Friday, January 29, 2016

Testosterone Deficiency Linked to Higher Mortality Rate, Still Undertreated

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A large body of research indicates that testosterone deficiency (aka hypogonadism or Low T) is associated with higher all-cause mortality among men and a significant reduction in the overall quality of their lives. Still, despite all this evidence, studies (1-2) show that only 10 to 12 percent of men suffering from testosterone deficiency receive treatment.

This discrepancy can be partially explained by a common misconception that testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. The whole controversy was created by a few studies suggesting a negative impact of the hormone on heart health. Although these studies have been widely disproven, many people still have a lot of reservations about the procedure.

Most modern studies agree on the fact that testosterone therapy is safe and effective for men with hypogonadism. Moreover, research indicates that for testosterone deficient men, TRT leads to significant improvements in sexual function and bone density, while also helping gain lean muscle mass and lose fat (3-5).

Overall, testosterone replacement therapy provides a number of health benefits that are essential to improving the quality of life and longevity for men with low T. If you know that your testosterone levels are below normal, professionally administered TRT is likely to be your best treatment option.

1. Hall SA, Araujo AB, Esche GR, Williams RE, Clark RV, Travison TG, et al. Treatment of symptomatic androgen deficiency: results from the Boston Area Community Health Survey. Arch Intern Med. 2008 May 26;168:1070-6.
2. Mulligan T, Frick MF, Zuraw QC, Stemhagen A, McWhirter C. Prevalence of hypogonadism in males aged at least 45 years: the HIM study. Int J Clin Pract. 2006 Jul;60:762-9.
3. Isidori AM, Giannetta E, Greco EA, Gianfrilli D, Bonifacio V, Isidori A, et al. Effects of testosterone on body composition, bone metabolism and serum lipid profile in middle-aged men: a meta-analysis. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2005 Sep;63:280-93.
4. Saad F, Aversa A, Isidori AM, Zafalon L, Zitzmann M, Gooren L. Onset of effects of testosterone treatment and time span until maximum effects are achieved. Eur J Endocrinol. 2011 Nov;165:675-85.
5. Corona G, Giagulli VA, Maseroli E, Vignozzi L, Aversa A, Zitzmann M, et al. THERAPY OF ENDOCRINE DISEASE: Testosterone supplementation and body composition: results from a meta-analysis study. Eur J Endocrinol. 2015 Nov 4.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

4 Simple Habits That Will Prolong Your Sexual Health

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We all want to be healthy and lead an active and rewarding lifestyle as long as possible. Still, so often, we forget to take good care of ourselves until we notice a problem.

The key to strong sexual health, as well as to good health in general, is being proactive and taking certain measures today in order to foster well being and vitality for years to come. Here are a few simple things you should be doing now that will help you remain in good shape for years to come:

1. Make sure you get enough sleep.

Research indicates that lack of sleep has a significant effect on men’s sexual function. It is during sleep that men’s adrenal gland replenishes the body’s testosterone, which is responsible for libido and sexual performance, among other things. Lack of sleep can also lead to depression and other more serious health complications in the long term.

2. Forget about junk food.

Our busy schedules often force us to forgo proper meals in favor of ready-made frozen dinners, snacks or greasy fast food. While loaded with calories, these items provide little nutrition and do no favors to a man’s erectile function. Bad diet not only lowers male sperm count, but can also cause weight gain, diabetes and heart disease – all of which significantly diminish sexual ability.

3. Always wear a condom.

If you are sexually active and have multiple partners, you should ALWAYS wear a condom for any type of sexual intercourse. With STD rates on the rise, it is very important to test yourself regularly regardless of whether you experience any symptoms.

4. See a doctor regularly.

A recent survey by the American Academy of Family Physicians found that more than 50 percent of the U.S. men haven’t seen their physician in the past year. We often think of doctors as mechanics, who “fix” our bodies when they require repair. This, however, is a very backwards way of looking at things. Health problems start long before we begin to experience any complications. Such health problems as high blood pressure or diabetes may not show any symptoms for a long time, but when they do, it is often too late to prevent the incurred disease.

The earlier we adhere to these simple habits, the higher our chances become to remain in better sexual health as we age. And of course, should you experience any symptoms of erectile dysfunction, don’t hesitate and schedule an appointment with a qualified physician as soon as possible.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Vitamin D Deficiency May Cause Erectile Dysfunction, Study Suggests

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Turns out, vitamin D not only strengthens our bones, but may also be responsible for ensuring male erectile function. According to a new study, which was recently presented at the American Heart Association's annual meeting in Orlando, FL, vitamin D deficiency leads to a 35 percent increase in the likelihood of erectile dysfunction (ED) among men!

Having analyzed data collected from more than 3,400 men, researchers found that around 16 percent of those men had ED and 30 percent had insufficient levels of vitamin D. However, vitamin D deficiency was 6 percent more common among men who suffered from erectile dysfunction.

In their presentation, researchers pointed out that their findings are not conclusive and more research is needed to verify the connection between the vitamin and its effects on male body. Nevertheless, if verified, this discovery may lead to new approaches in treating erectile dysfunction.

Inability to achieve or maintain an erection is a serious medical condition that affects millions of men around the world. However, modern scientific advances have made it possible for most men to successfully treat ED, and enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle well into their senior years. If you experience the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, don’t ignore them. Schedule an appointment with a qualified physician to discuss treatment options that will work for your particular situation.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Testosterone Replacement Therapy Improves Cognitive Function in Older Men

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It’s no secret that men begin to slowly lose their testosterone after the age of 30, which oftentimes leads to a decrease in muscle mass and libido. Fewer men know, however, that the age-related decline in our testosterone levels is also associated with a decrease in our cognitive abilities and even dementia.

Previous research conducted with animals indicates that testosterone replacement therapy leads to an improvement in cognition and reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease pathology in the brain. But now, a new placebo-controlled study conducted on older men with low testosterone levels and self-reported memory complaints has confirmed certain positive effects of testosterone supplementation on human cognitive functioning.

For their research, scientists evaluated the baseline cognitive performance of 44 men and divided them in two groups. The first group (A) was administered 24 weeks of testosterone replacement therapy followed by a four-week break (washout), and then another 24 weeks of placebo. The second group (B) received the same treatment, but in reverse order: placebo, break, testosterone treatment.

After re-evaluating the participant’s cognitive functioning after the treatment, researchers identified a small but consistent improvement in Group A’s mental performance, which was sustained throughout the washout and placebo periods. Group B, saw and even greater increase in cognitive functioning following testosterone treatment and “a trend towards an increase when compared to placebo treatment.”

Although larger scale studies with a longer follow-up are needed for a more conclusive determination, this study indicates a clear positive effect of testosterone treatment on cognitive function in older men.

Testosterone plays a major part in the overall functioning of our bodies, and it is very important to track your testosterone levels, especially at an older age. If you suspect that your hormonal health might be out of balance, consult a qualified professional as soon as possible.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Many U.S. Veterans Suffer from Sexual Dysfunction, Study Shows

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According to a recent study published in the journal Sexual Medicine, many of our military veterans returning from Iraq, Afghanistan and other deployments are facing sexual health problems.

Nearly 18 percent of almost 250 veterans screened at a veterans affairs medical center in Houston, were found to experience sexual dysfunction problems. To examine sexual health, clinicians asked veterans to rate their libido, arousal, vaginal lubrication and other aspects of sexual functioning on a five-item questionnaire.

About 25 percent of the veterans indicated serious problems in at least one aspect, or certain difficulties in at least three areas of their sexual functioning. Although already alarming, these numbers are likely to be even higher in actuality, since many people are reluctant to share their sexual health problems with doctors who they meet for the first time.

The study also found that sexual dysfunction problems were most likely to arise in those veterans who were female or suffered from PTSD or depression. Unfortunately, stress associated with military service and post-deployment adaptation to normal life often takes a serious toll on veterans’ sexual health and well-being.

In an attempt to treat PTSD or depression, doctors often prescribe medications that can contribute to erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation and libido problems. The only solution to this problem is to be open about your sexual health concerns and discuss them freely with your doctor, as well as with your partner. Most sexual dysfunction problems these days are treatable, and there’s absolutely no shame in wanting to be healthy.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Low Testosterone Linked to Decreased Income and Life Expectancy

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We all know that poverty decreases people’s life expectancy. Lack of proper medical care and healthy nutrition takes its toll on the human body. However, according to a recent study by University College London, there may be another important factor at play that makes our life clock tick faster.

Researchers found that men with lower income and educational background tend to have lower testosterone levels than those of a higher socio-economic status. More specifically, British men earning less than $9,000 a year had about 10 percent lower testosterone than those earning more than $44,000 annually.

Considering the fact that low testosterone often leads to a number of other health complications, including depression, weight gain and heart disease, it’s not surprising that in the U.K., people with higher income live up to eight years longer than the poor.

What’s more, people with less education were found to have low levels of cortisol, an adrenal hormone that is essential for regulating a number of important functions including immune responses, anti-inflammatory actions, blood pressure, and more. People with the least education also had insufficient levels of IGF proteins, the lack of which reduces mental abilities and increases the risk of cancer.

Professor Diana Kuh, of University College London said: “'These socio-economic differences in hormone systems may play a role in explaining social inequalities in health as we age.”

If you suspect that your hormonal health might be out of balance, you should consult a qualified professional as soon as possible. Hormones play a central role in the functioning of our bodies, and it is important to keep a close watch on them throughout our life.