Top eight testosterone-boosting foods

Top eight testosterone-boosting foods

By Chukwuma Muanya

Fish

People with low testosterone may be able to raise their levels by eating certain foods, such as ginger, fatty fish, and some vegetables.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone that plays a role in fertility, sexual function, bone health, and muscle mass.

A person’s testosterone level will fall naturally with age — by one to two percent per year — but some medical conditions, lifestyle choices, and other factors can influence the amount of this hormone in the body.

Some medical treatments can raise low testosterone levels, especially in younger men, but a person can also encourage the body to produce more by making some changes to the diet and lifestyle.

In this article, Medical News Today lists the best foods for increasing testosterone levels. We also describe products to avoid and other ways to increase testosterone production.

Top eight testosterone-boosting foods

A person with low testosterone may benefit from trying:

1. Ginger

Ginger may help increase testosterone levels and improve male fertility.

People have used ginger for medicinal and culinary purposes for centuries. Modern research indicates that this root may improve fertility in men.

According to the findings of a 2012 study, taking a daily ginger supplement for 3 months increased testosterone levels by 17.7 percent in a group of 75 adult male participants with fertility issues.

The authors suggested that ginger may also improve sperm health in other ways.

Authors of a study from 2013 report that ginger increased testosterone and antioxidant levels in a diabetic rat model in just 30 days.

2. Oysters

Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food — and zinc is important for sperm health and reproductive function.

Males with severe zinc deficiency may develop hypogonadism, in which the body does not produce enough testosterone. They may also experience impotence or delayed sexual maturation.

People can also find the mineral in: other shellfish; red meat; poultry; beans; and nuts.

It is important to note that zinc and copper compete for absorption. Take care when choosing supplements to avoid consuming too much of either mineral.

3. Pomegranates

The pomegranate is an age-old symbol of fertility and sexual function, and its antioxidant levels may support heart health and stress reduction.

Also, results of a study from 2012 indicate that pomegranate may boost testosterone levels in men and women.

Sixty healthy participants drank pure pomegranate juice for 14 days, and researchers tested the levels of testosterone in their saliva three times a day.

At the end of the study period, both male and female participants displayed an average 24 percent increase in salivary testosterone levels. They also experienced improvements in mood and blood pressure.

4. Fortified plant milks

Fortified plant milk is a healthy source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, and results of a study from 2011 suggest that it may increase testosterone levels in men.

It is important to note that the dosage in this study was 3,332 international units (IU) of the vitamin per day, which far exceeds the 400 IU recommended daily for healthy people.

While sun exposure is one of the best ways to get vitamin D, not everyone can spend enough time outdoors in sunny weather. In the average American diet, fortified foods provide the majority of the vitamin D.

Many plant milks, such as those made from almonds, soy, hemp, and flax, contain 25 percent of a person’s vitamin D requirement per serving. However, it is always best to verify nutritional contents by checking labeling.

Research has put to rest the concern that soy lowers testosterone levels — the bulk of the evidence shows that soy does not have this effect.

Also, some manufacturers fortify the following with vitamin D: milk and other dairy products; orange juice; and cereals.

The medical community is not convinced that vitamin D boosts testosterone levels in healthy people. A study from 2017, for example, found that the vitamin had no such effect.

It is important to remember, however, that getting enough vitamin D every day is essential for overall health.

5. Leafy green vegetables

Vegetables such as spinach, Swiss chard, and kale are rich in magnesium, a mineral that may increase the body’s level of testosterone.

Authors of a study from 2011 found that taking magnesium supplements for 4 weeks prompted an increase in testosterone levels of sedentary participants and those who were athletes. The testosterone increases were greater, however, in the active participants.

Other good dietary sources of magnesium are: beans and lentils; nuts and seeds; and whole grains.

6. Fatty fish and fish oil

The United States Department of Agriculture recommend that people eat seafood twice weekly.

Fatty fish may be especially beneficial because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. A person can also boost their fatty acid levels by taking fish oil or omega-3 supplements.

Results of an animal-based study from 2016 indicate that fish oil can increase the quality of semen and the serum testosterone levels in dogs by improving their fatty acid profiles. A study in mice reported similar findings.

Examples of fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids include: Atlantic mackerel; herring; salmon; sardines; and trout.

7. Extra-virgin olive oil

Olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet, which may have many health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.

The oil is rich in monounsaturated fat and vitamin E, an antioxidant. These factors likely contribute to the food’s health benefits.

Extra-virgin olive oil may also improve male reproductive health. Results of a small-scale study indicate that the oil may boost serum testosterone levels in healthy adult men.

Participants also experienced an increase in luteinizing hormone, which stimulates cells in the testes to produce testosterone.

8. Onions

Onions may provide many health benefits, from supporting the heart to slimming the waistline. They are also good sources of several nutrients and antioxidants.

In addition, onions may increase low levels of testosterone. In a 2012 study with a rat model, researchers found that a daily intake of fresh onion juice for four weeks significantly increased serum total testosterone levels.

However, determining the effects in humans will require further research.
Foods to avoid

Some foods can reduce a person’s testosterone levels. People looking to raise their levels may wish to avoid:
Processed foods

Many frozen or prepackaged meals and snacks are processed foods. They offer little nutritional value and tend to be high in calories, salt, fat, and sugar.

In particular, processed foods often contain high amounts of trans fats, which can reduce testosterone levels and impair testicular function, according to the results of a 2017 study.

Canned or plastic-packaged foods: Meal in plastic packaging in microwave

Chemicals in plastic packaging can affect testosterone levels. Foods and drinks that are canned or packaged in plastic can impact hormone levels.

For example, this can occur when people ingest chemicals, such as bisphenol A (BPA) or bisphenol S, from water in plastic bottles or reheated food in plastic containers.

Results of a study from 2013 suggest that men who work in environments with high levels of BPA have reduced levels of free testosterone and androstenedione, a hormone that can convert into testosterone or estrogen.

It is important to note that participants in this study worked in factory settings. In food packaging, BPA is present in much smaller quantities.

Nonetheless, the chemical does enter many people’s bodies. A study from 2011, for example, found BPA in the urine of 89 percent of men attending a fertility clinic.

Those with BPA in their urine also had lower levels of testosterone and thyroid stimulating hormone. When levels of this hormone are low, it can indicate hypothyroidism, a condition that can reduce testosterone in some men.

Alcohol

Moderate amounts of alcohol — such as the occasional glass of red wine — may provide some health benefits. However, drinking too much can reduce fertility in men and women.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in the U.S. cautions that alcohol use is linked to low testosterone levels and changes in the amounts of other reproductive hormones.

Other ways to boost testosterone

Dietary changes may increase testosterone levels, and many lifestyle changes and medical treatments can help.

A person can also increase their testosterone levels by: losing weight, for people who are overweight; exercising regularly; building muscle through resistance training; getting enough sleep; reducing stress; and speaking to a doctor about testosterone therapy.

Summary

Testosterone naturally reduces with age, but levels may also be low because of medical conditions or medications. Anyone experiencing symptoms of low testosterone should speak to a doctor.

Certain foods, including oysters, leafy greens, fatty fish, and olive oil, may encourage the body to produce more testosterone. Foods that contain zinc, vitamin D, and magnesium may be key.

A person can ensure that they are receiving the right nutrients by following a balanced diet.

Exercising and reducing stress can also help boost low testosterone. To see results, most people require a combination of approaches.

Credit: The Guardian

Sugar consumption does not cause diabetes – Expert

Sugar consumption does not cause diabetes – Expert

By Sade Oguntola

In Nigeria, the incidence of diabetes is rising at an exponential rate. In this report by SADE OGUNTOLA, an endocrinologist, Dr Joko Adeleye, explains why this is the case, the common myths on the disease and how Nigerians can prevent the disease.

It is said that diet, level of activity, family history, all play a role in developing diabetes. But, can a can of soda per day increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes by as much as 22 per cent?

Indeed studies have reported that persons who drank one or more sugar-sweetened drinks every day had a higher risk of diabetes when compared with those who did not. One of the explanations given is that drinking too many sweetened drinks can lead to the body storing excess energy as fat, playing a role in people becoming overweight or obese which increases the risk for type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus is the most common metabolic disease worldwide. There are three main types of diabetes, including type 1 diabetes; type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 80 to 90 per cent of the persons with diabetes, so the pandemic that we talk about is largely attributed to cases of type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes, which is diabetes diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy, has also become increasingly important.

We know that genetics plays a role in type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. That is why a family history is associated with an increased risk of developing these diseases.

We do know that environmental and lifestyle-related factors like obesity and overweight are very crucial in the development of type 2 diabetes.

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include a family history of diabetes, ethnicity and increasing age. As we get older, the body becomes less sensitive to insulin or more insulin-resistant.

What I eat, do I have an excessive intake of calories? Do I take a diet that is rich in vegetables and fruits,? Do I take a lot of fats in my diet, and do I exercise regularly? Do I take a lot of alcohol or do I smoke? All of these matters.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that every adult should have at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five days in a week. So, our lifestyle does matter, and these are areas we have in mind in terms of prevention and management of diabetes.

The average person with type 2 diabetes doesn’t just have diabetes. He/she has a greater risk of having hypertension. For instance, among patient attending our diabetes clinic, up to 70 per cent also have hypertension. Overweight, obesity and cholesterol abnormalities are also very common.

Although genes play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes, lifestyle choices are also important and thought to be responsible for the epidemic of type 2 diabetes.

Majority of patients with type 2 diabetes initially would have had pre-diabetes, a condition where the blood glucose level is higher than normal but not high enough to merit a diagnosis of diabetes. Why is it important that people should know their blood sugar levels and monitor it?

Studies have shown that the time a person is first diagnosed to have type 2 diabetes mellitus is not the same time when the process that leads to it starts. There are already certain metabolic abnormalities present for even up to 15 -20 years before the time of diagnosis.

By the time many persons are diagnosed to have type 2 diabetes, up to 50 per cent of their beta cell function (the function of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas) could have been lost. In persons with type 2 diabetes, the earliest recognisable sign is what we call insulin resistance. This is a subnormal biologic response to a given concentration of insulin. This can predate the diagnosis of diabetes by many years.

Over time, the pancreatic beta islet cells try to compensate for the insulin resistance by producing more insulin. Eventually, that compensatory mechanism fails because the pancreas can’t keep up. So the blood glucose becomes persistently elevated and diabetes results.

In between the continuum, from the time of normal blood glucose to when a diagnosis of diabetes is made, there is an intermediate category which is often called pre-diabetes or intermediate hyperglycaemia.

Why is the awareness of diabetes not translating into actions to ameliorate that pandemic?

There is no doubt that compared to many years ago, people know more about the entity called diabetes and its related problems, but the question is what do people know?

Interestingly, even among health care providers in Nigeria, awareness about diabetes and its proper management is not as good as it should be.

What are those common habits that predispose to type 2 diabetes?

These include excessive calorie (energy) consumption from meals, eating too much fat, inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables, physical inactivity/sedentary lifestyle, excessive alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking.

How long people sit down (sitting time) has been linked to the risk of diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

WHO recommends that every adult should have at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily at least five days a week. This could be brisk walking, bicycling, low impact aerobics class, swimming and so on.

Alcohol in excess can damage the liver, the heart and nerves. Excessive alcohol intake is also a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Cigarette smoking is a bad habit that should be expunged totally. Stress is a risk factor for many of these diseases, diabetes inclusive. It can aggravate or be a contributive factor.

How true is it that Ketogenic or low carbohydrates diets can help people with diabetes reverse their conditions?

Studies have shown that low carbohydrate diets are associated with significant weight loss in the short term and improved glycemic control, but there have been concerns about its long-term effects and safety in the long term.

Of course, a ketogenic diet will not reverse a damaged pancreas. But the weight loss can make the body less insulin-resistant. It means the pancreas doesn’t have to work as hard and that might mean that whatever insulin the person is able to produce will be more adequate.

What is the epidemiology of diabetes in Nigeria; what are its determinants in Nigeria?

In the 60s, diabetes was thought to be nonexistent but over the last four decades there has been a progressive increase. The first national prevalence of diabetes in 1992 was put at about 2.2 per cent amongst the adult population.

But of recent, a systemic review and meta-analysis of studies on the prevalence of diabetes by Uloko et al reported an overall prevalence of 5.77 per cent. However, the prevalence varies from one region to the other and from rural and urban areas.

It is believed that increasing age, being overweight or obese, physical inactivity, excessive calorie consumption or diets that are not rich in vegetables and fruits, eating a lot of refined snacks, excessive alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking and the presence of high blood pressure put an individual at a greater risk of type 2 diabetes.

Is it advisable to swap sugar for low-calorie sweeteners to control blood glucose level and help maintain a good blood glucose level?

First, sugar intake does not cause diabetes. That is a myth. However, we do know that food that is rich in sugar tend to have a lot of calories and a lot of such foods are also rich in fat. And so if you take a lot of such things you increase the risk for weight gain and obesity and this increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Generally, reducing sugar intake is beneficial in anyone. There is a certain amount of sugar beyond which is considered unhealthy. So that is why some people have said rather than take table sugar in large amounts, maybe one could use sweeteners to reduce calorie intake.

The challenge is that some people may think because they have taken low-calorie sweeteners with their tea rather than sugar, it means they can eat much more. That is one of the reasons why some studies have shown that people who take sweeteners may not even lose any weight or even be at a greater risk for weight gain and metabolic abnormalities.

It might have to do with the attendant behaviours that go with intake of low-calorie drink or sweeteners. However, for people who do have diabetes, lowering their carbohydrates intake may help to control their blood glucose, as they are deficient in insulin which is required for the uptake of glucose by the cells of the body. So generally, we would say cut down on these things if you have diabetes, but starchy carbohydrates should still be part of a healthy balanced diet in persons with diabetes.

Everything we eat as carbohydrates eventually end up as glucose, but simple or refined carbohydrates such as white bread and soft drinks are broken down more quickly placing more demand on the pancreas, while more complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, beans, oatmeal, corn etc produce a slower glucose right. However, both simple and complex carbohydrates are broken down by the body into glucose so, moderation in portion size is crucial

So sugar does not cause diabetes. Rather the diets rich in sugar promote weight gain which put a lot more stress on the body metabolism.

Credit: Tribune

Epilepsy and mental health

Epilepsy and mental health

Motor Park Experience

Musa is an undergraduate who is on his way back to school, after spending the inter-semester break with his parents here in Ibadan. While waiting at the motor park for the bus to fill up, he suddenly fell down and started convulsing on the floor. His hands and entire body were jerking violently.

Commotion ensued, and a crowd quickly gathered around him. Several people were barking different instructions: ‘bring a spoon, let’s put it in his mouth’. ‘Nooo, someone get us olive oil to put in his mouth’. ‘A spoon is not good, bring a piece of wood’. ‘Sprinkle water on his head’. ‘Hold his head, try and open his mouth’. ‘Let’s pray for him – against every spirit of demonic possession, the devil is a liar’. ‘Be careful oooo, his saliva must not touch you, otherwise, you will contract the disease too’. ‘So better don’t move too close to him’. ‘Pour some palm oil on his head’. Pandemonium and confusion reigned supreme as no one appeared to have a clear idea of what to do.

The crowd could, therefore, be grouped into three different categories: a). Curious onlookers who were afraid to move close or touch the person (perhaps for fear that it may be contagious via the saliva; b). Active participants who had an idea of what they assumed would be helpful and were busy running around to get such items; c). The prayer warriors, who were convinced that it was a demonic possession or spiritual attack and therefore resorted to fervent prayers to break the spell.

After a few minutes, the convulsion ended, and Musa fell asleep peacefully. The prayers changed to thanksgiving on the ‘victory’ over the spirit of demonic possession. Others started discussing in whispers, about what they have just witnessed. The consensus was that it was a result of a spiritual attack by ‘enemies’ or possession by evil spirits.

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a brain disorder which occurs as a result of the abnormal electrical activity of the nerves of the brain. Because the brain controls our movement (and our thoughts, behaviour and so on); when the nerves of the brain are firing abnormally, it manifests as abnormal muscle contractions and jerky movements. This is what we see as the convulsion and the person falls to the ground. This is the commonest type of epilepsy, but there are several other types.

Some of the other types, especially the complex partial seizures which manifest as abnormal behaviour that lasts for just a few minutes, before they come back to their senses, is often considered to be a form of spiritual possession that is mysterious. Or it is seen as a mental disorder.

Why late marriage will affect your chances of getting pregnant
What should we do when we witness someone having a fit?

The first thing is to appreciate that epilepsy is not contagious and cannot be contracted through the saliva of the patient.

DOs:

Be calm
If there are harmful objects such as chairs or metal around the person, move them away.
If the person is wearing tight clothes around the neck, such as a neck-tie, loosen it.
Allow the person free room until the seizure is over.
After the person recovers, someone should help the person to sit up for some time and then help to contact family or friends to help them home. This is important, as they may still be slightly confused.

DONTs

Please, do not put anything in the person’s mouth – no spoon, wood, oil or any such thing.
Do not attempt to hold the person’s head or force the mouth open.
Afford the person some privacy, a few individuals can be on hand to offer assistance, but forming a crowd of onlookers is not helpful.

Can it be cured?

Epilepsy is usually a chronic condition and we don’t talk about a cure for chronic conditions such as hypertension or diabetes. Rather, we talk about controlling the condition with medications. So, in a similar manner to how we manage (but do not cure) hypertension and diabetes, epilepsy can also be well controlled with medications, and the affected individuals will live their normal lives without problems.

What are the mental health consequences?

In the scenario described above with Musa, when he recovers and looks up to see a crowd gathered all around him, with his head and body covered in palm oil, olive oil and so on, he is unlikely to be happy. They may be sent away from school, refused permission to marry, and denied job opportunities. Thus, depression, anxiety and sometimes suicidal thoughts may occur among persons with epilepsy. These are often worsened by stigmatisation and discrimination, leading to a feeling of isolation from society. We should, therefore, show empathy and support for affected persons, while encouraging them to seek adequate evaluation and treatment.

Credit: Tribune

Ten surprising health benefits of sex

Ten surprising health benefits of sex

The perks of sex extend well beyond the bedroom.

By Kara Mayer Robinson
Sex not only feels good. It can also be good for you. Here’s what a healthy sex life can do for you.

1. Helps Keep Your Immune System Humming
“Sexually active people take fewer sick days,” says Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD a sexual health expert.

People who have sex have higher levels of what defends your body against germs, viruses, and other intruders. Researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that college students who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of the a certain antibody compared to students who had sex less often.

You should still do all the other things that make your immune system happy, such as:

Eat right.
Stay active.
Get enough sleep.
Keep up with your vaccinations.
Use a condom if you don’t know both of your STD statuses.
2. Boosts Your Libido
Longing for a more lively sex life? “Having sex will make sex better and will improve your libido,” says Lauren Streicher, MD. She is an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

For women, having sex ups vaginal lubrication, blood flow, and elasticity, she says, all of which make sex feel better and help you crave more of it.

3. Improves Women’s Bladder Control
A strong pelvic floor is important for avoiding incontinence, something that will affect about 30% of women at some point in their lives.

Good sex is like a workout for your pelvic floor muscles. When you have an orgasm, it causes contractions in those muscles, which strengthens them.

4. Lowers Your Blood Pressure
Research suggests a link between sex and lower blood pressure, says Joseph J. Pinzone, MD. He is CEO and medical director of Amai Wellness.

“There have been many studies,” he says. “One landmark study found that sexual intercourse specifically (not masturbation) lowered systolic blood pressure.” That’s the first number on your blood pressure test.

5. Counts as Exercise
“Sex is a really great form of exercise,” Pinzone says. It won’t replace the treadmill, but it counts for something.

Sex uses about five calories per minute, four more calories than watching TV. It gives you a one-two punch: It bumps up your heart rate and uses various muscles.

So get busy! You may even want to clear your schedule to make time for it on a regular basis. “Like with exercise, consistency helps maximize the benefits,” Pinzone says.

6. Lowers Heart Attack Risk
A good sex life is good for your heart. Besides being a great way to raise your heart rate, sex helps keep your estrogen and testosterone levels in balance.

“When either one of those is low you begin to get lots of problems, like osteoporosis and even heart disease,” Pinzone says.

Having sex more often may help. During one study, men who had sex at least twice a week were half as likely to die of heart disease as men who had sex rarely.

7. Lessens Pain
Before you reach for an aspirin, try for an orgasm.

“Orgasm can block pain,” says Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD, a distinguished service professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. It releases a hormone that helps raise your pain threshold.

Stimulation without orgasm can also do the trick. “We’ve found that vaginal stimulation can block chronic back and leg pain, and many women have told us that genital self-stimulation can reduce menstrual cramps, arthritic pain, and in some cases even headache,” Komisaruk says.
8. May Make Prostate Cancer Less Likely
Going for the gusto may help ward off prostate cancer.

Men who ejaculated frequently (at least 21 times a month) were less likely to get prostate cancer during one study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

You don’t need a partner to reap this benefit: Sexual intercourse, nocturnal emission, and masturbation were all part of the equation.

It’s not clear that sex was the only reason that mattered in that study. Lots of factors affect cancer risk. But more sex won’t hurt.

9. Improves Sleep
You may nod off more quickly after sex, and for good reason.

“After orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released, which is responsible for the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness” after sex, says Sheenie Ambardar, MD. She is a psychiatrist in West Hollywood, Calif.

10. Eases Stress
Being close to your partner can soothe stress and anxiety.

Ambardar says touching and hugging can release your body’s natural “feel-good hormone.” Sexual arousal releases a brain chemical that revs up your brain’s pleasure and reward system.

Sex and intimacy can boost your self-esteem and happiness, too, Ambardar says. It’s not only a prescription for a healthy life, but a happy one.

WebMD Feature

Signs you need to see your dentist

When is it time to see a dentist?
By Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe

Strong oral hygiene habits must be initiated at a young age

How well do you actually take care of your dental health? To make an appropriate assessment of your own situation, ask yourself these questions: Am I steadfast about visiting a dentist yearly for a checkup?
Do I brush and floss my teeth twice daily? Am I vigilant about avoiding those sugary foods that can damage the teeth?

Unfortunately, we don’t always make our oral heath a priority and it isn’t uncommon that some may go many years without ever seeking out professional dental care.

Strong oral hygiene habits must be initiated at a young age; and if you’ve neglected your teeth when you were younger, then chances are that you’ve set yourself up for a lifetime of chronic (and expensive to manage) dental problems.

More focus must be placed on oral health maintenance, since poor oral care may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease and even exacerbate chronic health conditions down the line.

At baseline, everyone should definitely make time out for an annual dental checkup and cleaning. But there are also times when you should be seeking out dental care for serious issues that can arise over time. So, what problems really warrant a trip to the dentist outside of your regular checkup?

Here are a few major red flags that it’s time to see a dentist:

1. Your teeth are highly sensitive to hot or cold temperatures:

If you experience tooth sensitivity when you eat or drink hot or cold foods/beverages, it may be indicative of a problem with dental caries (cavities). The problem may start out during childhood and the kinds of food you eat in conjunction with your dental hygiene habits may contribute to its formation.

Avoiding sugary beverages like soda, or sweet and sticky candy is one measure to avoid tooth decay.

The sugars you ingest may attract cavity producing bacteria in the oral cavity which creates a more acidic environment that may promote the erosion of your tooth enamel.

One way to recognize that you may be at the cusp of cavity formation is the development of whitish spots on the teeth known as decalcification.

When this occurs, the enamel of your teeth may start to lose important minerals like calcium and subsequently these decalcified regions of the teeth will start to weaken.

2. You have a horrible toothache:

An unbearable and excruciating toothache can sometimes be attributed to a serious dental infection known as an abscess.

Abscesses may be acute or chronic in nature and are caused by harmful bacteria. Some signs of infection can include fever, throbbing pain extending to the neck, and even facial swelling.

Left untreated, dental abscesses have the potential to spread to regions of the head and neck and cause sepsis and other life threatening problems. Dental abscesses require urgent dental treatment!

3. Your gums bleed frequently:

Bleeding gums may be a sign of inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) or diseased gums (periodontitis). If you notice an exacerbation of bleeding while brushing or flossing, that is a major sign of likely gum disease.

Gum disease may lead to recession of your gums and loosening and shifting of the teeth. If you ignore the problem, it can also lead to a permanent loss of teeth.

Periodontal health is especially important for soon to be moms; It is imperative that pregnant women pay close attention to their dental health since research has linked women with periodontal disease as being at a heightened risk for premature and low birth weight babies.

4. You struggle with chronic bad breath:

Halitosis is an embarrassing oral health condition that can be a result of uncontrolled cavities, abscesses, and periodontal disease.

You may not even realize you have a problem with bad breath, but rest assured everyone you come in close proximity to will likely be aware of your mouth odor.

It’s important to see a dentist if you experience persistent bad breath to determine if you have a treatable dental problem or if you must be referred to a medical doctor for further medical work up of the condition.

5. You observe a sore in your mouth that just will not heal:

One major concern whenever a patient has a sore in the oropharynx that doesn’t resolve over time is the possibility of oral cancer.

Warning signs to look out for include bleeding lesions, tender bumps in the mouth, chronic patches within the oral cavity (usually red or white in color known as erythroplakia and leukoplakia), and unintentional weight loss.

All suspicious lesions require prompt and thorough evaluation from your dentist. Survival rates for malignant oral lesions improve when the cancer is detected and treated early.

So here is the takeaway: Always invest in your dental health, to the extent that you do your general medical health. Take care of your teeth from childhood into adulthood and most importantly recognize when you must see a dentist.

Causes of genital itching

What Causes Itching in Your Genitals?

By Bobo Bode-Kayode;

The human body is made up of several folds and it is natural that bacteria and fungi dwell in our body parts. This creates s natural balance, which can also be altered if there is s change in the environmental conditions. Either by increase in temperature or external infecting agent.

Genital itching, this is a very unpleasant condition, accompanied by a wide variety of emotional colour from shades of minor irritation and discomfort, to severe depression.

Itching genitals very common worldwide, but is more common in women than in men.

Genital itching can be a symptom of many conditions which may include vaginalinfections in females or jock itch in males. In either sex, itching may be caused by skin irritation, sexually transmitted diseases, and allergies. Other causes of itching may require more intensive treatment.

Genital itch with rash, is a skin symptom that can be caused by a number of health problems and can occur on any part of the male or female genital area. Rashes are normally reddish in colour, may be painful or itchy, and may include bumps or sores. If you experience any skin rash that you cannot explain, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.

Genital itching can be a symptom of many conditions. These may include vaginal infections in females or jock itch in males. In either sex, itching can be caused by skin irritation, sexually transmitted diseases and allergies.

In many cases, genital itching that is caused by irritation will clear up on its own if the irritants (lotions, soaps) are removed. Other causes of itching may require more intensive treatment. If you are concerned about genital itching that does not go away, talk to your doctor or another health care professional.

When a man feels itchy down there, the itch is commonly due to a rash caused by inflammatory skin diseases, fungi, lice, or a viral infection. While viral infection and lice infestation are usually sexually transmitted, the other skin conditions have non-sexual causes.

However, whatever the cause of this itch, it is always advisable to seek medical attention instead of trying to treat the problem with over-the-counter skin creams.

Common causes in males and females

Most often, genital pruritus in women occurs due to the following reasons:

Diseases of the female organs: irritation of the mucous membranes of the uterus or secretions from the vagina that has fallen urine during urination, etc.

Other diseases: endocrine disorders (diabetes, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism), diseases of the blood. Impact on the psyche: stress, fear and some other negative emotions.

External influences: hypothermia, or mechanical irritation of chemicals, contact with allergens, pollution of the genital area, the infection.

In young women the cause of the itch is most often candidiasis (thrush) and vulvovaginal. In women, after 40 years the cause of itching genitals must first seek internal organs and various chronic diseases in the pathology (eg, diabetes mellitus). For the period of menopause is most typical genital itching due to a sharp deficit of female sex hormones.

The nature of itching in women can be quite varied: periodic, constant, painful, intense, weak, etc. In general, characterised by a strengthening in the night time. Often accompanied by itching genital trauma to the mucosa (scratches, cracks), and the subsequent inflammation, which may itself exacerbate itch.

Itching of the genitals in men

In men, genital itching occurs very rarely and may occur in the following cases: allergy to contraceptive drugs and means of intimate hygiene, which are used by

the partner during sexual intimacy;

prostatitis;

candidiasis of the glans penis (thrush);

vesicles;

poor hygiene;

other reasons.

Itching genitals: a possible solution to the problem

In case of itching of genitals should consult the following specialists:

The gynecologist (for women), a urologist or andrologist (for men)

Dermatologist;

If necessary, it will be to visit the profiles of other specialists (infectious disease specialist, endocrinologist, psychiatrist, etc.) for the final diagnosis of the cause of the itch is necessary.

Treatment of genital itching genitals complex, aims to eliminate the cause of the itch (for example, the treatment of candidiasis, the removal of local inflammation). If the cause cannot be eliminated, then the prescribed panacea to the general condition and relieve itching: drugs female hormones during menopause, painkillers and anti-inflammatory agents in diabetes, procaine blockade.

Local widely used bath with camomile broth, cream and ointment with anesthetic properties, as well as containing female or male sex hormones. Not the least role in the treatment of itching of genitals play a healthy lifestyle (avoiding the use of products that enhance mucosal irritation of the genitalia), thoroughly intimate hygiene.

Men struggle with itching genitals includes the treatment of prostatitis, with the removal of inflammation of the penis head mucous membranes, etc. If allergies are assigned appropriate antihistamines.

How to prevent genital itching

Females should take the following steps to help avoid genital itching:

After urination or bowel movements, wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from the anus (rectum) entering the vagina. Avoid chemical products such as vaginal douches or feminine hygiene sprays, which can upset the acidic balance of the vagina.

Avoid the use of excessive amounts of laundry detergent in the washing machine.

Stay away from over-the-counter itch blockers, as these products can make the itching worse in the long term. If you suspect a lubricant might be worsening the itching, talk to your doctor about the best options.

Avoid trauma to the area, such as excessive shaving and scratching. Eat a well-balanced diet to maintain healthy bacteria in the vagina.

Males should take the following steps to help avoid genital itching: Wash the penis well, including the area under the foreskin in uncircumcised men.

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If you sweat throughout the day, consider changing underwear frequently. Both males and females should take the following steps to help prevent genital itching:

Keep the genital area clean and dry. Use mild soap, or better yet, avoid soap completely, and rinse well with water. Avoid over-cleaning the vaginal area.

Wear loose, natural-fiber underwear and clothing. Change underwear at least every 24 hours.

Dry off thoroughly after bathing and swimming. Avoid staying in wet clothing for long periods of time.

Avoid unprotected sex, especially if you are worried that you or your partner might have an infection.

Home remedies can also be applied under caution. Talk to your doctor before using any other method.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has excellent antibacterial and antifungal properties. It will help remove the itching completely if it is a fungal or bacterial action that is causing the infection. For enjoying the benefit of apple cider vinegar, take two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and mix it with warm water.

Wash your vagina with this water twice a day for two to three days. This should effectively take care of your problem. Apple cider vinegar makes the vagina acidic where the bacteria cannot thrive for long.

Cold Compress:

Vaginal itching can especially be very troublesome during nigh time. This could interrupt your sleep and cause tiredness and lethargy along with the itching. For stopping that intense itch at night, apply ice cubes directly or a cold compress in the vagina. This could turn out to be a burdensome job.

But when you consider the severe itch, doing a cold compress is a much better job any day. At least you can sleep well after the itch is put to rest.

Salt Bath:

Salt can effectively remove itching and bacteria due to its antibacterial properties. Wash your vagina with concentrated salt water whenever you feel the itch. This will give you great relief instantly and prevent further multiplication of bacteria.

Alternately, you can fill half the tub with warm water and add half a cup of salt into it. Sit inside the tub in a squatting position. While sitting, open your vaginal walls using your finger so that saline water goes inside and kills the bacterial action effectively.

Garlic:

Garlic too has strong antibacterial properties that can relieve your symptoms instantly, or it is probably the smell of garlic that does the trick! Whatever the reason maybe , there is no harm in trying this wonderful herb when you have intense itching that you cannot stop.

Chew 2-3 cloves of garlic down your throat. Make garlic into a paste and apply inside the vagina by tying it in a cheesecloth. The smell could be depressing, but the relief could come as a surprise!

Yoghurt :

The use of probiotics to overwhelm the bad bacteria in the body is not a new remedy whatsoever. Pure yoghurt has active cultures that can remove the bad bacteria by adding good bacteria in abundance. For treating vaginal itch, drink a cup of pure unsweetened curd every day. Yeast infections can be immediately taken care of with yoghurt . Yoghurt made of goat’s or sheep’s milk is a better remedy for treating vaginal itch.

Another way to use yogurt is to apply in the vaginal area directly which is a better way of dealing with vaginal itch. Direct application of yoghurt will immediately stop vaginal itch. Constant application will surely remove the problem forever. You can use a tampon for this purpose. Soak a tampon with yoghurt and leave it in the vagina for a few hours. Frozen yoghurt can also be inserted inside the vagina for instant relief.

Basil Leaves:

Basil leaves have anti microbial , anti fungal and anti bacterial properties. Take basil leaves and boil it in two cups of water.

Steep for 20 minutes covered till the water becomes strong. Drink this water twice a day for removing the bacteria causing vaginal itching.

Anti Bacterial Talc:

Antibacterial talcs are available in herbal as well as medicated varieties. A herbal or homeopathic talc will be mild on the body but requires time to heal. Over the counter medicated talcs are very effective if you are looking at a quick fix solution to your problem.

Apply the talc in the vagina to destroy the bacteria and also to remove any fungal action as a result of moist surroundings.

Rosemary Leaves:

Rosemary leaves can be steeped with water for 15 minutes and allowed to cool. Wash the vaginal area with this herbal solution and feel the difference in an instant.

Keeping The Vagina Dry:
Allowing the vaginal area to remain moist due to sweat and water is one reason for cultivation of bacteria and fungus allowing it to create infections and embarrassing problems.

Always ensure that you keep the vaginal area free from moisture to prevent infections. Apply a mild anti bacterial talc for this purpose which will offer its double action on your skin.

Wear Loose Clothing:

Prevention is better than cure any day. If you have had vaginal itching any time in your life, you will know exactly why this advice is the best to keep away from trouble.

Allow cool air to keep your vagina dry. Wear cotton underwear or leave your private parts free of tight clothing whenever you can.

The bottom line is that stay clean and fresh at all times.

––Culled from lifeissuesfromwithin@yahoo.com

Quote : Prevention is better than cure any day. If you have had vaginal itching any time in your life, you will know exactly why this advice is the best to keep away from trouble.

Allow cool air to keep your vagina dry. Wear cotton underwear or leave your private parts free of tight clothing whenever you can.

The bottom line is that stay clean and fresh at all times.

Credit: ThisDay

Health benefit of locust beans

Health benefit of locust beans

Posted By Lawal Oluwaseun

Most people detest the locust beans because of the unpleasant smell but unknown to them, locust bean is beneficial to its consumers.

The plant commonly referred to as Iru by the Yoruba speaking part of Nigeria. It is also known as Ogiri by the Igbo people of the country and Dawadawa by the Hausa people in Nigeria.

Locust beans is also a local ingredient for soup and stew such Vegetable, Egusi, Ewedu, and so on.

There are various health benefits that can be derived from locust beans, one of such is that it contains nutrients like protein which build and repair tissues in the body, carbohydrate which is a source of energy to man’s body. It also helps to fuel the brain, kidney, heart muscles and the central nervous system. Fat and calcium is also included in locust beans.

According to research, Locust Beans contains tannin and astringent substances found in many plant

Some benefits of the plant are listed herein

1. Locust beans make vision clearer: Consumption of locust beans helps to give good eyesight to people who have eye problem such as cataract, minus eyes, myopia, glaucoma and the rest, because it also contain natural nutrient that can maintain eye health

2. Locust beans treats stroke: A stroke is a disruption of oxygenated blood to the brain. It is also usually associated with cholesterol and high blood pressure one of the most convenient way to treat the sickness is to consume locust beans regularly.

3. Use to control cholesterol: Cholesterol causes blockage of blood vessels, which can lead to heart related diseases. The consumption of locust beans can control this menace.

4. Locust beans treats Diarrhea: Locust beans can serve as a local medicine for diarrhea, (which is a condition where a person excretes in liquid form repeatedly) because it contains a nutrient called tannis and the substance works for diarrhea medicine

5. Locust Beans treat hypertension: Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure is when the pressure of blood pumped through the arteries is higher than it should be. The consumption of locust beans can serve as a local medication for patients suffering this disease.

Credit: The Nation

Managing conjunctivitis in children

Managing conjunctivitis in children


By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
Sadly, it is that time of the year again, “Apollo” season or more accurately Acute Haemmorrhagic Conjunctivitis (AHC).
This infection is usually seasonal and thought to be due to the colder harmattan weather at this time of the year. It is particularly more important for parents to know about this, as spread is most likely going to occur in schools and other childcare settings.
A lot of children have been made to stay at home after being infected. While this isn’t only common in children, adults too are victims of this flu.
However, while an adult may be able to adhere to rules on preventing the spread, children on their part may find it difficult sticking to rules, hence our role as parents in ensuring we curb and manage the condition properly.
According to medical practitioner and health blogger, Rasheedah Ayandipo, seasonal AHC is highly contagious and contrary to popular myth, “Apollo” is not spread by looking at someone with an infection.
It is mostly caused by viral infections that are spread through hand-to-eye contact by hands or objects that are contaminated with the infectious virus. Having contact with infectious tears, eye discharge, faecal matter, or respiratory discharges can also contaminate hands.
“Symptoms of AHC include redness of the eye, pain and itching. Other symptoms that have been reported include watering eyes and a sticky discharge usually around the eyelids. AHC can also be caused by bacteria or allergies, but viruses are the most common cause.
Viral AHC has no cure and will usually go away on its own within three to seven days. Bacterial AHC on the other hand can be treated with antibacterial eye drops. Lubricant and steroid eye drops can act to alleviate symptoms for all kinds of AHC.”
The mum of two noted that if your child has bacterial conjunctivitis, keep him or her away from school until treatment is started. Most schools and childcare facilities require that your child wait at least 24 hours after starting treatment before returning to school or childcare.
Children with viral conjunctivitis on the other hand may be contagious for a week or more but may return to school when the redness and discharge from eyes and other symptoms improve.
As a parent there are a few measures you can take to reduce the risk of spread such as:
. Wash your hands with soap and water often and also ensure kids wash their hands often at home and in school
. Reduce contact between hands and eyes for kids as well as adults
. Use only clean towels and avoid sharing towels within household
. Change your beddings and pillowcases often.
. Avoid swimming pools and other shared recreational facilities during infection
. Don’t share eye cosmetics or personal eye care items such as glasses
. Use any treatment prescribed for the prescribed duration
. Avoid using un-prescribed substances in the eyes such as kerosene, oil, urine etc as these may cause further damage or worsen symptoms
Dr. Ayandipo stressed that seasonal AHC spreads quite quickly such that soon after affecting one eye, the condition is known to infect the other eye in a short while.
As an infected person goes around their homes, school or work, the condition spreads. As such it is advised that onceinfected, the individual should keep a high level of personal and hand hygiene so that the rate of infection can be regulated.
Trivia point – AHC was nicknamed Apollo 11 disease, after the NASA Space Mission which took place in the same year the disease was first described -1969.

Managing conjunctivitis in children

Managing conjunctivitis in children

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia

Sadly, it is that time of the year again, “Apollo” season or more accurately Acute Haemmorrhagic Conjunctivitis (AHC).
This infection is usually seasonal and thought to be due to the colder harmattan weather at this time of the year. It is particularly more important for parents to know about this, as spread is most likely going to occur in schools and other childcare settings.
A lot of children have been made to stay at home after being infected. While this isn’t only common in children, adults too are victims of this flu.
However, while an adult may be able to adhere to rules on preventing the spread, children on their part may find it difficult sticking to rules, hence our role as parents in ensuring we curb and manage the condition properly.
According to medical practitioner and health blogger, Rasheedah Ayandipo, seasonal AHC is highly contagious and contrary to popular myth, “Apollo” is not spread by looking at someone with an infection.
It is mostly caused by viral infections that are spread through hand-to-eye contact by hands or objects that are contaminated with the infectious virus. Having contact with infectious tears, eye discharge, faecal matter, or respiratory discharges can also contaminate hands.
“Symptoms of AHC include redness of the eye, pain and itching. Other symptoms that have been reported include watering eyes and a sticky discharge usually around the eyelids. AHC can also be caused by bacteria or allergies, but viruses are the most common cause.
Viral AHC has no cure and will usually go away on its own within three to seven days. Bacterial AHC on the other hand can be treated with antibacterial eye drops. Lubricant and steroid eye drops can act to alleviate symptoms for all kinds of AHC.”
The mum of two noted that if your child has bacterial conjunctivitis, keep him or her away from school until treatment is started. Most schools and childcare facilities require that your child wait at least 24 hours after starting treatment before returning to school or childcare.
Children with viral conjunctivitis on the other hand may be contagious for a week or more but may return to school when the redness and discharge from eyes and other symptoms improve.
As a parent there are a few measures you can take to reduce the risk of spread such as:
. Wash your hands with soap and water often and also ensure kids wash their hands often at home and in school
. Reduce contact between hands and eyes for kids as well as adults
. Use only clean towels and avoid sharing towels within household
. Change your beddings and pillowcases often.
. Avoid swimming pools and other shared recreational facilities during infection
. Don’t share eye cosmetics or personal eye care items such as glasses
. Use any treatment prescribed for the prescribed duration
. Avoid using un-prescribed substances in the eyes such as kerosene, oil, urine etc as these may cause further damage or worsen symptoms
Dr. Ayandipo stressed that seasonal AHC spreads quite quickly such that soon after affecting one eye, the condition is known to infect the other eye in a short while.
As an infected person goes around their homes, school or work, the condition spreads. As such it is advised that onceinfected, the individual should keep a high level of personal and hand hygiene so that the rate of infection can be regulated.
Trivia point – AHC was nicknamed Apollo 11 disease, after the NASA Space Mission which took place in the same year the disease was first described -1969.

Erectile Dysfunction and Infertility

Erectile Dysfunction and Infertility

Dr. Abayomi Ajayi

01-4667360, 07026277855 info@nordicalagos.org

When a man cannot attain or maintain an erection suitably for sexual intercourse, it is usually an inconvenience, particularly if he and his partner are trying to conceive. Erectile Dysfunction, also known as impotence, is a form of sexual dysfunction that is present in about 20 to 25 per cent of infertile couples. It can cause infertility or even worsen it when diagnosed.

Erectile Dysfunction is an inability to get an erection that is good enough to achieve intercourse. The severity of erectile dysfunction can vary from complete lack of erection, to a partial erection that is not enough for penetration or is lost soon after penetration. Although ED is typically more common among older men, it can occur at any age.

Sexual impotence has psychological roots with anxiety, depression and stress. Sexual arousal depends on an intricate interplay of psychological, neural, vascular, and endocrine factors. Hormonal imbalance can also lead to ED. The inability to achieve pregnancy could be due to sperm production that is below par or due to poor sperm motility. Both impotence and infertility have a negative impact on intimate relationships, quality of life and self-esteem.

Erectile Dysfunction can be treated at any age; however, the occurrence is increasingly common with ageing, but should not be considered a natural part of ageing. In older men, there may be physical or medical conditions that contribute to ED, including a variety of diseases, physical injury or side effects from prescription medications. Psychological factors and certain life choices such as smoking, obesity, stress, anxiety, guilt and fear of poor sexual performance can all contribute to ED.

When ED is physical, the tendency is there to have weak erections during masturbation or decreased frequency of morning erections. Men may be at higher risk for cardiac issues if their ED medication gradually stops working or if the ED has been a problem for a number of years. Presence of other cardiac risk factors such as diabetes, obesity or high cholesterol is helpful for diagnosis.

While the risk factors are typically associated with older men, ED is often the only cardiac risk factor in younger men and can be devastating to men regardless of their age and so should always be taken seriously. It helps to understand how an erection works. Sexual stimulation delivers extra blood to the penis through the arteries, causing an erection.

For an erection to occur, a specific sequence of events needs to take place, allowing blood to enter the penis while restricting the outflow of blood. The pressure created by this “trapped” blood is what maintains an erection.

If there is a consistent breakdown in any steps in the sequence, ED is the result.

Adequate sexual function is not essential for success of fertility treatments, but more importantly, any form of sexual dysfunction such as ED can be a source of stress and conflict in a couple’s relationship. The problem of ED can be worsened by performance anxiety and other concerns related to the need to achieve conception.

Many people believe that being impotent means they are infertile. However, impotence and infertility mean different things. While impotence is not a cause for infertility, it can make conception extremely difficult.

There is connection between infertility and sexual intercourse, however, there is no scientific evidence supporting a claim that some sexual positions are more likely to increase sexual ability and lead to conception. Some positions, such as missionary, may deliver the sperm closest to the cervix, but whether this increases the chances of getting pregnant has not been proved. Timing intercourse properly during ovulation is more important than focusing on the position when trying to get pregnant.

Basically, when it comes to getting pregnant, having intercourse more often is not necessarily going to increase the chances of conceiving. Women are fertile only five to 10 days during their monthly cycle – just before and during ovulation. Having intercourse on other times during the monthly cycle will not lead to pregnancy.

In addition, having sex several times per week can actually lower sperm count and decrease the chances of getting pregnant. To increase the chances of getting pregnant, a couple should have sex few days before ovulation and then on the day of ovulation, and limit sexual activity other times during this fertile time period. Thankfully, there are a number of things that can be done to resolve this problem.

As men age, testosterone (male sex hormone) levels drop to very low levels. In fact, about 25 to 30 per cent of men in their 50s may have low levels. If fertility is a concern, addition of testosterone can further lower a sperm count which may already be lower than normal. ED is linked to cardiovascular disease and men with ED demonstrate increased calcium in the blood vessels of the heart at a younger age.

Diagnosis includes evaluating medical and psychological history, performing a physical evaluation and conducting a series of laboratory tests. These tests include blood counts, lipid profiles and testosterone measurements. A psychosocial evaluation is used to examine possible psychological factors.

About half of all infertile couples suffer from one or more compromised factors in the male partner, including ED.

For this reason, during the initial evaluation, the male partner will be tested for sperm production and health, including sperm count, motility and morphology; semen volume and viscosity, and white blood cell count. Physical abnormalities are also looked for.

Erectile dysfunction can be treated with medication, psychological therapy, or vacuum devices. Surgical implantation of an inflatable prosthesis is also an option. During this procedure, a device that simulates erection is used in pumping fluid from a reservoir into inflatable tubes in the penis.

No matter what type of ED a man suffers, the first step is to go to the doctor and the earlier, the better. ED can have a profound effect on relationships because the men must admit to their partner that they have a problem and have to seek help. If a man is unhealthy and has not exerted himself, sexual activity can be a risky exertion.

There are many ways to treat impotence. The first line of therapy consists of lifestyle changes. Sometimes, the cause may be a prescription drug, so a new medication may be necessary.

Infertility, on the other hand, could have hormonal roots or there could be structural deformations leading to lower sperm count or poor sperm motility. Fertility treatments with assisted conception techniques like In vitro fertilisation or IVF are the best bet.

Credit: Punch