Many Men Risk Their Health by Taking Testosterone When They Don’t Need It

testosStory at-a-glance

Testosterone plays many roles in men’s health. Besides affecting your sex drive, it also helps maintain muscle mass, bone density, red blood cells, and a general sense of well-being

Direct-to-consumer drug advertising is driving men to use testosterone when they’re really not good candidates for it Continue reading

Having Anxiety Disorders? Try Kava Extract

Your heart’s racing… sweat’s dripping down your face… you’re tingling from your fingertips to your toes.

And, no, you’re not having sex — in fact, I’m betting sex is the Continue reading

How Ginseng & Saffron Can Boost Your Sex Drive

saffronHow Natural Aphrodisiacs Ginseng and Saffron Can Boost Your Sex Drive

Your day-to-day life can eat up your time and attention so much so that certain aspects – such as your sex life – can get put on the back burner. Over time, your sex drive may begin to lag due to stress, exhaustion or Continue reading

How to Naturally Boost your Libido without Drugs

There are many reasons why a person’s sex drive can suddenly start to wane unexpectedly — excess stress, rapid aging, poor nutrition, and chronic depression are just a few common causes of low libido. But resorting to those little blue pills to fix the problem in an instant should be a last resort option, as there are plenty of natural remedies for treating this common condition that address its root causes Continue reading

Natural Help for Women’s Sexual Dysfunction

Although male sexual difficulties seem to receive more attention, women’s sexual dysfunction may be just as widespread. But there are natural ways for women to deal with sexual problems.

Causation

There are many causes for inhibited sexual desire, as well as inability to achieve orgasm for a woman. These physical and hormonal causes for lack of sex drive and/or orgasm failure include: Continue reading

The Pink Color in Krill Oil Reveals Health Secrets

Researchers have found that krill oil’s pink color reveals one of its biggest health secrets. The pink pigment in this tiny sea creature can protect your eyes, brain, heart and nerves from the inflammatory damage of early aging.

Laboratory tests show that krill oil contains a heavy-duty combination of antioxidants such as vitamins A, E, D and B-complex choline, plus minerals such as potassium, sodium and zinc — all of which are not only beneficial for your continued health, but also sustain the shelf life of the oil.

However, the most potent antioxidant in krill oil is astaxanthin. It’s a carotenoid that gives  Continue reading

Do You Suffer From ED?

E.D.  Checklist

An occasional problem achieving an erection is nothing to worry about. But failure to do so more than 50% of the time at any age may indicate a condition that needs treatment. Are you at risk for erectile dysfunction (ED)? Take the following quiz and find out.

  1. Are you overweight?  Yes or No
  1. Do you have any of the following conditions?
    • Diabetes
    • High cholesterol
    • Depression
    • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries from plaque)
    • Kidney disease
  1. Do you:
    • Smoke
    • Drink alcohol
    • Use recreational drugs
  1. How often do you exercise?
    • Daily
    • Once or twice a week
    • A couple of times a month
    • I never seem to get around to it
  1. How often do you feel stressed?
    • Much of the time
    • Sometimes
    • Rarely

Answers:

  1. Overweight men are more likely to have ED
  2. Common causes of ED include nerve diseases, psychological conditions and diseases that affect blood flow. A number of prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs may also cause ED by affecting a man’s hormones, nerves or blood circulation
  3. Tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs can all damage a man’s blood vessels and/or restrict blood flow to the penis, causing ED
  4. Regular exercise can reduce the risk of ED
  5. Stress and anxiety are leading causes of temporary ED

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • Does my erectile dysfunction stem from an underlying illness?
  • Could any of my medicines be causing this problem or making it worse?
  • Could stress or a psychological problem be to blame for my erection difficulties?
  • Are there medications I can take?

Did You Know?

  • Misinformation about erectile dysfunction includes the notion that ED, also called impotence, is an unavoidable consequence of aging. ED is not considered normal at any age, nor is it normal for a man to lose erectile function completely as a result of being older.
  • Another myth is that tight underwear causes ED. While physical and psychological conditions can lead to ED, tight underwear is not to blame. Tight underwear may be a factor in producing a low sperm count.
  • ED can be treated with oral medications, sex therapy, penile injections and surgery, such as penile implants.
  • Intercavernous injection therapy is a medication injected directly into the penis to treat ED.
  • Intraurethral therapy is a suppository medication that is inserted into the urethra to treat ED.
  • Urologist is a doctor specially trained to treat problems of the male and female urinary systems, and the male sex organs.

Know Your Numbers

  • At least 20 million American men have some degree of erectile dysfunction, and about one in 10 adult males suffers from ED long-term.
  • About 40% of men in their 40s report at least occasional problems getting and maintaining erections. So do more than half (52%) of men aged 40 to 70, and about 70% of men in their 70s.
  • Failure to achieve an erection less than 20% of the time is not unusual; treatment is rarely needed.
  • Atherosclerosis alone accounts for 50% to 60% of ED cases in men 60 and older. Between 35% and 50% of men with diabetes have ED, and ED may be a predictor for other vascular problems.

Stimulate Female Sexual Drive Naturally

An estimated 40 percent of U.S. women suffer sexual dysfunction, according to a 2008 survey in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Losing interest in sex would be unfortunate for most people, but for Linda Poelzl it was a professional hazard.
“I just wasn’t feeling much interest in sex, and this was very disturbing to me,” says Poelzl, who lives and works in San Francisco. “I have to have a certain amount of interest in it because of my work.”
Poelzl’s describes her work as a “sex educator and coach,” helping men, women, and couples work through their sexual problems. She says she usually possesses a great lust for lust, but then her libido started dissipating a few years ago when she was in her late 40s.

Shocked and not quite sure what to do, she turned to medical doctors, and found there wasn’t much they could offer, as there’s no prescription medicine like Viagra to help a woman when her sex life gets stuck. The greatest hope for a so-called “female Viagra” was a drug called flibanserin, but it was nixed by a panel of Food and Drug Administration experts on Friday, who said the drug didn’t seem to really help women with sexual dysfunction.

This was the second time a so-called “female Viagra” failed to make it on the market; in 2004, an FDA panel said no to Intrinsa, a testosterone patch meant to hormonally help women with a lack of desire for sex.

Given these two rejections, it could be a while before another pharmaceutical company decides to sink money into developing a new drug for women with sexual problems. One company, BioSante Pharmaceuticals, hopes to bring a testosterone gel to the market in 2012, but there aren’t many other products on the horizon.

“There hasn’t been much action in this area, and that certainly has to come up when a company is thinking about dumping money into researching a drug for female sexual dysfunction,” says Phyllis Greenberger, president of the Society for Women’s Health Research, which received money from Boehringer Ingelheim, the company that makes flibanserin.

That’s despite a seeming need for such medication. In 2008, a survey of more than 30,000 U.S. women in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that nearly 40 percent reported that they’d had a sexual problem at some point in their lives, most often a lack of desire.

Linda Poelzl, a sexual educator and coach, says Chinese medicine has helped her sex drive.

After seeing medical doctors but getting few results, Poelzl decided to take another route. She visited alternative practitioners and began experimenting with Taoist exercises used in Chinese medicine. She practiced six minutes of exercises every morning, such as sitting quietly in a chair massaging her lower abdomen.

While there’s no hard science that shows that Taoist practices will improve a woman’s sex life, Poelzl says it worked for her.

“I noticed I started feeling more energy in my body, and more libido,” she says. “But it took at least six weeks of almost daily practice. You have to be committed.”
In fact, for nearly all alternative practices there are no large-scale studies saying if they work or not. But in the absence of a drug to help women with sexual problems, here’s what’s recommended by some practitioners.

1. Acupuncture

Jill Blakeway, a licensed acupuncturist who practices in New York City, started out doing acupuncture to help women get pregnant. But then a few years later she started noticing something interesting.
“After having a couple of kids, patients were coming back to me and saying, ‘I just never feel like it anymore,'” Blakeway says.
She then developed a specialty in acupuncture to help women lift their flagging libidos. She says acupuncture, like Viagra, increases blood flow to the genitals, but unlike Viagra, it usually takes four to six weeks to see results.

“If your sexuality has been lying dormant for a while, then it’s going to take a while to wake it up,” Blakeway says. “And when it does wake up, I tell women not to see this as goal-oriented orgasmic sex, but rather as a way of connecting to their partner.”
One of Blakeway’s patients wrote an article for the magazine, Cookie, about her experience with acupuncture for her flagging sex life.
To find an acupuncturist near you, go to the website of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and check off “Chinese Herbology Certification.”

2. Chinese medicine

Blakeway says she often has success combining acupuncture with Chinese medicine. To find a practitioner familiar with Chinese medicine, go to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Blakeway says between acupuncture and Chinese medicine, she’s able to help about 65 percent of the women who come to her with sexual problems.

3. Maca

Maca is sold in several forms including powder and capsules.

A root vegetable grown in high elevations in the mountains of Peru, animal studies have shown that maca increases sex drive. It’s widely marketed in Peru as an aphrodisiac, where it’s sold in several forms, including capsules and powdered form.

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital are studying maca in women with sexual dysfunction.
Here’s more information on the sexual effects of maca from New York University Langone Medical Center.

4. Ginkgo biloba

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that the herb ginkgo biloba was useful in helping women who had sexual dysfunction brought on by antidepressants.
Here’s more information on ginkgo, including its sexual effects, from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.

5. Herbal combinations

Dr. Craig Koniver, a Charleston, South Carolina, family physician who specializes in alternative medicine, says he has success treating women with sexual dysfunction with herbal combinations. Several companies, including one owned by Koniver, make herbal combinations.

You can also visit a practitioner familiar with herbs to make a combination for you. You can find a practitioner through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, or if you prefer a medical doctor, visit the website of the American College for Advancement in Medicine, where you can put in your ZIP code and find a doctor who specializes in integrative medicine.

Whatever you try to get your libido back, remember that your first attempt might not work.
“Different things for different women,” Blakeley says. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation