Archive for the ‘Men's health’ Category

Why O “Y” Has My Sperm Gone: Male Infertility

January 5, 2012

Did you know that a man’s sperm production is tied to his ability to have male offspring? When sperm counts decrease, so do the Y chromosomes and it is the Y chromosome that is responsible for siring a son.

In the past it was always thought that having an X chromosome on the sperm made girls and Y made boys and it was just a mere 50-50 coin flip. Now a recent study from Stanford University has demonstrated that men having a low sperm count, or less than five million sperm per cubic centimeter, had fewer Y chromosome and thus less likely to have male offspring.

The next study is going to look at whether treatments that are used to increase sperm counts may affect the ratio of X to Y chromosomes.

Will keep you posted on this piece of important information!

MOVEMBER – THE MONTH FOR MEN’S HEALTH

October 31, 2011

Moustache Season is finally upon us and just in time for Mo Bros everywhere to get their annual health check up. Lets face the facts, most men are known to be more indifferent towards their health, and studies suggest that 24% of men are less likely to go to the doctor compared to women. Maintaining a good diet, smart lifestyle choices, and getting regular medical check-ups and screening tests can dramatically influence your health. Regardless of age or background, stay on top of your health by following these very important steps:

HAVE AN ANNUAL PHYSICAL
Find a doctor and make a yearly appointment each Movember for a general health check. Getting annual checkups, preventative screening tests, and immunizations are among the most important things you can do to stay healthy. By regularly visiting your doctor, you can greatly minimize your risk level for a number of conditions, from high blood pressure to diabetes to cancer. What better way could there be to celebrate Movember than calling your doctor to schedule a check-up?

KNOW YOUR FAMILY HEALTH HISTORY
Start a discussion with your relatives about health issues that have affected your family. Men with a family history of prostate cancer are twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, so know your family history.

DON’T SMOKE!
If you do smoke, stop! Compared to non-smokers, men who smoke are about 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer. Smoking causes about 90% of lung cancer death in men.

BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE
If you are not already doing some form of exercise, start small and work up to a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. If you’re already there, set your sights on 60-minute days.

EAT A HEART HEALTHY DIET
Fill up with fruits, vegetables, whole grains; include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and eat foods low in saturated fats, trans-fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.

STAY AT A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Balance calories from foods and beverages with calories you burn off by physical activities. Over two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese! The USDA and leading cancer researchers suggest that we all fill up on vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, and choose lean proteins like fish and legumes over fatty ones like red meat. Evidence suggests that about a third of the 571,950 cancer deaths expected to occur will be related to obesity, physical inactivity, poor nutrition and thus could be prevented.

MANAGE YOUR STRESS
Stress, particularly long-term stress, can be the factor in the onset or worsening of ill health. Managing your stress is essential to your health & well being should be practiced daily.

DRINK ALCOHOL IN MODERATION
Alcohol can be part of a healthy balanced diet, but only if it’s in moderation, which means no more than a few, drinks a day. A standard drink is one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits. Alcohol consumption is ok, but should be kept to no more than two drinks per day for men, and one for women.

Ready to be proactive about your health but not sure where to start? Download Movember’s health poster for a checklist by age of what to ask your doctor about.

Do you know the facts? Check out the Movember site for more information on men’s health.
http://us.movember.com/mens-health/resources/

Cholesterol Causing Your Erectile Dysfunction? Try Niacin

October 25, 2011

Niacin can help men with symptoms of erectile dysfunction who have elevated cholesterol levels. Niacin which is found in chicken, fish, and grains, helps the body process fats while lowering cholesterol levels. Like the popular statin medications, which have also been shown to improve erectile dysfunction, niacin increases the blood flow throughout the body by opening arteries, potentially leading to healthier erections.
A study reported in the Journal of Sexual Medicine showed that 1500 mg dose of niacin in given to men with high cholesterol levels had a significant increase in their ability to engage in sexual intimacy with their partners. Even in men with severe erectile dysfunction saw even greater improvements in their sexual performance.
Since niacin has very few side effects and is relatively inexpensive, it may be a good alternative for men with erectile dysfunction with an elevated cholesterol levels.
Please don’t interpret this study to suggest that treating erectile dysfunction can only be accomplished with niacin. Erectile dysfunction can be a precursor of heart disease and should be treated under a doctor’s supervision.
Bottom line: Erectile dysfunction is a common condition affecting millions of American men. One cause of erectile dysfunction is high cholesterol levels which be impaired the blood supply to the penis. In some men this condition can be improved with oral niacin.

When Your Sex Drive Crawls To A Halt

September 17, 2011

A decrease in your sex drive or a loss of your libido can result in physical and emotional disorders. If this is your problem, you will want to read the rest of this article and learn how to put fuel back in your sex drive.

Sex drive killers

Erectile dysfunction or ED
Nearly 33 million American men suffer from erectile dysfunction. ED is most common in men over age 40 but most men suffer in silence. This is a result of the myth that ED is a normal part of the aging process and it is primarily a psychological problem. The facts are that it is not part and parcel of the aging process and that older men who are healthy and have a partner can expect to successfully engage in sexual intimacy. ED is eminently curable with the help of drugs and injections or surgical procedures.

Menopause
In women, physical changes like menopause can affect physical intimacy and sexual drive. Although, menopause itself does not affect your ability to have sex, the reduced hormone levels may cause certain discomforts like vaginal dryness and pain during sex. This condition is also easily treated with hormone replacement therapy or just lubrication in women who cannot or wish not to take estrogens.

Depression
One of the major hallmarks of depression is reduced interest in sex. Be aware that both depression and antidepressant pills can affect your libido. If you are having a loss of sex drive as a result of using antidepressant medication, tell your doctor as he\she can alter the dosage or change to another medication that doesn’t cause a drop in your sex drive.

Less sleep
There is a direct connection between sleeplessness and reduced sexual urge. Loss of sleep can result in an increase stress hormone cortisol which plays a major role in reducing the testosterone levels, the hormone in both men and women that is responsible for maintaining your sex drive.

Parenting
Parenting is a one of life’s greatest stressors and can affect your physical and mental health including your sex life. A solution may be as simple as taking time for each other and making a regular date that doesn’t include the children.

Excessive alcohol
Excessive alcoholic consumption is linked to ED and infertility in both the sexes. It is true that a few sips of your favorite wine lowers your inhibitions and puts you in the mood for intimacy but it can also put your sex drive in the tank. Like everything in life, moderation can help preserve your sex drive.

Relationship problems
Marital or relationship problems like lack of trust and proper communication can act as major hindrance to experiencing enjoyable and satisfying sex. Counseling to sort out any personal indifference between you and your partner is effective in restoring your bedroom activities.

Bottom Line: One of the life’s greatest enjoyments is sexual intimacy with the partner you love and enjoy. However, the libido is very fragile and can easily be diminished. The good news is that most libido problems can be resolved and intimacy be restored.

A New Pill That Will Put Power Into Your Potency

August 27, 2011

I am often asked if there is anything new for treating erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence. Now there is a new pill that may be helpful for those suffering from ED. Staxyn is a new oral tablet that contains the same ingredients as Levitra but is used as a tablet that dissolves on the tongue.

Staxyn helps increase blood flow to the penis, so it may help men with ED get and keep an erection that lasts long enough for sexual activity. Once a man has stopped sexual activity, blood flow to his penis decreases, and his erection goes away.
It is suggested that you take Staxyn about an hour before sexual activity. The tablet is place on the tongue where it will dissolve rapidly. The tablet should be taken whole and not crushed or split. The tablet should not be taken with liquid. The tablet may be taken with or without food. It is not recommend to take more than one Staxyn a day.
Forget the Rumors
Staxyn will not give you an instant erection; you’ll need to be sexually stimulated for it to work.
The medication not leave you erect for hours. If an erection lasts more than 4 hours, get medical help right away to prevent lasting damage that may make future erections difficult or impossible.
No the drug will not make you have a stiff tongue. It’s mechanism of action is on the blood supply to the penis and not the tongue!
No, no, with nitrates
Do not take Staxyn if you take any medications called ”nitrates” (often used to control chest pain, also known as angina). Nitrates may cause abnormally low blood pressure and Staxyn may increase that risk.

Bottom Line: Erectile dysfunction is a common problem affecting millions of American men. Help is available. You don’t have to suffer the “tragedy of the bedroom”.

Erectile Dysfunction-Use It Or Lose It

July 25, 2011

Having intercourse more often may help prevent the development of erectile dysfunction (ED). Men who had intercourse more often are less likely to develop ED.

Analyzing a five-year study of 989 men aged 55 to 75 years from Finland, the investigators observed that men reporting intercourse less than once per week at baseline had twice the incidence of erectile dysfunction compared with those reporting intercourse once per week. Further, the risk of erectile dysfunction was inversely related to the frequency of intercourse.
Other factors that may affect the incidence of ED, such as age, chronic medical conditions (diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease and depression), body mass index and smoking were included in the analysis of the data.
Erectile dysfunction incidence was 79 cases per 1000 in men who had reported sexual intercourse less than once per week, dropping to 32 cases per 1000 in men reporting intercourse once per week and falling further to 16 per 1000 in those reporting intercourse 3 or more times per week.
In addition, the frequency of morning erections predicted the development of complete erectile dysfunction, with an approximate 2.5-fold risk among those with less than 1 morning erection per week compared with 2 to 3 morning erections per week
Regular intercourse has an important role in preserving erectile function among elderly men. Continued sexual activity decreases the incidence of erectile dysfunction in direct proportion to coital frequency.

Bottom Line: Regular intercourse protects men from the development of erectile dysfunction, which may, in turn, impacts general health and quality of life. Isn’t that a good reason to have sexual intimacy?

Suffering From An Illness? Get a “Do It Yourself” Attitude

June 26, 2011

This post comes from an E-mail by Dr. Neil Niemark.  Anyone with that first name has to good writer!  🙂

True Health Means Making Every Day Precious
We all crave a greater sense of health and vitality in our lives. We all yearn for a deeper sense of inner peace and serenity. In order to achieve these noble goals, we must learn how to make every day precious.
How do we do this? By realizing that we are the architects of our own lives. Though it is so “natural” to want to blame other people or external events for our unhappiness, we are truly responsible for our own happiness.
What is the most powerful way to make every day precious? It is by developing a passionate involvement with life; participating fully in our own personal growth and development.

Vitality, serenity and inner peace do not come from living life on the sidelines, but rather from playing the game of life with all the gusto we have. We must engage life fully by moving towards our dreams and choosing the legacy we wish to leave.

We need to live life passionately, to live life as it’s unfolding, to live life on life’s terms. Not to shyly approach life, but to move into it. Living passionately does not mean living loudly or boisterously. It may be a quiet, peaceful way of being. But it is YOUR unique way of being, one that honors the fear and the suffering, but does not allow that fear or pain to immobilize us.

The Zen poet David Whyte speaks of passion beautifully, rendering images of fire, when he says: “We want the fire that warms, but we refuse the fire that burns.” We want a full and filling life (the fire that warms), but we refuse to expose ourselves to the risk and the suffering involved (the fire that burns) in etching out that life.

There have been engaging studies done on the healing power of participation. Dr. Charlene Kavanaugh, from the University of Wisconsin Medical School, compared a group of severely burned children who received standard nursing care with another group who were taught to change their own dressings. Those who had an active role in their care required less medication and had fewer complications.

Another study on participation was done in Palo Alto, where a group of asthmatic children were taught about their disease and the drugs used to control it. These children were encouraged to decide for themselves when they needed their medication. The results were amazing. These children missed far fewer days from school and their average rate of emergency room visits dropped from one per month to approximately one visit every six months.

The simple act of “participating in getting well” activates our healing system and begins our movement towards greater physical health. But this is not easy, is it? It means that we must get off our “if’s, and’s or but’s” and actually be involved. Most of us don’t want to do the work it takes to get well. We’d rather slack off, and then when we’re sick or ill, go to the doctor and get a bag of pills, a quick fix, or a magic bullet.

Norman Cousins, the great writer, says: “We regard the doctor as the miracle man who can wave his prescription pad over us like a magic wand and provide us a presto remedy. We expect the surgeon’s knife or the prescription pad to replace the personal discipline required to maintain good health.”

Dedication to getting well is a big commitment. This reminds me of a humorous joke about a girl who gets engaged and says to her girlfriend: “I’ve been wanting to get married for so long, but you know what, now that I’m engaged, I’m really a little scared.” “You should be,” said the girlfriend. “Getting married is a big commitment. Seven or eight years can be a very long time!”

There is no quick fix. True healing (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) requires a life long commitment to the process of getting well. True healing requires dedication, discipline and hard work. So participate in getting well by developing a passionate involvement with life. Make every day precious and let the fire warm you, even though it may burn you at times.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Every day, for the next week, write down one special thing that you can do to “make every day precious.”

Be well. In body and soul,

Neil F. Neimark, M.D.

www.TheBodySoulConnection.com

The Contraception Conundrum-Vasectomy vs. Tubal Ligation

May 28, 2011

Every couple whose family is complete comes to a fork in the road and asks which partner is going to get either a vasectomy or a tubal ligation.  This blog will answer a few questions that may help you make a more informed decision.

First of all both procedures should be considered a permanent form of contraception or sterilization.  A vasectomy isn’t nearly as costly and invasive as the surgery to reverse it. And the odds that you’d be able to father a child again aren’t good enough to count it as a fall-back option down the road, Shih says.

What Could Go Wrong?

A report in a medical journal pointed out that women were 20 times more likely to have a serious problem related to a tubal ligation than men who select to have a vasectomy. In addition, men tend to recover more quickly from a vasectomy.  Most men can return to all activities, including sexual intimacy, 3-4 days after the procedure.   A tubal ligation requires a general anesthesia and incisions into her abdomen.  Both of these can result in significant complications.  However, if a woman is going to have her tubes tied during a planned C-section delivery, the added risk of the tubal is less of a concern.

A vasectomy can be done in the doctor’s office using a local anesthetic and usually takes less than 15 minutes.  The most common problems related to vasectomy include bruising, infection, and inflammation in the epididymis, a sperm-holding structure near the testicle. But each of these seems to occur in less than 5% of cases.  Now that the procedure is performed without an incision but through a tiny puncture wound and does not even require a needle to provide the local anesthesia,

If you’re looking for instant results, a tubal holds the edge: It works immediately. After a vasectomy, a man can still get a woman pregnant until lingering sperm are flushed from his plumbing which usually requires 15 ejaculations.  So it’s crucial for couples to use a backup method of contraception until your doctor says you’re in the clear. And men need to provide a semen sample after a vasectomy that is examined under a microscope to be absolutely certain that no sperm are present.

The Essure and Adiana devices, which are inserted into the Fallopian tubes, also require a checkup to ensure that they’re installed properly and the woman can’t get pregnant.  If you choose these options, be sure you’re going to do the follow-up work. During the first three months after insertion of the device, another form of birth control must be used.

If you’re thinking about your bank account, In terms of cost, a vasectomy is definitely more cost-effective. In general, a tubal costs about three times as much as vasectomy.

Bottom Line:  Most couples are happy when children are planned.  When the time comes to cut off  “reproduction production”, consider either a vasectomy or a tubal ligation.

Acupuncture Treatment For Premature Ejaculation

April 19, 2011

Premature ejaculation (PE) is a common condition affections millions of American men.  Treatments include the time-honored squeeze technique described by Master’s and Johnson, topical medication applied to the penis to reduce the sensation, and oral medication including the SSRIs to increase the intra-vaginal latency time or time before ejaculation occurs.  The use of acupuncture increased the time before ejaculation from 16 seconds to 65 seconds compared to an increase of 33 seconds with the use of a placebo.

Bottom Line: Acupuncture may just be another arrow in the doctor’s quiver for the treatment of PE.

Not Having Sex Can Be Hazardous To Your Health and Your Heart-I’m Not Kidding

April 10, 2011

Sex and exercise are highly recommended if you want to be healthy.  Not having sex or being a couch potato can be fatal.  Researches at Tufts Medical Center in Boston reviewed the medical records of patients with sudden cardiac death.  They found that those who engaged in unaccustomed strenuous activity, i.e., sex, more than doubled the risk of a fatal heart attack!  The study noted that every additional instance of physical activity, i.e., sex again, reduced the risk of a fatal heart attack by nearly 50%.

Bottom Line: If you aren’t having regular sex, you need to embrace this wonderful healthy activity “very gradually and very carefully.  So if mama has a headache, tell her to get with the program because and that Dr. Baum said it is good for your health and your heart.