Posts tagged ‘baby boomers’

Five signs you may have low testosterone — guest post by Dr. Larry Lipschultz

happy faceLow testosterone, also referred to as hypogonadism, may result in significant side effects, such as male infertility. Because low testosterone symptoms may mimic the effects of other disorders, and because patients may feel embarrassed to discuss their experiences with a medical practitioner, individuals may fail to recognize symptoms of low testosterone. However, men should pay attention to their bodies if common signs of low testosterone occur. By contacting a trusted men’s health practice, you may be able to improve testosterone levels and prevent potential risks.

Decreased Sex Drive

Noticing a dip or significant drop in your sex drive does not necessarily point to an emotional issue or something you can take care of on your own. This may point to a low testosterone level. While your sex drive may decrease naturally as you age, an apparent testosterone issue may contribute to a lack of desire to have sex, as well as a decreased ability to reach orgasm.

Infertility

If you find you have been having conception problems with your significant other, your infertility may be the result of low testosterone. This hormone plays an important role in sperm production. As testosterone drops, so does sperm count and your ability to conceive. Your men’s health doctor will test your blood to determine whether your infertility rests solely on low testosterone levels, which may affect a more comprehensive hormonal imbalance.

Erectile Dysfunction

Low testosterone may result in erectile dysfunction. The relationship here is twofold. First, low levels of testosterone often result in a loss of genital sensation. When your sensation drops, your ability to receive stimulation and achieve an erection decreases. In addition, testosterone supports a subsequent process involving the release of nitric oxide, which acts as a vasodilator, or widening of blood cells. When this reaction fails to occur, achieving or sustaining an erection becomes difficult or impossible.

Fatigue

When you experience feelings of decreased energy and fatigue, consider whether you have done anything to alter your usual routine. If you have not overexerted yourself, changed your diet significantly, or experienced sleeping problems, you may look to low testosterone as the underlying cause. Particularly when experienced in combination with mood swings, weight gain, and loss of muscle mass, fatigue may be your red flag that your hormones need a rebalance.

Changes in Mood

If you notice that you have been feeling depressed lately, but no major changes have occurred in your life, low testosterone is a possible culprit. Hormones play a key role in your mental and emotional balance. If it isn’t depression, in which you experience feelings of guilt and extreme sadness , you may notice you become irritable. Or, you may find you feel fine but the people surrounding you in your life begin to complain that you have become quite moody.

About Dr. Larry Lipschultz

Larry Lipschultz, M.D. is one of the leading experts on male reproductive medicine and microsurgery, and contributes to education as a professor at Baylor College of Medicine. He has trained an extensive number of urologists and heads a urology practice that offers comprehensive services for men’s health. His practice is located in Houston, and offers services that focus on infertility, erectile dysfunction, nutrition, and other men’s health issues.

Website: http://www.larrylipshultz.com/

Baby boomers and depression — guest post by Jordan Dahlberg

We all hate to admit it, but the inevitable is happening; we are getting older.  As we age, a lot of changes seem to happen all at once – retirement, death of loved ones, increased isolation, medical problems and more.  Many people find these changes prevent them from enjoying life as they used to and can lead to depression.

However, depression is not inevitable.  Many people base their lives on the concept of, “prevention is the best form of medicine.”  Depression is no exception.  In this case, knowledge of depression – triggers, warning signs, and treatment options – can help you prevent it.

Causes of Baby Boomer Depression
There are lots of events that can trigger depression.  While many people find it is a combination of events, it is possible that just one solo thing can be the instigator.
Health problems like illnesses or disease (diabetes, thyroid disorder, vitamin B12 deficiency, and multiple sclerosis), disability, chronic or severe pain, cognitive decline or surgery can lead to depression.
An increased sense of loneliness and isolation because of living alone, a dwindling social circle, and decreased mobility can have negative ramifications on a person’s mental state.
Baby boomers often suffer from a reduced sense of purpose, feelings of purposelessness and loss of identity brought on by retirement and physical limitations on activities.
A heightened level of fear (about dying, financial problems, and health issues) can bring about depression.
The recent death of a family member, friend, pet or spouse is difficult to recover from.
Depression is a common side-effect of drugs for blood pressure, heart disease, high-cholesterol and arthritis.  It is also associated with sleeping pills, beta-blockers, and calcium-channel blockers.

Why People Don’t Seek Help
The reason depression is so sever amongst the elderly is because people don’t seek help.  Many times, individuals assume there is a good reason for their feelings – it is just a part of aging.  Or, they are so isolated that no one notices their distress.  Others may not recognize the physical symptoms of depression as warning signs.  Sadly, a lot of patients feel reluctant to talk about their feelings or ask for help.

Symptoms and Warning Signs
If you are experiencing any of the following, your suffering may be a result of depression:
Lost of interest in activities you used to enjoy
Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
Difficulty sleeping
Loss of appetite
Feeling like it is harder and harder to get through the day
Difficulty maintaining relationships

Your baby boomer loved one may be suffering from depression if he or she is exhibiting the following warning signs:
Sadness
Fatigue
Social withdraw and isolation
Weight loss or decreased appetite
Daytime sleepiness, difficulty falling asleep or oversleeping
Neglecting personal care – skipping meals, forgetting medications, neglecting personal hygiene)
Irritability

Treatment
Your doctor can prescribe a wide variety of anti-depression medication.  However, there are tons of ways you can reverse – and prevent – depression on your own.
Get enough sleep
Maintain a healthy diet
Exercise
o    Go for a walk
o    Play miniature golf or go to the putting green
o    Go to the local pool for the adult swim hour or join a water aerobics class
Spend time with other people
o    Invite the family to the park for a picnic
o    Host a karaoke night
o    Star a book club
o    Host a backyard BBQ
o    Host an ice cream social
Learn something new or revisit your old hobbies
o    Learn to play corn toss
o    Plant a raised-bed garden
o    Go fishing
o    Take up bird watching
o    Go to a baseball game
o    Go to an outdoor concert
o    Visit the zoo
o    Learn to bake

Help your baby boomer loved one fight depression by:
Inviting your loved one to do something you know he or she used to enjoy
Scheduling regular social activities
Planning and preparing healthy meals
Making sure all medications are taken as instructed

Guest blogger Jordan Dalhberg was looking for ways to help his grandpa beat the blues after his wife died.  Jordan works for customcorntoss.com; he decided to bring one of the corn toss game sets home from the office and helped his grandpa host a tournament.  Now, all of Grandpa’s buddies gather every Saturday to socialize and help each other get through one more day.  In the meantime, Jordan has become a self-taught expert on the issue of depression.  He is determined to help Grandpa get through this difficult time.  

http://customcorntoss.com/

An interview with Dr. Mark C. Brown, author of “Live Like a Window, Work like a Mirror” — article by Scott Keith

You don’t have to be a baby boomer guy to notice that the world is getting a lot more hectic. It’s hard to juggle our job responsibilities with our personal life. For those looking for a job in this sluggish economy, stress levels are high. We spend far too much time keeping track of emails and text messages. How do we relax and take life a bit more easily?

A doctor, who practices psychology and teaches meditation using EEG Biofeedback, has written a book titled, Live Like a Window, Work Like a Mirror: Enlightenment and the Practice of Eternity Consciousness.

In an email interview with Men and Health: It’s a Guy Thing,  Dr. Mark Brown said, “It is sad to note that most indicators of happiness and contentment show that men and women are struggling to find both. This is true even if their financial, health and social circumstances are what we might think of as stable.” In the interview, Brown pointed out that focus is a problem. “In this age of high and varied stimulation, focus is drawn all over the place with usually only a temporary desired effect.”

Live Like a Window, Work Like a Mirror offers a chance for people to find a bit of contentment in the modern world. “It (his book) relates more to the era-less observations of brilliant people such as Buddha and Lao-Tzu, who provided instructions for finding contentment and serenity regardless of cultural conditions,” Brown said, pointing out that his book presents their views in a contemporary Western format.

Taking a look at the book’s intriguing title, Brown described living like a window: “Living like a window involves becoming the pure space that exists within the frame of an open window and then practicing simply observing everything that arises in one’s awareness, literally everything, and allowing it free and unfettered passage through that space. The idea is that if we are merely space, nothing that comes up can possibly attach to us to weigh our spirits down.”

Working like a mirror, on the other hand, involves “being a perfectly clear looking glass that can only reflect anyone and anything that shows up in front of it just as that person or that event is,” said Brown, adding that,  “This practice takes our fears and desires in all of their expressions out of the relationship.”

Brown’s delightful book explores Ego. Brown observes, “We need to take time to be quiet and still, to remove our awareness from distraction, so that we can become facile non-reactors. Ego would prevent this if possible in order to keep the self going just as it is.”

Enlightened living, according to Brown,  involves tranquility, humility, non-attachment and unconditional love. Brown said, in the email interview, “They are eminently attainable if we know what they are and how to achieve them. My book lays out in detail what they are and how to go about manifesting them on a moment-to-moment basis.”

With help from this book, and a little practice, Brown said we can become serene and “not be distracted.”

Softcover, 194 pages, First Light Books, $16.95. Available at Amazon.com and can be ordered ordered from major bookstores.

Visit Dr. Brown at www.markcbrown.com

Ways men can maintain their mental health after retirement — guest post by Mariana Ashley

Retirement

Retirement (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

When we’re young and wanting only to sleep in a few extra hours past our alarm for work, we dream of the day we can hang up our working shoes and snuggle into retirement and old age. However, many young, self-proclaimed tired workers don’t realize the unexpected consequences retirement may actually have on our health. While retirement is unquestionably a time to cherish and celebrate, it is also important that we realize that it will likely require a huge life adjustment.

We spend our entire lives building a career and a life supported by this career. Our work and our jobs become so much more than just that—they are our life and an aspect of what makes us who we are. With so much of our identity residing in the work we do each day, it’s not hard to imagine the struggles retirement might be met with. While the issue of adjustment and mental and physical health worries exist for all individuals entering retirement, historically men hold their careers as more central indicators of their identities. Consider these mental and physical adjustments you can make to your daily life in order to retire in a happier and healthier state.

Exercise

Of course, exercise and diet play an essential role in our overall health regardless of our age or place in life. This is something most all of us know. Regular exercise and a well-balanced diet do wonders to keep us healthy and maintain a strong mental state. However, when we enter retirement, we’re faced with significantly more time on our hands and significantly fewer responsibilities. One of the most difficult aspects of retirement for men can be losing that daily time consuming responsibility. We create a pattern of waking up at the same time, going to work, fulfilling our responsibilities, and rewarding ourselves at the end of the day with some “downtime”. Without the constant pattern of going to work each day, it can be very easy for the newly retired to lose sight of their sense of personal fulfillment. Try to create new daily patterns by exercising each and every day at the same time. Make exercise your new daily activity and routine. This is great for your physical health, necessary for your mental clarity, and can be extremely important in adjusting to your new daily life.

Find a hobby
Just as exercise and meal planning can become a wonderful replacement for daily activities, hobbies can also be extremely important during retirement. In many ways, men define who they are by the work that they perform. Entering retirement can really fragment an individual’s sense of being, even without them realizing it. By picking up a meaningful and time-consuming hobby, men can find a renewed sense of self-worth and awareness, while also filling their time with something important to them. Obviously, this hobby varies from one individual to the next—finding something that suits your interests and is sustainable is very important.
Extended learning
Mental wellness is a huge concern for individuals who have recently retired. Many men fall into bouts of depression or anxiety when their life circumstances alter because of retirement. That being said, there are many ways to combat this negativity associated with retirement at times. As the online world continues to flourish and expand, useful resources for education and extended learning are becoming more and more accessible and effective. Education can be a wonderful activity for retired individuals to take part in. Not only will taking classes, studying educational materials, and expanding one’s mind encourage the mental faculties, it can also bring greater joy and purpose to an individual’s life. Explore your many options on sites like Massachusetts Institute of Technology Open Courseware, TED talks, or the Khan Academy. These online resources offer easy and exceptional avenues for learning and education that can be extremely worthwhile for individuals interested in extending their education in their retirement.

This guest post is provided by Mariana Ashley, who writes about educational issues for OnlineColleges.net and can be reached by email at mariana.ashley031@gmail.com.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with a message for baby boomers

Logo of the Centers for Disease Control and Pr...

Logo of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services. White on blue background with white rays but no white “burst”. No detailed wording. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This blog needs to address a potentially fatal condition that can strike baby boomers. Hepatitis C,  which in many cases can be treated with antiviral medications,  led to over 15 thousand fatalities in 2007 alone. Hepatitis C, which can be spread from person to person by drug use, can lead to cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants all baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1965) to be tested for Hepatitis C. According to an article by HealthDay reporter Steven Reinberg, many cases appear in the baby boomer years; most were infected in their teens and 20s and don’t know they are infected.

The article says that the cure rate, with antiviral medications, can reach 75 percent.

The HealthDay article provides a link to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention so you can learn more about Hepatitis C and how it can spread from person to person.

Baby boomer brains could use a higher dose of Omega 3’s

Hey, as baby boomers age, mental decline can occur. This is probably not the “uplifting” news you may have wanted to hear, but mental decline can be a fact of life. But there is more evidence, these days, that brain function can be improved by Omega 3’s — fatty acids found in many fish, including fresh tuna.

According to Carina Storrs , reporter for HealthDay,  a study shows that boomer aged and elderly adults may be able to slow their mental decline by eating foods rich in Omega 3’s.

According to the article, researchers discovered that people with the highest blood levels of Omega 3’s were more likely to do well on mental functioning tests.

Foods that are rich in these fatty acids include: Halibut, Herring, Mackerel, Oysters, salmon, sardines, trout and fresh tuna.

Perhaps it’s time for baby boomers to schedule a fishing trip this summer. Or spend more time in the seafood section of their favorite grocery store.

For more information,  go to  Webmd.com to learn facts on Omega 3’s, including the basics, benefits and food sources.

Hey you boomer guys, Here are the top ten health threats for men

It’s about that time to refresh our baby boomer minds when it comes to recognizing diseases and health threats that can shorten our lives. The purpose here isn’t to scare the living daylights out of my blog readers, or panic men into rushing to Google to check health symptoms (believe me, I’ve rushed to Google more than a few times over the course of my life). I just want boomers (and men of all ages) to review a great piece on Webmd.com.

This article talks about heart attacks vs. cardiac arrest, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, strokes, diabetes, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate disease, testicular disease and depression.

This article links to more in-depth articles. All of this is valuable information for men of all ages. You’ll learn that high cholesterol can start early in life; it doesn’t just afflict older boomers. Strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in men. Depression often goes untreated. And colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men.

Again, schedule regular doctor appointments, do a bit of research on your own and bring up these topics with your general practitioner. Based on your health and family history, your doctor will let you know when you should be screened.