By Dr. Daniel Riordan, ND
November may have come and gone, but Men’s Health and Prostate Health are year round concerns for Men.
While erectile dysfunction may be the first thing people think of when it comes to men’s health, prostate cancer has become the number one diagnosed visceral cancer in the U.S. and second only to lung cancer in cancer deaths of American men.
When caught early, prostate cancer treatment is very successful. However, men usually fear going to the doctor for prostate screenings because of the digital rectal exam. The good news is that blood tests such as PSA are available and in fact, many organizations no longer recommend digital rectal exams for screening. The caveat though is that typically PSA is most useful when your doctor can compare readings over a span of time, so it is important to see your doctor on a regular basis and get a baseline lab run.
Cancer is not the only issue that can affect men’s prostates. Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, results in an enlarging of the prostate and can lead to issues such as frequent need to urinate (especially at night) and weak stream. These symptoms occur because of the location of the prostate and urethra. The urethra runs though the prostate and the growing prostate can constrict the urethra causing difficulty urinating or voiding completely.
We here at AIM are trained in both the natural and pharmaceutical treatments to treat BPH but natural products only work until the prostate reaches a certain size, so it is important to talk to your doctor at the onset of symptoms.
Reproductive and urinary issues are usually in the spotlight in men’s health, but mental health deserves more attention. 79% of all suicides are committed by men, which is 4 times the rate of women. As fall turns into winter, days are getting shorter and seasonal affectedness disorder starts to affect more people. Here in the PNW we understand that more than any other region with our drizzly cloudy days. The arrival of fall also means that the stressors of the holidays are also inching closer and closer.
If I haven’t caught your attention yet with any of the other stats, stress and anxiety can also play a large role in erectile dysfunction. Your doctor is a great resource to go over the best options for your mental health needs whether they are natural, pharmaceutical, counseling, or biofeedback.
Remember, it is always easier to have an open conversation with someone you are familiar with and trust. If you haven’t had your annual physical exam in a while, call and schedule one. Annual exams give you rapport with your doctor and the opportunity to go over your family history to make sure you are getting all the appropriate screening for your age. Once you develop a rapport, it will be easier to discuss more sensitive subjects like erectile dysfunction, prostate issues, or mental health.
Dr. Shegeft and I are both looking forward to work with you and all the “men of the AIM community” to optimize your health, your energy, and your sexual performance. Now is the time to reach out and book your visit now. You will be happy you did, and so will your partner.