Category Archives: Genital/Urinary

Straight, No Chaser: The Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

Well, here’s what many of you’ve been awaiting.  Assuming the preventative efforts I mentioned didn’t work for you, there are several different treatment approaches. If there’s an underlying medical cause, then treatment of that cause is not only a good way to relieve erectile dysfunction (ED), but it’s a good way to get healthy and avoid other complications from the primary disease. Today, I’ll review different treatment strategies your primary care physician or urologist may discuss or recommend to you for treatment.

The medications

A first consideration is to be wary of (any) medications via mail order. The same level of testing, scrutiny and quality control just doesn’t exist to the same degree as do medications obtained through a pharmacy. Reports abound of people receiving expired or weak formulations of the pills, as well as fake or hazardous substitutes of the pills they thought they were receiving. Engage at your own risk.

Now, regarding those medications you know all too well by name and brand (e.g. Levitra, Cialis and Viagra), there’s no special ‘magic’ to them. They all are variations of the same theme, physiologically relaxing muscles in the penis, resulting in increased blood flow to it.  Unfortunately, that’s not the entire story with these medications.  ED medications all lower blood pressure throughout the body, and that increased blood to the penis is coming at the expense of decreased blood flow elsewhere (This is called a ‘steal syndrome’.).  If you’re otherwise unhealthy, and your redirecting blood that was needed in the heart or brain, you could end up with a heart attack or stroke while taking these meds.  Therefore, this leads to two very important cautions regarding ED meds.  You shouldn’t start them without discussing with a physician first (to determine “…if you’re healthy enough to have sex”, as the commercials say), and secondly, don’t keep the fact that you’re taking them a secret (to your significant other, and especially to any physician you come across if you’re sick).  These medications could be the cause of whatever medical issue has you in an emergency room. They could also be contributors to life-threatening adverse effects if you’re being treated for something else with a medication that interacts with the ED med you’re taking but didn’t bother to mention to the emergency physician.  This is why ED medications generally aren’t given to men also on medications for high blood pressure, an enlarged prostate, blood thinners or certain other heart diseases (e.g. angina).

There are actually even more intricate medications used to treat ED.  Taking testosterone injections is an increasing means of addressing low hormone levels.  Additional injections directly into the penis or inserting a suppository into the penis itself are additional, effective treatment methods.  You’d be given these options by your urologist if necessary.

The counseling

If your ED is due  to anxiety, stress or other psychologically generated reasons, psychotherapy (possibly with your partner) may be of incredible assistance.  If you pursue this option, you and your partner must be prepared to be patient and to work through a variety of issues and possible approaches.

Surgery and additional methods

  • If you’ve ever seen an Austin Powers movie, you’re familiar with (well at least the jokes about) penis pumps.  These are real things, and involve placing a hollow tube over the penis and creating a vacuum to pull blood to the penis via a pump.  A tension ring is placed about the base of the penis to maintain the erection during intercourse.
  • Actual vascular surgery to repair damaged arteries may be indicated in certain cases.
  • Penile implants are an additional option.  Inflatable rods are placed into the sides of the penis.  These rods are simply inflated when needed.

Penile-Prosthesis-300x168

If you think some of this is a bit much, it may or may not be, depending on if you’re the one suffering.  As I usually conclude, prevention would have been a much better course of action.  Hopefully if that’s not the case, you’ve understood the information provided well enough to have an informed conversation with your physician.  Good luck, and I welcome your comments and/or questions.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

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Filed under Genital/Urinary, Medical Treatment

Straight, No Chaser: Erectile Dysfunction, Part Two – Causes

In my last post on erectile dysfunction (ED), I gave a simplistic way to understand and address it.  However, the truth of the matter is the overwhelming majority of cases of ED are not related to stress or other psychological issues.  First, some sense of ‘reasonable’, expected performance should be established, especially as one ages (as discussed here).  Beyond that, you should know that approximately 90% of ED cases involve an underlying medical concern, including, but not limited to, the following:

Diabetes

High blood pressure

Changes/disease to your blood vessels

Low testosterone

Kidney disease

Smoking

Alcohol and Drug abuse

Obesity and High cholesterol

Effects of your medications

erectile-dysfunction

Therefore, today’s message is simple and brief, but I’d suggest it’s probably more important than you have previously thought. You should consult your physician if and when you or your partner’s sexual performance becomes an issue. You may actually discover something that will not only save his performance, but his life.

Finally, in the next post we will review the wide variety of treatment options for ED.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

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Filed under General Health and Wellness, Genital/Urinary

Straight, No Chaser: Erectile Dysfunction, Part One

It seems appropriate to follow-up a post on age-related changes in your genitourinary system with a discussion on erectile dysfunction (ED).  The nature of the topic is such that I’m going to approach this in two different ways.  Today, I’ll give you a functional, overly simplistic view of ED and tomorrow, I’ll look at it from more of a clinical orientation, because there really are nuances involved. So keep in mind the lead picture. There are many medical and psychological issues that can lead to problems having erections.  I’ll get into that more tomorrow.

In many ways, your health is related to the quality of your blood flow, both in quantity (successful circulation to tissues) and quality (relative absence of toxins we ingest and deliver throughout). This is true for the brain (mental health, absence of strokes), the heart (stamina, absence of heart disease/attacks), and your penis (sexual function, lack of impotence), as well as every other organ.

Excluding truly medical considerations, the two surest ways I know to be a sexual stud (without implants or being of a certain age) are to have a legitimately healthy ego (psychologic health) and more importantly, to be in good physical shape and otherwise healthy. However, for now, given that an erection simply results from strong blood flow to the penis, your overall health better enables that process (the first time as well as if you want multiple contiguous encounters). Everything being equal, the best way for a guy to be able to have sex for whatever you define as a ‘sufficient’ period of time (besides being of a certain young age) is to maintain good cardiovascular health by spending that physician-recommended 20-30 minutes or more at a time on a treadmill, bike, running, etc.

Drugs like Viagra, Cialis, etc. are really nothing more than drugs that lower blood pressure (and resulting demands by other bodily organs on your blood), such that your penis’ call for an erection is otherwise unimpeded.  Sounds good?  The risk is varying forms of a ‘steal syndrome’, where that blood isn’t being distributed to your heart and brain, which could result in a heart attack or stroke.  That’s why you must “ask your doctor if you’re healthy enough for sex” before using…

Bottom line: practice for good sex and stamina during sex by working out.  It’s just another benefit to being healthy.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Straight, No Chaser: Straight Talk About Vasectomies

vasectomy header

A couple’s conversation about having a vasectomy can either be a tense one or it can be a display of trust and cohesion. The decision by a man to have a vasectomy can be a soul-searching “moment of truth.” In this Straight, No Chaser, let’s look at seven of the issues surrounding vasectomies. At the end there’s an illustration of the procedure. Yes, it involves a clip.

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that involves cutting the tube (the vas deferens) that carries sperm from the scrotum to the testes. The vasectomy prevents sperm from leaving the testes so that the man can’t impregnate a woman.

vasectomy

Issue 1: Why would you want it?

The answer to this is relatively straightforward. You’d want a vasectomy if you don’t want any, or any more, children. This is a form of sterilization.

Issue 2: When would it be a good option?

If you’re in a relationship and both partners agree that you’ve either had all the children you want or don’t want the risk of having any children, a vasectomy would be a reasonable option. Other considerations may include if you can’t use other forms of birth control, if pregnancy would be medically unsafe, or if the risk of genetic disease or a birth defect in your offspring is greater than you’re willing to accept.

Issue 3: When wouldn’t it be a good option?

This gets a little dicey and relates to levels of instability, either in your relationship or other personal situations. A decision to have a vasectomy to please your partner or salvage a relationship may not be the best choice. If you’re young or unmarried, you are subject to many life changes that may prompt reevaluating whether you really want a child. For example, if you marry/remarry, children may become more important than they currently are. A vasectomy is a surgical procedure with risks. A decision to have it done as a convenience (e.g., because you are unreliable or don’t want to use other forms of birth control) is irresponsible.

Issue 4: How successful is the procedure?

Vasectomies are very successful and have a failure rate of approximately 1 in 2,000. Comparatively speaking, the analogous procedure in females (tubal ligation) has a failure rate of 1 in 200-300. Typical failure rates are due to having sex too soon after the procedure. It takes time for existing sperm to be cleared from both ends of the vas deferens; that existing sperm can still impregnate a woman. This is a major reason why men should wait a week after the surgery and until the sperm count has been documented to be zero in the seminal fluid. To a much lesser extent, rare spontaneous reconnection of the clipped portions of the vas deferens may produce failures.

Issue 5: What complications exist?

Vasectomies are generally very safe, and the complications associated with it are those seen with any surgery. These include pain, swelling and infection. Remember, as we just discussed, the circumstances under which post-vasectomy pregnancies can occur.

Issue 6: What happens should I choose to have it reversed?

It is important for men considering a vasectomy to read and fully understand the next sentence. If you have a vasectomy, you should not consider it reversible. That said, you can spend a lot of money for a microsurgical reversal procedure that is successful about 50% of the time if done within 10 years of the vasectomy and approximately 25% of the time if done after 10 years. Be advised that such reversals are associated with a higher level of birth defects.

Issue 7: About what other considerations should I be concerned?

  • Men seemingly are most often concerned about post-vasectomy ability to have an erection or orgasm. Vasectomies do not diminish a man’s ability to have either.
  • You should be concerned about the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which a vasectomy does not prevent. A false sense of confidence may exist after a vasectomy knowing that pregnancy is extremely unlikely, but that has nothing to do with STIs. In fact the greater inclination to have unprotected sex after a vasectomy may put men at greater risk for transmitting or receiving STIs.
  • Vasectomies do not increase the risk of testicular or prostate cancer.

Most men are satisfied with vasectomies, because most men who have vasectomies do so in the context of a stable and healthy relationship. Men who are most likely to seek reversals do so in the context of unexpected life events (e.g., new partner/marriage with a desire for kids). Sometimes their reconsideration is in response to a tragedy. If you are considering a vasectomy, please only do so after a solemn view of the rest of your life. If you believe it to be stable, you will likely be satisfied with the outcome.

The following clip (click the link) is courtesy of the National Institutes of Health and demonstrates the logistics of the various approaches to the procedure. Feel free to leave any comments or ask any questions you may have.

Vasectomy

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Straight, No Chaser: Maintain Healthy Testosterone Levels Without Replacement Therapy

Testerone2

Male virility is a fascinating topic medically. It is truly an example of how confidence and mental fortitude (or the absence thereof) can directly translate into physical performance. Thus, it doesn’t come as a surprise when TV ads seek to sow seeds of doubt into you. (“Don’t perform like you used to? Maybe it’s Low-T! Here’s a miracle pill!”)

As mentioned in the previous post, many factors control testosterone, most notably a natural drop associated with aging.  In fact, your levels are considered normal until about age 30, then you lose approximately 1% per year until you reach a state by age 70 where you’re expected to be clinically below normal – and that’s just due to the age-related considerations. Factors you can control affect not only your sexual health but your physical and mental health, too. These include appropriately managing your diet, exercise, sleep and stress. Let’s look at the effect each has on maintenance of healthy testosterone levels.

Diet:

testostdietfruit

It will forever be true that what you place in your mouth either strengthens you or slowly poisons you. Here’s a quick list of foods that are specifically good for boosting your testosterone levels.

  • Bananas – Banana are rich in B vitamins, which are needed to manufacture testosterone.
  • Brazil nuts – It’s the magnesium contained within that increases testosterone.
  • Chicken liver – It’s the zinc! Zinc increases testosterone levels.
  • Cruciferous vegetables – Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower help eliminate the hormone estrogen from the body, which increases testosterone. Choosing these healthy foods also helps weight loss, which in turn increases testosterone production.
  • Eggs – It’s really about the vitamin D contained within eggs; vitamin D deficiency has been shown to correlate with higher estrogen levels and lower testosterone levels.
  • Garlic (as part of a high protein diet) – This combination increases testosterone production.
  • Oysters – It’s the zinc! Zinc increases testosterone.
  • Pineapples – It’s the magnesium contained within that increases testosterone.
  • Pumpkin seeds – It’s the zinc! Zinc increases testosterone.

Here’s the other dietary consideration for you: In general, most anything you eat that adds to your level of obesity will result in lowered testosterone levels. Number one on that list is processed sugar—think fructose, meaning soda/pop, fruit juices. The relationship between diet and testosterone is way more intricate than this, but if you incorporate the steps just mentioned, you will see a difference in your overall health and sexual health.

Exercise: 

testosteroneexercise

I will limit this part of the discussion to two manageable considerations.

  • If you’re overweight, you are more likely to have low testosterone levels. Globally losing weight will work to your advantage.
  • Intense strength training also boosts testosterone levels. When strength training to boost testosterone, you’ll want to increase the weight, lower your number of reps and slow down the motion on each rep. Also try to work a large number of muscles, as occurs with dead lifts or squats.

Stress Management:

testostress

When you’re under a significant amount of  stress, your body releases high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol blocks the effects of testosterone. Over the long term, stress chronically blocks the effects of testosterone, producing all of the undesired symptoms that accompany that state.

You need to know how to reduce your stress. Here are techniques shown to be effective in this setting.

  • Deep breathing
  • Laughter
  • Meditation
  • Positive visualization
  • Prayer
  • Yoga

Sleep: 

testostsleep

Here’s something you likely didn’t know. Testosterone is only produced by your testes at night. Even more impressive production coincides at a specific point in the sleep cycle immediately before REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep. This production and replenishment is most complete in men getting at least eight hours of sleep/night. Conversely, testosterone levels are significantly lower in those receiving less than six hours of sleep/night. Note this is total sleep at night, not consecutive hours of sleep (assuming you are able to rapidly fall back asleep). Get your sleep!

These are very important considerations. As is the case with many conditions, your health is not going to be found in a medicine bottle. The fundamentals of taking care of yourself are your best course of action for longevity and health. This is especially important in the management of low testosterone, given that testosterone therapy has serious side effects and increases risks for certain conditions, including signaling the body to stop producing its own testosterone and the following:

  • Acne
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Prostate cancer
  • Reduction in sperm production
  • Sleep apnea

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Endocrine/Metabolic, Genital/Urinary

Straight, No Chaser: Male Menopause (aka Andropause)

Andropause

Manopause?  Male Menopause? Yes, andropause is a thing (at least according to many medical authorities). Most of us are roughly familiar with menopause. You may or may not be surprised to discover that men suffer through similar age-related changes called andropause.

With both sexes, changes are related to diminishing sex hormones. In the example of women, it’s estrogen and progesterone. With men, it’s testosterone. One big difference between the male and female experiences is lower testosterone levels don’t prevent men from still being able to have kids. Men can have kids into their 90s.

andropauselowt

So the logical question to ask would be is this just the same as low testosterone? Well, not exactly. It’s the confluence of several problems men face with aging, including low testosterone, obesity, diabetes and depression (in those with these conditions). In particular, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes seem to be particular risk factors. The fortunate news is this complex doesn’t occur universally and can be delayed with certain actions.

So what are you to do? For starters, know the symptoms and know when to ask for help. Here are symptoms commonly associated with andropause.

  1. Depression
  2. Difficulty sleeping
  3. Increased body fat, particularly in the midsection
  4. Irritability
  5. Less desire for physical activity
  6. Less energy
  7. Less erections or less strong erections
  8. Less mental sharpness and quickness
  9. Loss of armpit or genital hair
  10. Loss of confidence
  11. Loss of interest in regular activities
  12. Loss of libido
  13. Night sweats
  14. Reduced muscle mass
  15. Social withdrawal
  16. Swollen breasts

homer-2011-10-22-at-12.10.22-PM3

It’s important to get evaluated for these issues because even if these aren’t attributable to andropause, other causes can be even more serious. Examples of conditions that can cause these same symptoms include depression, drug and alcohol abuse, infections, heart disease, poor nutrition, stress and thyroid disease.

When you begin to develop these symptoms, you may discover that diet, exercise and weight control are important in relieving symptoms and slowing the progression of symptoms. Your physician likely will advise the same. In many cases, treating low testosterone is another important component of management.  The next  Straight, No Chaser post will discuss this additional consideration.

andropause-affects-men-382x382

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Endocrine/Metabolic, General Health and Wellness, Genital/Urinary

Straight, No Chaser: Low Testosterone

low-testosterone-treatment

Are you someone who had never heard of Low-T until recent commercials starting telling you that you weren’t normal? Let’s review what all the fuss is about.

As most people know, testosterone is the most important male sex hormone that in many ways and for many defines “manhood,” contributing to the following:

  • Changes of puberty, including deepening of your voice
  • Production of pubic, facial and body hair
  • Production of sperm
  • Facilitation of sex drive
  • Maintenance of bone health, which assists growth

Low-T-In-Men-Tucson

In case you were wondering, this is what “male menopause” looks like.

Certain parts of the brain (hypothalamus and pituitary gland) signal how much testosterone needs to be produced. Most production occurs in the testes.

The symptoms of low testosterone are predictable. Symptoms include a reduction in sex drive, erections and sperm count. Men may also see an enlargement of their breasts. Additional symptoms (over the long-term) may include smaller testes, less energy, mood changes, loss of muscle size and strength, and weakened bones.

low-testosterone

The aging process normally reduces sex drive, sperm count and frequency of erections. Aging also reduces testosterone such that clinically low testosterone levels invariably occur by age 70. The presence of these two independent facts can make it confusing to know if these symptoms are simply part of the aging process or might be attributable to a disease in the areas that either produce or regulate testosterone. In other words, although a natural age-related reduction in testosterone level is normal, it may or may not be the cause of lower sex drive.

testostgraph_men

Low testosterone in the absence of aging really is thought to be more of a sign of disease than a disease unto itself. The primary goal is to ensure than none of the more serious causes of low testosterone are present. Some of the more serious causes and considerations leading to low testosterone include injury, infection or cancer to the testes, radiation therapy or chemotherapy, hormonal disorders such as pituitary gland tumors or diseases, liver and kidney disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, obesity, certain genetic disorders and use of opiates (pain-killers).

Based on the cause and your health status, you may be prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. Testosterone replacement may occur via periodic injections, skin patches/gels, skin pellets or tablets that stick to the gums.

Testosterone replacement is not like taking a pill for an erection. These are hormones and come with long-term risks, the most notable being prostate cancer. Therefore, those males with prostate or breast cancer aren’t candidates for testosterone replacement therapy. Other side effects of testosterone replacement therapy include acne, breast enlargement, fluid buildup in the legs, ankles and feet, increased red blood cell count, prostate enlargement and sleep apnea.

Here are groups with significant enough risks from testosterone replacement therapy that they require monitoring if treated this way:

  • African-American men
  • Men over 40 years of age who have close relatives with prostate cancer
  • All men over 50 years of age

So what should you do with this information?

  • Understand that certain age-related changes occur naturally and don’t represent disease.
  • Understand that the premature presence of these symptoms could represent disease and need to be evaluated.
  • Understand that a desire to avoid the symptoms associated with low testosterone is best done with routine health measures (diet and exercise) that help the body function and maintain healthy levels of testosterone naturally.
  • Understand that a decision to seek treatment for these symptoms isn’t as simple as getting a pill or a patch. Hormonal treatment has real and serious associated side effects and risks and should only be done with the consultation and consent of your physician and endocrinologist (hormone specialist).

hrt

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Endocrine/Metabolic, General Health and Wellness, Genital/Urinary

Straight, No Chaser: Men’s Health Week, Fathers Day and Health

Fathers’ Day falls right at the tail end of Men’s Health Week, but we don’t like that – and we’ll begin our own Men’s Health Week by starting with Fathers’ Day!

Mens-Health1-e1434342300575-604x270happy-fathers-day-ties

Take a moment to think through the variety of concerns of our fathers.

  • Many of our fathers are of advancing ages and have to address all the ramifications of that, including arthritis, coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease and cancer. With the likelihood of suffering from multiple diseases, it is probable that they are taking multiple medications, leaving them susceptible to medication side effects and drug interactions. Either of these concerns can result in falls, leading to trauma, fractures and head injuries. Additionally, many fathers have to deal with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia type issues.
  • Some of our fathers have been taken from us by gunshots or other forms of violence. Remember, public health concerns have caused more deaths than medical illness.
  • On a lighter note, a lot of fathers will only have to suffer the embarrassment of a minor burn over the grill this weekend.

fathers-day-health-gifts

All of this is meant to point out the need for health prevention in a group that utilizes health care much less than women and children. If you’re in the gift giving mood this Sunday, do better than that not-so-attractive tie. Think health. Get one of those health monitors that track steps, eating and sleeping habits. How about a treadmill? Try a safety helmet if he’s a motorcycle rider. Grab some manly mittens for the grill. Get him a back brace or a dolly to help with the duties he performs around the house. Make him an appointment to see his physician.

FathersDay

As a father, when I think of my health and what my loved ones can best do to contribute to it year-round, I think of happiness. Fathers are providers and protectors. If you’re lucky enough to still have your father around, take a moment, and let him know the ways he’s contributed to your happiness. That’s pretty simple and shouldn’t be that much to ask. Don’t discount the impact of happiness on health.

healthhappiness

On Straight, No Chaser, we often discuss the intersection of health and happiness, and during Men’s Health Week and on a day like Father’s Day, that discussion becomes both important and meaningful. It is quite likely that on this day, fathers everywhere are reflecting on the meaning of life and realizing that fatherhood is our ultimate legacy. So while you’re rewarding your favorite guy (with healthy food, no doubt), lay the love sauce on a little thick. It’s needed and will be appreciated. Here’s an early Happy Fathers’ Day to all those deserving men out there.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under General Health and Wellness, Genital/Urinary, Geriatrics/Elderly Care

Straight, No Chaser: Living With An Incurable Sexually Transmitted Infection

STD living well

You’ve requested it, and it’s only fair. We’ve spent a lot of time discussing sexually transmitted diseases and infections (STDs, STIs). It’s reasonable to discuss living with an STD. The first point to appreciate is most STDs can be treated; that’s been discussed at length in several previous posts. Next you should understand that those that can’t be treated don’t represent a death sentence. STDs are simply diseases. To be clear you will need to make adjustments to your life, and this Straight, No Chaser will discuss those.

Even if you were irresponsible in acquiring an STD, you must learn to be responsible in managing it once it’s known that you have an incurable STD such as HPV or HIV/AIDS. Refer back to the Straight, No Chaser Comprehensive Safe Sex Guide for details.

std incurable

There are important differences between managing different diseases. Putting HIV/AIDS aside momentarily, consider the following general considerations regarding herpes or HPV.

  • You can live a mostly normal life with these conditions. Unless you’re in the midst of a herpes outbreak or are showing the warts of HPV, you will appear normal. Every other positive attribute you possess will still be intact. Use that positivity to help you through.
  • It’s only fair and reasonable to have a conversation with existing and/or new sexual partners about your condition. You and your partner should meet with your physician to discuss risks and possibilities. You will want this information to make informed decisions about what you choose to do moving forward.
  • If you are showing symptoms or in the midst of an outbreak, you should avoid any sexual activity.
  • Unless you’re in the midst of an outbreak, you can have sex. Remember that these STDs can be transmitted even in the absence of symptoms, so please protect yourself and your partner.

A really reasonable way to think about having sex with an incurable STD is to think about kissing someone with a cold or the flu. You could still do it, but you’re likely to be at risk. When the symptoms aren’t there, your partner could still be a carrier of the disease and could still give you the disease. Your better course of action is to wait until all symptoms are gone and then still be careful.

std living facts

You have to simultaneously appreciate that your life will be approximately normal, even as you’ve had a significant change. Even as you get about living the rest of your life, you should be aware of risks that can cause an outbreak.

  • Of course intercourse is a very risky activity. Couples who have been exposed to one STD are likely to have been exposed to multiple. You don’t want to “ping-pong” diseases between you and your partner. Follow the recommended guidelines for having and avoiding sex based on your symptoms.
  • Surgery, trauma or any cause of a reduced immune system can produce an outbreak. If you’re diabetic, on steroids, have lupus or other conditions that affect the immune system, have a conversation with your physician.

STD living

At some point, you’ll get over the guilt and shame associated with having an untreatable STD and start focusing on the rest of your life. Be sure to live that life so it’s not causing more damage along the way; out of sight can’t be out of mind with an incurable STD. Be especially mindful of your risks of giving your partner your disease, both from specific acts of intercourse and from other sexual activities besides intercourse. Remember, these diseases all affect more than sex; managing these diseases is managing your health.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Genital/Urinary, Infectious Disease, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Treatment of Pubic Lice (Crabs)

pubic lice treatment comb

There’s no dishonor in needing help. A pubic lice infestation is one of many types of conditions that can lead to a complete disruption of your life. These are full-time parasites whose mission is to multiply and inhabit you. If you get infected and either don’t know what to do or incompletely/incorrectly treat these infections, you’ll be in for a long and unpleasant co-existence with pubic lice. Today’s Straight, No Chaser addresses treatment considerations regarding pubic lice and is modified from recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Non-treatment-related information on pubic lice is available in this post.

Lice-killing over-the-counter products containing 1% permethrin or pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide can be used to treat pubic (“crab”) lice. These medications are safe and effective when used according to instructions. It never hurts to discuss this with the pharmacist while you’re there or with your SterlingMedicalAdvice.com expert consultant from home.

It is important to appreciate that there are two separate considerations in treating pubic lice: 1) treatment of lice actually in the pubic area and 2) treatment of lice on the eyebrows and/or eyelashes.

public lice rx statement

Steps for genital pubic lice treatment:

  • Wash the infested area and towel dry. Set the towel aside, as it will need to be specially cleaned.
  • Thoroughly saturate the pubic hair and other infested areas with lice medication. Leave the medication on your hair for the time recommended in the instructions. After waiting the recommended time, promptly remove it.
  • Even at this point, most nits (eggs) will still be attached to hair shafts. Nits may be removed with fingernails or by using a fine-toothed comb.
  • Put on clean underwear and clothing.
  • To kill any lice or nits remaining on clothing, towels, or bedding, machine-wash and machine-dry those items used during the two-three days before treatment. Use hot water (at least 130°F) and the hot dryer cycle.
  • Items that cannot be laundered can be dry-cleaned or stored in a sealed plastic bag for two weeks.
  • All sex partners from within the previous month should be informed that they are at risk for infestation and should be treated.
  • Sexual contact must be avoided until all sexual partners have been treated and reevaluated to rule out persistent infestation.
  • Repeat treatment in nine to 10 days if live lice or nits are still found.
  • Persons with pubic lice should be evaluated for other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Steps for treatment of lice and nits found on eyebrows or eyelashes:

  • The lice medications used for the genital region should not be used near the eyes.
  • If only a few live lice and nits are present, it may be possible to remove these with fingernails or a nit comb.
  • If additional treatment is needed for lice or nits on the eyelashes, careful application of ophthalmic-grade petrolatum ointment (only available by prescription) on the eyelid margins two to four times a day for 10 days is effective. Regular petrolatum such as Vaseline should not be used, because it can irritate the eyes.

Your physician knows what medications work for treatment of pubic lice, but I do want you to make a note regarding one medicine: lindane shampoo. This medicine is effective but has a bad risk profile. It can be toxic to the brain and central nervous system and is most notably associated with the development of seizures. Because of this, lindane is not a first-line medication and should be restricted to instances in which other medications didn’t work or aren’t tolerated. Lindane is not to be given to anyone under 110 pounds (e.g., children), those with a history of seizures, women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, the elderly or those with sores and/or irritated skin in the areas to be treated.

The point about pubic lice is the same as with any sexually transmitted infection. Your best course is to avoid contracting it. If obtained, your best course is to come clean (no pun intended) and get aggressive with treatment and notification of your sexual partners. Pretending it will go away or that it can’t happen to you is a dangerous prescription that I won’t co-sign.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

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Filed under Genital/Urinary, Infectious Disease