Tag Archives: Physician

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: 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: 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.
Copyright © 2015 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: When the Patient Knows Better

drptnt2

So … your friendly neighborhood ER physician chats with a patient.

Client: “Doc, I’m sick. I need my asthma medicine. I need steroids, an inhaler and some antibiotics.”
Expert: “Oh really. How do you know that?”
Client: “Oh, I get the same thing this time every year.”
Expert: “Hmm. Same time every year, huh? Would you mind telling me your symptoms first?”
Client: “Cough, chest tightness, wheezing. I’m telling you. Same thing every year.”
Expert: “Have you gotten your flu shot this year?”
Client: “I haven’t had the flu shot since 2005, but I’m going to get it in January. But this is my asthma! C’mon, Doc. I just need my antibiotics and my asthma medicine.”
Expert: “There’s an adage in medicine that has been proven true a million times over. A physician that treats himself has a fool for a patient. Now, if physicians won’t treat themselves …”
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times.

  • “I know my body.”
  • “I’ve had the exact thing before.”
  • “I read it on the Internet.”
  • “I had a friend with the same thing.”
  • “I just want to make sure.”
  • “Well you have to do something, don’t you?”

Medicine is a science. By that, I mean a real science made of facts—not opinions, educated guesses or perspectives. There are seemingly a million paraprofessionals and incredibly intelligent people on the periphery of healthcare who have what we describe as an “experience base.” That means they “know” it because they’ve seen it or just read it. That is completely different than a knowledge base. Physicians have completed between seven and 10 years after undergrad learning, understanding and mastering the human body. What does that mean to you? Basically, the methodology for practicing medicine is not the linear A+B=C (i.e., “I have this symptom, therefore it must be this disease”).
Yes, this applies to you. Even you, dear “I know my body better than you do” reader. When you tell your physician that you’ve seen or experienced something before, you’re basically suggesting your sample size of one defines the entire universe of medicine. Even as it applies to you, the body is a wondrously complex creation with many, many variables affecting a single breath or heartbeat.
So, when your physician is telling you something different than what you believe or expect to hear about your condition, it’s not that s/he isn’t listening to you. It’s that s/he has listened to you and has come to a different determination. That’s why physicians have the power to write prescriptions, and you (and even pharmacists) don’t.
Of course, none of this is to say that your input isn’t valuable. It is valuable, and that’s why the physician asks you the questions. This is not even to say that physicians don’t make mistakes. This is to challenge you to allow the conversation to occur. Ask your own questions. Demand an explanation from your caregiver. Insist on being part of the care team and a partner in your treatment plan. Learn what to look for, what you can do at home and what should prompt additional measures. If you are stuck on a course of treatment before the conversation occurs, it is just as pointless as if a physician refuses to listen to your concerns.
Cut your physicians some slack. Many of you get so frustrated and outright angry when you don’t get your way. Physician’s offices and emergency rooms are not grocery stores. It’s not as if docs own the pharmaceutical company or the hospital. They’re just trying to care for you as best they can. As much as physicians love to provide satisfaction to patients, caring for you appropriately is of a higher order. Many of you understand this, and as such physicians continue to have among the highest rating of “trust” among professionals. It’s a privilege to take care of patients. The overwhelming majority of us still understand that fact.
Postscript: It was the flu.
PPS: A little advice from a friendly online SMA expert might have saved her the trip to the ER.
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 Editorial: The Future of Medicine – Nurses are Stepping Up to the Plate

Nursing1
I doubt you’ll hear this perspective anywhere else anytime soon, but there are some very interesting developments in health care underway. By way of introduction, a few decades ago, physicians abdicated the ownership and preeminent leadership role in healthcare, leaving the industry to the business minds of HMOs. During these early days, non-physician corporations actually owning medical practices and developing practice parameters were outlawed as to ensure that sufficient protections would remain in place for autonomous (and presumably honorable) medical practice. 
The combination of for profit hospitals and the advent of contract medical practice management groups (particularly in emergency medicine, hospitalist medicine and radiology) combined to erode away at the corporate practice of medicine laws to where even though the laws are still on the books, suits to enforce it are now routinely defeated. Today, in addition to emergency room physicians, radiologists, surgeons, hospitalists, and anesthesiologists are more likely to be employees than owners of a practice.
In recent times, health care costs have skyrocketed to 17% of our economy, while 50 million Americans went without insurance. Meanwhile, the combination of a shortage of primary care physicians and for-profit entities’ desire to cut costs has led to the development and proliferation of alternative, less costly methods of paying individuals to provide health care. Most notably, this has included the development of advance practice nurses (e.g. nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists – instead of family doctors and anesthesiologists). Similar interest in cost savings has led to nurses assuming senior managerial positions in hospitals instead of MBA-type executives.
It is against this backdrop that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ‘Obamacare’) passed, seeking to infuse 30 million more paying patients into the primary care arena. With ongoing physician shortages unable to meet this demand, and with there being downward cost pressure on salaries due to the goals of the ACA and desires of corporations, it’s reasonable to predict that we will see a dramatic increase in primary care nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs), which will lead to further abandonment of primary care as a physician specialty.
Meanwhile, nurses have stepped up to fill the void.  In addition to the ongoing advancement of Nurse Practitioners, nurses have successfully lobbied for and created a new provider entity: ‘The Doctorate in Nursing Practice’. It is important to note that NPs and PAs can successfully treat about 85% of the things physicians routinely see. Quality concerns aside, it is an important public health consideration that additional healthcare professionals and health options are being established to fill the need of care for tens of millions of individuals more likely to use the healthcare system.
Meanwhile, regarding your doctors, a conceivable end result is physicians are being marginalized in virtually every aspect of health care. It is easy to see a future in health care 25 years from now where cost concerns have been addressed by nurses having replaced physicians in more specialties than just primary care and anesthesia, and nurses have more control of the hospital apparatus than physicians. Physicians remain oblivious to what’s happening under their noses and an insufficient interest in contributing to healthcare solutions in the ways nurses have. The Straight, No Chaser perspective is given the large segments of society that continue not to have access to care (even with implementation of the Affordable Care Act, it is estimated that 20 million American still won’t have insurance), new innovative options to address these needs are welcome and have a place in the system. What’s next is for society to ensure that this transition occurs with appropriate quality controls and public education.
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: Here's How You Stop Smoking – Quick Tips to START Smoking Cessation

smokingcessation1

  • Don’t pick your birthday or NYE to stop. Do it now. Can’t do it now? Do it Monday. In fact, do it every Monday. It’s a fight. If you fall down, start it back up again. It’s the fight of your life (or should I say for your life?).
  • If you decide to quit after your current (last) pack, throw away one cigarette for every one you smoke.
  • Count (figuratively or literally) all the money you’re saving by not smoking.
  • Throw away (not give away) all cigarettes, cigars, matches, lighters, humidors, cigar cutters and anything else you associate with smoking. You’ll realize how sad it is if and when you find yourself rummaging through the garbage to get a fix.
  • Tell everyone (loudly) that you’ve quit. Empower them to help and hold you accountable. Enlist another smoker friend to go through the journey with you.
  • If you do fall off the wagon, smoke a different cigarette brand. Odds are you won’t like it as much, and that will help combat the natural ease you have with smoking.
  • Contact your physician, and ask for help. Here’s a marvelous best-practices schemata of appropriate interplay between a physician and a patient trying to stop smoking.

smoking cessation As

  • If your physician and you decide to place you on a patch or otherwise medicate you, follow instructions carefully and precisely.
  • Practice deep breathing. Part of the euphoria of smoking is nothing more than the physiologic sensations produced by deep inhalations.
  • Keep other things in your mouth. Mints and chewing gum (low-calorie) are great. Brushing your teeth also serves many purposes. Drinking water when you want to smoke will often remove the urge.
  • Make it past the first day. Then make it past the first week.

I personally love the START method, which includes several of the above methods. Let me know if it works for any of you.

S: Set a quit date.

T: Tell your friends, family and associates that you’re quitting, and enlist their help.

A: Anticipate and act on the plan you’ve set and challenges you’ll meet.

R: Remove (trash) cigarettes, cigar and other paraphernalia from your environment.

T: Talk with your physician about options and additional support.

For those of you affected (either first or second-hand), this is huge and important. I really wish you all the best. I welcome any comments or questions.
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Straight, No Chaser: When (Not) to Visit the ER

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I’ve spent a lot of time discussing the life threats that should prompt you to rush to the Emergency Room.  Today, I’m going to give you some factual information that could save you some time and a lot of money and keep you out of the ER.  There are so many misconceptions about the appropriate use of an ER.  Let’s address five points you should consider before you come to see me or my colleagues.  The message is not meant to be disrespectful to you and your families, but it’s just straight talk, and remember, the most important consideration is if you ever feel yourself (or your family) to be in harm’s way, don’t even think about it, get to the ER, and we’ll sort it out for you.
1)   Your expectations are sometimes completely unrealistic about the appropriate use of the ER.  One of the most expensive and inefficient healthcare laws on the books is the Prudent Layperson, which places in the hands of the public the right to go to an ER if one ‘believes’ an emergency exists.  Of course, the result of this is 80% of ER presentations represent things that could have been seen elsewhere for a fraction of the cost (mostly strains and sprains, bumps and bruises, sniffles and coughs – none of which usually requires an ER visit).  Admit it.  Your family sometimes uses the ER as a convenience because we’ll see you quicker than your doctor and can do certain tests quicker.  That doesn’t make it right and certainly doesn’t make it cheap.  But it sure makes for good business.
2)   The ER is not a clinic or a take out restaurant, regardless of what you think or need.  The ER’s notoriety as the ‘facility of last resort’ doesn’t mean we’re a substitute for seeing your doctor.  We rule out life-threats.  We’re not necessarily trying to diagnose the issues you’ve had for 3 years.  We don’t have the equipment or inclination to diagnose chronic disease.  It’s called an emergency department and is a specialty just as much as Surgery, Obstetrics or anything else.  We understand if you leave with some degree of dissatisfaction when we don’t address the reasons you came that were not life-threatening and/or emergent, and your complaining doesn’t impose a different standard of care onto us.   All to which you are entitled on an ER visit (as spelled out in the EMTALA law) is a medical screening exam, which is still going to be expensive.  All this accomplishes is the ER doc determining that you really aren’t trying to die at this moment.  Just because you think you need an x-ray doesn’t mean we’re going to order one.  We’re practicing medicine, not taking orders.  I’m not doing a spinal tap on your child because you saw a news report on encephalitis when you don’t have the symptoms (and as a rule, that analogy fits whenever you say the words “Can you do…xxx…just to be sure?” to an ER physician).  We do care.  We will go the extra mile for you and accommodate you – within reason.
3)   The ER is the most expensive portal of entry into the healthcare system by design.  Controlled for the same typical presentations, the average cost for an ER visit is $1020, and the average cost for the same in an office setting is $140.  The government sets prices, not hospitals or physicians.  Hospitals are able to charge more for any presentation because the infrastructure and operating costs of hospitals are massive compared with your doctor’s office.  In fact, hospitals charge a facility fee of several hundred dollars just for you walking through the door, in addition to everything else.  Insurance companies also attempt to discourage this by charging you higher co-pays for your ‘bad behavior’ ($50-150 upfront) to be seen in the ER instead of your doctor’s office, and in some instances, they require pre-authorization.
4)   The ER, hospital and the medical care system in general in this country is not about charity (or health care for that matter).  The US system is capitalistic by design, and has been very successful at that, capturing 1/6th of the US Gross Domestic Product.  We spend $2 trillion a year on medical care, fully one out of every six dollars spent in this country.  It’s probably the very best place to conduct business in this country.  Your occasionally irrational fears are costing you money.  And this is how hospital bills have been the #1 cause of personal bankruptcy in the US.  Just because you’re not paying upfront doesn’t mean the hospital won’t be tenaciously coming after you for payment.
5)   About 80% of disease takes care of itself if you’re patient.  The body is able to fight off most disease.  Nearly all of your creature comfort symptoms can be addressed by over the counter preparations.  Stop letting your fears be played upon.  Use the internet and other resources available to you, and smartly (i.e. selectively) decide when you need to come to the ER.   And please call your primary physician first.
Doctors, nurses and pharmacists are still the best advocates you have left in the system, and we love taking care of you.  Virtually every survey this century shows that the aforementioned medical professionals are the most trusted in the United States, with teachers occasionally in the mix.  The ethics of healthcare providers offer a nice cover for the sometimes questionable (but legally permissible) behavior of insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and for-profit hospitals, who all too often are all about the profit margin.  The business of American medicine in the 21st century is business first and medical care second.  I’ve told you time and again that diet, exercise, moderation and ounces of prevention preclude all manners of disease.  Take care of yourself, lest you’ll become one of the many for whom medical care expenses destroy personal finances.
If you have any questions, comments or financial horror stories to share, I’m all ears.