Posts Tagged ‘stress’

Boosting T Levels Without Medication

February 3, 2017

Testosterone is the male hormone produced in the testicles that is responsible for sex drive, energy, muscle and bone mass.  Testosterone decreases slowly in the late 20s and becomes symptomatic in men around middle age.  This blog will discuss natural ways of preserving and increasing your testosterone levels.

Get Moving: Drop 10, 15, or more pounds

Overweight men are likely to have less testosterone, which means less energy and increased susceptibility to depression.  If you shed pounds, you can cause your T levels to surge.

No Zinc In the Sink

Research has shown that supplementing your diet with zinc can improve testosterone levels. According to the National Institutes of Health, 45 per cent of us aren’t getting enough of the stuff.  Protein-rich foods like meat and fish are packed full of zinc, along with raw cheese, beans and natural yoghurt.

Sweet Nothings

In addition to causing you to pile on the pounds, sugar can also wreak havoc on testosterone production. Regular intake of the sweet stuff can cause insulin to spike, which is a factor leading to low levels of testosterone.

To counteract the effect, simply limit your sugar intake – the overall health benefits far outweigh a quick dopamine hit from a soft drink.

Take D and See

Vitamin D is a steroid hormone, which means it boosts your sperm count, , libido and  testosterone.  You can increase your vitamin D by being exposed to sunshine.  Since I don’t condone exposure to sun as it causes skin cancers, then vitamin D supplementation is in order, 1000 IU\day.  This is available in most nutrition and drug stores.

Stress Less

Kicking back is easier said than done, but a reduction in stress will work wonders for your testosterone production. Cortisol (the stuff your body makes when you get hot under the collar) actually blocks testosterone. Chronic stress has actually been shown to stop testosterone production, which translates to bad moods, fatigue and decreased libido.

Exercise and weight loss are beneficial in reducing stress levels so this is another reason to getting moving!

Fat and Fit

Eat ‘good’ fats of the monounsaturated variety. You can find a high dose of these fats in foods like olive oil, almonds, avocados and grass-fed meats.

Going From ZZZZZ to T

Men who got a full eight hours sleep had 60 per cent more testosterone than their sleep-deprived counterparts.  I recommend stop looking at screens, i.e., computer and TV screens at least an hour before bedtime as screen watching affects melatonin which if decreased can make it difficult to have a good nights sleep.

It’s Quicker Without Liquor

We all know that alcohol consumption is bad for us – but it’s bad for your Johnson. Not only does too much booze lower growth hormone levels and increase cortisol, it will reduce your testosterone levels for up to 24-hours.  I recommend 1-2 glasses of alcohol a day and definitely avoid binging.

Bottom Line:  Testosterone is a necessary ingredient for your sex drive, your energy level, and overall body metabolism.  The hormone also affects our moods and psychological well-being.  I have provided you some suggestions for boosting this very important hormone.

10 Actions Steps To Prevent Impotence

August 28, 2012


1. Recognize the Normal Signs of Aging. Remember, it may take longer to obtain an erection at age 60 than at age 20. More genital stimulation and foreplay are required as a man ages.
2. Beware of Medications that can Cause Impotence. There are literally hundreds of medications associated with the side effects of impotence. These common medications include tranquilizers, medication for high blood pressure and ulcers.
3. Avoid Tobacco. Tobacco it is a performance-zapper because its effect on blood vessels can decrease blood flow to the penis.
4. Drink Alcohol in Moderation.1-2 drinks per day may relax you and even protect your heart. More than 2 drinks per day may impact your sexual performance.
5. Timing can be Everything. Sexual performance is influenced by body rhythms. Hormonal levels can vary at different times of the day. It is important to find that time of day or evening that is best both mentally and physically for you and your partner.
6. Accept Occasional Failure. One episode of impotence-even if it last for weeks- does not mean that a man is permanently impotent. Stress and fatigue, and anticipation of failure, can paralyze your sex life. Accept occasional impotence as something that happens to every man at different times in his life.
7. See your Physician at least Once a Year. If you are more than 50 years of age, the cause of your erectile dysfunction is usually physical and not due to psychological or emotional reasons. You need to be sure there are not more serious, life-threatening conditions lurking behind the sexual problem.
8. Balanced Nutrition is important for Sexual Function. The American Heart Association states that a low-fat, a low-cholesterol diet prevents heart disease and arteriosclerosis which also affects a man’s erection.
9. Excess Stress. Excessive, long-term stress is “counter erotic” and affects both a man and his partner’s capability to have a happy sexual relationship.
10.Get Help. Persistent, chronic impotence needs medical attention before it interferes with relationships. Not treating erectile dysfunction may result in more severe illnesses including heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Bottom line: If you or your loved one is suffering from erectile dysfunction see your physician because help is available and no one needs to “suffer the tragedy of the bedroom.” If you want to keep it up, get a checkup!

Men, Start Your Engines…Take The Road To Good Health

July 8, 2012

Unfortunately, men, including myself, often have the attitude that if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  As a result men don’t take as good care of their health as they should.  There are some men who will spend more time, energy, and money taking care of their cars than they do of the wonderful machine called their body.  Men seldom see a doctor after they leave their pediatrician’s office at age 20 and never get medical, and especially preventive health care until they over 50 years.  That’s 30 years or a third of your life without any fine-tuning or maintenance.  Is it any wonder that our bodies breakdown in middle age?  It doesn’t have to be that way.  In this blog I will summarize an article, 6 Questions to Ask Your Doctor, by Dr. Matt McMillin that appeared in WebMD the Magazine on July 8, 2012

Your Diet

But eating right most of the time is an essential part of taking care of yourself. No matter how much you work out you can’t maintain a healthy weight unless you stick to a healthy diet. So be sure to satisfy your appetite with good-for-you foods, and make an effort to keep an eye on calories.

Men are often surprised that even though they are exercising four days a week, they are not losing weight. It’s all about portion control.  For example many men drink beer. To burn off the 150 calories in one can of beer, the typical man needs to jog a mile in less than 10 minutes or do 15 minutes of stair climbing.

Exercise

It’s simple: To get or stay fit, you have to get and stay active. According to the latest federal guidelines, that means a cardio workout of at least 30 sweat-inducing minutes five days a week, plus two days of dumbbell workouts or other weight-training activity to build and maintain muscles. Crunched for time? Kick up the intensity to vigorous exercise, such as jogging, riding a bike fast, or playing singles tennis, and you can get your cardio workout in just 25 minutes three days a week.

Exercise protects against so many conditions — from heart disease to colon cancer to depression — that the best choice is to start exercising now, no matter how healthy you are or think you are. If you haven’t been exercising regularly, see your doctor first and get medical clearance before engaging in a good exercise program.  I also suggest that you read the book, Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Ledge, M.D.  This book will give you the motivation and the schedule for a real get-in-shape program consisting of diet and exercise. 

 

Stress Reduction

Stress is harmful. It can wreak havoc on your sex drive, increase your blood pressure, and overwork your heart. Here’s the facts: middle-aged and older men who reported years of moderate to high levels of stress were more than 40% more likely to die than men with low stress.

One of the best stress busters is exercise.  You might also try yoga or meditation in addition to exercise.

The D word-Depression

At least 6 million men in the United States suffer from depression each year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. However, many guys don’t like to talk about their feelings or ask for help. Identifying those problems is a crucial part of any man’s checkup. Depression is more than simply feeling sad, unmotivated, and without energy. Depression is a real illness, and it can be life-threatening. That’s especially true for men, because it increases the risk of serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Depression is also the leading cause of suicide — and men are four times more likely than women to take their own lives.

A lot of men are reluctant to discuss their feelings with friends, spouses, their clergyman\woman, or their doctor. Identifying those problems is a crucial part of any man’s checkup. Depression is more than simply feeling sad, unmotivated, and without energy. Depression is a real illness, and it can be life-threatening. That’s especially true for men, because it increases the risk of serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

Depression is also the leading cause of suicide — and men are four times more likely than women to take their own lives. “I discuss how common it is so they see they are not isolated,” says White, who screens men for depression during their annual checkups. “Too often, it takes until they reach the end of their rope before they come to see you about it.” Depression is also the leading cause of suicide — and men are four times more likely than women to take their own lives. Medication, exercise, and therapy are all treatment options.

Get your zzzz’s-sleep

It’s hard to overestimate sleep’s importance. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease are all linked to insufficient sleep, as are excess weight and mood disorders. A recent study showed that young men who skimp on shut-eye have lower levels of testosterone than men who are well-rested. Lower testosterone translates to a decrease in sex drive and sexual performance including impotence or erectile dysfunction.  Meanwhile, older men risk high blood pressure if they don’t get enough deep sleep.

Sleep disorders can also have physical causes. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), for example, disrupts breathing and forces you to wake up to draw a deep breath. It affects an estimated 4% to 9% of middle-aged men (twice the rate in women), yet as many as 90% of cases go undiagnosed. OSA raises the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure as well as car crashes, which are more common among the sleep-deprived.

You can vastly improve your sleep by practicing good sleep hygeine: Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, exercise regularly and early in the day, avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening, don’t eat large meals at night, skip the alcohol right before bedtime, and use the bedroom for sleep and sex only. If these measures don’t help, see your doctor.

Good Health Equals Good Sex

 Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a concern that goes beyond the bedroom.  Years ago, ED was thought to be just a psychological problem or do to testosterone deficiency.  Now we know that ED is most a problem of disease in the blood supply to the penis and now we have learned that ED is a risk factor for heart disease.  Men with ED are twice as likely to have a heart attack and nearly twice as likely to die of heart disease than other men. Men who have trouble with erections tend to be overweight or obese, and to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The younger you are, the more likely your erectile dysfunction is a sign that you are at risk of heart disease.

Many of the men White sees for ED ask for quick fixes such as erection-enhancing drugs like Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis. For a long-term solution, you need to make some lifestyle changes. Sexual health depends on getting and staying fit, physically and mentally.  Yes, Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis will help but the real solution is to get fit and open up those blood vessels to the heart and also to penis.  Your heart and your sexual partner will thank you.

Bottom Line:  Men, you can’t buy good health.  It doesn’t come in a bottle or with one visit to the doctor’s office.  It comes with discipline, hard work, and the commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle.  Good health is within reach of every man.  Get off of the couch and into the pool, on to the jogging track, or into the gym.  You can thank me latter!

Dr. Neil Baum is a physician in New Orleans and the co-author of ECNETOPMI-Impotence It’s Reversible.

The New Equation: Stress = Excessive Eating = Obesity

May 25, 2012

Stress can impact your eating habits and lead to obesity, the national epidemic affecting millions of Americans. Doctors have now unraveled the relationship between stress and obesity. With chronic stress, the hypothalamus, located in the brain and where stress starts, sends a signal to the pituitary gland to release ACTH or adrenocorticotrophic hormone, which travels via the blood stream to the adrenal gland and stimulates the release of cortisol. Chronic stress leads to far more cortisol than is necessary which in turn stimulates the appetite as the cortisol secretion is turned on and off with excess stress resulting in excess ACTH to fuel the reaction. Cortisol has now been shown to activate lipoprotein lipase, the enzyme that facilitates the deposition of fat. Finally chronic stress is associated with increase anxiety, apathy, and depression, which by themselves may lead to excessive eating and obesity.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that exercise can help relieve chronic stress, reduce your appetite, and promote weight loss. Physical activity can protect against feelings of distress, defend against symptoms of anxiety, guard against depressive symptoms and the development of major depressive disorder and enhance psychological well-being.

Studies have documented that 30 minutes of exercise a day appear to have stress-reducing benefits. The type of exercise does not seem to make a difference. However, the intensity of the exercise does have an impact on stress reduction. The research shows that moderate to vigorous physical activity reduces stress better than low-intensity activity.

Bottom Line: Stress can be a killer just like heart disease. Want to make yourself heart healthy? Then reduce your stress by exercising. Your heart and so many other organ systems in your body will thank you.

For more information go to my website, http://www.neilbaum.com

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