The spermatic cord consists of nerves, arteries, veins, lymphatic vessels and the duct whose function is to carry the sperm from the testes to the seminal vesicles. Blood may not circulate from the testicles properly due to the defective valves that regulate the blood flow and it results in swollen veins behind and above the testicles.
This condition is called the varicocele. In most cases varicocele occurs in the left testicle, but it can also affect the right one. It is believed that the superior mesenteric artery and the aorta can compress the left renal vein which ultimately results in the formation of a varicocele. The right spermatic vein has a more direct drainage and that is why it develops varicocele less frequently. This condition also increases the testicular temperature by a few degrees because of the altered heat transfer.
Heat has a negative effect on testicles because it decreases the production of sperm and may even lead to infertility. Varicocele usually occurs during puberty but if it occurs in older men it may be an indicator of a retroperitoneal tumor that blocks the spermatic vein. Men who suffer from primary or secondary infertility usually suffer from varicocele as well.
Naturopathic treatment for varicocele should include a carefully planned diet that avoids sugar, processed foods and white flour products and emphasizes the ingestion of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The patient basically needs more fiber because they provide a normal digestive tract functioning. If one does not ingest enough fiber it may constipation which puts pressure on the bowel veins and pelvic floor. One should also eat more food that is rich in flavonoids because it strengthens the structural integrity of blood vessels, among many other things.
One should concentrate on eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish, essential fatty acids, flax seed oil, fish oil, nuts and olive oil. Organically raised food should be preferred. Drinking plenty of fresh water is also highly recommended. One should avoid junk foods, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, fast foods, animal fats, margarine, processed foods, hydrogenated oils and white flour products. Supplemental nutrition should consist of bioflavonoids, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc.
Various herbal remedies can also be used for the treatment of varicocele but one should be careful and always used standardized extract formulas whose quality is at the top level. The herbs that can be used include butcher’s broom, bilberry and horse chestnut. Kegel exercises can also be very beneficial.