Posts tagged ‘stress’

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/

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Workplace stress and heart attack: Finding the proper Work-Play balance — guest post by Dr. Kevin Campbell

Cardiac operating room

Cardiac operating room (Photo credit: Ruhrfisch)

Americans are workaholics.  Most of us work 40+ hours a week, bring work home on the weekends and take as little as 2-4 weeks of vacation including holidays.   As cleverly addressed in an essay in the New Yorker in 2006, life in Europe is quite different; 7-8 weeks of vacation time is the norm.   Europeans seem to value leisure more whereas Americans tend to emphasize earning and spending.  Much has been written about how certain habits at work can harm our overall health.  In US News and World Report in July, seven habits that were considered to be health harmful were examined. Habits identified included eating at your desk, lack of exercise, all night work sessions just to name a few.  Now add excessive workplace stress to the list.

I was listening to NPR this weekend and was intrigued by a story from the Lancet on the relationship of on the job stress and increased risk of heart attack.  In this study, a meta analysis from 13 European cohort studies was performed and included nearly 200 thousand patients.  The study demonstrated a 23% increase in risk for cardiovascular events in patients whose jobs were considered stressful as compared to those who did not report workplace pressure.  Based on this report, reducing stress in the workplace could potentially reduce heart attacks by 3-4%.  Certainly, this potential for reduction is not really comparable to the 20-30% reduction in events that is conferred by smoking cessation but it is not insignificant.

Traditionally, stress has been thought to contribute to cardiovascular events by increasing sympathetic tone and causing the abundant release of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.  These stress hormones may cause increased lipid (cholesterol) levels, increased tendencies for blood to clot and they may also promote the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries with subsequent vascular damage.   Blood pressure and heart rate are all increased in this state, all leading to increased demands by the heart and potential for ischemia (lack of blood flow to the heart muscle).  Stress management techniques have been studied in the past and have been shown to result in decreased cardiovascular events.  A survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2011 found that 36% of workers included in the study had experienced stress on the job.  Interestingly, the study participants cited lack of opportunities for advancement (43%), heavy workload (43%) unrealistic job expectations (40%) and long hours (39% ) as major stressors at work.

Much of the American worker’s self worth is measured by elite job titles, driving luxury cars and owning a large home in a prestigious community.  In Europe, the worker measures himself by having the ability to take extended holidays with friends and family.  In fact, US workers often fail to take allotted vacation time.   This may be due to the fear of losing traction towards advancement in the workplace or out of fear of being replaced by co-workers who did not take time away.  The US certainly remains the land of opportunity but many US workers have lost sight of the real American dream–the freedom to use our time as we see fit.  To enjoy family, friends and the lives we have worked so hard to build.

Much can be learned from the value that the Europeans place on leisure.  These workers make time away with family a priority.  Some studies of worker efficiency and productivity have shown superior performance and less burnout and depression in employees who take time for vacation and leisure.  Coronary artery disease and sudden cardiac death are one of the leading causes of death in the US today (behind all types of cancers combined).  Certainly we can impact disease by eliminating smoking, eating well and exercising but we can also reduce events through better management of workplace stress.  Take time for family.  Take time to relax.  Return to work refreshed, re-energized and renewed.  Although workplace stress is an unavoidable reality in the US today, we must find ways mitigate stressors and this will ultimately improve both our productivity and overall quality of life.

Dr. Kevin Campbell Bio
Dr Kevin Ray Campbell was born and raised in North Carolina. He received his undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University and graduated valedictorian in 1992. He attended medical school at Wake Forest University and graduated at the top of the class in 1996. Dr Campbell trained in Internal Medicine and completed his Internship and Residency at the University of Virginia in 1999. From there, he completed fellowships in bothCardiology and Cardiac Electrophysiology at Duke University.

Dr Campbell joinedWake Heart and Vascular (WHV) in 2003 and became partner in 2006. He has served on the Executive Committee of the practice for 4 years. Dr. Campbell practices Cardiology and Cardiac Electrophysiology in Raleigh, Smithfield and Wilson, North Carolina. Although he treats all aspects of cardiovascular disease, he specializes in the treatment of heart rhythm disorders, includingsupraventricular and ventricular tachycardias as well as sudden cardiac death. Dr Campbell is a nationally recognized expert in the implantation of Pacemakers, Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators and Cardiac Resynchronization Devices. Beyond device implantation, DrCampbell also performs Electrophysiology studies (EPS) and radiofrequency ablations.

A nationally recognized expert in prevention of sudden cardiac death, Dr Campbell speaks all across the US to physicians, physicians in training, as well as civic groups. These dynamic symposia are designed to raise awareness and facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of women at risk for cardiovascular disease and death. His efforts have led to the creation of prevention programs in many cities across the US. Dr Campbell’s successes have been chronicled in the media in North Carolina and beyond and include television interviews, newspaper and magazine articles as well as a monthly call-in radio show that helps to promote these initiatives.

 

Safe and natural ways to treat hair loss — guest post by Lou Hobbs

English: Bald head

English: Bald head (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A simple Internet search results in a long list of natural remedies for hair loss. Creams, tonics
and supplements abound to treat baldness and thinning hair. Do these products really work?
Dermatologists spend a lot of time and energy steering their patients away from these
products. Most commercial hair loss treatments are expensive, and they rarely provide
measurable benefits. A few, however, can help some men keep their thinning hair a little longer.
Hair Loss Causes
People see more hair on their combs or brushes for a number of different reasons. In women,
perimenopause and menopause are the common culprits. Thyroid problems and vitamin
deficiencies also affect hair growth and loss.
Men typically see four types of hair loss. Smooth, round bald patches usually signal alopecia
areata, a condition that stems from stress or genetics. Corticosteroid injections can ease scalp
inflammation and promote new hair growth.
A round and scaly, hairless patch may indicate tinea capitis, a fungal infection that is similar to
athlete’s foot. Antifungal creams or shampoos can kill the infection and encourage hair re-
growth. Dermatologists usually recommend over-the-counter solutions before prescribing
something stronger.
Sudden hair loss is often triggered by physical or emotional trauma. Shock can cause a
condition known as telogen effluvium, which suddenly halts hair growth. As the mind and body
recover from trauma, the hair will grow again naturally.
A steady and gradual hair loss usually stems from a man’s diet. Too little iron, zinc or biotin can
starve the hair follicles and stop the hair from growing. Nutrient-rich foods and supplements
feed the body and restore hair growth.
Natural Food Remedies
From a holistic perspective, as natural remedies treat a problem in the body, the hair naturally
takes care of itself. While some hair loss may require medical treatment, dermatologists usually
suggest natural methods first.
Nutrition is the first step to preventing hair loss and encouraging re-growth. The diet greatly
impacts the eyes, skin, nails and hair. Protein is the most important nutrient for strong, healthy
hair. Beans, dairy products and lean meats are good protein sources. Eggs, fish, nuts and seeds
provide omega-3 fatty acids that reduce scalp inflammation.
Nutritionists recommend eating a variety of foods to prevent hair loss. They advise two-to-
three servings of protein, six-to-ten servings of vegetables, two-to-four fruits and an
assortment of grains. A multivitamin helps men replenish lost or lacking nutrients.
Nutritional Supplements
Some dietary supplements interact with medications, so vitamins, minerals and herbal
remedies are best taken with a doctor’s approval. Iron supplements are recommended only for
hair loss caused by iron deficiency anemia. Men with metabolic disorders may benefit from zinc
and biotin supplements. Saw palmetto, an herbal remedy used for prostate and urinary
disorders, may also promote hair growth.
Styling Suggestions
Using hair dyes and rubber bands can harm hair that is breaking or thinning. So can over-
washing, over-brushing and over-combing the hair. To minimize the appearance of hair loss,
men can use scalp coloring products or body-boosting shampoos and conditioners. Short
haircuts make hair appear thicker, and side parts take attention off the crown.
Stress Management
Hair loss can be stressful for men and women alike. Unfortunately, physical and emotional
stress can sometimes increase the problem. Alopecia areata, telogen effluvium and a condition
known as trichotillomania are associated with high levels of stress.
Stress management is a natural way to treat this kind of hair loss. In addition to nutritional
therapies, the best way to manage stress is to identify the triggers and find effective strategies
to deal with them.
Daily exercise is a good stress reduction technique; prayer and meditation are also effective
stress reducers. Yoga, tai chi and nature hikes are beneficial activities that combine the two. As
men learn to cope with life’s challenges, the chance is good that their hair will start growing
again.
Lou Hobbs is a dedicated health and wellness researcher and author. With over 10 years of
experience Lou has made it his life goal to discover products that can improve the lives of other
people.  
When Lou is not researching new health related products like hair loss supplements, he enjoys spending time with his family in the Idaho wilderness.

How to deal with impotence naturally — guest post by Catherine Howarth

Male impotence is a very difficult and often debilitating condition that not only affects the general well being of a person, but may also affect his attitude towards relationships and close personal bonds. This condition is typically characterized by a man’s inability to maintain an erection for any reasonable length of time, and in some severe cases, even the inability to have an erection despite arousal. Many men don’t realize that erection problems can be caused by a number of different factors ranging from physical debilities, underlying disease, stress, anxiety or even psychological troubles. One of the most common causes of erection problems found in men is an underlying case of heart disease, or diabetes.
Treating the problem 
Treating erectile dysfunction as an attempt to bolster self-confidence and allow a man to fully enjoy his special bond with a life-partner or significant other is usually done with the help of synthetic drugs such as Viagra. Unfortunately though, depending on synthetic drugs to help treat erectile dysfunction is not a permanent solution and can have detrimental side effects. Opting to treat erection problems naturally is a much better option and should be considered first.
Natural remedies
There are many herbs and herbal extracts that can greatly help to increase circulation to the penis or can bolster testosterone production, which can increase libido are usually employed to treat erection problems. Herbs such as gingko biloba, ashwaganda, horny goat’s weed, yohimbe, and of course, ginseng can prove to be beneficial for people suffering from embarrassing erection problems. These herbs contain natural compounds that are known to encourage the increased production of testosterone or an increase in circulatory efficiency, which makes it helpful for the management and eventual treatment of an erectile dysfunction.

Lifestyle changes
It should be noted however, that there is not any guarantees of instantaneous results from consuming any of these herbs and herbal supplements mentioned, although studies have been conducted as to their trace efficacy. Likewise, abiding by a good and healthy diet as well as avoiding stress, the over-consumption of synthetic, fatty and sugary foods as well as a moderate, if not total avoidance of, alcohol and tobacco have also been shown to contribute largely to the effective natural management of erectile dysfunction.

Being open to your significant other about your erection problems, along with keeping a positive attitude with regards to its eventual cure, will help to break away at the walls of insecurity. Such walls have been known to eat away at relationships and can help to surmount the often debilitating effects that erectile dysfunction can have over yourself and your significant other.

Catherine is a freelance writer and writes about male and female medical problems, such as erectile dysfunction and beauty. Catherine’s email is catherinehowarthwriter@gmail.com

Obesity and cancer risk — guest post by Joleen Krupa

Obesity Campaign Poster

Obesity Campaign Poster (Photo credit: Pressbound)

Obesity is a condition that affects more than 60 percent of people in the United States. An obese person has an unhealthy amount of body fat as determined by health professionals. Genetics, eating disorders, medication, unhealthy dieting and stress can cause a person to become obese. Once that individual reaches an obese state, he or she is at risk for other diseases. Medical experts have long reported that obesity is linked to health problems such as gallstones, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Recently medical experts have added cancer to the list of dangerous conditions linked to obesity.

Scientists from all over the world have conducted studies of people with cancer to come to this conclusion. In one study of over 250,000 patients, a small increase in body mass increased the risks of several types of cancer over 50 percent. The studies reviewed over 20 types of cancer. Obesity was a factor in several cases of the disease. Some of the most common areas where cancer has fallen upon obese individuals are the esophagus, pancreas, colon, rectum, breast, endometrium, kidney, thyroid and gallbladder. Specialists expect the trend to continue over the next 20 years.

Why Obesity Contributes to Cancer

Obesity plays a factor in various types of cancer for various reasons. In breast cancer, the risk may come from an increase of estrogen in postmenopausal women. The more fat tissue a woman has, the more estrogen her body can produce. This puts obese women at risk because it can cause the rapid growth and development of estrogen-responsive breast tumors.

The same may be true for obesity’s role in endometrial cancer. Obese women are four times more likely to develop cancer of the endomentrium than women who are not obese. This may be due to the increased amount of estrogen in their bodies.

Colon cancer often develops in obese men. However, women also develop this condition. Professionals have guessed that this may have something to do with insulin development. High levels of insulin may contribute to colon cancer and its rapid progress. High levels of insulin may also play a role in the connection of obesity and kidney cancer.

Cancer of the esophagus is common in obese patients. Some doctors attribute this to the frequent esophageal inflammations that occur with obese patients. Many people who are overweight experience gastroesophageal reflux disease, which increases their risk for cancer.

Decreasing the Risk of Cancer

Specialists have not been able to gather enough evidence to prove that losing weight decreases the risks of cancer. Doctors have reported some minimal breast cancer risk reductions in women who have lost weight, but the data was not enough to form an absolute answer. However, medical experts have found that losing weight decreases people’s risks for other illnesses. Additionally, proper dieting increases overall health and boosts the immune system. Therefore, it is safe to say that one could decrease his or her chances of developing cancer by performing activities and incorporating routines that promote weight loss.

This guest article was contributed by Joleen Krupa who frequently writes about heath career education like Radiation Therapy Schools.

You can email Joleen Krupa at joleenwkrupa@gmail.com

Happy Valentine’s Day: Webmd has a slide show revealing 18 secrets guys wish you knew

Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909.

Image via Wikipedia

It’s Valentine’s Day, so it’s time for the old Guy Thing blog to have a little fun… and figure out some of the mysteries involved in a relationship.

Men can be hard to read at times.  We may be guilty of hiding our emotions. Or perhaps we don’t show affection on a regular basis. Relationships are complicated, but a slide show provided by Webmd.com helps answers some of the mysteries.

The slide show examines 18 relationship secrets gathered from psychologists. You may wonder why men have a hard time saying, “I love you.” Is your guy really listening to you? Are men good at sharing thoughts and feelings?

You’ll learn a lot in this slide show. You’ll discover men like women to initiate sex. On the flip-side, guys aren’t always in the mood: too much stress and libido suffers.

Hope you enjoy this slide show. I hope it answers a lot of your questions. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Safe exercise for boomers: Correcting imbalance for lifelong vitality — guest post by Dr. John Lombardozzi

As the Boomer generation ages, they want to maintain a high level of activity and quality of life. But they are often challenged to find safe exercises that will build fitness without tearing up their bodies.

In examining dozens of patients, I’ve found many suffering the effects of stress, including improper exercise, traumatic injury, sprains, strains or simply degradation due to the aging process. This can lead to improper gait, a condition that makes exercise and even simple movements inefficient and increases risks for further injury.

When the human body is healthy, there is a systematic rhythm to a person’s gait. The opposing arm swings naturally forward when a step is taken by either the right or left foot. This involuntary movement is controlled by an autonomic nervous system with the entire body operating as a unified muscle mass in a tension/relaxation cycle.

When normal gait is interrupted by stress, the stress on the autonomic nervous system causes the body to develop involuntary movement patterns during walking. This results in an asynchronous gait, which produces torquing of one side of the body vis-a-vis the opposing side. What was normally an effortless involuntary function becomes a labor intensive, exhausting effort.

When the body adapts to stress, (general adaptation syndrome), people
experience a number of problems. Greatly accelerated wear and tear on the body and poor posture, which results from involuntary compensation for pain, is manifested in unequal muscle length and tensile strength throughout the muscular skeletal system. The abnormal torquing, and the multiple compensations a person substitutes for her/his normal rhythmic gait, adversely affects joints, spinal flexibility and overall health.

Boomers want to continue an active lifestyle, whether it’s playing golf or chasing their grand kids. They are looking for safe, low-impact ways to exercise. Unfortunately, improper gait can make even easy exercises inefficient and tiring. But when we correct gait problems, patients see immediate results.

To help patients correct improper gait, I developed the Chi Rope, a set of exercise handles that combine sound, weight, magnetism and vibration to enhance the body’s homeostasis (balance). The system can be used with or without an interconnected jump rope for walking, jumping rope or in conjunction with a daily regiment of movements. Patients use them while doing Pilates, yoga and running.

Correcting improper gait is a key to helping people maintain vitality as they get older. By restoring balance and proper movement, people can get the most benefit out of whatever exercise they choose and stay active, healthy and happy as they age.

Dr. John L. Lombardozzi is an expert in functional health and inventor of The Chi Rope, a patented exercise device to help improve balance and energy and correct uneven gait associated with pain, stress and fatigue. A lifelong athlete and inventor, Dr. Lombardozzi studied yoga, Pilates and martial arts while building custom motorcycles. Following a back injury, he became a chiropractic physician specializing in kinesiology and biomechanical movement. Dr. Lombardozzi earned a degree from Life Chiropractic College and has practiced chiropractic medicine for 14 years.
Learn more about the Chi Rope at http://www.ChiRope.com