How To Prepare For Doctor’s Appointment If You Have Male Infertility?

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Infertility is inability to conceive a child by a couple, despite having frequent, unprotected sexual intercourse for a year or longer, and if the cause is due to male partner, it can be termed as male infertility. Infertility (female as well as male infertility) is a complex issue and encompasses different factors; hence need to understand the problem clearly. It is therefore important to have a clear idea about questions your doctor may ask and questions you should ask your doctor regarding your problem, i.e. male infertility.

What questions your doctor may ask you during consultation for male infertility?

The following questions may be asked by your doctor and you should be ready with the right answers for your treatment of male infertility to be successful:

  • Have you ever fathered a child before?
  • What was your age when puberty started in you?
  • Do you have any history of undescended testes?
  • Have you even had sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction (inability to maintain an erection of penis during sexual intercourse), premature ejaculation (ejaculating too soon during sexual act), or any difficulty/disability to ejaculate (may be due to retrograde ejaculation)?
  • Did you undergo surgical operations such as vasectomy, scrotal surgery, hernial operation, or any surgery involving pelvis or abdomen?
  • Do you have any previous history of exposure to toxins, chemicals such as heavy metals, pesticides, radiation etc.?
  • Do you have any addiction to drugs such as cocaine/heroin, anabolic steroid (commonly used for performance enhancement in sports) or marijuana?
  • Do you currently take any medications, including dietary supplements?

What questions you should ask during consultation for male infertility?

You should ask following questions to know clearly about male infertility.

  • What is the most probable cause of my problem of male infertility?
  • What are the other causes that may be affecting me?
  • What type of tests do I need and does my partner also need to undergo certain tests?
  • What is the best treatment option available for me?
  • Do I have any other alternative treatment modalities?
  • What restrictions do I have to follow?
  • Do you have any printed material or brochure that I can read/use to upgrade my understanding about my problem of male infertility?
  • Do you suggest me to check any website regarding my problem?

Do not hesitate to ask any other question you may have in your mind to clear your doubt about male infertility.

To make your appointment more successful you can do following things:

  • Take your partner along with you during the appointment.
  • Write down the medications you are taking at present for any other medical condition. Preferably take the prescriptions along with you.
  • Write about symptoms (if any) you are experiencing or experienced.
  • Find out family history of infertility as well as if you had undescended testes.
  • Write down the questions you would like to ask your doctor during appointment, because you may forget to ask important questions during appointment, if you have not written them beforehand.

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Posted by admin - November 23, 2015 at 14:10

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Acute Sinusitis: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Complications, Diagnosis, Management, Prevention and Home Remedies

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There are cavities (air pockets) around your nasal passages known as sinuses. In acute sinusitis, these sinuses become acutely inflamed and swollen, leading to mucus build up due to interference of drainage. It may also be difficult to breathe through your nose and area around your eyes and face may become swollen and there may also be throbbing headache or facial pain.

Most commonly, acute sinusitis is caused by common cold (due to virus). Other causes of acute sinusitis include bacterial infection, fungal infection (less common) and allergy. Treatment depends on the cause of the problem. If not adequately treated it may become chronic sinusitis (acute sinusitis that last for more than eight weeks or if it recurs frequently is termed chronic sinusitis).

What are the symptoms of acute sinusitis?

Symptoms of acute sinusitis include.

  • Nasal congestion and obstruction, leading to breathing problems through nose
  • Cough, may be worse at night
  • Greenish or yellowish discharge from nose or back through throat
  • Swelling, pain and tenderness (pain on pressure) around eyes, forehead, nose or cheeks
  • Sense of smell and taste may be reduced.
  • Headache, earache
  • Fever
  • Halitosis or bad breath
  • Pain in upper jaw and/or teeth
  • Fatigue, which may be due to dehydration

You should consult your doctor, if symptoms last for more than few days or if you have fever, recurrent acute sinusitis, severe headache and other symptoms that trouble you.

What are the causes of acute sinusitis?

Causes of acute sinusitis include:

  • Viral infection: this is the most common cause of acute sinusitis and usually by common cold virus.
  • Bacterial infection: it less common than viral infection. However, sometimes bacterial infection may superimpose on viral infection and complicate the situation. Usually bacterial infection leads to symptoms lasting for more than 10 days.
  • Fungal infection: may occur if you have weak immune system or abnormality in sinuses
  • Allergy: this is a common cause of acute sinusitis. Common allergy include house dust, pollen etc.
  • Deviated nasal septum (DNS): a crooked nasal septum may cause frequent acute sinusitis due to anatomical abnormality.
  • Nasal polyp: growth of polyp may lead to blockage of nasal passage and sinusitis.
  • Other causes of acute sinusitis include, tooth infection, GERD, immune system problem, cystic fibrosis etc.

What are the risk factors of developing acute sinusitis?

The following conditions may increase risk of developing acute sinusitis:

  • Abnormality of nasal passage due to DNS or deviated nasal septum (a common cause of chronic sinusitis), nasal polyp, or tumor
  • Allergy, including hay fever or other allergic conditions that affect para-nasal sinuses
  • Exposure to pollutants/irritants such as cigarette smoke.
  • Certain medical conditions such as GERD, cystic fibrosis, immune system abnormality etc.

What are the possible complications of acute sinusitis?

Possible complications include,

  • Chronic sinusitis: this is the most common complication of acute sinusitis. Once, it becomes chronic, it becomes very difficult to cure/manage.
  • Flare-up of asthma
  • Ear infection is another complication of acute sinusitis.
  • Meningitis
  • Infection may spread to eye socket, which lead to vision problem, and need immediate treatment as it is a medical emergency.

Diagnosis of acute sinusitis:

Diagnosis of acute sinusitis involves proper physical examination. To help diagnosis, your doctor may also ask for imaging (such as CT or MRI), nasal endoscopy, allergy testing, culture and antibiotic sensitivity of nasal and sinus secretions.

Management of acute sinusitis:

Treatment of acute sinusitis depends on the cause of the sinusitis. Most commonly it is due to viral infection that also causes common cold. Hence, home remedies done for common cold also useful in such cases and usually may not require anything else to be done.

However, if acute sinusitis is caused by bacterial or fungal infection may require appropriate antibiotic and anti-fungal therapy. If the cause is due to allergic condition and there is frequent incidence of acute sinusitis, it may require immunotherapy.

For symptomatic relief of acute sinusitis, the following can be of help:

  • Nasal decongestants: these drugs available over the counter (such as oxymetazoline) help in reducing nasal congestion. They are available as nasal drops or as nasal spray. These are commonly used for few days, because prolong use may cause side effects, such as rebound congestion.
  • Corticosteroid nasal spray, for action locally is also used for symptomatic relief from acute sinusitis.
  • Saline nasal spray to rinse nasal passage.
  • Over the counter pain medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) etc. are also helpful in acute sinusitis.

How to prevent acute sinusitis?

Following steps are useful in preventing acute sinusitis,

  • Avoid common cold and upper respiratory tract infection. Wash hands frequently with soap and water, especially after contact with persons suffering from cold. Best, if you could avoid persons suffering from cold.
  • Avoid cigarette smoke and other air pollutants that irritate respiratory system, including sinuses.
  • Use humidifier if you live in dry area or if your home is dry. Dryness cause nasal mucosa to crack and lead to infection and acute sinusitis.
  • Manage properly if you suffer from allergic condition.

Home remedies for acute sinusitis:

Following home remedies for sinusitis can be tried:

  • Drink plenty of fluid: to keep one hydrated one need to drink plenty of fluid such as water, fruit juice, oral rehydration salt, or other drink. Well hydration help in keeping mucosal secretions thin and easy to remove. Avoid beverages that may cause dehydration such as caffeine, alcohol etc.
  • Take plenty of rest
  • Drape a towel over your head and inhale water vapor from a hot water bowl/pan. Alternately take a hot shower. This will moisten nasal cavities and help drain mucous.
  • Sleep with head elevated to help drain sinuses during sleep.
  • Rinse your nasal passage with saline spray or plain water or distilled water.
  • To prevent facial pain, put a warm, damp towel over your face.

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Posted by admin - November 20, 2015 at 14:34

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Chilblains: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Treatment and Prevention

Hypothermia, Frostbite and Other Cold Injuries


Chilblains (also known as perniosis or pernio) is a medical condition (a type of cold injury) that occurs to person (who is predisposed) when exposed to cold and humidity. This is sometimes confused with frostbite or trench foot, both of which occur below freezing temperature, whereas chilblains usually occur above freezing temperature. Chilblains generally lead to damage to capillary bed in exposed skin and cause redness, itching, swelling, inflammation and blister formation (in extreme and untreated cases). Common site for chilblains include toes, fingers, earlobes and nose.

Chilblains may heal on its own, especially if weather warms up in one to three weeks. There is a tendency to recur every year as this condition usually occurs to individuals predisposed to this condition. Chilblains usually do not cause permanent damage to any body parts, however may cause infection which may lead to serious problem, if left untreated. We can keep chilblains away if we take precautions and protective measures against exposure to cold, especially if anyone is predisposed to it.

What are the symptoms of chilblains?

Signs and symptoms of chilblains are,

  • Small, itchy, red, warm area on exposed part of skin, which may gradually become larger
  • Swelling of the red area
  • Pain in the area
  • Color of skin may change from red to dark blue
  • There may be blistering in the area
  • There may be ulceration in the affected area
  • Burning sensation of the affected area.

What is/are the cause(s) of chilblains?

The exact cause of chilblains is not clear. Many experts believe it to be a type of cold allergy, because it usually occurs among persons predisposed to this condition, and there is possibility of recurrence every year. Affected individuals tend to react abnormally during rewarming after getting exposed to cold.

What are the risk factors of getting chilblains?

The following factors may increase risk of getting chilblains:

  • Exposure of skin to cold (need not to be freezing cold) and damp condition may lead to development of chilblains.
  • Place where you live may increase risk of chilblains. If you live in cold non freezing temperature and high humidity risk of chilblains is high. Risk is not high if you live in dry and cold area.
  • Females are at greater risk of chilblains than males. The cause is not known.
  • People who are underweight are at greater risk of chilblains.
  • If you are suffering from Raynaud’s phenomenon (another cold-related medical condition that affects the extremities) you are at greater risk of chilblains.
  • If your blood circulation to extremities is poor you are at greater risk of chilblains.
  • Chilblains commonly occur early winter to spring and usually disappear in spring time.

What are the complications associated with chilblains?

Chilblains usually do not lead to serious complications. However, if left untreated or inadequately treated, it may lead to infection of affected area, which itself has its complications. Blister formation and ulceration may be encountered in chilblains.

What treatment modalities are available for chilblains?

Treatment options for chilblains include,

  • Corticosteroid cream applied locally to affected area for prevention of swelling (inflammation) and itching.
  • Medications: nifedipine (a commonly used blood pressure lowering drug) can be used for chilblains, because it can cause increase in blood flow by widening the arteries. Another drug that may be used is pentoxyfylline (brand name Trental) which also act by increasing blood flow to affected area.
  • Prevention of infection is also important aspect of management of chilblains. Blisters may lead to ulceration which needs to be managed to prevent infection with regular dressing and cleaning.

Prevention of chilblains:

As chilblains is a cold related problem, avoiding exposure to cold is the most important aspect of prevention. Following measures can be helpful in preventing chilblains:

  • Avoid exposure to cold, especially extremities, where chilblains commonly occur.
  • Use several layers of warm clothing.
  • Prevent moisture and try to keep extremities dry in cold weather.
  • Cover all exposed parts before going out in cold.
  • Keep hands, face and feet warm.
  • Keep your home and office warm.
  • If you get exposed to cold, re-warm gradually. Never attempt to re-warm rapidly as this may lead to chilblains.

Lifestyle and home remedies for chilblains:

Chilblains usually heal by itself, although it takes one to three weeks. Following measures may speed up healing process:

  • Avoid further exposure to cold.
  • Keep affected area warm, but keep it away from direct heat.
  • Use lotions to prevent itching and swelling. Avoid scratching the affected area.
  • Keep affected area clean and apply antiseptic and bandage.

Chilblains is a common problem in cold (need not to be freezing cold) and moist (high humidity) regions. However, it is possible to prevent chilblains with some care. You need to be extra cautious, if you are predisposed to develop chilblains.

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Posted by admin - November 17, 2015 at 14:28

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Watch What You Eat: How Diet Can Help With Fertility

ID-100336592Couples who so desperately want to conceive a child will go to almost any lengths to make it happen. If things do not seem to be progressing as quickly as you would like, then there are a number of lifestyle changes that can be made in order to boost the chances of conceiving. One of the most common is a change of diet. Let’s explore how diet can impact fertility.

You Are What You Eat

You have probably heard the old expression ‘you are what you eat’. In the case of fertility, this is more true than ever because everything that you eat can have an impact on your blood, your cells and even your hormones. Even if you are not having any difficulty in conceiving, you still need to make your body as healthy as possible – after all, it has a baby to grow! That is why you should think carefully about what you are eating when trying to conceive. It takes anything from 3 months to a year for dietary changes to take full effect, so there is no time like the present for getting started!

Curb Your Alcohol & Caffeine Intake

One of the first things to do if you are hoping to conceive is to limit your intake of both alcohol and caffeine, if not cut them out completely. The Department of Health in the UK recommends that any woman trying for a baby should avoid alcohol all together, or if they do choose to indulge, to limit it to a single glass of wine once or twice a week. The effect of alcohol on a fetus is well documented, but it has also come to light recently that drinking alcohol can also lessen your ability to conceive. A study conducted by Harvard Medical School discovered that couples who shared a bottle of wine a week reduced their chances of conceiving by a quarter. Research into the effect of caffeine has reached mixed conclusions, but it can’t help to reduce your intake!

Reducing Refined Carbs

Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta and whiter rice will not directly cause fertility issues, but the refining process does strip all of the nutrients from these including antioxidants, vitamins and iron. These are all essential things that you should be eating as much as possible of when trying to conceive a child. It is a far better idea to switch to whole grains instead so that you are getting these essential nutrients.

Colourful Produce

There is a great way to tell which foods are full to bursting point of all of those useful nutrients that are going to increase your chances of getting pregnant and it all comes down to colour. Brightly coloured green, red and yellow fruits and vegetables have plenty of vitamins, minerals and free-radical busting micronutrients. The more vivid the colour, the more nutrients it contains! Aim for roughly 2 cups of fruit and 2 or 3 cups of vegetables every single day.

Diet is an incredibly important in terms of your fertility. Not only can what you are eating affect your ability to conceive a child, but your diet can also help you to overcome morning sickness and reduce the appearance of stretch marks – not to mention giving your baby all of the nutrients that it needs to grow healthy and strong!

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Posted by admin - November 16, 2015 at 11:47

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Rick Willianen, Skiing Injuries: How to Avoid Them

Wdomenada2003bCross country skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding are not only great outdoor activities for the whole family; they are also fantastic ways to stay in shape and active over the long cold winter months. However, despite the efforts of ski resort staff, local governments and park and recreation officials, thousands of Canadians and Americans are admitted to hospitals annually with skiing and snowboarding related injuries.

“There is a lot to enjoy about Canadian winters, but safety and precautions are important across all age groups,” Greg Webster, Director of Primary Health Care Information and Clinical Registries at the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI), wrote on the company’s website.

Approximately 15 percent of Canadians over the age of 15 reported skiing frequently in a Canadian Pediatric Society report released in 2012, while only 4 percent of Americans over the age of seven told researchers they were avid skiers. Although these numbers are small in relation to the populations they represent, skiing and snowboarding accounted for the most winter sport related hospitalizations from 2010 through 2011.

That year there were 2,329 Canadian hospital admissions for skiing or snowboarding falls and/or crashes, which is double the amount of hockey-related hospitalizations (1,114) from the same year. The other winter activities that led to extended hospital stays include: Snowmobiling (1,126), ice skating (889), and tobogganing (171).

“Every year, more than 5,000 Canadians get seriously injured—requiring at least one night’s hospital stay—due to a winter sport or recreational activity. These numbers do not include visits that involve only the emergency department (ED) or a doctor’s office, or deaths at the scene, so the total number of injuries is actually much higher,” Webster also wrote.

That doesn’t mean you should spend the months between December and April hibernating – what it means is that ensuring your family is well versed on safety procedures and techniques and is using safe and regulated equipment.

First and foremost, experts reinforce the importance of wearing a helmet. Canadians have gotten better at wearing helmets to protect their heads. In 2011, 75 percent of skiers reported using the protective headgear, according to the Canadian Ski Council. Children under 14 represented the largest group of helmet wearers, with about 95 per cent of them donning the head protection while skiing or boarding.

Avid Nordic skier and Albertan Rick Willianen enjoys the serenity and tranquility of cross-country skiing. But, at the same time, he warns that people should know their skill level before hitting the slopes.

“Being realistic about your skiing ability is one of the best ways to avoid injury,” Rick Willianen explains.

Willianen points out that even seasoned skiers need to allow time to re-acclimate to the slopes. “Unless you travel to snowy locales over the spring and summer, you will be rusty when you first head out, and you need to realize that you need to get accustomed to skiing again,” Rick Willianen adds. “It may not take long, depending on your skill level but taking it slow is paramount to ensure safety.”

Professionals also advise skiing with a partner if possible or in off peak hours to avoid crowds, bringing a small snack that can give you an energy boost, leaving the slope once you feel fatigued, and above all, take lessons to make sure you are using the proper equipment and techniques.

Canadian winters can feel extremely cold and never ending, having a variety of outdoor activities to help pass the time can make winter more enjoyable and keep you physically fit. However, like with any sport it is crucial you protect yourself and follow the rules and guidelines so you can hit the slopes with confidence and without injury.

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Posted by admin - November 14, 2015 at 12:11

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Is There a Link Between Low Testosterone and Diabetes?

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While low testosterone and diabetes may seem like very different problems, research is finding that they may not be so unrelated after all. Men with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to develop low T. Treating low testosterone with testosterone therapy may help lower the risk of diabetes as well as other problems like heart disease and obesity.

The Connection Between Diabetes and Low T

Low testosterone does not actually cause diabetes, but it lead to several conditions that raise the risk of diabetes, including heart disease and obesity. Low testosterone is also associated with reduced insulin sensitivity (insulin resistance). Insulin resistance means the body produces insulin but can’t use it correctly. This causes glucose to build up in the blood instead of being absorbed. Insulin resistance may cause type 2 diabetes and increase the risk of heart problems.

A 2013 study found that low testosterone levels in men may actually predict if a man will develop type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance. In the study, published in BioMed Research International, 44% of men had low testosterone and type 2 diabetes while just 33% had only low T without diabetes. 25% of the men with low testosterone and type 2 diabetes were not obese, which indicates low T is connected to insulin resistance instead of body weight, which is also a risk factor for diabetes.

Research has also found that low T may be a complication of diabetes. A 2004 study found that 35% of men with type 2 diabetes had low free testosterone levels. In this study, scientists determined that the men with type 2 diabetes and low T were not making enough lutenizing hormone, which triggers the production of testosterone.

Managing Diabetes and Low T

Research has found that men who receive testosterone replacement therapy along with normal diabetes treatment have lower blood glucose levels. The men who used only diet and insulin saw worse results.

Many lifestyle changes can help with both diabetes and low testosterone. Losing weight and exercising have been found to boost testosterone and stabilize blood glucose levels. Insulin treatment for type 2 diabetes can also increase the production of globulin, a hormone-binding compound, which increases free testosterone in the blood.

Because low testosterone and diabetes are so closely related, it’s important to consider all treatment options that may help with both conditions. Along with diet, exercise, and insulin medication, many men with diabetes may benefit from testosterone replacement therapy. Along with helping to break the cycle of poor health that comes with both conditions, testosterone replacement can also improve sleep, reduce fat stores, increase muscle mass, and stabilize mood.

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Posted by admin - November 13, 2015 at 12:05

Categories: Diabetes   Tags: ,

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