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Latest News

12

June 2017

9 Tests Every Man Over 40 Should Take

By: Epoch

Source: The Huffington Post

The following are tests that every man over forty should have done, as they may help you detect silent killers such as high blood pressure, or catch or even reverse other diseases while they are still in their early, treatable stages. Get these done and don’t mess around.

PSA

The PSA test measures the level of prostate-specific antigen, an indicator of prostate health in your blood. A rising or high PSA may indicate prostate cancer, or it could point to another prostate condition that may need medical attention, or it may itself lead to cancer. Despite some controversy surrounding this test, it is still an important test for all men to consider as an early warning of reduced prostate health. I found out I had an abnormally high PSA about a decade ago after a PSA blood test. Since then, I have massively changed certain aspects of my diet and lifestyle to prevent any potential progression to prostate cancer—and today my PSA level is below normal for my age.

DRE

The digital rectal exam (DRE) is a simple procedure for the early detection and diagnosis of prostate cancer and other abnormalities of the prostate gland. The doctor inserts a lubricated gloved finger in the rectum to feel the prostate gland for lumps or enlargement. As such, it’s the test guys fear the most. But man up and have it done, because it could save your life.

TESTOSTERONE

Low T can cause several changes such as erectile dysfunction, fatigue, weight gain, loss of muscle, loss of body hair, sleep problems, trouble concentrating, bone loss, and personality changes. Your doctor can check your testosterone through a blood or saliva test. Before you jump on the T therapy wagon, though, I urge you to try the natural treatments listed here which I’ve used to increase my testosterone 38% in the last 5 years. Check out my book if you’re interested in exploring this in more detail.

BONE DENSITY

Osteoporosis may be more common in women, but men get it too. Experts recommend that men over fifty who are in high-risk groups (low T, family history, sedentary lifestyle, smokers, etc.) get tested, and men of normal risk get tested at sixty. A bone density scan (DEXA) can measure how strong your bones are and help you determine the risk of a fracture.

CHOLESTEROL

There are different kinds of cholesterol circulating in your blood. When you get tested you should receive the following measures:

  1. total cholesterol;
  2. low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or your “bad” cholesterol;
  3. high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or your “good” cholesterol; and your 
triglycerides, which are another form of fat in the blood.

High cholesterol is one of the risk factors for heart disease. Most men can have their cholesterol tested as part of a routine blood test.

BLOOD PRESSURE

Blood pressure is a silent killer. There are no symptoms of high blood pressure, but it can harm your heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, and blood vessels. I keep a portable blood pressure monitor in my office. They’re not expensive, and you can get a pretty good idea of your own health before you visit a doctor for confirmation.

BLOOD SUGAR

A blood sugar test measures the amount of glucose in your blood. The test is an important screening for diabetes or pre-diabetes and insulin resistance. Untreated diabetes will continue to get worse and cause problems with eyes, feet, heart, skin, mental health, nerves, kidneys, and more. Insulin resistance causes weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, bloating, and high blood sugar. When untreated, it can lead to diabetes. There’s also a higher risk of prostate and other cancers associated with high blood sugar.

It’s estimated that 34% of the US population is pre-diabetic. Although I’m not personally diabetic, I regularly take my blood sugar with a home blood sugar monitor so I can keep an eye on my glucose levels and make changes to my diet and lifestyle if it’s creeping up. 


COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING

Doctors recommend that people ages fifty to seventy-five get screened for colon cancer with any of three following tests: the sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and the fecal occult blood test. 
The US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer has ranked the screening methods. They say that tests like fecal occult blood screens can detect early stage cancers, but the colonoscopy is considered the best test for prevention.

I have a history of colon cancer, as my mom died from the disease in her early seventies, so I started getting checked every three to four years starting when I was forty. So far, so good—and it’s worth the regular screening to know for sure.

HIV TEST

You may be surprised to see HIV on the list, but about 15 percent of new infections each year are among people over age fifty, and people over fifty represent almost one-fourth of the HIV/AIDS cases in the United States. With birth control no longer a concern, many people over age fifty are having unprotected sex. Doctors don’t usually ask their older patients about sex, and educational programs that teach prevention neglect the patients in this age group—but HIV is certainly still a concern no matter how old you are.

These nine tests can help you stay healthy and improve your longevity. By giving you a warning that you have a condition that puts you at risk of a more serious disease, they can allow you to make changes in your diet, exercise, and other habits to reduce your risks. Because some of these conditions have no symptoms, you may have no idea that you have a problem if you do not get tested. It is easier and less expensive to prevent disease than to try to treat it after years of damage have set in.

 

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9

June 2017

The Hits to Infertility All Add Up

By: Epoch

Source: The Turek Clinic By: Dr. Paul Turek

 


As a kid, how many times did your mother tell you to put a coat on before going outside in the winter so that you wouldn’t get sick? In my family, this was a cardinal sin… but then again we were pretty healthy kids.

The coat-in-the-winter-thing is all about susceptibility. You still need to be exposed to a virus to get sick but that’s beside the point. But, when it comes to male fertility, I believe that the susceptibility argument holds water.

Do the Math

When it comes to things that affect fertility, the math is 1+1+1= more than 3. Piling on insults to fertility is not simply additive but more likely synergistic. It’s the “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” idea, just turned a little sideways.

The first time this occurred to me was when we analyzed our data on how semen quality among infertile men improved after discontinuing hot tubs and baths. The sperm counts in many men took off after cooling the jewels for 3 to 6 months. But the semen quality in other men did not respond at all. When we took a closer look at the nonresponders, we found that they were more likely to be smokers and have varicoceles, two other insults that hurt a man’s fertility. The more that holds a man down, the more likely he won’t get up.

The second time the susceptibility idea surfaced was during a flu season. Even with the flu shot, damn near everyone gets the flu over the winter. I noticed that, unlike men with normal sperm counts, guys with low sperm counts often became temporarily azoospermic (sterile!) when hit with the flu. Pretty scary to be helping a man improve his fertility only to see his sperm count tank with a couple of days of fevers and body aches. Whatever causes the low sperm counts in the first place may also make men less robust in the face of further insults.

Eliminate Variables

Add to these examples men with varicoceles using recreational drugs or taking medications like propecia and you can see how many iterations of insults are possible, all working to keep a good man down.

So, the little things really do matter when it comes to your fertility. Sperm production is an engine that wants to run hard and at high RPM; so don’t forget to change the oil, keep it tuned and put gas in the tank. Take great care of yourself, treat your body like a temple and consume things in moderation. And yes, listen to your mother and put on a coat in the winter.


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7

June 2017

Diabetes and erectile dysfunction: What is the connection?

By: Epoch

Source: Medical News Today


Erectile dysfunction, also called impotence, is not being able to get and maintain an erection for long enough to have sexual intercourse.

There are many causes of erectile dysfunction (ED) which can be physical, psychological, or both. One of the most common causes of ED is diabetes.

Studies suggest that 35-75 percent of men with diabetes will go on to develop ED. They will also tend to develop ED some 10-15 years earlier than men without diabetes.

Why can diabetes cause erectile dysfunction?

Diabetes can cause ED because it can damage the blood supply to the penis and the nerves that control an erection.

 

 

When a man becomes sexually aroused, a chemical called nitric oxide is released into his bloodstream. This nitric oxide tells the arteries and the muscles in the penis to relax, which allows more blood to flow into the penis. This gives the man an erection.

Men with diabetes struggle with blood sugar level swings, especially if their condition isn't managed poorly.

When their blood sugar levels get too high, less nitric oxide is produced. This can mean that there is not enough blood flowing into the penis to get or keep an erection. Low levels of nitric oxide are often found in those with diabetes.

Other causes of erectile dysfunction

Listed below are some other reasons for ED:

  • obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol
  • hormonal problems such as low testosterone
  • psychological problems including stress, anxiety, and depression
  • nervous system problems including damage to spinal cord or brain
  • smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and using some illegal drugs
  • some medications such as those taken for high blood pressure and depression

Pelvic injury or surgery on the prostate, bowel or bladder may cause damage to nerves connected to the penis. This nerve damage can also lead to ED.

Tests and diagnosis

A doctor will often perform some of the following tests to diagnose ED:

  • Blood tests to check for a raised blood sugar level, which may indicate diabetes.
  • Hormone tests to measure the levels of testosterone and other hormones.
  • Nervous system tests, such as blood pressure and sweat tests, which can rule out nerve damage to the heart, blood vessels, and sweat glands.
  • Urinalysis to test for sugar in urine, which might indicate diabetes.
  • Physical examination to assess the genitals and nerve reflexes in the legs and penis.
  • Patient history to help determine why someone is having problems with erections and under what circumstances.
  • Sexual health (SHIM) questionnaire to help diagnose the presence and severity of ED.
  • Injection of a drug into the penis to check that the blood supply to the penis is normal.

Lifestyle changes


Keeping diabetes under control is a good way to reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction due to diabetes is much better understood now. Good control of diabetes can reduce the risk of ED.

Other preventive measures such as stopping smoking and reducing alcohol intake will help lower the risk of developing ED.

Other lifestyle changes that may help include:

  • Eating a healthy diet and taking exercise: Studies suggest that men who changed their diet to one low in saturated fat and high in fiber and did moderate physical activity each week were able to improve ED without prescription drugs.
  • Weight loss: Some studies show that even a small weight loss can improve erectile function and sexual desire in men with diabetes. Those who lost weight had increased testosterone levels and blood flow resulting in better erections.
  • Stress reduction: ED can cause stress and tension in a relationship. Counseling can be helpful even if the origins of sexual dysfunction are physical. People with ED should try to find time for relaxation and get enough sleep every night.

A new study also suggests that supplementation with amino acids called l-arginine and l-citrulline may also help to improve erectile function. These acids are known to increase the body's production of nitric oxide, which can increase blood flow to the penis. As stated previously, low levels of nitric oxide are often found in men with diabetes.

Treatments

Treatment of ED will depend on the cause and there is a range of good treatment options. These are the same for men with diabetes and men who have ED from other causes.

Doctors can switch any prescription medications that may contribute to ED.

The most common treatment is with oral tablets. These have been shown to work well in many men with diabetes, restoring sexual function. Certain drugs called PDE-5 inhibitors are used to treat ED.

The four most commonly prescribed are:

  • sildenafil (Viagra)
  • vardenafil (Levitra)
  • tadalafil (Cialis)
  • avanafil (Spedra)

These drugs cause an erection by increasing blood flow to the penis. They require sexual stimulation to be effective. They should be taken 30-60 minutes before sexual intercourse.

 

 

 

 


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5

June 2017

Infertility in men could point to more serious health problems later in life

By: Epoch

Source: The Conversation


Poor sperm quality affects about one in ten men and may lead to fertility problems. These men also have an increased risk of developing testicular cancer, which is the most common malignant disease of young males. And, even if they don’t develop testicular cancer, men with poor sperm quality tend to die younger than men who don’t have fertility problems.

Couples who can’t achieve pregnancy usually go to fertility clinics for treatment. At these clinics, emphasis is put on deciding whether the couple needs assisted reproduction or not, and, if so, to choose between different methods (such as IVF, IUI, or ICSI) for doing this. In most cases, these treatments lead to pregnancy and a live birth. So the problem seems to be solved. But if infertility is an early symptom of an underlying disease in the man, fertility clinics won’t pick it up.

Missed opportunity

Testicular cancer is easy to detect. In men seeking treatment for fertility problems, a simple ultrasound scan of the testes can reveal early cancer, so a life-threatening tumour can be prevented. If detected, 95% of all cases can be cured. But, unfortunately, testicular ultrasound scans are rarely performed at fertility clinics as the focus tends to be on sperm numbers and which method of assisted reproduction to use.

And testicular cancer is not the only threat to young infertile men’s health. Serious health problems, such as metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, high blood sugar and obesity), type 2 diabetes and loss of bone mass are also much more common conditions among infertile men. These disorders are possible to prevent, but if left untreated often lead to premature death.

A possible culprit

At Lund University in Malmö, Sweden, we have – together with other research groups – made a number of studies focusing on the link between male fertility problems and subsequent risk of serious diseases. We cannot yet explain the causes, but testosterone deficiency is a strong candidate. My research team found that 30% of all men with impaired semen quality have low testosterone levels. And men totally lacking the hormone have early signs of diabetes and bone loss.

We recently conducted a study in which we investigated almost 4,000 men below the age of 50 and who had had their testosterone measured 25 years ago. We found that the risk of dying at a young age was doubled among those with low testosterone levels compared with men with normal levels of this hormone.

Although testosterone treatment may not necessarily be the best preventive measure, these findings makes it possible to identify men at high risk so that they can be advised about lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or quitting smoking – lifestyle changes that will help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

A relatively high proportion of men get in touch with their doctor about infertility problems and, as they represent a high-risk group for some of the most common diseases occurring later in life, perhaps it is time to change the routines for managing them. With the knowledge we now have regarding these men’s health, the least we can demand from doctors is to identify those who are at risk of serious diseases after they have become fathers. This is cheap and only requires simple tests. It is no longer enough to just evaluate the number of sperm.


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