be treating it with antibiotics. He also advised Advil if symptoms got bad, but said to call my doctor if things get really bad. His advice was to take care of myself by staying in shape, eating well, getting enough sleep, and managing stress.

    One thing that has helped me has been to keep a diary of symptoms. I don't think my prostate will every be a normal size again (the urologist agreed), but most of the time I barely notice any symptoms like more frequent urination, the sensation of sitting on a golf ball, pain with urination, etc. Those types of symptoms come and go...sometimes lasting a single day to a few days. If they last more than a week they tend to get worse. When I do have symptoms, I log them into an iPhone app with notes about how I otherwise feel, what I ate, how much I slept, stress, levels, if I've been riding, etc. Based on doing that for a couple of years it seems like my flare ups happen more frequently when I am less active and too overweight (my ideal weight is around 175, but I usually range between 185 and 195). Once I get to be 20 pounds overweight, all kinds of problems happen. If I keep it down I tend to feel better and have fewer flare ups. Is it weight or the fact that I'm more active and in better shape when I'm closer to my ideal weight? I don't know... but it just keeps driving me back to one comforting fact: Cycling is not part of the problem. It is part of the solution. I put in more mileage between the months of June and November, and those are the months I tend to go the longest in between symptoms.

    The urologist also suggested I make sure I stay well hydrated. My symptoms have always been worse in the morning, so the first thing I do when I get out of bed is to drink a tall glass of water. I try to stay hydrated throughout the day. When I am having symptoms this seems to really help.

    It has been about a year since my last really bad bout with symptoms. I have days every now and then when it feels like I'm sitting on a golf ball, and I may notice a slight increase in the number of bathroom visits, but I can live comfortably with that. I'm just hoping it doesn't get more acute and more frequent as I get older. Just one more reason I need to keep exercising and keep my weight down.

    Forgot to add that last year I was also treated during a major bout with Doxazosin (Cardura I believe). I'm not sure why he prescribed that instead of Flomax, but the idea was to improve blood flow to the prostate. Not sure if it helped much, but he did not want me to continue after it got better.
    Last edited by sean000; 06-08-10 at 11:05 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailDogger View Post
    I had this problem when I was 59. Went to my urologist a guy I have known for years. He put me on 3 advils 3 times a day for two weeks. Also ejaculate at least once a day.
    Best prescription ever ;-)

  11. #11
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    Ah, where to start.

    Developed it in the winter of 2000, after 10 seasons of lots of mileage. Never once worried about the saddle, rode everything including a rock hard plastic seat once. Had Prostatitis on/off for 6 mos, it would get better, I'd ride then it would flare up again. Did the antibiotic route, had sonograms done (all negative), just a simple and resistant case of prostatitis.

    Finally bought a Bent, ride that for 1-1/2 or so, then tried Brooks saddles, which worked. Rode those for 6 years, before getting tired of the saddle sores, then - while riding a newly purchased Chinese carbon road bike, found the Selle San Marco (Ponza Lux) saddle to be a very comfortable saddle. Go figure. I rode that all last summer, the most comfortable saddle I've had in a decade, and no saddle sores at the chamois seam, like with the Brooks. Brought 3 more Ponza'a from Nashbar and ride them all the time, no problems.

    I take Saw Palmetto for prostate health, get checked once per year and have had no issues. I believe now that my problem was a long healing time to get over the infection, combined with wanting to get back on the bike, combined with a bad saddle - which was a Specialized Body Geometry (old style).

    Bottom line on saddles is they're cheap enough to allow you to buy others to try out. Buy mail order as the LBS's rarely let you return a used saddle. Keep at it till you find something comfortable.

    SB

  12. #12
    Senior Member gpelpel's Avatar
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    My first bout was in 2005 after a very hilly century (10,000 feet of climbing). The issue was treated with antibiotics but it too me three weeks to realize I had to seek doctor's help. The condition came back a year later after the same ride. I finally concluded I had to change my saddle. At the time I had a saddle that fitted me very well, I thought, the San Marco Rever. It was wider than most but very thin at the front, that's what irritated the prostate as I spent too much of the day at the front of the saddle.
    I switched to a Max Flyte with the central cutout and later to a Toupe 155 also with the cutout. I rode hilly centuries, the Death Ride a couple of times and never had any prostate issue anymore.
    Well... up until last march when I attended a double century. The course was flattish so I set aerobars on the bike. Bad choice as spending quite a lot of time at the front of the saddle cause the prostatitis symptoms to arrive the day after the ride. I tried the new Romin SL at another double last month, it has the cutout all the way to the front and seemed to work except that it is as hard as a rock.
    I rode another double last Saturday on the Toupe, tipped down a bit, so far so good. At the start of the ride I talked to a guy who seemed pleased with his SMP Pro. He started using it because of prostate issues.
    So my experience tend to push me to look for a saddle with a cutout going all the way to the front, and a front that is not too narrow. The saddles also seem to work better when their profile is flattish. I wish Specialized had a little bit more padding on the Romin SL as they have on the Toupe.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Loose Chain's Avatar
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    I don't have any issues but I also have found that at least for me the Specialized BG Avatar simply does not hurt.

  14. #14
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    Don't worry hairy, you're among friends here.

    For whatever it's worth, I ride on a Terry Men's Liberator. Damn nice saddle. But, I'm not a competitor, nor am I training for anything. Thus, I ride in a more upright position.

    I have had the dreaded UTI twice. Easily treated with a regimen of prescription antibiotic, so I have an idea of your discomfort level.

    The scariest part of your post: You had to give up tomatoes???? Yahhh! Come August, I love native, they-don't-taste-like-tennisballs tomatoes!
    "The People will believe what the Media tells them they believe". George Orwell.

  15. #15
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    Luck for me I never experianced any problems like this so can't coment on that.

    But just wanted to X2 the Terry saddle. We just started riding the rail trail this spring. I picked up a used cypress with the stock saddle. I was experianceing numbness in the private area and a sore butt no matter how I adjusted it. Put a Terry Liberator Y Pro Gel on and that is all gone. It does everything they claim on thier website. It's very firm with just a thin gel layer for the sit bones. I feel I could go all day on it and the cypress is a very upright position.

  16. #16
    Old Fogy
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    Never had any prostate trouble, but after reading this thread, I have a really good idea of what I plan to do to prevent it! At least once a day, huh?

  17. #17
    stringbreaker stringbreaker's Avatar
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    I had it for the first time last year, I'll be 57 next week. doc told me its difficult to treat because the antibiotics have to be really strong. He gave the the meds and told me to drink a lot and I mean a lot of water till the symptoms eased. I says but doc I can't pee now what about all that water and he told me it would help. He was right the water made me go more initially and helped improve the flow as the meds did their trick to eliminate the infection, mine was actually a combination of bladder and prostatitis so the double whammy was really fun. I haven't had a bad flare up since but I try to drink lot of water so that helps I think too. I ride a Brooks B-17 and I usually ride two or three days and then off a day or so until I work up my stamina in the spring after not commuting much in the winter.
    (Life is too short to play crappy guitars) 2006 Raleigh Cadent 3.0, 1977 Schwinn Volare, 2010 Windsor tourist. ( I didn't fall , I attacked the floor)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by underdog View Post
    Luck for me I never experianced any problems like this so can't coment on that.

    But just wanted to X2 the Terry saddle. We just started riding the rail trail this spring. I picked up a used cypress with the stock saddle. I was experianceing numbness in the private area and a sore butt no matter how I adjusted it. Put a Terry Liberator Y Pro Gel on and that is all gone. It does everything they claim on thier website. It's very firm with just a thin gel layer for the sit bones. I feel I could go all day on it and the cypress is a very upright position.
    The right saddle *for you* is the ticket. For me it was a Brooks B17 modded, cut out added by Selle Anatomica. Brooks makes the Imperial.

    http://www.brookssaddles.com/en/Shop...d=B17+Imperial
    Last edited by FloridaBoy; 06-10-10 at 07:09 AM.

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