Browse Month by April 2016
Health (Men health)

The Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS)

According to Jed Diamond, psychotherapist and best-selling author of The Irritable Male Syndrome and Male Menopause, the irritable male syndrome is defined as “a state of hypersensitivity, anxiety, frustration, and anger that occurs in males and is associated with biochemical changes, hormonal fluctuations, stress, and loss of male identity.”

IMS is the psychological, physiological, and chemical changes that occur in all men around the age of 40-55 years. This syndrome is also sometimes referred to as the male menopause, andropause, or midlife crisis. IMS can cause a number of mood swings, ranging from happy to sad, lethargic to full of energy, and sensitive to irritable. These mood swings are said to be stronger than those generally seen in women. IMS has broken the myth that only women have mood swings and are emotional.

Symptoms
Anxiety
Bouts of anger
Frustration
Jealousy
Flushes and sweats
Fatigue
Decrease in bone mass
Weight gain
Depression
Insomnia
Defensive behavior
Demanding nature
Childish tantrums if demands are not met immediately
Unloving and sarcastic nature
Decreased libido
Erectile dysfunction
The main reason behind IMS is a fall in the testosterone levels of the body. It is very important for individuals suffering from this problem to seek medical help, as the mood swings make them irritable and decrease their ability to see things rationally.

In addition to the above symptoms, many hormonal fluctuations also occur in a male body that affect mental, emotional, and physical health of the individual. One may also experience memory lapses and bowel problems. Men suffering from IMS also face many prostate problems, frequent urination, and low stamina. Other symptoms that result due to low testosterone levels include cold hands and feet, constipation, dry skin, and intolerance to cold temperatures.

IMS patients also suffer from many chemical and hormonal imbalances that occur in the adrenal, thyroid, pituitary glands and pancreas. The imbalance in the adrenal glands can lead to arthritis, various allergies, high blood sugar, weight gain, and sugar craving. The symptoms associated with high thyroid function are anxiety, vision changes, fatigue, hair loss, insomnia, sweating, and weight loss. The pancreas monitor the blood sugar levels in the body, therefore, fluctuations in the pancreatic secretions may lead to high blood sugar levels, high triglycerides and cholesterol, weight gain, increased hunger, poor circulation, and type 2 diabetes. The pituitary gland is the most important gland in the body, as it regularizes the hormones in the body. If there is imbalance in the workings of this gland, the entire endocrine system goes haywire.

The symptoms that men suffering from IMS experience may not be just limited to mood swings and decrease in hormones. The changes may be subtle, causing the individual to experience a rush of emotions never expressed before. Empathy and care suddenly ooze out of him from nowhere. A simple choir song may bring tears in the eyes of a grown man suffering from IMS. There have also been situations where people suffering from IMS have suddenly opted for a change in lifestyle, bought a new sports car, or have even withdraw from society.

Men experiencing the irritable male syndrome are mostly in a state of denial. They usually find faults with everything and everyone other than themselves. Such men experiencing IMS should visit a doctor to check their hormonal levels. A hormone replacement therapy or testosterone therapy may be advised, along with a diet and fitness program, to help lower the mood swings.

It is always better to seek medical advice if one becomes angry or is frustrated with every person he meets. Irritable male syndrome is nothing to be worried about, as it is just a part of growing old.

Health (Men health)

Rectal Bleeding in Men

Medically termed as hematochezia, rectal bleeding refers to the discharge of bright red blood from the anus, often combined with stools and/or blood clots. It usually develops quickly, and is commonly related to abdominal disorders. Although the blood discharge is usually from the rectum, in some cases, it can occur from other parts of the gastrointestinal tract. The bleeding is commonly observed in the form of black and tarry stools, maroon stools, bright red blood on or in the stool, blood on the toilet tissue, or pink staining of the toilet water. Mild or severe rectal bleeding in men can rapidly deplete a patient’s body of blood, hence resulting in symptoms like weakness, dizziness, nausea, fainting, low blood pressure, or orthostatic hypotension (a drop in blood pressure when going from the sitting or lying position to the standing position). It can be a mild or life-threatening matter, hence, needs immediate care and medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Causes

Anal Fissure: In this condition, the lining of the anal canal gets torn due to constipation or forceful bowel movements, which not only cause blood discharge but also severe pain while passing the stools.

Angiodysplasia: It is a vascular malformation in the gut, that causes gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding due to increased dilation of the blood vessels. It may cause anemia, if the bleeding is substantial. It occurs due to aging and degeneration of blood vessels.

Gastroenteritis: Also known as infectious diarrhea, it involves the infection of the GI tract by viruses like rotavirus, bacteria like Escherichia coli and Campylobacter , or other parasitic and non-parasitic microbial organisms. It causes diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. In case of sever infection, it also causes internal bleeding, which results in bloody stools.

Hemorrhoids (Piles): They are basically masses or clumps of tissues that enlarge due to chronic constipation or straining of the anus while passing hard or dry stools. This causes bleeding or anal discomfort. However, bleeding from hemorrhoids is usually moderate, and does not lead to anemia or low blood pressure.

Fistula: It is an unusual, burrowing channel that extends from the rectum to the skin around the anus. It usually drains a whitish discharge, but sometimes can also bleed. Fistula is normally related with the chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract, causing pain and bleeding while passing feces.

Diverticulosis: It is a condition in which the pockets or sacs called diverticula present in the colon project out. This projection of these sacs is mainly due to recurrent, high pressure spasms of the colon or weakness in the colon wall, which results in mild rectal bleeding.

Proctitis and Colitis The condition may occur due to inflammation or ulceration of the rectum, colon, or both. When the inflammation is restricted to the rectum, the condition is called proctitis, and if it spreads to the colon, it is known as colitis. Cramps, diarrhea, and rectal urgency are some other symptoms that accompany bleeding.

Polyps and Cancer: Polyps are the benign tumors of the large intestine, which when reach a large size, can start bleeding. Certain types of polyps develop into malignant tumors, and lead to colon or rectal cancer, that cause bright red bleeding, maroon colored stools, and sometime melena.

Rectal Prolapse: This condition usually occurs due to weakened rectal support tissues, and so is commonly seen in older people. The person can feel an abnormal bulging from the rectum while wiping, which may eventually cause rectal bleeding. It involves the projection of the rectum through the anus (rectum come out of the anus).

Anticoagulant Drugs: Drugs such as warfarin and aspirin, that are routinely recommended for managing several cardiovascular conditions, promote anti-coagulation. Prolonged usage of these drugs in a high dose, may incur chances of developing internal injuries, that lead to internal bleeding.

Sexually Transmitted Infections: Any sexual acts performed, that involve the anal area, carry a very high risk of infection. The insertion of any foreign object into the anal region not only causes physical injury to the tissue, but also provides a way for external pathogens to gain an entry into the body, which may later cause infections. These effects eventually lead to internal bleeding of the rectal tissues.

Diagnosis

The type or severity of the bleeding can be determined by performing diagnostic tests, as given below:
Anoscopy: In this test, a plastic or metal scope is inserted into the anus which enables a quick examination of the rectal vault.
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: The test is performed by inserting a flexible tube in to the rectum to examine the rectum and lower end of the colon.
Colonoscopy: A soft tube having a light and camera is inserted into the rectum and slowly forced into the colon. It provides an entire visualization of the colon, and helps to locate areas of bleeding, masses, or irregularities.
Barium Enema X-ray: This study uses liquid barium, which is inserted into the rectum, to highlight the infected area like tumors or diverticula.
Blood Tests: Blood samples are used to evaluate the degree of blood loss, the clotting ability of blood, and the possibility of infection.
Treatment

Depending upon the source of bleeding, treatment varies from simple self care at home, antibiotics, blood transfusion or even a surgery. Correcting the low blood volume and anemia, diagnosing the cause and site of the bleeding, and ending active bleeding and preventing re-bleeding are the three main parameters that are taken into consideration while treating rectal bleeding. Normally mild bleeding can be cured without any need of hospitalization, by using over the counter rectal ointments and suppositories. For severe bleeding, the patient may need immediate hospitalization to stabilize the condition.

Exerting minimal strain on bowel movements, drinking 8 – 10 glasses of water daily, following a healthy diet containing lots of fiber-rich foods like whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables, and regular exercising will help the intestines work better and avoid internal bleeding.

Health (Men health)

How to Deal With Irritable Male Syndrome

Many middle-aged men reflect a change in behavior by remaining hypersensitive, anxious, frustrated and angry all the time. Sometimes, this kind of behavior is attributed to work-related stress, financial pressures, etc. However, many a time, it is a result of what is known as irritable male syndrome (IMS), which is also known as andropause. Just as women go through menopause during midlife, many men go through andropause. It brings a not-so-pleasing change in a man’s life. He reflects symptoms like irritability, mood swings, anger, depression, lack of libido, body aches, hypersensitivity, etc. When going through all of these, his behavior towards his family and moreover, his partner becomes disrespectful which creates a lot of tension in his married life. In spite of taking this problem in a negative way, women must understand the importance of dealing with irritable male syndrome so as to help their husbands and themselves to smoothly sail through this rough phase of life. If your husband is also suffering from this problem, learn what you can do to deal with it.

Dealing with Irritable Male Syndrome

Don’t Take it Personally
It is quite possible that your husband might say things which would hurt you a lot. But, don’t worry. You have to learn to ignore such things and avoid taking them personally. Neither you, nor he is responsible for the problem he is suffering from. If he falls sick, you don’t have to blame yourself for it. Remember, IMS is a condition where the man is emotionally not sound due to changes in the body. Therefore, only those changes are the cause behind it and no one else.

Don’t Develop a Point of View
Your husband is already going through a lot and instead of giving him support, if you start pointing out his mistakes all the time, it is definitely going to take him away from you. Do not restrict your sight to what he is doing or how wrongly he is behaving. Don’t create a point of view like, “that’s the way you have always been”, etc. Rather, look at the bigger picture and ignore his unacceptable behavior because you reacting to something he has done, will only increase friction in the relationship.

Don’t Force Him to Change
You may want him to be a gentleman once again, but things don’t change overnight. The more you force your hubby to behave in a certain fashion, the more he will try to resist it. Men with IMS tend to avoid social interaction. So, it is better to leave them on their own. Taking your husband to social gatherings or parties forcefully, will not turn him as cheerful and lively as he used to be.

Give Your Hubby His Space
One of the most important ways of dealing with IMS is to give a lot of space to your husband. Let him do what he wants to and stop instructing him about everything. Space will give your husband the time to think peacefully and rationalize his behavior. It is not that he does not understand that his behavior towards you and the family is not right. So, give him time to analyze so that he can figure out what’s wrong and try to come out of it.

Take Care of Yourself
When a man is going through IMS, it is obvious that its effects can be seen in his partner as well. Women are often seen to suffer from mental and emotional disturbances because of the unhappiness that has crept into their lives. However, women must not forget that unless they take care of themselves, they won’t be able to support their husbands. Therefore, take care of yourself to remain in a state of well-being so that you can provide all the support your husband needs.

Provide a Testosterone-boosting Diet
The main cause behind IMS is low testosterone levels in the body. Providing a testosterone-boosting diet will help in raising levels of this hormone in your husband’s body. So, prepare a lovely feast by including vegetables, rice and lean meat, and serve them with a glass of red wine or a mug of dark beer. Avoid licorice and breath mints as they can lower testosterone levels. Instead, treat him with his favorite dark chocolate as a sweet dish.

Consult a Physician
When things turn sour, it is advisable that you and your partner visit a physician who can identify the severity of the condition and prescribe medications, if required. With right medical intervention, the condition can be brought under control.

Never Lose Hope
It is difficult to handle situations at times, but you should never lose hope. Sometimes, you might feel discouraged as things don’t happen the way you want them to be, but keep going. Patience will make you strong and prepare you to tackle the situation in a peaceful manner.

To prevent the suffering caused by IMS, a therapy known as bioidentical hormone therapy is used along with proper fitness regimen and nutrition. This therapy aims to replenish the hormones that have declined in the body. A physician decides whether this therapy is fit for a person or not.

With age, normal levels of hormones in the body start declining and conditions like IMS start appearing. Irritable male syndrome is something you and your husband need to deal with. Give all the love and support to your husband so that he can come out of it easily.

Health (Men health)

Hot Flashes in Men

Hot flashes or sweats are most common menopause symptoms, and so are mostly associated with women. However, there are many men who suffer from hot flashes and don’t consider any treatment for this condition. But, men experiencing these flashes should seek medical help, as they could be sign pointing a serious health disorder.

Causes
Andropause: Andropause is male menopause which occurs during the aging process in men, and hot flashes are the common symptoms of this condition. Other symptoms accompanied by the flashes in this process include weight gain, trouble at sleeping and slow hair growth.
Infections: Certain infections like HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis can also cause night sweats.
Tumor/Cancer: If you are experiencing hot flashes along with testicular pain, immediately contact a doctor as this could be a sign of cancer. Males can also experience these flashes due to a tumor present in pituitary gland or hypothalamus.
Hormone Level: Sudden hot flashes may also occur as a hormone imbalance symptom, like when there is a sudden and substantial lowering in the level of the testosterone, which is the sex hormone or the androgen hormone.
Reaction to Food/Medicine: Reaction to MSG, that is, mono sodium glutamate can also cause them. This is a food additive, and one needs to check their diet for MSG. A person can also experience hot flashes as an allergy to certain medications, like nifedipine, niacin, calcitonin, etc.
Symptoms
The symptoms can be mild to severe. The mild signs are less discomforting than the severe ones.
The signs typically start with the face and spread to the neck and chest area, lasting for seconds to minutes
The hot flash can start with a feeling of warmth spreading in the upper body, with skin redness and mild perspiration to excessive sweating
Finally the person will get a cold, clammy and uncomfortable feeling, if the hot flashes are occurring during night they can interfere with sleeping
Other uncomfortable sensations like dizziness, weakness, heart palpitations and pressure feeling can also be experienced along with the hot flashes
Treatment

It is important to get yourself diagnosed, to know the exact cause behind the occurrence of the flashes. The doctor will suggest a blood test to check the deficiency of testosterone, which most probably will be giving you the hot flashes. After the underlying cause has been identified, a person can get rid of them with the appropriate treatment. The treatment involves mostly changing the medications or testosterone therapy.

HRT or Hormone Replacement Therapy for treatment involves introducing the female hormone in the male body. HRT is many times used to treat effects of andropause. It has been shown in a study, that men who were given estrogen, found relief from this condition. However, there were some side effects related to this treatment. HRT helps and the newer treatments the side effects are becoming less. In case you are getting hot flashes due to some food product, then keep a close check on your diet and avoid such foodstuffs. Similarly, keep in check if certain medications are causing them. Get these medications replaced with safer ones.

However, you can follow these prevention tips, which will reduce the severity and discomfort caused by hot flashes –
Dress up in light and loose-fitting clothes
Drink plenty of water throughout the day
If you suffer from hot flashes during night, drink a glass of water to prevent dehydration
Use a fan and keep the windows open at all times if possible
If you get sweats at night, you can turn your pillow upside down, or change your bedding in severe cases
Try to avoid stress, and go for yoga or meditation
Men’s health is often lightly taken, and needs to be given a serious thought. So, if your symptoms are mild, you can use the prevention tips and reduce the severity of hot flashes. However, if you have been experiencing these flashes for some time or experience them with other pain symptoms; it is important that you get yourself diagnosed to treat the underlying cause.