When it comes to men’s health, I can’t answer the age-old question, “Will I ever understand women,” but I do have answers to other vexing concerns on the male mind. Here are some commonly asked questions and solutions for you or the guys in your life.
Men’s Health Question #1: Help! My sex drive is strong as ever, but my body doesn’t always cooperate.
Sexual function is one of the most common concerns when it comes to men’s health. Most cases of erectile dysfunction have a physical cause, and the likely culprit is problems with the vascular system—you’re just not getting enough blood to the area in question. To improve overall circulation, eat a healthy diet with plenty of lean protein sources, vegetables, moderate fruit, and healthy fats.
Be sure to include nitrate-rich leafy greens and beets as well as foods that contain flavonoids such as berries, green tea, and citrus fruits, which have been shown in studies to help with erectile function. Exercise regularly and take a multivitamin and mineral supplement with high doses of antioxidants and B-complex vitamins.
Many drugs can interfere with sexual function. Review your medications with your doctor. And if you smoke, stop. Smoking significantly impairs erectile function. You might also give testosterone a try. This hormone helps performance in some and libido in virtually all men. If you’re over 50, have your testosterone level checked, and talk to your physician about a prescription for testosterone.
It surprises a lot of patients that my number-one recommendation for erectile dysfunction is Viagra (sildenafil citrate) and other drugs in this class. Since its debut in 1998, this drug has helped millions of men with erectile dysfunction resulting from causes as diverse as diabetes, spinal cord injury, atherosclerosis, prostatectomy, and depression. Most men, even those with heart disease, can safely take Viagra. However, it should not be used by anyone taking nitroglycerin or other organic nitrate drugs, as this may lead to potentially fatal drops in blood pressure.
Men’s Health Question #2: Do sexual enhancement supplements work?
Again, your best bet is to try Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra to solve this common men’s health issue. That said, I can tell you about some of the supplements backed up by research. One is the hormone DHEA. In a landmark study, men who were given 50 mg DHEA for six months experienced significant improvements in erectile function.
The amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline increase synthesis of NO, which is the trigger for erections. Herbs such as ginseng, ginkgo, maca, tribulus, horny goat weed, and yohimbe have a history of traditional use and are often included in male enhancement products. Pycnogenol, an extract from French maritime pine trees, was shown a 2015 placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover study involving 50 men with moderate ED which showed that taking a combination of Pycnogenol, L-arginine, L-citrulline, and an extract from French oak for one month normalized erectile function.
Men’s Health Question #3: I used to sleep like a log. Now I go to the bathroom several times a night. Any ideas?
Frequent nighttime urination is a classic symptom of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate. This common problem is caused by an age-related increase in the activity of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), fueling prostate growth.
Fortunately, help is available from Mother Nature’s pharmacy. Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) reduces the activity of 5-alpha-reductase and thus the conversion of testosterone to DHT and its stimulating effects on the prostate—without the drugs’ adverse effects. And it’s not just for prevention, as demonstrated in numerous clinical trials. In a 2016 study, Spanish researchers followed 1,713 men with moderate to severe BPH who were being treated with BPH drugs or herbal supplements. When they were retested after six months, improvements in symptoms and quality of life were similar among all groups.
As research has emerged over the years, I’ve also added pygeum, beta-sitosterol, stinging nettles, and lycopene to my recommended supplements.
Men’s Health Question #4: I walk regularly but I’m still flabby. What can I do to firm up my muscles?
Aerobic exercise such as walking is great for cardiovascular conditioning, but it’s vastly inferior to weight training in attacking the “flab factor.” I say this from personal experience, as I’ve seen the dramatic results of regular weight training on my muscular strength and body fat when I’ve added it to my aerobic exercise regimen. Research has shown that as little as once-weekly resistance exercise can improve muscle strength in older adults.
For best results, try to incorporate two or even three days of resistance training into your routine. If you choose to use weights, you can join a gym, consult a personal trainer, or ask an experienced friend to show you the ropes. You can even use your own body weight for resistance training (think squats, lunges, pushups, triceps dips, or walking up/down the stairs) in the comfort of your own home.
Men’s Health Question #5: What can I do to get rid of athlete’s foot and jock itch?
These common men’s health concerns, which plague millions, are caused by the ringworm fungus, which thrives in moist, warm, dark places. Keeping these areas clean, dry, and aired out especially during the summer months, will go a long way toward discouraging the growth of the fungus.
Over-the-counter spray and powder antifungals such as Lotrimin (miconazole nitrate) work remarkably well. If you prefer a more natural approach, try tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia). This Aboriginal remedy was adopted by the Australian military during World War II to effectively treat “jungle rot.” Tea tree oil, sold in health food stores, should be diluted per product instructions and applied to the affected area with a cotton ball three or four times a day. Continue using it for two weeks after signs of infection subside. Discontinue immediately if irritation occurs.
One final recommendation that has worked well for my patients and subscribers alike it extra-virgin coconut oil. Applied directly to the skin several times a day, coconut oil can relieve a variety of skin issues from dry, cracked heels to athlete’s foot. It’s safe, inexpensive, and smells good too.
Men’s Health Recap
So there you have it, the answers to several common men’s health questions. I hope you and your loved ones find this information helpful.
To order the supplements discussed in this article, call (800) 810-6655. To find out if Whitaker Wellness can help with any of these issues or your health in general, call (866) 944-8253 or fill out this form for a free consultation with one of our friendly and knowledgeable Patient Services Representatives.