- Women’s Health
- Healthy Living
- Health Conditions
- Nurse Barb
This article is contributed by our new Men’s Correspondent, Conor Sean McKenna. All health information and recommendations have been reviewed for accuracy and evidence-based recommendations by Nurse Barb.
Men, we already know the basics:
Yet at times we seem to bypass basic healthy nutrition and deprive our bodies of important vitamins and minerals. I’ve seen men make their diets perhaps a little too strict in a desperate attempt to look like Spartacus. Look, you can look like an ancient Roman gladiator all you want, just make sure you are feeling like one.
An easy way to do this without changing your man-diet is with supplements. I don’t mean experimenting with buckets of expensive steroids, protein powders, or that weird “stuff” your friend has said helps but you’ve noticed he shakes uncontrollably. Just simple, over-the-counter supplements is what we’re talking about here.
As many as half of men over 65 have some enlargement of their prostate gland, which is also known as benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH. This may mean frequent trips to the bathroom especially at night. You can read more about BPH here or watch this video.
I recently spoke with Dr. Edward Karpman, from El Camino Hospital about new treatments for men with BPH. As he related to me, of all the types of surgeries being done in the US today, many people are surprised that the most common is for is cataracts and close behind is surgery on the prostate! Enlarged prostates are the norm and with the sheer number of aging baby boomers, it makes sense that more and more men are dealing with frequent trips to the bathroom from slowly growing prostates.
What treatment is best?
Dr. Karpman explained that men need to see a urologist for a thorough evaluation to determine which type of treatment would be best. There are several new treatments available that have fewer side effects, including fewer sexual side effects and are helping improve men’s quality of life.
This is considered minimally invasive because there is no cutting or removal of tissue. Using a cystoscope, a very thin scope that can be placed into the urethra, a urologist can identify the area of blockage. The UroLift, which is a new FDA-approved treatment works by pulling the prostate away from the urethra.
How UroLift works
Seeing this video made perfect sense to me. The concept behind how UroLift works is brilliant. Using small hooks with tension the prostate is pulled back and away from the urethra almost the way you pull back a curtain with a tie back. You can see it here:
How UroLift changes lives
Green Light XPS Laser treatment for BPH
The Green Light XPS Laser treatment for BPH is a great option with high success rates for most men with enlarged prostates.
More treatments in development
Stay tuned and check back for more information as new technologies are being developed all the time for this all too common issue.
If you or someone you care about has been hesitant to seek information or help for frequent urination, don’t delay and don’t let fear prevent you from getting the information you need. Talk to a urologist about what might be best.
Disclosure: I am working with El Camino Hospital to help bring awareness of health issues to the community, including men’s health issues.
Would you be surprised to learn that over 37 million men, especially those over 65 need to get to the bathroom as frequently as women? Going often during the day may not interfere with life, but certainly making 4 or more visits at night can leave men and their partners tired and irritable.
What’s going on?
As men age, it’s very common for their prostate gland to enlarge. This is also known as Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, or BPH.
(Translation: Benign means non cancerous, and thus not dangerous. Hypertrophy is the term for growth)
What is BPH?
I recently spoke with Dr. Edward Karpman from El Camino Hospital about BPH. He was reassuringly candid. According to Dr. Karpman, BPH affects just about every man. It’s not a question of why, it’s really a question of when
Why the frequent trips to the bathroom?
Because the prostate is located just below the bladder and surrounds the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body), as it enlarges and grows, it may press on the urethra causing narrowing and making it more difficult for men to completely empty their bladder. It’s like traffic getting backed up when lanes are closed.
Which one would you rather have?
What’s the biggest misunderstanding?
According to Dr. Karpman, many men are reluctant to discuss this all too common issue and assume that they are the only ones who are having flow problems. The truth is this is a plumbing problem and there are lots of guys in the same LEAKY BOAT! (pun intended).
Dr. Karpman also explained that many men only remember hearing about the old medications and surgeries and assume that the only treatments available have side effects that are much worse than the problem. They get scared off and so they don’t even bring up their frequent urination with their health care provider and may be missing out on valuable information about new treatments with fewer side effects. (more…)
What is Interventional Pulmonology?
This new field is revolutionizing what we can now offer to people to diagnose and treat a variety of lung diseases. Imagine someone, like my uncle, Richard, who had several puzzling spots seen on his lungs on x-rays. He’d been told that he wasn’t well enough to have surgery or a biopsy or remove them, and the previous bronchoscopies didn’t reach them. His doctors back east were only able to give their best guess and did the best they could to treat these puzzling spots.
Uncle Richard would have been a good candidate for Interventional Pulmonology, a new way of combining various diagnostic procedures and minimally invasive techniques to reach the most remote areas of the lungs, biopsy and treat them. In his case, he may have benefited from Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy or EndoBronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) or Radial Probe Ultrasound (REBUS). All of which can help physicians gain access to hard to reach lesions while minimizing risk to the person.
Training the next wave of pulmonologists
These weren’t available for my uncle despite being in a large metropolitan are. Though there are very few hospitals in the country with an Interventional Pulmonolgy program, here in Silicon Valley, El Camino Hospital has had one of the top programs (more…)
Shortly after our friend, Phil came to visit, he started to complain of some slight back pain. He thought it was from the long car ride, but within a few minutes, he was clutching the Left side of his back, feeling nauseated and writhing in severe pain. After a quick assessment, I thought he might just have a kidney stone, and so off to the ER we went.
This type of pain is usually so severe that the person can not walk, talk or sit down. Many women compare the pain of passing a kidney stone to labor.
What is a Kidney stone?
Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and acids that form in the Urinary tract anywhere from the kidney to the bladder. They cause pain and may start some bleeding as they travel in the urine and scrape against the tender tissue of the urinary tract.
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Mache Seibel, the founder and creator of My Menopause Magazine that’s available on iTunes.
Dr. Seibel teaches at Harvard and is an expert in many areas of women’s health. He offered up a wealth of information about how we can stay healthy as we age.
#1 Eat well – it almost goes without saying, but we can’t say it enough. Eating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains while avoiding packaged and pre-prepared foods is one of the best ways to stay healthy.
Years of research will tell you what you see with your friends and family who are healthy. By eating choosing to have at least ½ of your plate filled with vegetables and having less red meat, you can avoid heart disease and diabetes.
#2 Sleep – We often forget how important sleep is for our well being. We all know that less sleep means more irritability and a shorter fuse, but you may also be surprised to learn that more sleep means a lowered risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Studies on night shift workers have found higher rates of obesity.
Many of us find that being tired leads to more food cravings. (more…)
As men age, their specific health needs change, adding the need for more regular check-ups and screenings. As a women’s health expert, my patients often ask me about the health of the men in their lives. Below is a list of questions that I always recommend that men should ask about their health
1. What kinds of signs and symptoms should I pay attention to and see a health care provider about?
2. What do I need to know about sex?
• Despite what you’ve heard, as long as you’re healthy, sex won’t kill you (more…)
Did you know that snoring is linked to some serious health hazards, some of which may really surprise you? Whether you’re having trouble staying awake at work or find yourself in line for a triple shot of espresso just to make it through the day, you’re not alone. Sleep issues affect millions of Americans, and one of the most misunderstood is how serious snoring can be. Far from being an embarrassment or something you put up with from a partner, snoring is not a sign of deep sleep, but it very well could be one sign of a potential sleep issue that could lead to these 5 surprising consequences:
1. Low Testosterone and Erectile Dysfunction – Did I get your attention? I was surprised to learn this from Dr. Tony Masri at the Sleep Disorders program at El Camino Hospital; however, men who were treated for their sleep issues with CPAP had improvement in sexual function and testosterone levels.
3. Serious cardiac events including irregular heart rhythms and atrial fibrillation and heart attack. For people who have obstructive sleep apnea for 4 years, there’s a 30% increased risk of having a heart attack.
4. An increase in seizure activity – People with epilepsy are more likely to experience a recurrence of seizures when obstructive sleep apnea and snoring is present, regardless of whether they’re on anti-seizure medication or not.
5. When it comes to stroke, the risk is increased by 60% for people with obstructive sleep apnea. This may be associated with the cardiac events that are linked to sleep apnea.
The Nitty Gritty on Snoring and Sleep Apnea
What is snoring? Basically snoring is the sound that occurs when our air passages narrow and each breath encounters obstacles that produce more noise. A clear, open airway is quiet, however one where there’s narrowing, swelling or a tongue in the way makes more sonorous noise. (more…)
I watched Captain Phil of the Cornelia Marie, a crab boat in the Bering Sea that’s part of Discovery Channel’s exciting show, Deadliest Catch cough up blood the other night. Immediately, my Nurse Practitioner hat popped on as I thought about the long list of differential diagnosis that could be plaguing Phil.
First of all, a confession. Deadliest Catch is one of my favorite shows, partly because I grew up in Kodiak, Alaska. I am even on my way back to visit Alaska this week, because I love it so much! The Cornelia Marie is one of my favorite boats because its home port is, you guessed it…. Kodiak. (more…)
There was a recent report that claimed that Sex can Kill You.
But before you avoid fun time in the bedroom, let’s look more closely at the study. It was reported that sudden exercise and sex can increase the risk of sudden death within the first 1-2 hours after finishing exercise. The most important thing to remember is that regular exercise is beneficial to help decrease the risk of heart attack and heart disease. This probably represents the people who don’t exercise regularly or at a mild or moderate level and suddenly exercise at a rigorous level after being inactive for a while. (more…)