Archive for July, 2015

Testosterone Deficiency – Natural Solutions For Testosterone Replacement

July 19, 2015

Around age 50 women have a drop in their hormones and enter into menopause. At about the same age men start experiencing a decrease in testosterone occurs. This is the male hormone that is responsible for sex drive, muscle mass, bone strength, and even erections. This condition in men is referred to as andropause and it affects millions of American men.

Treatment options include testosterone replacement with injections, topical gels, or pellets inserted underneath the skin. For those who have only mild symptoms such as lethargy or decrease in libido and slight decrease in the blood testosterone level, may consider natural solutions to this common problem.

Onions
Okay, while onion breath may not be sexy, onions strengthens reproductive organs and increases testosterone, which boosts libido in both men and women.

Garlic
Garlic contains allicin, which builds heat in the body and may increase testosterone. It’s useful for sexual stamina, and body builders use it for muscle growth.

Cayenne Pepper
Just like cayenne’s spicy on your tongue, it also may help add spice to your sex life. Hot peppers contain capsaicin, which creates heat and improves circulation and blood flow for erections. The peppers have an immediate effect, so try eating them when you’re for sexual intimacy. And maybe save dessert for later!

Dates
Dates are rich in amino acids , which are known to increase sexual stamina, and they’re a popular aphrodisiac in North African and has been used for sexual purposes for centuries.

Figs
Like dates, figs are rich in amino acids, and are also said to be an aphrodisiac because of the sexual appearance and flavor. A fig’s scent and texture is very aromatic and sensual.

Goji Berries
Goji berries have long been used as a sexual tonic in Asian countries because they’re said to increase testosterone. You can sprinkle these berries on your cereal, salads, or just eating a handful.

Fatty Fish
Salmon, tuna, and mackerel are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which elevates dopamine, the same hormone released in the brain during an orgasm. These omega-3 fatty acids also elevates mood, and more relaxed people are in the mood for sex more often. Fatty fish also contains L-arginine, an amino acid used to treat problems with erections. Think of it like a natural Viagra.

Bottom Line: Although none of these natural remedies will cure testosterone deficiency but they may help slow the progression of testosterone deficiency. And as my wise Jewish would say, “They may not help, but they voidn’t hoit!”

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Menopause or Andropause-Not the “Pause” That Refreshes Either Women or Men

July 19, 2015

Around age 50 women have a drop in their hormones and enter into menopause. At about the same age men start experiencing a decrease in testosterone occurs. This is the male hormone that is responsible for sex drive, muscle mass, bone strength, and even erections. This condition in men is referred to as andropause and it affects millions of American men.

The symptoms of andropause include hot flashes, fatigue, night sweats, mood swings; all the fun things that females going through menopause may endure. Men lose one percent testosterone for every year past 30 but usually don’t develop symptoms until age 50. As testosterone decreases, estrogen increases. Abdominal fat causes excess estrogen and low levels of testosterone may also lead to prostate problems. Ever wonder why suddenly you are gaining weight around the middle? It could be your hormone levels are unbalanced.

The diagnosis is easily made with a blood test to measure the testosterone level. Men more than 50 years of age should also have a digital rectal exam to check their prostate gland and a PSA test which is a screening test for prostate cancer. Treatment options include testosterone replacement therapy. This can be administered with self injections of testosterone, topical gels, or the insertion of testosterone pellets under the skin.

Bottom Line: Testosterone deficiency in middle age and older men affects millions of American men. The diagnosis is easily made and effective treatment is available. You don’t have to suffer this common condition. Help is available. See your doctor.

Don’t Let Surgery Bog You Down-How To Recover Quickly From Surgical Procedures

July 18, 2015

I have many patients who have had major surgery and are back on their feet within days and back to normal activity within weeks. I have made several recommendations to them that I would like to share with you in this blog.

Your doctor or nurse will probably recommend that you discontinue use of food and fluids at 12:00 midnight before your procedure. The purpose of this recommendation is to empty your stomach so there will be no vomiting of food or fluids during your surgery. Not consuming any food before surgery and for hours after surgery when the anesthetic wears off is like fasting at a time when your body is craving good nutrition. My recommendation is to avoid eating solid food up to six hours before surgery and to drink clear liquids containing electrolytes and carbohydrates such as is found in Gatoraid up to two hours before surgery to aid in your recovery. I suggest you discuss this recommendation with your doctor and the anesthologist who will be putting you to sleep to be sure they are on board with this recommendation.

The use of post operative pain medication and narcotics can slow recovery. These medications lead to decrease in the peristalsis or squeezing of the small and large intestines which can contribute to nausea and constipation if used in excess. These drugs can also lead to dizziness and a dizzy patient may lose their balance and fall and puts the patient at a risk of a hip fracture which may be worse than the surgical procedure they had in the first place. I recommend pain medication be given before surgery and actually during the operation itself. I also recommend the use of acetaminophen during surgery as this decrease the need for pain medication after the procedure.

Finally, get moving. I recommend that my patients start walking as soon as they are taking fluids and have recovered from the anesthetic. Staying in bed is detrimental to the recovery process. Immobility leads to decrease in motility of the gastrointestinal tract and if prolonged can result in deep vein thrombosis which can lead to a fatal pulmonary embolus. Immobility increases the risk of pneumonia. Walking exercises the muscles in the lower extremities, promotes bowel function, and prevents pneumonia.

Bottom Line: Surgery can be a daunting event for even the most sturdy of patients. However, with the advice I have provided you, you can shorten the recovery period and be back on your feet in no time.

FAQs on Vasectomy

July 12, 2015

Many men want the opportunity to plan the number of children they have – and many women want to finally be able to share the responsibility of contraception with their partner.
This blog will discuss the most common questions that men and their partners often ask about vasectomy or permanent male contraception.
1. Will vasectomy make me impotent?
A lot of men worry that a vasectomy will lead to a reduction in sexual performance or desire – not surprising really when in some cultures they use the same word for vasectomy and castration! But it can actually improve your sex life because of the peace-of-mind it brings. Having a vasectomy is liberating – imagine never having to worry about unwanted pregnancies again. Instead of frantically rummaging through the bathroom cabinet for a condom, hoping that the mood won’t pass, you can do it whenever you like!
2. What will happen when I ejaculate?
Having a vasectomy does not affect your hormones, ejaculation or orgasm. There’s no noticeable change in what your semen looks like, what it smells like, even what it tastes like. You will still have erections and produce the same amount of semen. The only difference is that the semen won’t contain sperm, as instead of travelling out of your penis, they will be naturally reabsorbed by the body.
3. Does it involve a lengthy operation?
Vasectomies only take 10-15 minutes. The same time as your morning shower or a coffee break from work and unlike the former means you and your partner never have to worry about contraception or unintended pregnancy again.
4. Should I be scared of going under the knife?
It may be known as the snip but at Marie Stopes UK we use a no-scalpel technique. A fast-acting anesthetic is given before the procedure to numb the area and the sperm-carrying tubes (vas deferens) are sealed using heat. There are no hormones and nothing to insert, no stitches are needed. The procedure is also thought to be less painful and less likely to cause complications than a conventional vasectomy. A form of sedation is also available at some of our centres and can be requested at the time of booking.
5. Will it take ages to recover?
The recovery involves little more than a few days of guilt-free rest and relaxation. You can start having sex as soon it feels comfortable to do so and should be fit to return to work and after a couple of days unless you have a very physically demanding job. If you are uncomfortable, a regular painkiller such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen should do the trick and since you have got your feet up thanks to doctor’s orders, why not book one in to coincide with some good TV? Olympics 2016 anyone?
6. What is the failure rate?
Vasectomy is more than 99% effective. Out of 2,000 men who are sterilized, only one will get a woman pregnant during the rest of his lifetime. However it takes a number of weeks to clear the tubes of sperm after the treatment, so you will need to use another method of contraception until you have been given the all clear. I ask you to ejaculate 15 times and then bring in a specimen for me to exam under the microscope.
7. How risky is it?
Vasectomy is a very common and safe procedure. It is always worth arming yourself with all the facts, but ultimately vasectomy is the safest permanent contraception method on earth. The potential complications are much rarer than for a woman getting her tubes tied and most men experience no problems whatsoever.
8. Can I reverse my vasectomy if I change my mind?
The decision to opt for a vasectomy remains a highly personal one in which the potential risks and benefits must be considered, including the possibility that you may change your mind. Vasectomy reversal is possible but success is not guaranteed and depends largely on how long ago it was done so it is much better to consider it a permanent procedure.
Bottom Line: Vasectomy remains one of the safest and least expensive forms of contraception. The no-incision, no-needle procedure is almost painless with minimal risk of complications or post procedure pain and discomfort.

Urinary Incontinence In Women Athletes-Don’t Suffer In Silence!

July 12, 2015

One of the most common, but rarely discussed issues that female athletes face is urinary incontinence during exercise. This phenomenon is also known as stress urinary incontinence and is defined as the involuntary leaking of urine during activities like running, jumping, laughing or coughing. This problem affects nearly 50% of women who exercise but mostly only a few drops come out and not considered a significant problem. This can often be controlled using Kegel exercises. (see my website for more information on Kegel exercises, http://www.neilbaum.com)

One study estimates that leaking of urine occurs in 47% of exercising women (average age was 38 years in this study). Many attribute this problem due to pregnancy and childbirth; however, studies have shown that 25-28% of high school and collegiate athletes who have never been pregnant report stress urinary incontinence. These numbers are even higher in sports that significantly increase the intra-pelvic pressure like gymnastics and trampoline where 60-80% of athletes report incontinence!
What’s the Cause of Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)?
In most cases, SUI is caused by a dysfunctional pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is made up of muscles, connective tissue and sphincters. These three types of structures have three main functions: 1) stabilize the spine and the pelvis, 2) support the pelvic organs, and 3) control the retention and release of urine and stool.
One reason the pelvic floor can become dysfunctional is that the muscles and connective tissues become stretched or weak during or after pregnancy. However, they can also become too tight or “stay on” too much of the time, so that they can’t contract quickly or strong enough during high-impact activities, like in running or jumping sports.
The Impact of SUI
Stress urinary incontinence is not only embarrassing for women, but many either stop exercising altogether or stop doing sports/activities that they love to avoid this problem. In addition, pelvic floor dysfunction can also lead to pain – during intercourse or at rest, so this problem can negatively impact many areas of women’s lives.
Treating SUI
Fortunately, there are several ways to improve pelvic floor function and stop episodes of incontinence. The first step is to be evaluated by a physician who specializes in the pelvic floor (certain sports medicine physicians, gynecologists or urologynecologists). Often patients are referred to women’s health physical therapists to learn exercises to improve their pelvic floor function. It’s important to note that the exercise regimen is more unique and comprehensive than Kegel’s for every woman. Some women improve with Kegel’s, but others need to learn to relax their pelvic floor rather than strengthen it. In addition to therapy, there are medications, injections and surgical procedures that can be used if necessary.
Bottom Line:
For the female athlete, pelvic floor dysfunction and incontinence is under-reported, under-diagnosed and under-treated. It can lead to women avoiding sports or exercise as well as decreased performance. With the right diagnosis and treatment, it can be completely resolved. Don’t suffer in silence. See your doctor.