Archive for March, 2012

Low Testosterone Affects More Than Your Libido

March 30, 2012

It has been accepted that testosterone is responsible for a man’s libido or sex drive. However, we have now discovered that testosterone is responsible for far more than a man’s libido.
Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and high blood pressure have all been linked to testosterone deficiency. Low testosterone isn’t known to cause these health problems, and replacing testosterone isn’t the cure. Still, the associations between low testosterone and other medical conditions are interesting and worth a look.
Does Low Testosterone Indicate Poor Health?
In recent years, researchers have noticed general links between low testosterone and other medical conditions including obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.
Diabetes and Low Testosterone
A link between diabetes and low testosterone is well established. Men with diabetes are more likely to have low testosterone. And men with low testosterone are more likely to later develop diabetes. Short-term studies show testosterone replacement may improve blood sugar levels and obesity in men with low testosterone.
Obesity and Low Testosterone
Obesity and low testosterone are tightly linked. Obese men are more likely to have low testosterone. Men with very low testosterone are also more likely to become obese.
Losing weight through exercise can increase testosterone levels. Testosterone supplements in men with low testosterone can also reduce obesity slightly.
Testosterone and Heart Disease
Testosterone has mixed effects on the arteries. Many experts believe testosterone contributes to the higher rates of heart disease and high blood pressure that tend to affect men at younger ages. Testosterone deficiency is connected to insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes. Each of these problems increases cardiovascular risk. Men with diabetes and low testosterone also have higher rates of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
Testosterone and Other Conditions
Low testosterone often exists with other medical conditions including depression and erectile dysfunction.
For men with low testosterone levels as measured by a blood test who also have symptoms of low testosterone, such as decreased libido, loss of muscle mass, lethargy, and falling asleep after meals, the decision to take testosterone replacement is one to make with your doctor.

Bottom Line: Testosterone is the male hormone produced in the testicles and is responsible for a man’s overall health. Deficiency can lead to many life threatening disorders that can be treated with hormone replacement therapy.

Important Discovery-The Elusive G- Spot Has Been Found

March 24, 2012

I attended a urology\gynecology convention in Las Vegas and I saw an exhibit by Intimina. They have a number of products but the one that caught my eye was a personal massager. There are three sizes of these hand-held massagers. One is palm-sized to a medium sized and finally a larger one with a gentle curve and flat tip that is targeted to the top of the vagina which is the vicinity of elusive G-spot.

These vibrators have multiple control buttons which allow you to switch between 6 levels of vibration patterns and 16 different speeds. The power is supplied by AAA batteries.

These massagers are made of non-irritating silicone and are waterproof which can be washed after use with gentle soap and water. Each massager includes a hygienic storage pouch with a one-year warranty.

For more information on the Intimina personal massager go to their website, http://www.intimina.com

Women, Want to Have An Orgasm? Start Your Exercise Engines

March 19, 2012

Most women think that sex is the only way to achieve an orgasm. An orgasm can occur with a partner or alone using self-stimulation or masturbation. Sex may not always be essential for orgasm: A new survey finds that some women can also experience the sensation while exercising. This study was published in a recent issue of the Journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy.

This type of orgasm is sometimes referred to as a “coregasm” because of its association with exercises that involve core abdominal muscles.
The most common exercises associated with exercise-induced orgasm were abdominal exercises, climbing poles or ropes, biking/spinning and weight lifting. This new study is interesting because it suggests that orgasm is not necessarily a sexual event, and we can learn from the study about the bodily processes underlying women’s experiences of orgasm.
The mechanisms behind exercise-induced orgasms and exercise-induced sexual pleasure remain unclear, but the researchers hope to learn more about the triggers for both experiences.
Bottom Line: Sex can be enjoyable activity between couples or even alone. New research indicates that sex and even orgasm can be achieved with exercise. So women if you are looking for another reason to sweat to the oldies, now you have another one!

Get Your Blood Pressure Taken in BOTH Arms-Could Save Your Life

March 18, 2012

Patients commonly get their blood pressure taken in only one arm. However, there has been a finding that there is may be a disparity between your right and left arm. People whose systolic blood pressure — the upper number in their reading — is different in their left and right arms may be suffering from a vascular disease that could increase their risk of death.
The arteries under the collarbone supply blood to the arms, legs and brain. Blockage can lead to stroke and other problems. That’s why the blood pressure should be taken in both arms should be routine.
The arteries that run under the collarbone can get blocked, especially in smokers and diabetics. If one artery is more blocked than the other, then there is a difference in blood pressure in the arms.
Doctors should, for adults — especially adult smokers and diabetics — check the blood pressure in both arms. If there is a difference it should be looked into further.
A report in the prestigious British Medical Journal, Lancet, found that a difference of 15 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or more between readings was linked with an increased risk of narrowing or hardening of the arteries supplying the lower limbs, called peripheral vascular disease.
The difference in blood pressure was also associated with a 70 percent increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and a 60 percent increased risk of death from any cause.
Finding peripheral vascular disease early and treating it by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol as well as giving up smoking can help reduce the risk of death.
Bottom Line: Next time you visit your doctor and have your blood pressure taken, request that the doctor or nurse measure your blood pressure in BOTH arms. It could save your life.

When Every Day Is A Bad Hair Day- Hair Loss In Women

March 10, 2012

It’s not just men who suffer from hair loss. As a matter of fact 40% of all people who suffer from the loss of their hair are women. It is certainly age related and with increasing age the likelihood of hair loss increases as 60% of women older than 70 are affected. You are not alone; female pattern baldness affects about 30 million American women. However, unlike men, women rarely develop a receding front hairline. This article will discuss the causes of hair loss in women and what treatment options are available.

For most women, hair is far more than a bundle of fiber; it’s an expression of style and personality. Research also suggests hair and self-image are closely intertwined. If an occasional “bad hair day” can make a woman feel low, hair loss can be a distressing sight to face every morning in the mirror.

The average scalp has 100,000 hairs. Each follicle produces a single hair that grows at a rate of half an inch per month. After growing for two to six years, the hair rests for awhile before falling out. It is soon replaced with a new hair, and the cycle begins again. At any given time, 85% of the hair is growing, and the remainder is resting or waiting to fall out.

Because resting hairs routinely fall out, most people shed about 50-100 strands every day. You’ll typically find a few in your hairbrush or on your clothes. Abnormal hair loss can occur in several ways. You may notice dramatic clumps falling out when you brush or shampoo. Or the hair may thin slowly over time. The first sign of hair loss that most women notice is often widening of their part or that their ponytail is smaller.
Hair loss in women can be triggered by about 30 different medical conditions, as well as several lifestyle factors. Sometimes no specific cause can be found. As a starting point, hair loss experts recommend testing for thyroid problems and hormone imbalances. In many cases, hair will grow back once the cause is addressed.

Causes of hair loss in women
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the front of the neck. It produces hormones that regulate many processes throughout the body. If the gland makes too much or too little thyroid hormone, the hair growth cycle may falter and hair loss may occur.

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have a chronic hormonal imbalance. The body makes higher levels of androgens than expected. This often causes extra hair to sprout on the face and body, while the hair on the scalp grows thinner. PCOS can also lead to ovulation problems and infertility, acne, and weight gain.

Alopecia areata causes the hair to fall out in upsetting and shocking patches. The culprit is the body’s own immune system, which mistakenly attacks healthy hair follicles. In most cases, the damage is not permanent. The missing patches usually grow back in six months to a year.

When ringworm, a fungus, affects the scalp, the fungus triggers a distinct pattern of hair loss — itchy, round bald patches. Bald areas can appear scaly and red. Ringworm of the scalp is treated with antifungal medication. The fungus is easily spread by direct contact, so family members should be checked for symptoms, too.

Some women may notice their hair seems fuller during pregnancy. That’s thanks to high levels of hormones that keep resting hairs from falling out as they normally would. Alas, the reprieve is short-lived. After childbirth, when hormone levels return to normal, those strands fall out quickly. This can mean a surprising amount of hair loss at one time. It may take up to two years for the hair to return to normal.

A little known side effect of birth control pills is the potential for hair loss. The hormones that suppress ovulation can cause the hair to thin in some women, particularly those with a family history of hair loss. Sometimes hair loss begins when you stop taking the pill. Other drugs linked to hair loss include blood thinners and medicines that treat high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, and depression.

You may lose more than weight with a crash diet. People may notice hair loss 3-6 months after losing more than 15 pounds, but hair should regrow on its own with a healthy diet. Be prepared to shed some locks if your diet is very low in protein or too high in vitamin A.

It’s no myth: wearing cornrows or tight ponytails can irritate the scalp and cause hair to fall out. The same is true of using tight rollers. Let your hair down, and it should grow back normally. Be aware that long-term use of these styles can cause scarring of the scalp and permanent hair loss. So if you have those tight cornrows on your head, you may be choking off the blood supply to the hair follicle resulting in hair loss. Leave the cornrows in the farmer’s field and not on your head.

Hair loss is an infamous side effect of two cancer treatments, chemo and radiation therapy. In their quest to kill cancer cells, both treatments can harm the hair follicles, triggering dramatic hair loss. But the damage is almost always short-lived. Once the therapy is finished, the hair usually grows back.

Extreme physical or emotional stress can cause a sudden shedding of one-half to three-quarters of the hair on your head. Examples include:
Serious illness or major surgery
Trauma involving blood loss
Severe emotional trauma
The shedding may last six to eight months.

Treatment options for hair loss
Minoxidil (Rogaine) is approved by the FDA for female pattern hair loss. It can slow or stop hair loss in most women and may help hair grow back in up to a quarter of those who use it. You have to be patient, as noticeable results usually take three to four months and the product must be used twice a day. The benefits are lost when you stop using it. For women with alopecia areata, corticosteroids can help regrow hair. And if you have an underlying medical problem or a nutritional deficiency, hair usually grows back on its own once that condition is under control.
Devices that emit low-energy laser light may stimulate hair growth to help fight thinning hair. They’re available in some clinics and as hand-held devices to use at home. At least one device has gained FDA approval for both men and women, based on a small study that showed effectiveness in at least some of those who tested it. It took 2-4 months to see the results. The FDA does not require the same rigorous testing for devices as for medicines. The long-term safety and effectiveness are unknown.

Hair transplants involves moving hair to thinning scalp areas from donor sites. The trouble is, female pattern baldness causes thin hair all over, so good donor sites may be limited. The exceptions are women with male pattern baldness or hair loss caused by scarring. There are several doctors in the New Orleans area that perform hair transplants in women.

A quick Internet search will turn up dozens of products intended to stop hair loss or regrow hair. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know whether before and after pictures have been doctored. To evaluate a hair-loss treatment, consumers can check with:
A dermatologist (MD)
The FDA medical devices division
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

When all else fails, you may consider a weave, a hairpiece, a scarf, or a hat to cover bald spots. Good quality wigs are more comfortable than ever — and they rarely have bad hair days. If hair loss interferes with your job or social life or makes you reluctant to leave the house, think about talking with a counselor.

Bottom Line: Women are not immune to hair loss and the psychological impact for women is just as devastating as it is for men. Most women with hair loss can be helped and many can be cured. See your doctor or your dermatologist.

This article was modified from an article posted in WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hair-loss/ss/slideshow-womens-hair-loss

Supplement Pills For Your Prostate-Probably Not Effective

March 6, 2012

Saw palmetto fruit extracts are widely used to treat lower urinary tract symptoms attributed to benign enlargement of the prostate gland. However, a new study shows that these extracts are no better than placebo at easing symptoms.
The findings were reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2011;306:1344-1351).
In the study, men were randomly assigned to receive a daily dose of saw palmetto extract, beginning 320 mg, or matching placebo. After 24 weeks, the saw palmetto dosage was increased to 640 mg per day. After another 24 week, it was increased to 960 mg per day, which is triple the standard dose. After 48 weeks there was no significant difference between placebo and saw palmetto supplements.
“Now we know that even very high doses of saw palmetto make absolutely no difference,” said study co-investigator Gerald Andriole, MD, Chief of Urologic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Bottom Line: Saw palmetto is probably not effective in treating or preventing prostate gland enlargement.

A Little Dab Will Do Ya-Testosterone Replacement Therapy For The Treatment of Decreased Sex Drive

March 1, 2012

I see dozens of men every week with testosterone deficiency.  Testosterone is the hormone produced in the testicles that is responsible for your sex drive and your libido.  Testosterone is also helpful for erections, muscle and bone strength and density.  Testosterone starts to slowly decline when men are in their late 20s and early 30s.  By the time most men are 50 years of age, they are experiencing a decrease in their sex drive, the strength of their erections, falling asleep after meals, and loss of muscle mass. 

Help is available.  There are injections of testosterone, testosterone gels that are applied to the skin, and testosterone pellets that can be injected under the skin that will last for several months.

Bottom Line: If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of low testosterone level, see your doctor and get a simple blood test, a testosterone level, and then you can discuss the different treatment options with your doctor.  You don’t have to take a low T level lying down.  Help is available for most men.