Archive for October, 2012

Viagra For Women -A New Drug To Help Women Achieve An Orgasm

October 30, 2012

It seems a bit unfair that men have access to medications such as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis to treat erectile dysfunction or impotence. There are also hormones that men can take if they have low testosterone and suffer from a decreased libido. But what about women who have decreased sex desire or decreased lubrication? Now there is a treatment for women who have sexual dysfunction.

There is a the spray that can boost the sex drive of one in three women. Tefina is a testosterone gel that is sprayed up the nose. Researchers say that the testosterone is then absorbed within minutes and will become effective two hours after it is administered for up to six hours.

Researchers said the drug will be taken in the context of sexual activity, but will produce no adverse testosterone-related side effects like bad skin, body or facial hair or a deepened voice.

Researchers say that Tefina will be used as needed and that the drug will be used with the intention that it will increase the occurrence of orgasm for pre-menopausal women with sexual dysfunction or anorgasmia.

I anticipate the treatment will work like Viagra for women. Rather than a long-term, therapy-based approach, this drug can be taken when a woman anticipates sexual activity. For women with low sexual interest, testosterone therapy not only improves sexual desire and arousal, but also enhances a woman’s ability to reach orgasm.

Up to a third of women are affected by life-long problem of difficulty achieving orgasm after ample sexual stimulation, researchers say that until now the only available treatments are psychotherapy and sex therapy.
The new drug would be most helpful for patients who say that sex has become a chore rather than a pleasurable experience.

It has been shown through many documented studies that women who report poor sexual functioning have lower wellbeing, despite not being depressed. Doctors have little to offer women who are experiencing an absence of orgasms, and this could be a breakthrough study for women who currently are frustrated by the lack of any treatment option
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Clinical trials are taking place in the US and Canada and researchers are currently recruiting participants between the ages of 18 and 49 who experience an absence of orgasm to take part in clinical trials in Australia.

Bottom Line: Men have treatment options for the treatment of erectile dysfunction or impotence. On the horizon is a new treatment for women with sexual problems.

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Getting Tighter “Down There”-Kegel Exercises Improve Vaginal Tone

October 27, 2012

Have you just had a baby and find that you are lossy goosey down there? If so you might want to consider doing regular Kegel exercises to tighten the tone of your vagina.

Two ultrasound studies of women who exercised their vaginal muscles did find that their muscles were thicker and stronger after pelvic floor muscle training. Among women with urine leakage, their thinner muscles became the thickness of healthy women’s pelvic floor muscles. Additionally, they had less urine leakage — whether the problem was from stress or urge types of incontinence.

The use of vaginal cones and/or Kegel exercises to increase muscle strength were both found to improve tone and decrease urine loss. While some of these studies did not measure vaginal tightness per se, when muscle bulk is increased, a woman can voluntarily contract those muscles to make the vaginal opening tighter.

Bottom Line: Kegel exercises will not only help with the problem of urinary incontinence but will make women tighter “down there”

Tips On Good Health-Get Moving

October 27, 2012

Go to the mall and look around. You are likely to see obese young boys and girls who are eating fast food at the food court. They are inactive, eating unhealthy food, and developing a life style that will lead to such illnesses as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and arthritis. American medicine needs to step up to the plate and get Americans eating a healthier diet and doing more exercise. I hear so many of my patients telling me that they don’t have time for exercise. Here’s a few ideas that even the busiest man or woman can do nearly every day.

Here are some tips for adding more activity to your lifestyle:

Take the stairs instead of the elevator. I don’t know who said it but it is true that you can tell a man or woman’s health by what they do by twos: climb the stairs or take pills!

Walk whenever you can, instead of driving. Even if you drive park several blocks away from your destination and walk a few blocks.

Get off the bus a stop early.

Stand up while talking on the phone. Not only is this better exercise but it puts more energy in your voice.

Lose your TV remote control–get up to change channels.

At work, use lunch hours to take a walk around the building.

Make social occasions more active–instead of dining out to eat, go bowling or dancing!

Bottom Line: Most of the illnesses that we have are related to a poor diet and a lack of exercise. You can stop many of the medications that are prescribed for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes by improving your diet and daily exercise. So eat right and get moving.

Preparing For Your Doctor Visit-10 Suggestions

October 25, 2012

Most patients visit their doctor and bring a plastic bag of their medications.  For most office visits to a doctor that is not going to be enough.  I would like to suggest preparing for the office visit and have you bring along more than your plastic bag containing all of your pills.

Most patients I see are surprised to find out that there’s something they should have brought to their doctor’s visit. Most people have some heads-up for going to their doctor. Certainly if you’re going to your annual check-up or a routine appointment, you should bring these items with you.

Keep this checklist readily accessible; even if you’re going to the hospital for an emergency appointment, aim to take the following 10 items with you:

1. A medical card. It would be ideal for every doctor to have a full list of your medical history, but our country is not even close to having a nationally accessible medical record system. To make sure your doctor has your information available, carry a card with you. You can find many cards that easily downloadable on the Internet where you list your medical problems, surgeries, doctor’s names, insurance, and allergies. Especially if you are seeing a coverage doctor or visiting the E.R., he or she may not have your medical record. This makes sure that your doctor can see your most critical medical information.

2. Changes to your medical record. If you have had recent test results since you last saw your doctor, bring these with you. Even if it was your doctor that you’re going to see who sent you to get the test, bringing the results will make sure that they are discussed during the visit.

3. Your medications. Very often, patients come in and say that they can’t remember what they’re taking. “I think I stopped taking the pink tiny pill, but I’m still taking the white one and the blue one,” is not as helpful as actually seeing the actual bottles with the labels on them. Take all your medications, put them in a bag, and bring them with you. Tell your doctor if you’ve stopped taking any of your medications, and be honest if you haven’t been taking them as much as you were supposed to. Otherwise, your doctor may assume they’re not working, and prescribe you even more!

4. A list of alternative therapies. The majority of our patients use some type of alternative therapy. It is better for your doctor to know about it. Most doctors are not experts in herbal therapies, but it’s useful for them to know what’s your taking in case there are some interactions with your other medications. Keep a list of fish oil, vitamins, and supplements that you’re using, and a record of any visits to chiropractors, naturopaths, or other practitioners.

5. A journal of your symptoms. If you have a chronic condition, or if you have a new symptom you’re concerned about, you should be keeping a journal that documents your symptoms and how it is throughout the days and weeks. Your doctor may also ask you to keep track of your response to treatments you’re doing at home. Sometimes, there are objective measures that you need to write down, such as your blood sugar. Bringing the journal with you to your appointment can help remind you of your story, and allows for your doctor better understand what’s going on and how your symptoms affect your daily life.

6. A written list of your questions. You should always come prepared with a list of questions to ask your doctor. Brainstorm the list well before your appointment, and have a concise list of questions, starting with the most urgent that you must get answered. Don’t leave your doctor’s office without asking them.

7. A notebook and pen. This may seem obvious, but your doctor may not always have writing equipment readily accessible, and it’s important to have a notebook and pen to take notes. Write down things that don’t make sense, and ask for clarification. If there are words mentioned that you’ve never heard of, ask your doctor to spell them. At the end of the visit, ask for a verbal summary. Make sure you write down and understand your plan.

8. A family member or a friend. Having someone with you will give you support and company during the appointment. As importantly, they can help remind you of your questions and concerns, and is another measure to help ensure your doctor answers all the questions that you have.

9. A smartphone. Everyone seems to have some kind of smartphone device: an iPhone, a Blackberry, an iPad. There will downtime when you’re waiting. Use this time to look up what your doctor has told you. The smartphone also keeps you busy if your wait is particularly long!

10. Some snacks. Often, there are limited food options are the doctor’s office, and you may be waiting for some time. Unless you’re told not to eat, or have a complaint that you’re not sure how it will go, having something on hand can help make you feel better.

I hope this list is useful for you as you prepare for your next doctor’s visit.

 

This blog was inspired by Leana Wen, MD

New Hope For Prostate Cancer Patients

October 7, 2012

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in the USA; 242,000 cases are expected this year. There is no way yet to distinguish between the benign ones that will stay in the prostate and the dangerous ones that will start creeping into the bones, the mostly likely place of spread.
Most doctors manage prostate cancer in the advanced stages by finding ways to decrease the testosterone level as it is felt that testosterone is responsible for the growth of prostate cancer. For decades, men who relapsed were treated with drugs or surgery that decreased the testosterone level. A common medication used in the late 1990s and early 2000 was Lupron or similar drugs. If men failed on Lupron or similar drugs, they were told to wait and get their affairs in order as death was imminent.

Then in the early ’90s, when troubled financier Michael Milken publicized his prostate cancer battle and the lack of funding. In 2005, the Department of Defense began to invest heavily, and drug companies got interested. Collaboration of activists, academics, government and drug makers led to more than 100 clinical trials.
Provenge bought him another 2 years with no cancer growth, long enough to qualify for a trial of enzalutamide last year. His prostate- specific antigen number, a measure of the disease’s progression , is down from 30 to 4.5, as good as it has been in decades.

Most trials are conducted on patients who have advanced disease. The drugs might be more effective if started earlier, but that’s yet to be proven.
Now, figuring out which patients will do well on which drugs is mostly a game of chance. “In the future, the hope is we’ll be smarter and be able to pick out the right therapies at the right time,”

So what are the drugs that have been shown to prolong life?
Provenge is a vaccine approved by the FDA that primes a man’s immune system to attack prostate cancer cells. A course consists of three treatments.

Cabazitaxel is FDA approved and consists of six cycles of treatment.

Abiraterone deprives tumors of testosterone.

Enzalutamide blocks the ability of testosterone to enhance cancer cells growth.

Radium 223 is awaiting FDA approval and carries radioactive particles deep into the bone where cancer from the prostate gland has spread and kills the cancer cells in the bone.

Bottom Line: Prostate cancer remains one of the most common cancers in men. New treatments are on the horizon and men need to speak with their doctors about the most effective treatments that can help prolong their lives.