Tag Archives: Blood

Straight, No Chaser: The Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

Well, here’s what many of you’ve been awaiting.  Assuming the preventative efforts I mentioned didn’t work for you, there are several different treatment approaches. If there’s an underlying medical cause, then treatment of that cause is not only a good way to relieve erectile dysfunction (ED), but it’s a good way to get healthy and avoid other complications from the primary disease. Today, I’ll review different treatment strategies your primary care physician or urologist may discuss or recommend to you for treatment.
The medications
A first consideration is to be wary of (any) medications via mail order. The same level of testing, scrutiny and quality control just doesn’t exist to the same degree as do medications obtained through a pharmacy. Reports abound of people receiving expired or weak formulations of the pills, as well as fake or hazardous substitutes of the pills they thought they were receiving. Engage at your own risk.
Now, regarding those medications you know all too well by name and brand (e.g. Levitra, Cialis and Viagra), there’s no special ‘magic’ to them. They all are variations of the same theme, physiologically relaxing muscles in the penis, resulting in increased blood flow to it.  Unfortunately, that’s not the entire story with these medications.  ED medications all lower blood pressure throughout the body, and that increased blood to the penis is coming at the expense of decreased blood flow elsewhere (This is called a ‘steal syndrome’.).  If you’re otherwise unhealthy, and your redirecting blood that was needed in the heart or brain, you could end up with a heart attack or stroke while taking these meds.  Therefore, this leads to two very important cautions regarding ED meds.  You shouldn’t start them without discussing with a physician first (to determine “…if you’re healthy enough to have sex”, as the commercials say), and secondly, don’t keep the fact that you’re taking them a secret (to your significant other, and especially to any physician you come across if you’re sick).  These medications could be the cause of whatever medical issue has you in an emergency room. They could also be contributors to life-threatening adverse effects if you’re being treated for something else with a medication that interacts with the ED med you’re taking but didn’t bother to mention to the emergency physician.  This is why ED medications generally aren’t given to men also on medications for high blood pressure, an enlarged prostate, blood thinners or certain other heart diseases (e.g. angina).
There are actually even more intricate medications used to treat ED.  Taking testosterone injections is an increasing means of addressing low hormone levels.  Additional injections directly into the penis or inserting a suppository into the penis itself are additional, effective treatment methods.  You’d be given these options by your urologist if necessary.
The counseling
If your ED is due  to anxiety, stress or other psychologically generated reasons, psychotherapy (possibly with your partner) may be of incredible assistance.  If you pursue this option, you and your partner must be prepared to be patient and to work through a variety of issues and possible approaches.
Surgery and additional methods

  • If you’ve ever seen an Austin Powers movie, you’re familiar with (well at least the jokes about) penis pumps.  These are real things, and involve placing a hollow tube over the penis and creating a vacuum to pull blood to the penis via a pump.  A tension ring is placed about the base of the penis to maintain the erection during intercourse.
  • Actual vascular surgery to repair damaged arteries may be indicated in certain cases.
  • Penile implants are an additional option.  Inflatable rods are placed into the sides of the penis.  These rods are simply inflated when needed.

Penile-Prosthesis-300x168
If you think some of this is a bit much, it may or may not be, depending on if you’re the one suffering.  As I usually conclude, prevention would have been a much better course of action.  Hopefully if that’s not the case, you’ve understood the information provided well enough to have an informed conversation with your physician.  Good luck, and I welcome your comments and/or questions.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

hypertension-34

High blood pressure is called the silent killer. It’s common for me to see someone who thought they were ‘fine’ drop dead from its effects, never knowing it was about to happen and not having been aware of the warning signs and risk factors.
In lay terms, your heart is just a muscular pump pushing blood (containing oxygen and nutrients) around the body keeping stuff alive. The more you poison that pump (by ingesting unhealthy foods and inhaling other toxins) and strain the muscle by adding weight and clogging its vessels so it has to pump against more force (by being obese, not exercising and engaging in other unhealthy behaviors), the more likely that muscle is to strain until it gives out. Once it does, blood isn’t delivering what’s needed to your vital organs, and that’s when bad stuff happens.
bloodpressureThe vital organs in question and those bad effects include the following:
• The heart itself (no blood flow and no oxygen = heart attack; when the heart’s not strong enough to pump blood around the body = congestive heart failure)
• The blood vessels, especially the heart’s main offshoot, the aorta (too much strain = aneurysm, an outpouching from the main tubular system, stealing valuable blood from the rest of the body)
• The brain (no blood flow and no oxygen = stroke; aneursyms also occur in the brain)
• The kidneys (not enough blood flow or adequate enough function to clear the toxins from the kidney = renal failure)
• The eyes (poor blood flow and/or diseased eye blood vessels leads to vision loss)

blood_pressure_5_treat-img_1280x720-jpg

Bottom line: The heart is a muscle best thought of as a machine. Here’s three easy things you can do to reduce your risks.
• Get off your butt. Any exercise helps to get your heart pumping and blood flowing; strive for 20” three times a week at the very least.
• Close your mouth. Everything in moderation is cool, but introduce some fruits and vegetables into your life.
• Lose the salt shaker. At least taste your food first. It’s likely the food was already prepared with salt.
Did I mention stop smoking? Any questions?
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress
 

Straight, No Chaser: How Do You Contract HIV/AIDS?

HIV-AIDS-21

This isn’t 1983. The mystery of how HIV infection is contracted has come and gone. Yet HIV and AIDS awareness are still critical. You need to be knowledgeable to be empowered.

This is the second blog in an ongoing series on HIV and AIDS.

  • For an explanation of what AIDS is, click here.
  • For an explanation of the signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS is, click here.

First, let’s address a simple principle. The HIV virus can live and reproduce in high levels in blood other body fluids, including breast milk, rectal mucus, semen (and pre-semen) and vaginal fluids. If any of those fluids are infected and are transmitted to another’s body, that individual can become infected with HIV. In special circumstances (such as healthcare workers), individuals may become exposed to other areas that may contain high levels of HIV, including amniotic fluid (in pregnancy women), cerebrospinal fluid (from the brain and spinal cord) and synovial fluid (from various joints).
Now please take a moment and look at the lead picture. In addition to those circumstances listed, you should know that fluids such as feces, nasal fluid, saliva, sweat, tears, urine or vomit don’t by themselves contain high enough levels to transmit HIV. However, if those fluids are mixed with blood and you have contact with both fluids, you may become infected via these routes.
HIV is transmitted through body fluids in very specific ways:

  • During anal, oral or vaginal sex: When you have anal, oral, or vaginal sex with a partner, you will have contact with your partner’s body fluids in areas very likely to be high in HIV viral load if your partner is infected. HIV gets transmitted in these instances through small breaks in the surfaces of the mouth, penis, rectum, vagina or vulva. One of the reasons HIV infection rates are higher in individuals with herpes and syphilis is because those diseases cause open sores, creating additional opportunities for HIV-infected body fluids to enter the body.
  • During pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding: Babies have constant contact with their mother’s potentially infected body fluids. Means of transmitting HIV from mother to child include through amniotic fluid, blood and infected breast milk.
  • As a result of injection drug use: Injecting drugs puts you in contact with blood. If those needles and their contents are contaminated, you can be directly delivering HIV into your bloodstream.
  • As a result of occupational exposure: Healthcare workers must be constantly diligent against this method of transmission. Risks of HIV transmission to healthcare workers occur through blood transferred from needlesticks and cuts, and less commonly through contact of infected body fluids splashed into the eyes, mouth or into an open sore or cut.
  • As a result of a blood transfusion or organ transplant: Fortunately, these days, this is very rare given the stringency of screening requirements in the United States, but it is possible to transmit HIV through blood transfusions or organ transplants from infected donors.

hivaids

How does one get AIDS?
AIDS is a progression of HIV into its later stages and occurs after one’s immune system is severely damaged. You don’t “get AIDS” as much as HIV progresses to AIDS in certain circumstances. Many of us recall that HIV could progress in this way to AIDS in a matter of a few years a few decades ago. Fortunately, with the development of specialized medications in the 1990s, people with HIV are living much longer with HIV before they develop AIDS.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: The Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

Well, here’s what many of you’ve been awaiting.  Assuming the preventative efforts I mentioned didn’t work for you, there are several different treatment approaches. If there’s an underlying medical cause, then treatment of that cause is not only a good way to relieve erectile dysfunction (ED), but it’s a good way to get healthy and avoid other complications from the primary disease. Today, I’ll review different treatment strategies your primary care physician or urologist may discuss or recommend to you for treatment.
The medications
A first consideration is to be wary of (any) medications via mail order. The same level of testing, scrutiny and quality control just doesn’t exist to the same degree as do medications obtained through a pharmacy. Reports abound of people receiving expired or weak formulations of the pills, as well as fake or hazardous substitutes of the pills they thought they were receiving. Engage at your own risk.
Now, regarding those medications you know all too well by name and brand (e.g. Levitra, Cialis and Viagra), there’s no special ‘magic’ to them. They all are variations of the same theme, physiologically relaxing muscles in the penis, resulting in increased blood flow to it.  Unfortunately, that’s not the entire story with these medications.  ED medications all lower blood pressure throughout the body, and that increased blood to the penis is coming at the expense of decreased blood flow elsewhere (This is called a ‘steal syndrome’.).  If you’re otherwise unhealthy, and your redirecting blood that was needed in the heart or brain, you could end up with a heart attack or stroke while taking these meds.  Therefore, this leads to two very important cautions regarding ED meds.  You shouldn’t start them without discussing with a physician first (to determine “…if you’re healthy enough to have sex”, as the commercials say), and secondly, don’t keep the fact that you’re taking them a secret (to your significant other, and especially to any physician you come across if you’re sick).  These medications could be the cause of whatever medical issue has you in an emergency room. They could also be contributors to life-threatening adverse effects if you’re being treated for something else with a medication that interacts with the ED med you’re taking but didn’t bother to mention to the emergency physician.  This is why ED medications generally aren’t given to men also on medications for high blood pressure, an enlarged prostate, blood thinners or certain other heart diseases (e.g. angina).
There are actually even more intricate medications used to treat ED.  Taking testosterone injections is an increasing means of addressing low hormone levels.  Additional injections directly into the penis or inserting a suppository into the penis itself are additional, effective treatment methods.  You’d be given these options by your urologist if necessary.
The counseling
If your ED is due  to anxiety, stress or other psychologically generated reasons, psychotherapy (possibly with your partner) may be of incredible assistance.  If you pursue this option, you and your partner must be prepared to be patient and to work through a variety of issues and possible approaches.
Surgery and additional methods

  • If you’ve ever seen an Austin Powers movie, you’re familiar with (well at least the jokes about) penis pumps.  These are real things, and involve placing a hollow tube over the penis and creating a vacuum to pull blood to the penis via a pump.  A tension ring is placed about the base of the penis to maintain the erection during intercourse.
  • Actual vascular surgery to repair damaged arteries may be indicated in certain cases.
  • Penile implants are an additional option.  Inflatable rods are placed into the sides of the penis.  These rods are simply inflated when needed.

Penile-Prosthesis-300x168
If you think some of this is a bit much, it may or may not be, depending on if you’re the one suffering.  As I usually conclude, prevention would have been a much better course of action.  Hopefully if that’s not the case, you’ve understood the information provided well enough to have an informed conversation with your physician.  Good luck, and I welcome your comments and/or questions.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress
 

Straight, No Chaser: High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

hypertension-34

High blood pressure is called the silent killer. It’s common for me to see someone who thought they were ‘fine’ drop dead from its effects, never knowing it was about to happen and not having been aware of the warning signs and risk factors.
In lay terms, your heart is just a muscular pump pushing blood (containing oxygen and nutrients) around the body keeping stuff alive. The more you poison that pump (by ingesting unhealthy foods and inhaling other toxins) and strain the muscle by adding weight and clogging its vessels so it has to pump against more force (by being obese, not exercising and engaging in other unhealthy behaviors), the more likely that muscle is to strain until it gives out. Once it does, blood isn’t delivering what’s needed to your vital organs, and that’s when bad stuff happens.
bloodpressureThe vital organs in question and those bad effects include the following:
• The heart itself (no blood flow and no oxygen = heart attack; when the heart’s not strong enough to pump blood around the body = congestive heart failure)
• The blood vessels, especially the heart’s main offshoot, the aorta (too much strain = aneurysm, an outpouching from the main tubular system, stealing valuable blood from the rest of the body)
• The brain (no blood flow and no oxygen = stroke; aneursyms also occur in the brain)
• The kidneys (not enough blood flow or adequate enough function to clear the toxins from the kidney = renal failure)
• The eyes (poor blood flow and/or diseased eye blood vessels leads to vision loss)

blood_pressure_5_treat-img_1280x720-jpg

Bottom line: The heart is a muscle best thought of as a machine. Here’s three easy things you can do to reduce your risks.
• Get off your butt. Any exercise helps to get your heart pumping and blood flowing; strive for 20” three times a week at the very least.
• Close your mouth. Everything in moderation is cool, but introduce some fruits and vegetables into your life.
• Lose the salt shaker. At least taste your food first. It’s likely the food was already prepared with salt.
Did I mention stop smoking? Any questions?
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: How Do You Contract HIV/AIDS?

HIV-AIDS-21

This isn’t 1983. The mystery of how HIV infection is contracted has come and gone. Yet HIV and AIDS awareness are still critical. You need to be knowledgable to be empowered.

This is the first blog in an ongoing series on HIV and AIDS.

  • For an explanation of what AIDS is, click here.
  • For an explanation of the signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS is, click here.

First, let’s address a simple principle. The HIV virus can live and reproduce in high levels in blood other body fluids, including breast milk, rectal mucus, semen (and pre-semen) and vaginal fluids. If any of those fluids are infected and are transmitted to another’s body, that individual can become infected with HIV. In special circumstances (such as healthcare workers), individuals may become exposed to other areas that may contain high levels of HIV, including amniotic fluid (in pregnancy women), cerebrospinal fluid (from the brain and spinal cord) and synovial fluid (from various joints).
Now please take a moment and look at the lead picture. In addition to those circumstances listed, you should know that fluids such as feces, nasal fluid, saliva, sweat, tears, urine or vomit don’t by themselves contain high enough levels to transmit HIV. However, if those fluids are mixed with blood and you have contact with both fluids, you may become infected via these routes.
HIV is transmitted through body fluids in very specific ways:

  • During anal, oral or vaginal sex: When you have anal, oral, or vaginal sex with a partner, you will have contact with your partner’s body fluids in areas very likely to be high in HIV viral load if your partner is infected. HIV gets transmitted in these instances through small breaks in the surfaces of the mouth, penis, rectum, vagina or vulva. One of the reasons HIV infection rates are higher in individuals with herpes and syphilis is because those diseases cause open sores, creating additional opportunities for HIV-infected body fluids to enter the body.
  • During pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding: Babies have constant contact with their mother’s potentially infected body fluids. Means of transmitting HIV from mother to child include through amniotic fluid, blood and infected breast milk.
  • As a result of injection drug use: Injecting drugs puts you in contact with blood. If those needles and their contents are contaminated, you can be directly delivering HIV into your bloodstream.
  • As a result of occupational exposure: Healthcare workers must be constantly diligent against this method of transmission. Risks of HIV transmission to healthcare workers occur through blood transferred from needlesticks and cuts, and less commonly through contact of infected body fluids splashed into the eyes, mouth or into an open sore or cut.
  • As a result of a blood transfusion or organ transplant: Fortunately, these days, this is very rare given the stringency of screening requirements in the United States, but it is possible to transmit HIV through blood transfusions or organ transplants from infected donors.

hivaids

How does one get AIDS?
AIDS is a progression of HIV into its later stages and occurs after one’s immune system is severely damaged. You don’t “get AIDS” as much as HIV progresses to AIDS in certain circumstances. Many of us recall that HIV could progress in this way to AIDS in a matter of a few years a few decades ago. Fortunately, with the development of specialized medications in the 1990s, people with HIV are living much longer with HIV before they develop AIDS.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: The Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

Penis-Pump-For-Penis-Enlargement-font-b-Erectile-b-font-font-b-Dysfunction-b
Well, here’s what many of you’ve been awaiting.  Assuming the preventative efforts I mentioned didn’t work for you, there are several different treatment approaches. If there’s an underlying medical cause, then treatment of that cause is not only a good way to relieve erectile dysfunction (ED), but it’s a good way to get healthy and avoid other complications from the primary disease. Today, I’ll review different treatment strategies your primary care physician or urologist may discuss or recommend to you for treatment.
The medications
A first consideration is to be wary of (any) medications via mail order. The same level of testing, scrutiny and quality control just doesn’t exist to the same degree as do medications obtained through a pharmacy. Reports abound of people receiving expired or weak formulations of the pills, as well as fake or hazardous substitutes of the pills they thought they were receiving. Engage at your own risk.
Now, regarding those medications you know all too well by name and brand (e.g. Levitra, Cialis and Viagra), there’s no special ‘magic’ to them. They all are variations of the same theme, physiologically relaxing muscles in the penis, resulting in increased blood flow to it.  Unfortunately, that’s not the entire story with these medications.  ED medications all lower blood pressure throughout the body, and that increased blood to the penis is coming at the expense of decreased blood flow elsewhere (This is called a ‘steal syndrome’.).  If you’re otherwise unhealthy, and your redirecting blood that was needed in the heart or brain, you could end up with a heart attack or stroke while taking these meds.  Therefore, this leads to two very important cautions regarding ED meds.  You shouldn’t start them without discussing with a physician first (to determine “…if you’re healthy enough to have sex”, as the commercials say), and secondly, don’t keep the fact that you’re taking them a secret (to your significant other, and especially to any physician you come across if you’re sick).  These medications could be the cause of whatever medical issue has you in an emergency room. They could also be contributors to life-threatening adverse effects if you’re being treated for something else with a medication that interacts with the ED med you’re taking but didn’t bother to mention to the emergency physician.  This is why ED medications generally aren’t given to men also on medications for high blood pressure, an enlarged prostate, blood thinners or certain other heart diseases (e.g. angina).
There are actually even more intricate medications used to treat ED.  Taking testosterone injections is an increasing means of addressing low hormone levels.  Additional injections directly into the penis or inserting a suppository into the penis itself are additional, effective treatment methods.  You’d be given these options by your urologist if necessary.
The counseling
If your ED is due  to anxiety, stress or other psychologically generated reasons, psychotherapy (possibly with your partner) may be of incredible assistance.  If you pursue this option, you and your partner must be prepared to be patient and to work through a variety of issues and possible approaches.
Surgery and additional methods

  • If you’ve ever seen an Austin Powers movie, you’re familiar with (well at least the jokes about) penis pumps.  These are real things, and involve placing a hollow tube over the penis and creating a vacuum to pull blood to the penis via a pump.  A tension ring is placed about the base of the penis to maintain the erection during intercourse.
  • Actual vascular surgery to repair damaged arteries may be indicated in certain cases.
  • Penile implants are an additional option.  Inflatable rods are placed into the sides of the penis.  These rods are simply inflated when needed.

Penile-Prosthesis-300x168
If you think some of this is a bit much, it may or may not be, depending on if you’re the one suffering.  As I usually conclude, prevention would have been a much better course of action.  Hopefully if that’s not the case, you’ve understood the information provided well enough to have an informed conversation with your physician.  Good luck, and I welcome your comments and/or questions.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: The Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

Smiling_BobPenis-Pump-For-Penis-Enlargement-font-b-Erectile-b-font-font-b-Dysfunction-b
Well, here’s what many of you’ve been awaiting.  Assuming the preventative efforts I mentioned didn’t work for you, there are several different treatment approaches. If there’s an underlying medical cause, then treatment of that cause is not only a good way to relieve erectile dysfunction (ED), but it’s a good way to get healthy and avoid other complications from the primary disease. Today, I’ll review different treatment strategies your primary care physician or urologist may discuss or recommend to you for treatment.
The medications
A first consideration is to be wary of (any) medications via mail order. The same level of testing, scrutiny and quality control just doesn’t exist to the same degree as do medications obtained through a pharmacy. Reports abound of people receiving expired or weak formulations of the pills, as well as fake or hazardous substitutes of the pills they thought they were receiving. Engage at your own risk.
Now, regarding those medications you know all too well by name and brand (e.g. Levitra, Cialis and Viagra), there’s no special ‘magic’ to them. They all are variations of the same theme, physiologically relaxing muscles in the penis, resulting in increased blood flow to it.  Unfortunately, that’s not the entire story with these medications.  ED medications all lower blood pressure throughout the body, and that increased blood to the penis is coming at the expense of decreased blood flow elsewhere (This is called a ‘steal syndrome’.).  If you’re otherwise unhealthy, and your redirecting blood that was needed in the heart or brain, you could end up with a heart attack or stroke while taking these meds.  Therefore, this leads to two very important cautions regarding ED meds.  You shouldn’t start them without discussing with a physician first (to determine “…if you’re healthy enough to have sex”, as the commercials say), and secondly, don’t keep the fact that you’re taking them a secret (to your significant other, and especially to any physician you come across if you’re sick).  These medications could be the cause of whatever medical issue has you in an emergency room. They could also be contributors to life-threatening adverse effects if you’re being treated for something else with a medication that interacts with the ED med you’re taking but didn’t bother to mention to the emergency physician.  This is why ED medications generally aren’t given to men also on medications for high blood pressure, an enlarged prostate, blood thinners or certain other heart diseases (e.g. angina).
There are actually even more intricate medications used to treat ED.  Taking testosterone injections is an increasing means of addressing low hormone levels.  Additional injections directly into the penis or inserting a suppository into the penis itself are additional, effective treatment methods.  You’d be given these options by your urologist if necessary.
The counseling
If your ED is due  to anxiety, stress or other psychologically generated reasons, psychotherapy (possibly with your partner) may be of incredible assistance.  If you pursue this option, you and your partner must be prepared to be patient and to work through a variety of issues and possible approaches.
Surgery and additional methods

  • If you’ve ever seen an Austin Powers movie, you’re familiar with (well at least the jokes about) penis pumps.  These are real things, and involve placing a hollow tube over the penis and creating a vacuum to pull blood to the penis via a pump.  A tension ring is placed about the base of the penis to maintain the erection during intercourse.
  • Actual vascular surgery to repair damaged arteries may be indicated in certain cases.
  • Penile implants are an additional option.  Inflatable rods are placed into the sides of the penis.  These rods are simply inflated when needed.

Penile-Prosthesis-300x168
If you think some of this is a bit much, it may or may not be, depending on if you’re the one suffering.  As I usually conclude, prevention would have been a much better course of action.  Hopefully if that’s not the case, you’ve understood the information provided well enough to have an informed conversation with your physician.  Good luck, and I welcome your comments and/or questions.
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Straight, No Chaser: How Do You Contract HIV/AIDS?

HIV-AIDS-21

Today is World AIDS day. This isn’t 1983. The mystery of how HIV infection is contracted has come and gone. You need to be knowledgable to be empowered.
This is the first blog in an ongoing series on HIV and AIDS.

  • For an explanation of what AIDS is, click here.
  • For an explanation of the signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS is, click here.

First, let’s address a simple principle. The HIV virus can live and reproduce in high levels in blood other body fluids, including breast milk, rectal mucus, semen (and pre-semen) and vaginal fluids. If any of those fluids are infected and are transmitted to another’s body, that individual can become infected with HIV. In special circumstances (such as healthcare workers), individuals may become exposed to other areas that may contain high levels of HIV, including amniotic fluid (in pregnancy women), cerebrospinal fluid (from the brain and spinal cord) and synovial fluid (from various joints).
Now please take a moment and look at the lead picture. In addition to those circumstances listed, you should know that fluids such as feces, nasal fluid, saliva, sweat, tears, urine or vomit don’t by themselves contain high enough levels to transmit HIV. However, if those fluids are mixed with blood and you have contact with both fluids, you may become infected via these routes.
HIV is transmitted through body fluids in very specific ways:

  • During anal, oral or vaginal sex: When you have anal, oral, or vaginal sex with a partner, you will have contact with your partner’s body fluids in areas very likely to be high in HIV viral load if your partner is infected. HIV gets transmitted in these instances through small breaks in the surfaces of the mouth, penis, rectum, vagina or vulva. One of the reasons HIV infection rates are higher in individuals with herpes and syphilis is because those diseases cause open sores, creating additional opportunities for HIV-infected body fluids to enter the body.
  • During pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding: Babies have constant contact with their mother’s potentially infected body fluids. Means of transmitting HIV from mother to child include through amniotic fluid, blood and infected breast milk.
  • As a result of injection drug use: Injecting drugs puts you in contact with blood. If those needles and their contents are contaminated, you can be directly delivering HIV into your bloodstream.
  • As a result of occupational exposure: Healthcare workers must be constantly diligent against this method of transmission. Risks of HIV transmission to healthcare workers occur through blood transferred from needlesticks and cuts, and less commonly through contact of infected body fluids splashed into the eyes, mouth or into an open sore or cut.
  • As a result of a blood transfusion or organ transplant: Fortunately, these days, this is very rare given the stringency of screening requirements in the United States, but it is possible to transmit HIV through blood transfusions or organ transplants from infected donors.

How does one get AIDS?
AIDS is a progression of HIV into its later stages and occurs after one’s immune system is severely damaged. You don’t “get AIDS” as much as HIV progresses to AIDS in certain circumstances. Many of us recall that HIV could progress in this way to AIDS in a matter of a few years a few decades ago. Fortunately, with the development of specialized medications in the 1990s, people with HIV are living much longer with HIV before they develop AIDS.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Blood Clots in Your Legs – Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)

DVT_clot_illustration
When patients talk about blood clots, they’re describing a blockage of a blood vessel somewhere in the body, usually the lower extremities (legs and thighs), the lungs (pulmonary embolus) or the brain. Today we’ll discuss the variety that occurs in the lower extremities, which are generally referred to as deep venous thrombosis (DVTs). In case you’re thinking that a clot in the leg doesn’t sound as bad as a clot in the lungs or the head, you’re correct – until you understand that DVTs break off and travel to other body sites, leading to blockage elsewhere (This is called embolism.).
Your challenge is to appreciate the risks of developing DVTs and the symptoms. Risk factors include the following:

  • Birth control pills or other estrogen use (this combined with cigarette smoking pushes the risk even higher)
  • Cancer
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Family history of blood clots
  • Obesity
  • Prolonged immobilization
  • Recent pelvic or leg fracture
  • Recent surgery (most often the pelvis or lower extremities)
  • Recent travel involving long periods of sitting
  • Certain medical conditions, most notably lupus

Symptoms most commonly are in one leg or the other, and reflect the fact that the vein is being blocked. These include pain, swelling, redness and warmth.
Diagnosis and treatment are relatively straightforward as long as they occur in time (meaning before the clots have broken off). Diagnosis is usually accomplished by an ultrasound of the lower extremities; once discovered, you’ll be placed on blood thinners. It’s important to know that blood thinners prevent the formation of new clots. They do not dissolve existing clots. That’s usually not necessary, as many DVTs simply dissolve. If it doesn’t, DVTs that embolize are life-threatening (more so from the pelvis and thigh than the legs). Unfortunately pulmonary emboli are among the most missed medical diagnoses and causes of death. Try to manage your controllable risk factors, and be aware when you’re dealing with a risk factor that you can’t control (like surgery).
I welcome any questions or comments.
Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Diabetes Basics Made Simple

diabetes-treadmill
Somehow, I’ve managed not to talk much about diabetes. What an oversight that has been, and it’s one that is about to be corrected. As much as I’ve talked about the importance of your blood vessels, diabetes is a disease that further drives that point home. However, I’ll get to that later. First here’s some basic information for you.
We eat, and the process of digestion is for the purpose of converting food into glucose (sugar) that’s used by our body for energy. The blood delivers the glucose to different organs of the body where the cells take it up for use. In order for that process to work, an organ that’s part of the digestive tract called the pancreas has to produce a hormone called insulin. Insulin facilitates the glucose getting from the blood to inside the cells. Diabetes is a disease where insulin isn’t being made by the pancreas or isn’t working optimally.
Now think about what happens when you’re not getting sugar into your cells. It’s as if you’re starving (because physiologically, you might as well be). You get symptoms such as weight loss, hunger, fatigue and excessive thirst. Because your cells don’t have energy, they aren’t functioning well. In fact, blood and nerve vessels lose significant function, resulting in significant vision loss and lack of sensitivity in your extremities. Anyone who’s been a diabetic for about 10 years know this because you’re wearing glasses and because you’ve lost a fair amount of sensation, especially in your feet. There are other symptoms that are variations of the same theme, including excessive urination, dry skin, increased infection rate and slower healing from those infections – all due to poor function of your blood vessels.
Sometimes diabetes is a disease that happens to you because of unlucky genetics (or simply a family history). Other times it is a disease that you find. Risk factors for developing diabetes includes obesity, older age, and physical inactivity. Gestational diabetes (i.e. that occurring during pregnancy) is an entirely different conversation.
Let’s take a moment to discuss prevention and treatment. I haven’t discussed the different types of diabetes (but will if you ask questions), but the risk of one form of diabetes in particular can be reduced by – you guessed it – diet and exercise. In fact, diet, exercise and medications are the three legs of the diabetes treatment stool regardless of type. Some patients require regular insulin injections and others require pills. Still others who are successful with diet and exercise are able to markedly reduce, and in some instances eliminate medications.
I will have additional comments on diabetes in future posts. I welcome your questions and comments.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what  http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: The Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

Smiling_BobPenis-Pump-For-Penis-Enlargement-font-b-Erectile-b-font-font-b-Dysfunction-b
Well, here’s what many of you’ve been awaiting.  Assuming the preventative efforts I mentioned didn’t work for you, there are several different treatment approaches. If there’s an underlying medical cause, then treatment of that cause is not only a good way to relieve erectile dysfunction (ED), but it’s a good way to get healthy and avoid other complications from the primary disease. Today, I’ll review different treatment strategies your primary care physician or urologist may discuss or recommend to you for treatment.
The medications
A first consideration is to be wary of (any) medications via mail order. The same level of testing, scrutiny and quality control just doesn’t exist to the same degree as do medications obtained through a pharmacy. Reports abound of people receiving expired or weak formulations of the pills, as well as fake or hazardous substitutes of the pills they thought they were receiving. Engage at your own risk.
Now, regarding those medications you know all too well by name and brand (e.g. Levitra, Cialis and Viagra), there’s no special ‘magic’ to them. They all are variations of the same theme, physiologically relaxing muscles in the penis, resulting in increased blood flow to it.  Unfortunately, that’s not the entire story with these medications.  ED medications all lower blood pressure throughout the body, and that increased blood to the penis is coming at the expense of decreased blood flow elsewhere (This is called a ‘steal syndrome’.).  If you’re otherwise unhealthy, and your redirecting blood that was needed in the heart or brain, you could end up with a heart attack or stroke while taking these meds.  Therefore, this leads to two very important cautions regarding ED meds.  You shouldn’t start them without discussing with a physician first (to determine “…if you’re healthy enough to have sex”, as the commercials say), and secondly, don’t keep the fact that you’re taking them a secret (to your significant other, and especially to any physician you come across if you’re sick).  These medications could be the cause of whatever medical issue has you in an emergency room. They could also be contributors to life-threatening adverse effects if you’re being treated for something else with a medication that interacts with the ED med you’re taking but didn’t bother to mention to the emergency physician.  This is why ED medications generally aren’t given to men also on medications for high blood pressure, an enlarged prostate, blood thinners or certain other heart diseases (e.g. angina).
There are actually even more intricate medications used to treat ED.  Taking testosterone injections is an increasing means of addressing low hormone levels.  Additional injections directly into the penis or inserting a suppository into the penis itself are additional, effective treatment methods.  You’d be given these options by your urologist if necessary.
The counseling
If your ED is due  to anxiety, stress or other psychologically generated reasons, psychotherapy (possibly with your partner) may be of incredible assistance.  If you pursue this option, you and your partner must be prepared to be patient and to work through a variety of issues and possible approaches.
Surgery and additional methods

  • If you’ve ever seen an Austin Powers movie, you’re familiar with (well at least the jokes about) penis pumps.  These are real things, and involve placing a hollow tube over the penis and creating a vacuum to pull blood to the penis via a pump.  A tension ring is placed about the base of the penis to maintain the erection during intercourse.
  • Actual vascular surgery to repair damaged arteries may be indicated in certain cases.
  • Penile implants are an additional option.  Inflatable rods are placed into the sides of the penis.  These rods are simply inflated when needed.

Penile-Prosthesis-300x168
If you think some of this is a bit much, it may or may not be, depending on if you’re the one suffering.  As I usually conclude, prevention would have been a much better course of action.  Hopefully if that’s not the case, you’ve understood the information provided well enough to have an informed conversation with your physician.  Good luck, and I welcome your comments and/or questions.
Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

 

Straight, No Chaser: High Blood Pressure

bp_chartbloodpressure
High blood pressure is called the silent killer. It’s common for me to see someone who thought they were ‘fine’ drop dead from its effects, never knowing it was about to happen and not having been aware of the warning signs and risk factors.
In lay terms, your heart is just a muscular pump pushing blood (containing oxygen and nutrients) around the body keeping stuff alive. The more you poison that pump (by ingesting unhealthy foods and inhaling other toxins) and strain the muscle by adding weight and clogging its vessels so it has to pump against more force (by being obese, not exercising and engaging in other unhealthy behaviors), the more likely that muscle is to strain until it gives out. Once it does, blood isn’t delivering what’s needed to your vital organs, and that’s when bad stuff happens.
The vital organs in question and those bad effects include the following:
• The heart itself (no blood flow and no oxygen = heart attack; when the heart’s not strong enough to pump blood around the body = congestive heart failure)
• The blood vessels, especially the heart’s main offshoot, the aorta (too much strain = aneurysm, an outpouching from the main tubular system, stealing valuable blood from the rest of the body)
• The brain (no blood flow and no oxygen = stroke; aneursyms also occur in the brain)
• The kidneys (not enough blood flow or adequate enough function to clear the toxins from the kidney = renal failure)
• The eyes (poor blood flow and/or diseased eye blood vessels leads to vision loss)
Bottom line: The heart is a muscle best thought of as a machine. Here’s three easy things you can do to reduce your risks.
Get off your butt. Any exercise helps to get your heart pumping and blood flowing; strive for 20” three times a week at the very least.
Close your mouth. Everything in moderation is cool, but introduce some fruits and vegetables into your life.
Lose the salt shaker. At least taste your food first. It’s likely the food was already prepared with salt.
Did I mention stop smoking? Any questions?
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Straight, No Chaser: This is Specifically For the Faint of Heart

faint
Don’t faints seem mysterious?  It’s as if your computer crashed and had to reboot.  Although we never seemingly figure out why computers are so crazy, fainting (syncope) is reducible to a common denominator: something causes a decrease in blood flow to your brain.  Recall that oxygen and other needed nutrients are carried in blood, so even a temporary stoppage or shortage of blood flow shuts things down.  Now extrapolate that to strokes and comas, which are often due to serious and prolonged causes of blockage to the blood vessels supplying the brain.  This is a prime example of why good blood flow and good health are so important.  The brain is a highly efficient, oxygen and energy-guzzling organ.  Shut it down for even a few seconds, and bad things start to happen.  Consider fainting a warning sign.
I’m going to start by offering some Quick Tips to help if you find yourself around someone who has fainted.  Then, I will get into the weeds of why these things happen for those interested.  I’m doing this so you can check these and determine where your risks may be.

  • Call 911.  Make sure the person is still breathing and has a pulse.  If not, start CPR.
  • Loosen clothing, especially around the neck.
  • Elevate the legs above the level of the chest.
  • If the fainter vomited, turn him/her to the side to help avoid choking and food going down the airway (aspiration).
  • A diabetic may have been given instructions to eat or drink something if s/he feels as if s/he is going to faint.  If you know this, a faint would be a good time to administer any glucose gel or supplies advised by a physician.  Prompt treatment of low blood sugar reactions is a life-saver.  Discuss and coordinate how you can perform this effort on behalf of your friends and family with their physicians.
  • If it’s possible that the faint is part of some heat emergency (heat exhaustion or heat stroke), follow these steps to save a life (click here).

Actually, faints are caused by all kinds of medical problems.  I list a few notable causes below, but whether the front end difficulty is with the heart pumping, the nerves conducting, or the content of oxygen or energy being delivered, the end result is the same.

  • Decreased nerve tone (vasovagal syncope): This is the most common cause of faints, and contrary to what you might think, it happens more often in kids and young adults than in the elderly.  Understand that your nerves actually regulate blood flow (analogous to a train conductor telling the heart to speed up or pump harder or not).  Changes in nerve tone can result in errant signals being sent, transiently resulting in low flow.
  • Diseases and conditions that affect the nervous system and/or ability to regulate blood pressure: Alcoholism, dehydration, diabetes and malnutrition are conditions that may depress the nervous system.  Alternatively, coughing, having a bowel movement (especially if straining) and urination may abnormally stimulate the system.  In the elderly and those bedridden, simply standing can cause fainting due to difficulty regulating blood pressure.  In this case, standing causes a sharp drop in blood pressure.
  • Anemia: A deficiency in blood cells can lead to a deficiency in oxygen delivery to the brain.
  • Arrhythmias (irregular heart beats): Inefficiency in your heartbeat leads to unstable delivery of blood to the brain.
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia): Low energy states can deplete the body of what it needs to operate effectively, leading to low blood flow.
  • Medications (especially those treating high blood pressure): anything that lowers the heart’s ability to vigorously pump blood around the body can leave the brain inadequately supplied, leading to a blackout.  Let’s include illicit drugs and alcohol in this category.
  • Panic attacks: Hyperventilation caused by anxiety and panic upset the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide in the brain, which can lead to fainting spells.
  • Seizures: Here’s a chicken and egg scenario.  A prolonged faint can lead to a seizure, and seizures lead to periods of unconsciousness, during and after the seizure.  The lack of oxygen is a common denominator.