WASHINGTON – Loss of libido and impaired sex is common among those undergoing antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C, according to a new study.
This is the first time a study evaluating the combination therapy, peginterferon and ribavirin, has identified sexual dysfunction (inability to fully enjoy sexual intercourse) as a side effect.
The therapy has the potential to affect all three components of sexual health: desire, function and satisfaction.
Before therapy, 37 percent of men reported at least some degree of diminished desire, while 44 percent reported dissatisfaction with their sexual life. Besides, 22 percent reported poor erection and 26 percent reported poor ejaculation.
The average onset of sexual dysfunction appeared to be within four weeks of starting antiviral therapy, and many patients reported a gradual worsening over time.
At the end of therapy (24 or 48 weeks), an estimated 38 percent to 48 percent of men reported that overall sexual function was worse than before treatment.
As part of the Study of Viral Resistance to Antiviral Therapy of Chronic Hepatitis C (VIRAHEP-C), 260 men treated with peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin completed self-administered questionnaires concerning sexual desire, sexual function – including erectile and ejaculatory function – and sexual satisfaction before, during and after treatment.
These findings were presented in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute.
Constipation is a common disturbance of the digestive tract. In this condition, the bowels do not move regularly, or are not completely emptied when they move. This condition is the chief cause of many diseases as it produces toxins which find their way into the bloodstream and are carried to all parts of the body. Appendicitis, rheumatism, arthritis, high blood pressure, cataract., and cancer are only a few of the diseases in which chronic constipation is an important predisposing factor.
Infrequency, irregularity in elimination of hard faecal matter
The most common symptoms of constipation are infrequency, irregularity or difficulty in elimination of the hard faecal matter.
The other symptoms include a coated tongue, foul breath, loss of appetite, headache, dizziness, dark circles under the eyes, depression, nausea, pimples on the face, ulcer in the mouth, constant fullness in the abdomen, diarrhoea alternating with constipation, varicose veins, pain in the lumbar region, acidity, heart burn, and insomnia.
Causes of Constipation
Constipation Symptoms, Causes, Remedy and Diet
Faulty diet and style of living
The most important causes of chronic constipation are a faulty diet and style of living.
Insufficient intake of water, strong tea and coffee etc
Intake of refined and rich foods lacking in vitamins and minerals, insufficient intake of water, consumption of meat in large quantities, excessive use of strong tea and coffee, insufficient chewing, overeating and wrong combination of foods, irregular habits of eating and drinking may all contribute to poor bowel function.
Irregular habit of defecation, lack of physical activity
Other causes include faulty and irregular habit of defecation, frequent use of purgatives, weakness of abdominal muscles due to sedentary habits, lack of physical activity, and emotional stress and strain.
Constipation treatment using Bael fruit.
Generally all fruits, except banana and jack fruit, are beneficial in the treatment of constipation. Certain fruits are, however, more effective. Bael fruit is regarded as the best of all laxatives. It cleans and tones up the intestines. Its regular use for two or three months throws out even the old accumulated faecal matter. It should be preferably taken in its original form and before dinner. About sixty grams of the fruit are sufficient for an adult.
Constipation treatment using Pear
Pears are beneficial in the treatment of constipation. Patients suffering from chronic constipation should adopt an exclusive diet of this fruit or it’s juice for a few days, but in ordinary cases, a medium-sized pear taken after dinner or with breakfast will have the desired effect.
Constipation treatment using Guava
Guava is another effective remedy for constipation. When eaten with seeds, it provides roughage to the diet and helps in the normal evacuation of the bowels. One or two guavas should be taken everyday.
Constipation treatment using Grapes
Grapes have proved very beneficial in overcoming constipation. The combination of the properties of the cellulose, sugar, and organic acid in grapes make them a laxative food. Their field of action is not limited to clearing the bowels only. They also tone up the stomach and intestines and relieve the most chronic constipation. One should take at least 350 gm of this fruit daily to achieve the desired results. When fresh grapes are not available, raisins, soaked in water, can be used. Raisins should be soaked for twenty-four to forty-eight hours. This will make them swell to the original size of the grapes. They should be eaten early in the morning, along with the water in which they have been soaked.
Constipation treatment using Orange
Orange is also beneficial in the treatment of constipation. Taking one or two oranges at bedtime and again on rising in the morning is an excellent way of stimulating the bowels. The general stimulating influence of orange juice excites peristaltic activity and helps prevent the accumulation of food residue in the colon.
Constipation treatment using Papaya and Figs
Other fruits specific for constipation are papaya and figs. Half a medium-sized papaya should be eaten at breakfast for it to act as a laxative. Both fresh and dry figs have a laxative effect. Four or five dry figs should be soaked overnight in a little water and eaten in the morning.
Constipation treatment using Spinach
Among the vegetables, spinach has been considered to be the most vital food for the entire digestive tract from time immemorial. Raw spinach contains the finest organic material for the cleansing, reconstruction, and regeneration of the intestinal tract. Raw spinach juice-100 ml, mixed with an equal quantity of water and taken twice daily, will cure the most aggravated cases of constipation within a few days.
Constipation treatment using Other Remedies
Half a lime, squeezed is a glass of hot water, with half a teaspoon of salt is also an effective remedy for constipation. Drinking water which has been kept overnight in a copper vessel, first thing in the morning, brings good results. Linseed (alse) is extremely useful in difficult cases of constipation. A teaspoon of linseed swallowed with water before each meal provides both roughage and lubrication.
Natural and simple diet consisting of unrefined foods
The most important factor in curing constipation is a natural and simple diet. This should consist of unrefined foods such as wholegrain cereals, bran, honey, lentils, green and leafy vegetables, fresh and dry fruits, and milk products in the form of butter, clarified butter, and cream. The diet alone is not enough.
Chew food properly, Avoid hurried meals and irregular meals
Food should be properly chewed. Hurried meals and meals at odd times should be avoided. Sugar and sugary foods should be strictly avoided. Foods which constipate are all products made of white flour, rice, bread, pulses, cakes, pastries, biscuits, cheese, fleshy foods, preserves, white sugar, and hard-boiled eggs.
Apple is one of the most valuable remedies for mental depression. The various chemical substances present in this fruit such as vitamin B, phosphorus, and potassium help the synthesis of glutamic acid, which controls the wear and tear of nerve cells. The fruit should be taken with milk and honey. This remedy will act as a very effective nerve tonic and recharge the nerves with new energy and life.
Depression treatment using Cashewnut
The cashewnut is another valuable remedy for general depression and nervous weakness. It is rich in vitamins of the B group, especially thiamine, and is therefore useful in stimulating the appetite and the nervous system. It is also rich in riboflavin which keeps the body active, cheerful, and energetic.
Depression treatment using Asparagus
The root of asparagus has been found beneficial in the treatment of depression. It is highly nutritious and is used as a herbal medicine for mental disorders. It is a good tonic for the brain and nerves. One or two grams of the powder of the dry root of the plant can be taken once daily.
Depression treatment using Cardamom
The use of cardamom has proved valuable in depression. Powdered seeds should be boiled in water and tea prepared in the usual way. A very pleasing aroma is added to the tea, which can be used as a medicine in the treatment of this condition.
Depression treatment using Lemon Balm
The herb lemon balm has been used successfully in the treatment of mental depression. It alleviates brain fatigue, lifts the heart from depression, and raises the spirits. A cold infusion of the balm taken freely is reputed to be excellent for its calming influence on the nerves. About thirty grams of the herb should be placed in half a litre of cold water and allowed to stand for twelve hours. The infusion should then be strained and taken in small doses throughout the day.
Depression treatment using Rose
An infusion of rose petals should be prepared by mixing 15 gm of rose petals in 250 ml of boiling water. If drunk occasionally, instead of the usual tea and coffee, it is beneficial for treating this condition.
Depression treatment using Vitamin B
Diet has a profound effect on the mental health of a person. Even a single nutritional deficiency can cause depression in susceptible people. Nutritional therapy builds up brain chemicals, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, that affect the mood and are often lacking in depressed people. Eating foods rich in vitamin B, such as wholegrains, green vegetables, eggs, and fish helps restore vitality and cheer in an individual.
Diet for Depression
Depression : Home Remedies suggested by users
Exclude tea, coffee, alcohol, strong condiments
The diet of a person suffering from depression should completely exclude tea, coffee, alcohol, chocolate, colas, all white flour products, sugar, food colorings, chemical additives, white rice, and strong condiments.
Take three meals a day
The diet should be restricted to three meals. Fruits can be taken in the morning for breakfast with milk and a handful of nuts or seeds. Lunch may consist of steamed vegetables, wholewheat wheat tortilla and a glass of buttermilk. For dinner, green vegetable salad and all the available sprouts such as alfalfa seeds, green gram beans, cottage cheese, or a glass of buttermilk would be ideal.