Posts Tagged ‘aging’

Get By With A Little Help From Your Friends

July 28, 2010

It is true that having a social network of friends, family, and colleagues is good for your health.  Several studies have confirmed that those with poor social connections had on average 50% higher odds of death in the study’s follow-up period (an average of 7.5 years) than people with more robust social ties. The boost in longevity is greater than differences in the risk of death associated with many other well-known lifestyle factors, including lack of exercise and obesity.  So if you decide not to exercise and want to continue to eat and drink and be merry, then you need to balance these lifestyles behaviors by developing and maintaining social relationships.  You’ll live longer and so will your friends!

For more information on this study go to:

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2006938,00.html?xid=rss-topstories#ixzz0uzEt83hZ

Growth Hormone and Reversing the Aging Process

May 24, 2010

Nearly everyone is chasing youth and vigor and would like to find a pill or shot that can turn back the aging clock.  Perhaps growth hormone (GH) may be a possibility to reverse the aging process..

What is growth hormone?  Your body makes GH to help fuel growth in your childhood and to help maintain your tissues and organs throughout your life. As you age, your body slowly reduces the amount of growth hormone it produces. The level of growth hormone in your body begins to drop in your 40s.

GH is available only by prescription and is usually given by via injections. It’s currently approved to treat adults with true growth hormone deficiency — not the expected decline in GH due to aging.

Growth hormone is currently approved for:

  • Children with short stature
  • Children with kidney disease
  • Muscle wasting associated with AIDS and HIV

Studies of adults with GH deficiencies show that injections of GH can:

  • Increase bone density
  • Increase muscle mass
  • Decrease body fat
  • Bolster the heart’s ability to contract
  • Improve mood and motivation
  • Increase exercise capacity

Because of those results, some people believe that synthetic growth hormone can help healthy older adults who have naturally low levels of GH regain some of their youth and vitality.  But the cost of this kind of treatment does not come cheap.  An annual cost of $20,000 is not unusual and the cost is rarely covered by insurance and certainly not by

Many experts on aging indicate that proper nutrition and regular exercise, especially strength training, will yield equal or better results in building muscle mass and increasing well-being among older patients without the pitfalls of GH and without the exorbitant expense of GH.

Bottom Line: Your doctor can explain more about how GH works in your body and whether it’s something your body needs more of. If you have specific concerns about aging, such as gaining weight, your doctor can suggest ways to improve your health safely. Taking simple steps, such as eating a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables and exercising daily, can help keep your body in shape and help you feel better about yourself as you age.

Sexuality in Later Life

April 28, 2010

that won’t cause sexual problems.

Help is available

There are several things you can do on your own to keep an active sexual life. Remember that sex does not have to include intercourse. Make your partner a high priority. Pay attention to his or her needs and wants. Take time to understand the changes you both are facing. Try different positions and new times, like having sex in the morning when you both may have more energy. Don’t hurry-you or your partner may need to spend more time touching to become fully aroused. Masturbation is a sexual activity that some older people, especially unmarried, widowed, or divorced people and those whose partners are ill or away, may find satisfying.

If you do seem to have a problem that affects your sex life, talk to your doctor. The most common problem that affects women is painful intercourse. For most women, lubrication can be provided with creams orjellies. If the problem is estrogen deficiency, this can be supplied with topical estrogen creams or oral estrogens if there are no contraindications such as estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.

If a man complains of a loss of libido, the problem may be related to testosterone deficiency that can be replaced with injections, topical jells or the insertion of testosterone pellets. If impotence is the problem, it can often be treated with oral medications such as Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis. If the medications are not successful then injections, vacuum devices, or surgical implants can be performed.

Bottom line: Just because a man or women enters their senior years does not mean that sexual intimacy has to cease. Older men and women can and do enjoy intimacy.

Sex and the Senior Citizen

March 22, 2010

Just because a person is aged, confined to bed, or even has Alzheimer’s Disease does not mean that they do not wish to be sexual. My elderly mother is in a nursing home and I have seen several men having a physical relationship with the women. This is often as minimal as handholding but the desire for intimacy is still ever-present. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner even gave permission for her husband with Alzheimer’s disease to have a physical relationship with another woman in his nursing home. So what can people expect about sexuality in their advancing years?

As we grow older there are expected and normal changes that take place that causes some alternations in the ability to be sexually intimate. These changes take place in both men and women. There are some women who enjoy sex more as they get older. The fear of pregnancy or the anxiety of having youngsters enter the room during sexual intimacy is no longer an issue. Now they may feel freer to enjoy sex.

As women age there are normal changes in the woman’s vagina especially after menopause. The vagina does not lubricate as easily and as quickly and the vagina may shorten making sexual intimacy painful. However, with the assistance of lubrication, most of these issues can be resolved.

With aging a man often notices that he has difficulty obtaining and maintaining an erection. An erection may require more genital stimulation and the erection is not as rigid as in former years. This can often be remedied by longer periods of foreplay. Men will also notice that the force and volume of the ejaculate decreases with age and the erection will subside in seconds after ejaculation occurs. Erection problems are more common in men with high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

There are large numbers of drugs that can decrease the libido or sex drive in both men and women. Drugs used to treat depression such as the Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRls) are an example of medications that may affect the libido in both sexes. Also medications used to treat high blood pressure, antihistamines, tranquilizers, appetite suppressants, diabetes drugs, and some ulcer drugs like ranitidine can diminish a man’s erection. If you are taking one or several of these medications, check first with your doctor before you discontinue the medication as the doctor can often adjust the dosage or change to another class of medication

that won’t cause sexual problems.

Help is available

There are several things you can do on your own to keep an active sexual life. Remember that sex does not have to include intercourse. Make your partner a high priority. Pay attention to his or her needs and wants. Take time to understand the changes you both are facing. Try different positions and new times, like having sex in the morning when you both may have more energy. Don’t hurry-you or your partner may need to spend more time touching to become fully aroused. Masturbation is a sexual activity that some older people, especially unmarried, widowed, or divorced people and those whose partners are ill or away, may find satisfying.

If you do seem to have a problem that affects your sex life, talk to your doctor. The most common problem that affects women is painful intercourse. For most women, lubrication can be provided with creams or jellies. If the problem is estrogen deficiency, this can be supplied with topical estrogen creams or oral estrogens if there are no contraindications such as estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.

If a man complains of a loss of libido, the problem may be related to testosterone deficiency that can be replaced with injections, topical jells or the insertion of testosterone pellets. If impotence is the problem, it can often be treated with oral medications such as Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis. If the medications are not successful then injections, vacuum devices, or surgical implants can be performed.

Bottom line: Just because a man or women enters their senior years does not mean that sexual intimacy has to cease. Older men and women can and do enjoy intimacy.