Tag Archives: Sterling Medical Advice

Straight, No Chaser: Electrical Injuries and Lightning Strikes

Electricalinjurydanger

As I watch lightning lighting up the sky, it makes me wonder if anyone out there is unlucky enough to be getting struck. The annual probability of being struck by lightning is approximately 1 in 280,000, which is a lot more frequent than makes me comfortable. Today’s Straight, No Chaser addresses concerns and frequently asked questions on electrical injuries.

Why is getting shocked a big deal?

The human body conducts electricity very well, meaning when an external current is attached to us, it runs through the body with ease. This provides a lot of opportunity to cause damage. That damage in the wrong place can kill.

How does getting shocked cause damage?

There are three different paths by which electrical current (“getting shocked”) can cause damage.

electrical_burn_to_foot

  • On the way in and out, electrical current is likely to cause burns to the skin (thermal burns, aka entry and exit wounds).
  • An electrical current can cause destruction to several tissues, including muscles and nerves.
  • As electrical currents reach the heart, they can be disruptive to the heart’s electrical current, even causing it to stop.

What are some common causes of electrical injuries?

The dangers are all around you and in many instances occur because you don’t respect the power and danger of the electricity you use.

electrical injury lineman

  • If you have a job involving machinery or working with electricity, you can’t afford to get comfortable, because that’s when mistakes and injuries occur.

electricalpediatricburns_3

  • If you have electrical outlets that aren’t childproofed, then it stands to reason that eventually someone might place a metal object into that outlet, receiving a shock – or worse.

electrical-equipmentfrayed

  • If you have electrical appliances with worn, frayed and exposed wiring and you come in contact with the wire while it’s plugged in, you will be shocked.

electrical-injury-power lines

  • You live near a high-voltage power line? Beware of flashing electric arcs, which are looking for somewhere to land.

electricalgolferinjury

  • Thunder and lightning outside? Don’t be the golfer or other nature-lover wielding metal or otherwise unnecessarily exposing yourself to a rather large bolt. When you hear the thunder, the lightning is closer than you may think, relatively speaking.

What are the types of injuries I may receive?

Symptoms related to electrical injuries are numerous and varied. Here are a few examples.

electricalgolfinjury

  • Burns are common. The skin is likely to be pierced and burned on the way in and on the way out, producing “exit wounds” from the burn. Additionally, your sweat can be converted to steam and produce burns that way. Children who bite something with an active electrical current can receive a burn to the lip and experience delayed yet significant bleeding from the lip.

electrical lip-burn

  • The parts of the body that rely heavily on electric current are likely to be involved and damaged. This means you may experience the symptoms of a heart attack, an irregular heartbeat, numbness and tingling in your arms or legs from nerve damage or abnormal contractions of your muscles, which you’ll perceive as spasms and pain.
  • Similar effects on the brain may produce seizures and/or altered mental status.
  • The blast caused by an electrical injury can rupture a lung or your eardrums. Lung failure, shortness of breath and difficulty hearing may result.
  • The jolt caused by an electrical injury can sufficiently throw you such that secondary injuries can occur, including broken bones.
  • Combinations of the above mechanisms can produce additional symptoms such as headache, visual disturbances and problems swallowing.
  • Death may occur. Fortunately, even with the “ultimate” electrical injury (a lightning strike), 90% of victims still survive.

A separate Straight, No Chaser will address treatment and prevention considerations related to electrical injuries. In the meantime, look before you get shocked.

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, Health Prevention

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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Filed under 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!

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, Medical Treatment

Straight, No Chaser In the News – Testosterone Therapy Doubles the Risk of Heart Attacks

testosterone and heart attacks 

Over the last few days, Straight, No Chaser featured discussions of low testosterone and male menopause (which often includes low testosterone levels as a component of the syndrome). More importantly, you may recall our Straight, No Chaser post that discussed managing low testosterone without receiving testosterone therapy. Well as it seems, you may want to read that post again if you’re suffering from low testosterone (hypogonadism).

Testosterone_mainYou should be aware of a study out of the University of California-Los Angeles, which notes two particularly disturbing findings about treatment of low testosterone:

  • The rate of developing a heart attack is nearly tripled in men less than 65 years old with a history of heart disease.
  • The rate of developing a heart attack doubled in men older than 65 years old with or without a history of heart disease.

The study, which was published in the journal PLOS One (Public Library of Science), followed a study with similar findings published in November 2013 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

weight loss Miracle-Cure-Pill

Today’s message is rather simple: if you’re one of those individuals that view medicines as “magic in a bottle,” or if you’re someone so impressed by those commercials that you take testosterone just for an “extra boost,” this serves as another reminder that health has no shortcuts. Medications have risks, and health has benefits.

Alternatively, if you have serious health concerns consistent with low testosterone or male menopause (andropause), please discuss your concerns with your physician. You certainly can discuss your concerns with your Sterling Medical Advice expert consultant at www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com or at 844-SMA-TALK. We’ll keep you informed of risks and benefits of medicines as well as how to appropriately address your medical concerns with and sometimes without medications. Your personal healthcare consultants are standing by.

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 Cardiology/Heart, Endocrine/Metabolic, Genital/Urinary

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 stress, your body releases high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol blocks the effects of testosterone. Over the longterm, stress chronically blocks the effects of testosterone, producing all of the undesired symptoms that accompany that state.

You know to how 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.

    Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

 

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Filed under Endocrine/Metabolic, Genital/Urinary

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

This year, 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: 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!

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