Posts tagged ‘depression’

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/

Effects of alcohol on erectile dysfunction — guest post by Jaime A. Heidel

English: Breckenridge, Colorado liquor store.

English: Breckenridge, Colorado liquor store. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a variety of physical and psychological problems. Does drinking alcohol cause erectile dysfunction? This article gives you an overview of the connection between alcohol consumption and the development of sexual health problems.

How Does Alcohol Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Excessive alcohol consumption causes erectile dysfunction in two ways:

Affects Mood – A glass or two of your favorite adult beverage may put you in the mood, but more than that can lead to sexual dysfunction. This is because alcohol depresses the nervous system and may cause feelings of anxiety. When a man feels anxious or depressed, he is less likely to be able to perform sexually.

Circulation Problems – Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to circulation problems in a man’s sexual organs. If you achieve sexual arousal when you’ve been drinking, the alcohol dilates the vessels in your penis but they will not close once you’ve achieved erection. When your blood vessels stay open, your penis quickly returns to its relaxed state, making sexual intercourse difficult if not impossible.

How Much Alcohol is Too Much?

This is a common question among men suffering from erectile dysfunction. More than a couple of drinks per night can lead to lasting sexual problems for men. This is especially true if you plan to “get romantic” on a night when you’re drinking.

It’s also important to remember that alcohol is a long-term toxin and if consumed in excess, can lead to problems with erectile dysfunction even when you’re not consuming alcohol.

How Can I Cut Down on My Alcohol Use?

If you want to reduce the effects of alcohol on your system but don’t want to quit cold turkey, there are a few ways you can cut down on your alcohol use:

Set a Goal – When you set a goal for yourself, you have a better chance of achieving it. Write down how many drinks you plan to drink each day and stick with it.

Measure Your Drinks – When it comes to beer, one standard drink is 12 ounces. A glass of wine shouldn’t exceed 5 ounces. When it comes to hard liquor, stick to 1.5 ounce servings.

Count Your Drinks – Don’t just knock ‘em back. Make a mental note of how many drinks you’re having so you can stick to your goal.

Space Your Drinks – Everything in moderation. If you’re experiencing sexual health problems, remember to space your drinks and drink non-alcoholic beverages in between.

Don’t Forget to Eat – The effects of alcohol are always more noticeable on an empty stomach so don’t forget to snack during and in between drinks.

Do I Need Professional Help?

Not everybody who drinks is an alcoholic. However, some men develop a problem with their drinking without meaning to. You might need professional help if:

You often drink to get drunk.

You’ve had blackouts.

You have physical or mental withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink.

You drink alone or purposefully hide you drinking from others.

Your drinking has caused problems in your personal or professional relationships.

A couple of beers or cocktails with friends once in the while shouldn’t cause sexual side effects but if you drink in excess, try cutting back. It may be all you need to do to improve your love life! If ED problems persist, book an appointment with your doctor to address other possible underlying causes.
About the Author:

Jaime A. Heidel is a professional freelance writer with a passion for health and wellness. She writes for several natural health websites including www.menshealthnet.org.

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.

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.

A brain map to help treat psychological conditions– article by Scott Keith

The human brain is a complicated organ. It’s essentially the “computer software” that enables us to speak, see, hear, talk, think, move and function in our daily lives. A doctor in South Carolina makes it his practice to analyze the brain when treating his patients.

Dr. Howard J. Rankin heads the Rankin Center for Neuroscience and Integrative Health, on Hilton Head Island. Rankin handles issues ranging from developmental problems in children to cognitive difficulties affecting senior citizens.

Rankin, a clinical psychologist, in an interview with Men and Health: It’s a Guy Thing, says he looks beyond the importance of interviewing patients to determine their thought processes. Rankin asks, “What happens if I do a brain map and look what’s going on in their brain? What happens if I do some cognitive testing and see how their mental functioning actually works? What happens if I put all that stuff together and integrate it? What do I get? What I get is a much fuller picture and a more unique picture of that individual.”

It’s the blending of all this information that helps Rankin determine a person’s strengths and weaknesses so he can work out a rational plan to help the patient.

Rankin doesn’t see brain-mapping technology as the only answer. “I don’t think that neuroscience has replaced more conventional psychology. I think they exist very well together…In my practice, looking at people’s brains as well as asking them about their backgrounds and their experiences really helps you get a clear picture of what’s going on,” says Rankin.

Compared with several years ago, technology is now allowing doctors to take a more precise look at the brain. According to Rankin, “What we’re able to do, then, is not just look at the brain, but now we have brain-training tools that can directly address the brain.” Rankin believes we need to rebalance our brains. He recalls a woman who had a 30-year history with anxiety and depression and had been in therapy for a long time. After about ten sessions of neuro- feedback, the women felt better.

Rankin is not anti-medication. He says, “Medications, where appropriate, are really effective…there are some cases where I wouldn’t even see people unless they were on medications.” The problem with medications, says Rankin, is they are more of a shotgun approach. “We are going to get to the point in the not-to-distant future where medications are going to be much more targeted to very specific areas of the brain, even down to cells.”

The Rankin Center for Neuroscience and Integrative Health helps patients with neuro-feedback, brain training, psychotherapy, cognitive therapy and behavioral training. Among the conditions the Center addresses: eating disorders, addictions, anxiety, mood disorders, post-traumatic stress and neurocognitive conditions.

Rankin likes to say, “People are more than a set of symptoms and they’re more than just a diagnosis.”

Visit Dr. Rankin at www.scienceofyou.com

Boomers need to boost their Omega 3’s — article by Scott Keith

When you hear the term Omega 3, you may think of a group of stars, such as the Big Dipper. In reality, Omega 3 is another name for fatty acids – acids that are good for the body. Omega 3 can help in your growth and development and may cut your risk of heart disease.

We are not getting enough of this valuable product, according to Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, medical director of the National Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers. “The impact of that is not just more heart attacks, but depression and pain,” says Teitelbaum.

Teitelbaum, in an interview with Men and Health: It’s a Guy Thing,  says our cell membranes need special kinds of oil; if they don’t get the oil, they become stiff and less flexible. We need to boost our intake of Omega 3. These fatty acids are found naturally in our foods. According to Teitelbaum, you need three to four servings a week of fish (oily fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines and herring). It’s suggested you pick white (albacore) tuna, because it has three times the amount of Omega 3’s. “It’s worth paying a little bit extra,” says Teitelbaum, adding that grass-fed beef is another source.

In a major breakthrough, French scientists have come up with a process that uses whole food from North Atlantic Salmon to produce an Omega-3 supplement. This supplement, available in one tablet, is up to 50 times more absorbable than smelly fish oils. Teitelbaum says people will see health benefits from taking this new supplement. “They’re going to see their mood is going to improve. A lot of depression is not Prozac deficiency, it’s Omega-3 deficiency.”

Omega 3 can help not only your mood, but painful inflammation and, in the long term, heart health.

If you are interested in this new supplement, called Vectomega, Teitelbaum suggests you try a health food store or search online.

Noting that the American diet is poor, Teitelbaum says we need to take good multi-vitamins (Teitelbaum prefers vitamin powder) and get more sunshine. “Move the television set to the back yard, put on your barbecue, get some grass-fed beef, put some salmon on the grill, along with tuna…and get some sunshine while you’re out there doing it.”

Visit Dr. Teitelbaum at www.vitality101.com