dental health and your body

Dental Health: The Mouth-Body Connection

There is a definite connection between your oral health and your overall well-being. Any physician who is keeping current on research findings related to the mouth-body connection is beginning to pay more attention to patient dental histories as they treat their patients. A trend that is rising in healthcare arenas is to approach patient care in a more holistic way.

Over the past few years, the links between oral problems, heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis have become a source of interest and continue to provide insights into how the body-mouth connection works. Evidence indicates that people who suffer from gum disease are likely to also have another chronic condition.

Your doctor and dentist know that infections often start in the mouth when bacteria accumulates around the teeth and gums. In response, the immune system reacts resulting in the gums becoming inflamed. This type of inflammation can spread through the rest of the body in cases where it is not cured or managed.

Dr. Irina Kellerman-Volk, a dentist in Port Washington says:

Taking good care of your mouth is important for many reasons.  For example, a healthy mouth may help you ward off medical issues but on the flip side, an unhealthy mouth may increase your risk of serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes and preterm labor. The case for good oral hygiene keeps getting stronger. Understand the importance of oral health — and its connection to your overall health. Make sure to see your dentist regularly!

When your dentist and doctor stress the importance of good dental hygiene, there is a good reason.

Oral Health and Heart Disease

Your doctor is more likely to ask about your dental hygiene than ever before. There are interesting correlations between periodontitis and heart disease. WebMD reports that 91 percent of patients suffering from heart disease has also been diagnosed with periodontal disease. These two health challenges share certain risk factors such as excess weight, poor diet, and smoking.

One theory that explains this association is that inflammation in the mouth is responsible for inflamed blood vessels, having a causative impact. When blood vessels are inflamed, blood pressure rises. This perfect storm can lead to a higher risk of a heart attack or a stroke.

Oral Health and Diabetes

Your physician now knows that diabetes and periodontitis appear to be strongly tied together, perhaps even more so than heart disease and gum disease. There is strong evidence that the inflammation that starts in your mouth actually disrupts your body’s ability to manage blood sugar. Diabetes is defined as an inability to convert sugar into the energy you need due to low levels of insulin.

Essentially, these two conditions feed each other, worsening both problems. High blood sugar increases the chances of gum infection. If there is a silver lining to be found in this relationship, it is that controlling one condition can help improve the other.

Oral Health and Osteoporosis

While a physician may disagree with their peers about the connection between osteoporosis and oral health with some controversy surrounding the connection between these two conditions, many researchers believe there is a connection. The main link between these health challenges relates to bone health. Most women with osteoporosis have gum disease.

Where this association gets controversial is when you consider the fact that gum disease compromises the jawbone and osteoporosis effects bones in your arms and legs. Researchers are currently studying possible connections between periodontitis and other bones in the body.

Summary

Considering the obvious connection between your dental health and serious physical challenges, it is more important than ever to maintain good oral health and see your dentist on a regular basis. The American Dental Association recommends using an antimicrobial mouthwash to control the bacteria in your mouth and prevent infection that can lead to other problems. Regular checkups and meticulous oral hygiene practices as prescribed by your dentist are essential for maintaining a healthy mouth.

Mayo Clinic recommends these oral care tips to ensure that you keep your mouth as healthy as possible. You should brush your teeth twice a day or more when possible. Flossing daily is also important.

A mistake that too many people make is to keep their toothbrush too long. Replace your toothbrush at least once every three months. Be sure to buy a toothbrush that is labeled as having soft bristles. Otherwise, you can actually damage sensitive gum tissues.

Your diet can also make a big difference. Sugar is the enemy for your teeth and gums. Fresh vegetables are a good source of antioxidants. There is no substitute for eating a healthy diet and maintaining healthy dental care.

Sources:

https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/patient_61.ashx

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/oral-health-the-mouth-body-connection#1

https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/patient_61.ashx

5 Common Reasons Why You're Struggling to Get Pregnant

5 Reasons You Might Be Struggling to Get Pregnant

For couples interested in becoming parents, fewer issues can be more frustrating than infertility. There are many different reasons a woman may experience difficulties becoming pregnant. This brief blog will examine five relatively common causes.

Underlying Medical Issues Can Prevent Pregnancy

In certain instances, pregnancy might be prevented due to any one or more underlying health problems. Such precipitating ailments can vary and impact other bodily regions besides the reproductive tract. Pregnancy-halting ailments can include but are not necessarily limited to depression, various autoimmune disorders, damage to reproductive or hormone-producing organs, various hormone imbalances, certain types of cancer and specific sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Women stricken with any of the aforementioned conditions may still be able to become pregnant. That said, pregnancy will not likely occur until the underlying health matter is identified and appropriately treated. Therefore, obtaining a quick and definitive diagnosis is key. Women who are experiencing the symptoms of any of the preceding illnesses in conjunction with fertility struggles are strongly encouraged to bring such concerns to the attention of their physicians.

It is also worth noting that certain medications might also produce fertility issues. Therefore, those ingesting drugs prescribed to remedy certain ailments are advised to consult with their doctor and, if said medications are known to hinder pregnancy or are causing infertility symptoms, potentially identify alternate drugs or treatment options.

Time is On Your Side

It may be too simple an explanation, but in some cases, couples must allow more time for pregnancy to occur. Naturally, many couples are impatient and reluctant to wait for the blessed event to occur. While understandable, couples are encouraged to realize that biology often takes its own course.

Researchers have concluded that pregnancy does not occur for at least six months for up to 80 percent of all couples. Moreover, it might take as long as one full calendar year to conceive. Fertility experts recommend exhibiting patience and engaging in intercourse at the appropriate times of the month.

That said, medical professionals recommend women consult with a doctor of fertility specialist if they are age 35 or older and have not conceived after six months of active attempts or in those 35 and under who have been trying to become pregnant for at least one year.

It’s Not You, it’s Him

On certain occasions, a woman might not become pregnant because her sexual partner is experiencing some degree of infertility. In fact, research has found that 20 to 30 percent of all fertility cases can be attributed to male issues such as low sperm count, as well as poor sperm motility and quality. Couples having a difficult time becoming pregnant.

Pregnancy doctors suggest that the male partners of couples dealing with infertility receive a medical evaluation. Under certain circumstances, the man in question might have an underlying medical illness or sperm-related problems. In addition to a physical examination a doctor can also perform sperm analysis.

Time is NOT on Your Side

The age of each sexual partner can play a significant role in how long it will take for a couple to conceive. Women over 35 and men older than 40 often experience longer conception times than in younger persons. It is also important to note that a woman’s egg quality might decline as she ages. Individuals who have reached these age plateaus and are experiencing conception challenges are advised to consult with healthcare professionals.

Progesterone Imbalances May Cause Issues with Getting Pregnant

Chemicals known as hormones play an important role in helping a woman become pregnant. Well-known substances like estrogen are vital to the function of reproductive organs and the pregnancy process. However, the chemical progesterone plays just as significant a role. This substance, sometimes deemed “the pregnancy hormone,” executes paramount functions necessary to a successful pregnancy such as strengthening the uterus and supporting fetal development. A lack of this hormone could make conception difficult and insufficiencies need to be promptly addressed. Consult with your physician, hormone therapy clinic, or Ob/GYN to confirm your progesterone levels.

low sex drive and doctor visit

When You Should See a Doctor About Your Low Sex Drive Issues

Most libido related issues reported have mostly been associated with low-T. However, this is not the case for most victims. According to experts in sexual dysfunction, there are various factors which influence the desire other than testosterone hormone deficiency. This can include the effects of medication and mental health disorders.

In addition, it is natural for you to experience erectile dysfunction once in a while, even if you are entirely healthy. In this case, men are advised not to feed in the hype of libido supplements or injections in the market as a way of rectifying their sexual drive each time.

Sometimes it can be as a result of work burnout or stress. So when is it the right time to seek assistance from your doctor concerning your sexual prowess? Below is a list of guidelines to help you with decision making with the treatment options

Symptoms of Low Sexual Drive

There exists no relation between a man’s testosterone levels and libido issues; however, there are a host of symptoms which your doctor will look into if you are suspected to be suffering from hormone imbalances.

An example is the ADAM (Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male) questionnaire administered to patients. Answering the criteria of the questionnaire can help determine your home deficiency input towards your low sex drive.

It follows the following criteria:

  • Do you have a lack of energy?
  • Do you have a decrease in libido or sex drive?
  • Have you lost height?
  • Are you sad or grumpy?
  • Do you have a decrease in strength or endurance?
  • Are your erections less strong?
  • Are you falling asleep after supper?
  • Have you realized any recent fall in your capability in playing sports?
  • Has there been any recent fall in your work performance?

It is also advised that many of the above symptoms are not specific and can be caused by a host of various health conditions. This includes mental health disorders such as depression. The ADAM’s questionnaire is still under debate to prove its effectiveness. However, if you are experiencing any of these two symptoms, it is advised you seek the assistance of your doctor.

Causes of the low sex drive in men

1. Stress and Anxiety

Your current situation can be as a result of either psychological or physical stress, which is affecting your health and lowering your libido. This can be caused by work-related stress or relationship issues which reduce the sex interest.

It is advised for self-care when experiencing low t caused by psychological or physical stress. You should try relaxing, eat a balanced diet, and get a lot of sleep. Engage in other activities you enjoy and seek consultations from a doctor when you feel stressed.

2. Depression

Depression is part of a severe mental health issue which can inherently affect your desire. It bears the effect of mental exhaustion with physical effects, including feeling tired, feeling inadequate and low libido. A doctor can subscribe to a medication in the form of antidepressants or counseling.

3. Age

When aging, our sex drive lowers due to various reasons. These are side effects of medication from chronic health problems and drop in sex hormone levels such as estrogen which is caused by testosterone.

4. Medication

Long term health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease can affect your desire. There are other forms of medication which can lower your sex drive. This medication is used in the treatment of the following health conditions:

  • Severe mental illness
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • High blood pressure

5. Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol consumption can adversely affect your desire; it is therefore recommended to moderate your alcohol intake level. Your lower sex passion can also be as a result of your usage of recreational drugs.

Constant Failure of Sex Drive

As a man, there is no such thing as a normal sex drive. We are all built differently with different testosterone levels. Some men require sexual release regularly while others remain unbothered. However, in case your libido baseline falls and fails to recover over several weeks, it is best you consult your doctor. However, it is normal to experience a slight drop from your usual sexual drive.

What about the pills option?

Most men quickly turn to supplements, injections or other pills in the market to counteract their libido issues. This is done often without the prescription of a licensed medical practitioner. The over the counter drugs also are offered without discretion over its safety and health effects. This reflects the current supplement market in the United States, which unregulated. This poses a lot of risks for men who go for testosterone supplements available online.

The over the counter drugs can result in dire health complications such as liver failure as a result of these supplements. This is because the testosterone supplement will impact the natural hormone production process in the body, consequently lowering your sperm production.

In addition, another side effect as a result of the supplements includes increased red blood cells counts in the body, which can result in blood clotting and bleeding complications. It is, therefore, highly recommended for men to seek consultation from a health care professional than turning to online supplements for magic.

Why is the doctor the most viable option?

Libido issues are very specific, depending on the victim and level of effect. It often affects people differently, for example, some men can rise to the occasion while watching porn, but it fails when it comes to real life action.

Your doctor can also prescribe you the Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) to bring back your sexual drive to normal. It is common for patients under TRT to experience a drop in fat and muscle buildup after the replacement therapy.

Some of these concerns are trivial but have little to do with your hormone levels or physical health. This can be as a result of other factors such as life struggles or relationship issues.

It is recommended that when you experience a long spell of low libido or low-t, to visit a psychotherapist with a specialization in sexuality. A sex therapist is vital in working with you through all the steps in regaining your testosterone levels back.

Common Hormonal Imbalances and What to be Aware Of

Common Hormonal Imbalances and What to be Aware Of

Hormones are perhaps the most powerful messengers in the human body. We can think of them as being like a good WiFi connection or the send button on an email message. They play an important role in our bodies and relay vital warnings when something is not right or has malfunctioned by communicating various messages throughout our bodies. In short, they make sure everything is functioning properly and let us know when something has gone wrong.

Hormones are produced from our endocrine glands — the thyroid, adrenals, ovaries or testes, and the pancreas. A variety of things can represent a challenge to our endocrine systems, resulting in a hormonal imbalance. The longer our endocrine system is out of balance, the more challenging it can be to restore harmony and proper functioning.

Seven Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance

How do you recognize the signs of hormonal imbalance? They will send you messages that something is out of whack. Sometimes these messages are loud and clear, but other times they may just be a subtle whisper. Learn how to recognize seven of the most common signals that something just isn’t right. While basic hormonal issues can often time be treated naturally or through changes in diet, other more serious issues will need the advice of your physician. If you feel that you may be suffering from a serious change in your body due to hormones, contact us today to schedule your appointment.

1. Fatigue

Everyone experiences a sense of fatigue once in awhile, but a simple nap, proper hydration, and healthy eating habits should put you back on track. However, if you feel you have been properly taking care of yourself by eating well, getting enough sleep, and drinking plenty of water, but you are still exhausted, your hormones may be sending you a sign. Hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue are more common in our society than we are often led to believe. You might want to think about having an evaluation of your hormone levels performed.

2. Anxiety

Contrary to what you may have been told, your anxiety is not all in your head. We all get stressed out sometimes by even some of the seemingly most simple things. An excess of adrenal stimulation can result in an even greater sense of anxiety. This stimulation of the adrenal glands is generally caused by the stress we subject ourselves to. It is an endless cycle in today’s stress fully fast-paced world. If you have experienced an unusual amount of anxiety recently, your adrenal glands may be letting you know something.

3. Weight gain or fluctuation

Have you been struggling with weight fluctuations or gaining an unusual amount of late recently? If there is not a logical explanation for this gain, your cortisol levels may be up. There could be a more serious issue at hand, such as Hypothyroidism.

4. Insomnia

A variety of things can cause us to lose sleep, but if it has become a persistent thing, your insomnia may be caused by a hormonal imbalanced. Known as a sleep chemical, Melatonin is released by the pineal gland located in the brain. When this gland is affected by other hormonal glands in the body, it can cause an imbalance of the amount of Melatonin that is released. If you have been experiencing insomnia without a logical explanation, your hormones may be sending signs and alerting you to have it checked out.

5. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

It may be surprising to learn that a larger number of neurotransmitters are present in the gut than in the brain. It is no surprise, however, that we often develop gut symptoms when we experience anxiety, stress, depression, and other related conditions. Hormones have an influence on gut function in a number of ways. One effect is through the microbiome, or the bacteria system, in the intestines. Imbalanced hormones can also lead to an imbalance in the microbiome, influencing the number and function of bacterial colonies in our bodies. Gastrointestinal problems, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, may develop. If you are experiencing any stomach or bowel problems, it may be more than just a gut feeling.

6. Changes in skin and hair

The vitality of our hair and skin is directly affected by our hormonal glands. If you have suddenly been experiencing dry skin or hair, brittle nails, hair loss, or thinning hair, your hormones may be sending you a message to visit your doctor. While it may indicate nothing more than a need to drink more water change your hair products, there could be a much more serious underlying problem, such as thyroid abnormalities.

7. Low sex drive or dysfunction

Men and women both experience various changes in their bodies on a fairly consistent basis as a result of hormones, such as testosterone, estrogen, DHEA, and progesterone. While many of these changes are quite normal, it is always a good idea to have anything unusual checked out by a medical professional. Sexual dysfunction or loss of desire may also be the result of an imbalance in estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone levels. Your physician or a hormone therapy clinic will be able to assess your current hormone levels and offer the best advice for your body’s specific needs.

To schedule an appointment with one of our physicians to speak with one of our physicians regarding your hormone questions, contact us today.

foods that increase testosterone naturally

5 Foods to Give You a Natural Boost in Testosterone

In today’s modern age, where medicine advances day after day, it’s common for us to rely on a pill to help fight a disease or ailment. However, in many cases, many ailments and issues can be fought with everyday changes to your diet and overall wellness.

Take testosterone for example. Testosterone, a hormone found in both men and women, plays a key role in our bodies. For men, the role is huge, and is responsible for sexual wellness, hair growth, energy, muscle mass and growth, and more. Most men will see a decline in testosterone as they age, but this is completely normal. While testosterone levels are likely to drop by 1-2% as we get in older, there are some common ways to fight this natural decline.  While this decline is normal, it’s often confused with male andropause, commonly referred to as male menopause.

However, declines in production of testosterone can sometimes be managed naturally by adapting to a healthy lifestyle. By making more informed decisions on what you put in your body on a daily basis can mean a world of a difference in the way you feel, and how your body responds physically

Foods that Boost Testosterone

 

  1. Ginger

 

Ginger is a popular tuber that has been used for ages for many medical and culinary purposes. It’s believed that the root has nutritional value that can naturally elevate fertility in men. Even if it may have a strong bitter taste, ginger is best chewed raw due to the fresh release of enzymes. According to a study carried out in 2012, ginger was seen to naturally raise testosterone levels by 17.7% in men that were diagnosed with fertility issues. The study also showed that ginger was a natural ailment that can be used to improve sperm health. In 2013, a diabetic rat model was put to the test, and it was recorded to have improved in testosterone and antioxidant levels.

 

  1. Grapes

 

Grapes are considered to be vitamin-infused berries that are good for your general heath. On top of that, they can greatly boost testosterone levels in the body. Scientifically, the skin of grapes contains resveratrol which is great for sperm health. Chinese researchers have discovered that it takes 5-10g of grape skins to improve the sperm’s ability to swim and raise testosterone levels. In addition, red grapes contain boron which helps to encourage the production of estrogen and testosterone.

 

  1. Tuna

 

The smell of tuna may not be the best food for a first date, but it’s very important when it comes to male health. This fish contains natural vitamins that are ideal for testosterone improvement. The vitamins are able to bolster testosterone levels by up to 90%. This was identified during a study carried out at Graz Medical University, Austria, and further mentioned that a can contains 100% of RDA found in men.

 

  1. Beetroot

 

Beets are well known for their distinct red color that can stain heavily. They also have boron which is essential for the production of testosterone and also increases levels of free testosterone. A daily boron intake of 10g for at least six days is enough to elevate free testosterone levels. Furthermore, it will also help decrease biomarkers that cause inflammation, and also estradiol. Beetroot is also known to increase nitric oxide which increases blood flow to the penis by dilating blood vessels. This means that they work just the same as ED drugs, but only more natural.

 

  1. Garlic

 

Garlic may have a pungent taste and smell. However, it contains a compound named allicin that helps reduce the stress hormone cortisol. The thing about cortisol is that it competes with testosterone for similar sites within the cells of the muscles. Therefore, the lower your cortisol levels, the higher your T-levels.

Conclusion

Before scheduling that appointment with your physician for a newly marketed prescription drug, take a proactive approach to your diet and wellness and see if it results in positive changes. Monitor your intake of specific foods and vitamins, and see if these simple adjustments help improve your well being. Of course, if you feel as though your natural decrease in testosterone may be the result of a more serious underlying issue, discuss the issues with your physician or hormone therapy clinic. Testosterone therapy, a physician prescribed hormone treatment program, may help in some instances where changes in diet and exercise are not a benefit. For more information on the different types of hormone therapy, speak with your physician today.

oral-health-and-heart-disease

Dental Care for Those With Heart Disease

Did you know that patients with heart disease or those that previously suffered from a heart attack require special dental care? If you fit into this category, here are some valuable tips to become familiar with prior to visiting your dentist.

Suffered from a Hear Attack?

For many who suffered from a heart attack at one point in their life, it’s common to be prescribed anticoagulants (blood thinners). While blood thinners carry amazing benefits for patients post-heart attack, dental surgeries can results in excess bleeding due to this specific type of medication.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Some blood pressure and hypertension drugs may cause you to have dry mouth. In other cases, these prescribed drugs may also affect your sense of taste. Calcium channel blockers, a supplement often prescribed to those with high blood pressure, can cause swelling of your gums, affecting your ability to chew.

If you’ve schedule an oral surgery with your dentist, be sure to confirm if they’ll be using anesthesia for the procedure. Some forms of anesthesia contain epinephrine, which can results in dangerous levels of high blood pressure, angina, heart attack, and arrhythmia.

Chest Pain (Angina)

As mentioned above, calcium channel blockers are a common supplement for those with previous or current heart issues. This is common for those being treated for angina. Calcium channel blockers combined with oral surgery can cause complications, so be sure to check with your dentist to see if they offer oxygen and nitroglycerin should a medical emergency arise.

Stroke

If you’ve had a stroke in the past, tell your dentist if you are taking anticoagulants (blood-thinning drugs). These medications could result in excessive bleeding during some oral surgery procedures.

Stroke can also affect your natural ability to produce saliva, which can lead to dry mouth. There are artificial products that can substitute for natural saliva, so be sure to check with your dentist if the problem persists.

Have questions about your oral health as it relates to your heart disease? Contact Sisselman Medical Group today or your local dentist for more information.

luke perry stroke and prevention

Here’s How Strokes Happen to the Young

Luke Perry’s death, following a massive stroke, is both a tragedy and a bit of a mystery. The actor was just 52 years old, and the vast majority of strokes occur in much older people.

Mr. Perry’s family has not offered details about the medical findings, but deaths from stroke in younger age groups are rare. About seven in one million Americans under age 50 die annually from strokes caused by a blocked blood vessel, and nine per million die from a brain hemorrhage, the two main types of strokes.

While stroke can be as devastating in younger patients as in older ones, risk factors vary significantly between the two groups.

Here are some of the most common causes of fatal stroke in a man of Mr. Perry’s age, according to Dr. Lee H. Schwamm, director of the comprehensive stroke center at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dr. Lawrence R. Wechsler, chairman of the department of neurology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Arterial dissection. The lining of an artery tears and separates from the vessel wall. A blood clot forms at the site of the tear and travels to the brain, eventually blocking the flow of blood to brain tissue.

This can happen after a sudden movement of the neck, including neck manipulation by a chiropractor or when playing sports. In some cases, Dr. Wechsler said, it has happened to people riding roller coasters.

No one knows why some people are vulnerable. It seems to have genetic links less than 1 percent of the time, according to Dr. Schwamm.

A patent foramen ovale, or “a hole in the heart.” When a baby takes its first breath, a passageway between the left side and right side of the heart is supposed to close. In about 25 percent of people, it remains open. In some of these people, the hole can raise the odds of stroke.

Small blood clots normally get swept into the lungs, where they are cleared. People with a P.F.O. may have a blood clot that instead crosses the heart and is swept to the brain.

A blood clot the size of a pencil tip can kill, Dr. Schwamm said. But unless a P.F.O. causes a nonfatal stroke, doctors do not close it; it doesn’t cause problems, and most people never even know they have it.

Blood clots. Some people, usually because they have a genetic mutation, are prone to developing blood clots that can travel to the brain.

A heart defect or rhythm disturbance. A structural heart defect can be caused by various things, such as damage from a previous massive heart attack. As a result, clots can form inside the heart and be ejected into the bloodstream and enter the brain.

Clots also can form because a person has a heart rhythm disturbance such as atrial fibrillation.

Artery narrowing. Some drugs can make arteries suddenly close, cutting off blood to the brain. In younger patients, this narrowing often is caused by the use of stimulants or drugs that interfere with the neurotransmitter serotonin.

An aneurysm or an arteriovenous malformation. An aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in a blood vessel. An arteriovenous malformation is a tangle of blood vessels containing arteries and veins.

When either is present, a vessel in the brain can suddenly burst, flooding the tissue with blood and causing a stroke.

Sometimes these problematic blood vessels cause symptoms such as minor seizures, Dr. Wechsler said. In those situations, neurologists may intervene and try to remove them.

But many people never know they have an underlying problem until they suffer a brain hemorrhage.


This article originally appeared on NYTimes.com

zika virus

What You Should Know About the Zika Virus

Many people are unaware of the Zika virus. That is because it is extremely rare and was once exclusive to the specific regions of Asia and Africa closest to the equator. However, in recent years, the virus has made its way to Central America and Mexico, as well as the Caribbean islands, and now many parts of the US. Zika is transmitted to humans by a type of mosquito that is only active in the daytime. This mosquito is known as Aedes, and can be identified by its unusual white markings.

Read: Important information from the CDC on Zika

Zika Symptoms

This virus, which causes Zika fever in humans, is closely related to West Nile and yellow fever. An infected human may experience conjunctivitis, which causes red eyes and irritation. Some will also experience a mild fever and joint pain, as well as occasional rashes. However, many people who contract Zika will suffer no symptoms at all. Serious illness is uncommon and death by Zika is nearly unheard of.

Symptoms may resemble those of the dengue condition. Dengue is transmitted by the same mosquito genus, which is why a blood test is a good idea. It is important to know which virus you have to fully understand the seriousness of your condition. Be sure to inform your doctor of any trips you have recently taken, as Zika may be transmitted from one location to another. If an infected human is bitten by a mosquito, that mosquito may transfer the virus to another human, creating a greater health risk for those in your community.

If allowed to spread, the Zika virus could potentially thrive in the southern United States, as well as northern Australia and most of the South American continent. Despite being a mild virus, it is crucial that all sufferers do their part in containing the virus and preventing it from spreading to new regions. If you live in or have visited some of these regions and believe that you are infected, talk with your doctor immediately.

Zika Virus Treatment

Unfortunately, there are no medical treatments for Zika. In fact, rest is one of the few ways to deal with the illness. It is also recommended that the sufferer remain as hydrated as possible and use common over the counter pain and headache medicine to reduce the severity of their symptoms. The virus typically lasts for a week or less, after which it leaves the blood stream permanently. Just one week of precaution could help prevent the spread of Zika.

cholesterol screening and testing long island doctor

Fasting Before a Cholesterol Screening

After scheduling your wellness visit at one of our two convenient Long Island locations, your physician may ask that you don’t eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the appointment. The reason for this is so that your doctor can order a fasting lipid panel. A lipid panel is a test that measures the fats or lipids in your blood. These are total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

There is some controversy over whether the test results are more accurate if you have fasted. New studies have shown that there isn’t a significant difference in cholesterol test results, but there could be higher triglyceride levels after having eaten. Both high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels could be indicators of a risk for heart disease.

One of the issues with not having fasted before your blood is drawn for a lipid panel is that your doctor, or the lab, will delay the test until such time that you can return after having fasted. This is sometimes counterproductive because of a person’s busy schedule. The patient may not have the time to schedule another test, or may just not bother if it is inconvenient.

For this reason, some health care professionals will go forward with the testing if the patient hasn’t fasted. The test results will still be a good indicator of lipid levels. Either way, it is very important to have this test performed so that your doctor can take immediate action if he feels you are at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Be Proactive with Your Health Care

The take-away from this information is that you, as the patient, need to be proactive with your preventative care. When you make an appointment for a physical, always ask if you will need to fast before arriving at the office or lab, and for how long. If you have not fasted, or just forgot, tell your provider before your blood is drawn. That way, he can be cognizant of how the test results might be adjusted to reflect a more accurate reading, especially for your triglyceride levels.

It is important that you schedule a wellness visit or physical once a year, or as recommended by your doctor and/or medical insurance provider. This visit should include a lipid panel test, requiring a blood draw to check cholesterol levels and triglycerides.

Schedule Your Cholesterol Screening Today

testosterone therapy

Understanding the Highs and Lows of Testosterone

Getting a high, or even normal testosterone reading, offers some bragging rights for some men once they hit a certain age range. This may be the reason why most men can’t go two feet without seeing an add for testosterone supplements. But what does the average man know about testosterone and what is considered normal testosterone levels? Let’s explore a bit.

Normal testosterone levels in men range from about 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter of blood. For men that are within normal testosterone range levels, elevating their testosterone may not show much of a difference in your energy levels, libido, and overall confidence, but for those men that are under normal levels, it could be life changing.

“You don’t see the big improvement once men are within the normal range,” said Dr. Shalender Bhasin, an endocrinologist and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. The largest differences in terms of energy and sex drive are when men go from below-normal to normal levels.

In a 2015 study, sex drive was improved in men who were considered to have lower than normal testosterone levels – around 230. For those that were already considered to be in the normal range of about 300 to 500, there was no major difference to report.

Around the age of 30, men can expect testosterone levels to decrease, on average, approximately 1 percent per year. While the initial drop may not be too noticeable, for men in their 40’s to 60’s, the drop in testosterone levels can be debilitating. Loss of testosterone over a sustained amount of time can lead to symptoms of loss of libido, sluggishness, and depression, according to some studies.

The Food and Drug Administration approves testosterone therapy in the form of gels and injections for men with levels under 300. Men that have had a stroke or heart attack within the last six months, or who are at a greater risk for prostate cancer, should avoid testosterone therapy.

Testosterone therapy and treatment has also exploded as a niche industry, catering to men suffering from low testosterone levels. Companies like Ehormones MD, with locations throughout the country, help men take a proactive approach towards treating the effects often associated with low testosterone.

Hormone and testosterone therapy companies typically provide full-service when it comes to treatment. Patients can often expect an initial consultation, scheduled lab work, meeting with a physician that regularly treats low testosterone patients, prescribed testosterone therapy treatment, and more.

However, it’s important to understand that testosterone therapy services like those provided by Ehormones MD are not a one or two month process, and patients should be aware that longer commitments, like gym memberships, are often the norm.

Joshua Zuckerman, Ehormones MD President, states that “a patient must be on hormone replacement therapy for a minimum six months to achieve full benefits, but most choose our 12-month program due to the volume discounts” the pharmacy offers for longer-term commitments.

If you feel that you may be a candidate for testosterone therapy, or have additional questions on the topic, speak with your physician to get a full understanding of what normal testosterone levels are in men of your age.