Health In The Bay – AILMENTS – Men’s Health
Many of the health issues that specifically affect men, such as sexual dysfunction (including decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and premature ejaculation) and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, are often considered sensitive issues. This can mean that men aren’t comfortable admitting to these issues, let alone getting help for them. Fortunately there are many resources available to help you, and many practitioners that deal with these issues every day to help people work through these problems. Some practitioners that could help include an Acupuncturist who can help rebalance hormones or deal with stress, or a Psychotherapist, who can help address the emotional causes.
Anxiety is defined as feelings of stress and worry that do not subside once the cause has passed. They are ongoing and exist without any particular reason or cause. It is a condition that interferes with life and makes it difficult to cope with daily life.
Common symptoms include panic attacks, racing heart, tightness in chest, quick breathing, hot and cold flushes, feelings tense and edgy. As well as feelings of excessive fear, worry and obsessive thinking. Anxiety can result in avoiding a situation that makes you feel anxious, and will often impact on study, work, social life and relationships.
There are different types of anxiety, e.g. phobia, social phobia, panic disorder, PTSD, OCD.
Treatments vary depending on the phobia and the severity of the symptoms. If moderate to severe, medication may be useful. If mild, a change in lifestyle including reducing stress levels and having regular exercise, and learning to meditate can be enough. Often Counselling and Psychotherapy are important to help you recognise and work through past experiences that are contributing to your present emotional situation.
Acupuncture is also very helpful in getting the body to be more relaxed and reduce stress in the body, and hence day to day life is less overwhelming.
Depression is described as intense feelings of sadness, moodiness or feeling low/down for extended periods of time, and sometimes without any obvious reason. You commonly have these feelings for more than 2 weeks and you may have lost interest or pleasure in usual activities.
Common symptoms or behaviours include not going out much; not getting things done; withdrawing from friends/family; relying on alcohol and/or sedatives; unable to concentrate. Also feeling overwhelmed, unhappy, disappointed, miserable, frustrated, irritable, guilty, thoughts of being worthless and feeling that life is not worth living.
Physical symptoms include being tired, alert, sick and run down, headaches, insomnia change of appetite and significant weight changes.
If you are experiencing these symptoms and thoughts it is important to get support. There are many resources available with someone to talk to often 24hrs a day, such as:
Lifeline 13 11 14 https://www.lifeline.org.au/
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 https://kidshelpline.com.au/
Sane Helpline 1800 18 7263 https://www.sane.org/get-help
Headspace 1800 650 890 http://headspace.org.au/
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support
Mensline 1300 78 99 78 https://www.mensline.org.au/
Speaking with a Psychotherapist is important, as they have several methods they may utilise that are useful in helping with depression, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
Studies have also shown that Acupuncture can be effective in helping patients deal with depression.
Sexual dysfunction occurs when you have a problem that prevents you from wanting or enjoying sexual activity. It can happen at anytime in your life, and for a number of reasons. There are 4 categories: desire disorder, arousal disorder, orgasm disorder and pain disorder. Desire disorder, or low libido occurs when you have little or no interest in sexual relations. This can be caused by low testosterone. Other causes include stress, previous sexual trauma, relationship problems, fatigue and certain medications. Arousal disorder occurs when emotionally you’re in the mood, but your body isn’t into it. This presents as erectile dysfunction, meaning an erection can not be achieved or maintained for intercourse. Causes can be stress, depression, relationship issues, or physical problems including injury to the penis, nerve damage or a problem with blood flow. Orgasm disorder occurs when emotionally you’re in the mood, but you climax too early, such as premature ejaculation, or you don’t have the ability to climax. This can be due to performance anxiety, other stress, fatigue, nerve damage or spinal cord damage, or alcohol or drug use. Pain disorder is simply pain during intercourse, but almost exclusively affects women.
If you suspect a physical cause it’s best to see your doctor, but if that has been ruled out then there are a few things you can do to improve your situation. A Psychotherapist is an important person to see, as underlying to many causes of sexual dysfunction is stress or other emotional issues. A Psychotherapist can help you recognise and work through past experiences that are contributing to your present emotional situation. Other help can be found by seeing an Acupuncturist, who can help in a few ways, depending on what’s required, such as reduce stress and feel more relaxed, balance hormones and improve fatigue.
Low libido is considered a Desire disorder which occurs when you have little or no interest in sexual relations. It’s common to lose interest in sex from time to time, and libido levels vary throughout your life, but can certainly cause concern if it persists. Low libido can be caused by hormone changes such as low testosterone, as well as stress, previous sexual trauma, relationship problems, chronic illness or pain, sleep problems (such as sleep apnea), fatigue and certain medications (eg for high blood pressure).
There are a number of ways to address these underlying causes. A good place to start is seeing a Nutritionist who can gently balance hormones and stress levels. Acupuncture is also very effective in improving hormone balance and decreasing stress. If chronic pain or illness is a factor, then addressing the underlying cause is essential. Chiropractic is a gentle method of rebalancing the bony and muscular aspects of the body to help reduce pain. Massage reduces muscle spasm and thereby helps reduce pain. By reducing pain and muscle spasms, sleep can often also improve. Other emotional causes are best addressed by seeing a Psychotherapist who can help you identify and resolve past emotional experiences that are contributing to your present emotional situation.
Erectile dysfunction is considered an Arousal disorder, and occurs when emotionally you’re in the mood, but your body isn’t into it. This means you can not achieve or maintain an erection appropriate for intercourse. It is quite normal for this to happen occasionally, and there is no need for concern, but if it occurs frequently it will often impact on relationships and self confidence. There are often things that can be done to help address the cause, which could be stress, depression, anxiety (often performance anxiety), relationship issues, too much alcohol or physical problems including injury to the penis, nerve damage or a problem with blood flow.
If it’s due to a physical problem then you should see your doctor. If it’s not due to any physical problems, then simple lifestyle changes such as reducing alcohol intake and increasing exercise to reduce stress are a good start. From there the next step could be to see a Psychotherapist to address any stress, depression, anxiety or relationship problems that readily contribute. A Psychotherapist might use a variety of methods to help you identify and resolve past emotional experiences that are contributing to your present emotional situation. Acupuncture has also been found to be effective in improving the quality of erections. It can also help reduce stress by balancing and calming the nervous system.
Premature ejaculation is considered an orgasm disorder, and occurs when emotionally you’re in the mood, but you climax too early. It is the most common sexual problem in men and can occur at any age, but is more common in younger men. It is normal for it to occur occasionally, but if it persists it can cause distress in both partners. There are 2 types: lifelong – meaning it has occurred since the first time you had sex, or acquired – meaning there was a period of normal functioning before premature ejaculation occurred. It is generally considered to be a psychological issue, but it is now thought that some men (particularly those with lifelong type) have a chemical imbalance in the brain centres controlling this function. Common causes include depression or anxiety, (often performance anxiety), stress, relationship problems, negative sexual experiences in childhood.
If it’s due to a physical problem then you should see your doctor. If it’s not due to any physical problems, then simple lifestyle changes such as increasing exercise to reduce stress, is a good place to start. From there the next step could be to see a Psychotherapist to address any stress, depression, anxiety or relationship problems that readily contribute. A Psychotherapist might use a variety of methods to help you identify and resolve past emotional experiences that are contributing to your present emotional situation.
The prostate is a small but important part of the male reproductive system. In young men it is the size of a walnut, and gets larger with age.The growth of the prostate is influenced by the hormone testosterone. If it grows too large it will affect the flow of urine.
There are 3 things that can generally occur with the prostate. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, Prostatitis and Prostate cancer. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (also known as BPH or prostate enlargement) -is enlarging of the prostate gland. It occurs in almost every male and is considered a normal part of aging, it isn’t serious but can be nuisance as it impacts on urination, including; trouble getting a urine stream started and completely stopped (dribbling), feeling a need to urinate, a weak urine stream, or a sense that the bladder is not completely empty after urination.
Prostatitis is a condition where the prostate becomes inflamed. There are four types of prostatitis. The most common form is Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS). Other forms are Acute bacterial prostatitis – which is the least common and most serious type of prostatitis, usually requiring antibiotics; Chronic bacterial prostatitis – this can last for months and is associated with long-term complications also caused by bacterial infection, usually requiring long-term antibiotics; Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis-typically involves an inflamed prostate and elevated PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels, but without the classic symptoms of prostatitis. Also usually requiring antibiotics.
Symptoms of chronic nonbacterial prostatitis are similar to those of acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis. The symptoms tend to come and go and include: urinary and genital pain (such as pain when urinating, or ejaculating, pain in the genital and pelvic area) as well as other symptoms such as blood in the urine or semen, difficulty starting to urinate, frequent nighttime urination.
Acupuncture has been found to be helpful for both BPH and CP/CPPS. It is a gentle technique that rebalances to whole body to allow it to function at its best. It can help by improving overall health and immunity as well as balancing hormones. It can also be effective in decreasing inflammation in the body and hence the prostate, and associated symptoms.
- Lifeline 13 11 14 https://www.lifeline.org.au/
- Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 https://kidshelpline.com.au/
- Sane Helpline 1800 18 7263 https://www.sane.org/get-help
- Headspace 1800 650 890 http://headspace.org.au/
- Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support
- Mensline 1300 78 99 78 https://www.mensline.org.au/