Bel Marra Health | Men’s Health News and Information Blog
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A new tool has been developed which allows men with prostate cancer to choose their own treatment that could increase survival rates. Only around one-third of prostate cancer patients have a low risk of dying. For some of these patients, surgery or radiotherapy could improve survival rates, but only by a little bit.
The new method uses a computer questionnaire where a patient answers questions under a doctor’s supervision. The patient would then be provided with the expected odds of death within the next 10 to 15 years.
The chart would also provide their survival rate with treatment. The questionnaire is called the PREDICT Prostate questionnaire.
Along with surgery or radiotherapy, patients can also choose active surveillance, where cancer is closely monitored.
Author of the study Dr. Vincent Gnanapragasam explained, “We believe this tool could significantly reduce the number of unnecessary – and potentially harmful – treatments that patients receive and save the NHS millions every year.”
“This isn’t about rationing treatments – it’s about empowering patients and their clinicians to make decisions based on better evidence. In some cases, treatment will be the right option, but in many others, patients will want to weigh up the treatment benefits versus the risks of side effects.”
The new test is around 84 percent accurate in predicting the outcome for patients.
Lead author Dr. David Thurtle concluded, “As far as we are aware, this is the first personalized tool to give an overall survival estimate for men following a prostate cancer diagnosis. We hope it will provide a more accurate and objective estimate to help men reach an informed decision in discussion with their consultant.”
Exercise can play an important role in boosting one’s libido for many different reasons. For starters, it can support healthy blood circulation, which is essential to ensure that sexual organs work effectively. It can help you maintain a positive body image, which can boost confidence. It helps release endorphins that make you feel good and can put you in the mood. Lastly, exercise can help keep other health problems at bay that negatively impact libido.
Clearly, exercise is an integral part of maintaining good health along with boosting libido.
Here are five types of exercise you can incorporate into your life to help you boost your libido.
5 Exercises to Boost Libido
Strength training: This type of exercise involves using weights and resistance bands to promote muscle strength. But strength training can also help reduce stress, which can hinder libido.
Kegels: This may not be an exercise you complete in a gym setting, but it’s still important to complete as it helps strengthen pelvic floor muscles. This not only prevents urinary leaks but can improve sexual function.
Yoga: Yoga can help reduce stress, improve sexual function, and reduce the risk of premature ejaculation.
Walking: Just 30 minutes of walking a day is enough to reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction by up to 41 percent, according to research carried out by Harvard University.
Swimming: This activity offers similar benefits as walking along with improving sexual endurance.
Incorporating different exercises can offer a broader range of benefits and ensure you continue to have a healthy libido.
As you age, your body goes through many changes – emotionally, mentally, physically, and physiologically. Maybe you wear glasses when you didn’t years ago. Maybe you need more or even fewer hours of sleep compared to your younger years. Or maybe you find you can’t eat the same foods you once loved and enjoyed.
Another significant change that comes with age is an altered libido. Maybe you enjoy more sex, have sex less often, or maybe you’re not interested in sex at all.
Women, in particular, have a unique sexual experience. For many of their years, their sexuality is fueled by their biological clocks. But if you’re past your reproductive years, you may find yourself with a lack of libido.
Here are four common changes to libido that occur as you age and what you can do about them.
4 Changes to Libido
Low libido: There are many causes of low libido that don’t have to do with age. Maybe you aren’t satisfied sexually, or you could have an underlying condition that could be negatively impacting your libido. To address these concerns, you may need to talk to your doctor to run tests. They will help you uncover the underlying condition. You should also speak more openly with your partner about your needs.
Painful intercourse: You could be emotionally closed off, which can make your body react in ways that make sex less pleasurable. If your emotions are to blame, then uncovering why you feel a certain way can help you be more relaxed when the time comes.
Lack of lubrication: With hormonal changes comes an increased risk of dryness and other complications, which can make sex painful. If dryness is the problem, then speaking to your doctor can help find you a solution.
Difficulty having an orgasm: Not being able to achieve orgasm can be a result of many different factors. Having certain health conditions or being on certain medications could reduce the likelihood of orgasm. Being emotionally unattached could lower the chances of orgasm as well. You may need to speak to your partner, counselor, or doctor to help uncover the underlying causes preventing you from reaching orgasm.
Testosterone is typically associated with libido, strength, and masculinity. But the latest research findings suggest that it may also be the key to slowing down aging in men. The findings revealed that higher levels of estradiol, a hormone produced by testosterone, are linked with slower aging.
Testosterone is converted into estradiol, which is associated with longer telomeres. Telomeres are proteins found at the end of chromosomes. Longer telomeres are often a sign of slower aging, whereas rapidly shrinking telomeres are an indicator of faster aging.
The study looked at data from 2,913 men in Perth aged 70 to 89. The men’s testosterone and estradiol levels were measured along with the length of their telomeres.
The researchers found an association between higher levels of estradiol and longer telomeres. Longer telomeres offer greater protection to chromosomes, which in turn slows down aging.
The study suggests that higher levels of estradiol, which is associated with higher testosterone levels, can help slow down aging in men.
Professor Bu Yeap explained, “We know from the study that testosterone, estradiol and telomeres are linked, however further research is needed to explore how this relationship works. Testosterone is converted to estradiol but it’s still unclear what determines the level of production.”
Aside from managing testosterone levels, other methods to help slow down aging include regularly exercising, eating well, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing chronic stress.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels need to be regularly monitored. These spikes and dips in blood pressure can lead to health complications. Common symptoms of type 2 diabetes include weight fluctuations, frequent urination, blurred vision, fatigue, an increase in hunger, and an increase in thirst, to name a few. But one symptom is often overlooked as a diabetes sign but can shed light into your health. This is your libido and sexual function.
Poor sexual function is a symptom of diabetes as it’s the result of high blood sugar. Diabetes can also negatively affect your sex life as a result of diabetic neuropathy, which is when nerves become damaged due to prolonged uncontrolled high blood sugar. If the nerves in your sexual organs become damaged, it can lead to dysfunction. In fact, sexual dysfunction is the most common diabetic symptom in men.
The same could be said for women who experience diabetic neuropathy. This condition could cause the vagina to become less sensitive to stimulation, which can cause a lack of lubrication making sex less enjoyable and possibly even painful.
Both men and women may experience a drop in libido if diabetes is not well controlled.
These side effects of uncontrolled diabetes lend way to the importance of proper management of sugar levels. This means adhering to the right lifestyle changes to better manage sugar levels, such as regular exercise and eating well.
You will also want to incorporate other heart-healthy lifestyle practices to ensure your heart is functioning well, which is another essential element of sex. The heart is responsible for pumping blood to the sexual organs. This means not smoking, reducing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, sleeping well, and monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
If you have been experiencing sexual dysfunction, it may be time to speak to your doctor about a possible diabetes diagnosis or working with your doctor to better control already existing diabetes.
Researchers have uncovered a specific gene that can reveal the likelihood of prostate cancer spreading in patients. Researchers suggest that by targeting this gene, they can add years to patients’ lives.
The gene is known as NSD2. It was identified through a computer algorithm that was intended to uncover genes relevant to humans that spread in mouse models. The researchers were able to turn off the identified gene, and they saw a significant decrease in the spread of cancer.
Lead author Antonina Mitrofanova explained, “Currently, when a patient is diagnosed with prostate cancer, physicians can determine how advanced a tumor is but not whether the patients’ cancer will spread. If we can determine whether a patient’s cancer is likely to spread at the time of diagnosis, we can start them on a targeted treatment plan as soon as possible to decrease the likelihood of their cancer spreading.”
The researchers are now working on developing a targeted treatment of NSD2 in hopes of slowing down cancer progression. The researchers also encourage doctors to screen for NSD2 to identify patients who are at high risk of cancer spreading quickly.
They’re hopeful that their screening process could help identify genes in other cancers which may lend way to improved treatments.
Menopause is typically associated with the changes that occur in women, but men can go through their own version of menopause as well. It was long believed that “male menopause” was associated with older males. Symptoms include lack of energy, weakness, low libido, and weight gain mainly as a result of low testosterone. But doctors are noting that younger men are entering their offices with similar complaints to their older counterparts.
Researchers suggest that obesity, poor sleep, and stress could be contributing factors to these complaints, but the main culprit is low levels of testosterone.
Low testosterone – or low T – can contribute to male menopause or andropause. It is known that there is a gradual decrease in testosterone levels in a man’s life, with a three percent annual decrease occurring after the age of 40. By the age of 60, nearly 20 percent of men go through andropause.
Low testosterone can contribute to weight gain, muscle weakness, sexual dysfunction, low libido, a decrease in bone density, anger, and depression.
Although testosterone levels reduce with aging, other factors can contribute to low T, which means it can affect men in their younger years. Mood, energy levels, nutrition genetics, age, health conditions, and medications can all play a role in testosterone levels.
If you take the time to speak to your doctor regarding your symptoms, they can help you in determining the underlying cause of your low T along with advising on how to improve your levels. Simple solutions to boosting testosterone include sleeping better, exercise, eating a healthy diet, and reducing stress.
If your low T is more serious, then your doctor may recommend testosterone replacement therapy to boost levels.
If you experience any of the above-listed symptoms and fear male menopause, don’t. Instead, talk to your doctor to determine your options so you can start feeling like a man once again.
Many aspects of health begin to decline as we age. Vision problems occur, hearing may start to fade, and joint pain worsens. For men specifically, their testosterone levels can start to drop, which can leave them feeling fatigued, weak, experiencing low libido, and make them prone to weight gain.
Although testosterone levels do decrease each year naturally, there are certain factors that can speed up this decline, such as medical conditions or lifestyle habits.
The good news is that you can encourage your body to produce more testosterone and it’s as easy as eating the right foods. Here are eight foods to start eating more of if you wish to improve your testosterone levels.
8 Foods to Boost Testosterone Levels
Ginger: A 2012 study found that among men who took ginger supplements for three months, their testosterone levels rose by 17.7 percent. A 2013 study found ginger helps boost testosterone and antioxidant levels within 30 days in mice.
Oysters: Not just a food to help put you in the mood, oysters are high in zinc, which is essential for sperm health and reproductive function. Men with a zinc deficiency may develop hypogonadism, where the body doesn’t produce enough testosterone.
Pomegranates: Pomegranates are high in antioxidants and have been shown to help reduce stress. A 2012 study found that men who drank pure pomegranate juice over the course of two weeks had improved their testosterone levels as determined through a saliva test. Participants also experienced a reduction in blood pressure and mood improvements.
Fortified plant milk: Plant milk fortified with vitamin D is found to help improve testosterone levels. Plant milk include almond, soy, hemp, and flax, and often contain 25 percent of a person’s daily requirement of vitamin D. The best way to get adequate vitamin D is through sun exposure, but consuming plant milk is a great addition.
Leafy green vegetables: Spinach, Swiss chard, and kale are some examples of leafy vegetables, which men should consume to boost testosterone levels. This is because leafy greens are high in magnesium, which has been found to improve testosterone levels. Magnesium is also found in nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and whole grains.
Fatty fish: Beneficial fish to consume to boost testosterone levels include Atlantic mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines, and trout.
Extra virgin olive oil: Olive oil is linked with a reduction in heart disease. Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fat along with other vitamins and antioxidants. Small-scale studies have found that olive oil may boost serum testosterone levels among healthy men.
Onions: Onions are packed with several nutrients and antioxidants that may help boost testosterone levels. In rat models, consumption of fresh onion juice for four weeks was associated with an increase in serum testosterone levels. Its effects on humans are still not fully known, but onions are known to be an optimal health food.
There are two types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These conditions can lead to diarrhea, cramping, and bloating. An estimated three million Americans live with IBD.
It is known that IBD patients have a higher risk of cancers in the gastrointestinal tract, but links between IBD and prostate cancer have long been unknown.
To screen for prostate cancer, patients undergo prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening to determine PSA levels. Elevated levels are often associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer. In some cases, PSA screening can yield false positives if there is the presence of C-reactive proteins.
To better understand the potential link between IBD and prostate cancer, researchers followed 1,033 men with IBD and 9,306 men without IBD. The participants were followed on average for 18 years.
The researchers found the risk of prostate cancer in IBD patients was five times higher than without. They speculated that IBD increases the risk of prostate cancer not because of inflammation, but rather a reduction in immune surveillance.
Immune surveillance is the immune system’s ability to pick up lone cancer cells. If immune cells cannot “patrol” the body, then these cancer cells can live and spread.
IBD patients are often prescribed immunosuppressant drugs to control the disease, but unfortunately, this hinders immune surveillance.
The researchers also suggest that IBD and prostate cancer may share similar genes.
Lead author of the study Dr. Shilajit Kundu concluded, “These [people] may need to be screened more carefully than [those] without inflammatory bowel disease. If a man with inflammatory bowel disease has an elevated PSA, it may be an indicator of prostate cancer.”
Further studies need to be carried out to better understand the link between the two diseases.
There are several reasons for back pain from injury and kidney problems to spinal issues and overuse, to name a few. Researchers suggest that back pain may also be a sign of possible prostate cancer. It’s important to note that having back pain along with other symptoms could indicate prostate cancer. Rarely, back pain alone is a sign of prostate cancer.
Cancer cells in the prostate can spread to other parts of the body, mainly the bones known as bone metastasis. When this occurs, it reaches the spine, ribs, and hips. This is most commonly seen in stage four prostate cancer and results in back pain. It is estimated that 60 percent of men with advanced prostate cancer will experience bone metastasis.
In its early stages, prostate cancer may not present symptoms. This is why it’s important that men, especially those at a higher risk, undergo prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening.
Other causes of back pain include strains, sprains, overexertion, injuries, damaged, ruptured, or deteriorating discs in the spine, spinal stenosis, pressure on the spinal nerves, sciatica, abnormalities of the spine, such as scoliosis, arthritis and other inflammatory diseases, kidney stones, infections, and abdominal aortic aneurysms.
If prostate cancer is caught early on, the prognosis is positive, with many men living many more years after diagnosis with minimal complications.