Impotence is the inability to maintain a firm erection, thus inhibiting successful sexual intercourse. Some cases of impotence c an prove to be psychological. However, the majority of impotence victims can relate the problem to medication side effects, disease and/or physical injury (swollen prostate, diabetes, damaged blood vessels, heart disease, spinal cord injury, etc). Recent research has revealed as much as 30 million Americans who suffer from impotence, and it appears to be most prevalent in men ages 50 and over.
A functional erection involves complex orchestration of both physical and psychological adaptation. By understanding the complexity of an erection one can see the importance of healthy interaction between muscles, nerves, blood vessels and various other psychological and behavioral influences. Some cases of impotence will prove to be more severe than others, and may require the expertise of a qualified health practitioner.
Effective restoration of sexual function can be achieved 99% of the time. However, all cases of impotence are not the same and each requires individual attention. Back to Topics
DIABETES : By Rich Brunner, Herbalist
Adult-onset diabetes is said to be the cause of nearly half of all male impotence due to stress of high blood sugar, which also predisposes a man toward clogged arteries inhibiting circulation. Often a man who is troubled by these experiences is not aware that he has manifested this underlying diabetic condition which affects men in their mid forties or early fifties.
Diabetes contributes to almost 250,000 deaths a year, not to menti on a huge loss in physical performance and health. It can cause blindness (19% of diabetics) and kidney disease (15%), increase the risk of having a limb amputated (17%), and raises the risk of heart disease by 300%!
Optimal management of high blood sugar levels is of the utmost importance to the health of the diabetic athlete, and non-athlete alike. In fact, it may even be life saving.
Diabetes is a disorder in which the body cannot convert foods properly into energy, especially a reduction in the body's ability to handle blood sugar normally. When a person eats sugars and starches, the body changes them rapidly into a sugar called glucose, which then circulates in the blood for immediate use, or is converted into glycogen and stored in muscles and the liver for later use. In diabetes, the mechanism that controls the amount of glucose in the blood breaks down. The blood glucose lev el rises to a dangerously high level, causing symptoms and damage to the body. Insulin and the target tissues it influences play a leading role in diabetes. Insulin acts as a key to unlock the lock on the cells so that blood sugar can be deposited in the cell. High blood sugar levels can be re lated to not enough keys (insulin), or an inefficient lock (cell entry point), or both.
There are two types of diabetes. Insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM), AKA Type One diabetes, and Noninsulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM), AKA Type Two or adult onset diabetes. In Type One diabetes, the
pancreas doesn't produce insulin. This condition usually begins in childhood. People with this kind of diabetes must take daily insulin injections (the keys) to survive. There are about one million Type One diabetics in the U.S. In Type Two diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin, but the body's tissues don't respond to the insulin and won't let the glucose into the cell. In other words, Type Two diabetics have faulty locks.
Certain supplements can reduce your reliance on blood glucose lowering drugs. This is exciting information every diabetic should know about. The potential for nutrients to protect the body from the ravages of diabetes, and possibly lower blood sugar and the need for blood glucose lowering drugs, is important. The potential to prevent diabetes is also great!
The nutrition research being conducted in just the past five years may help diabetics to turn the corner on diabetes. There may be a time soon when the use of blood glucose lowering drugs can be greatly reduced, and the health of the person significantly improved. Let' s address some of the potential blood glucose lowering nutrients. If you yourself are diabetic, you may want to discuss this article with your doctor. If you know a diabetic, share this article with them too. Following you will find a multi-page research summary as well as other anti-diabetes tips for anyone who is interested.
The nutritional supplements recommended aren't new found miracle compounds. They are the supplements often recommend to athletes training with high intensity. The Sportvite contains over twenty different vitamins, minerals and trace elements, and is very efficient at improving enzyme activity within cells. One reason diabetics show improvement on this supplement may be because it strengthens the general metabolism of the cells, making them more responsive to insulin. This can be of benefit to all diabetics because it may reduce the chance of circulatory disorders and heart disease. The antioxidant supplement is called Amplify. It contains a high dose of vitamin C along with n-acetylcysteine and specific polyphenols and flavonoids which are all very powerful antioxidants. One benefit of Amplify may be a reduction in the oxidation of fats in the body. The free radicals produced from fatty acid oxidation in cells have been linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
There are a few key nutrients that can benefit the diabetic more than others. As a complex of nutrients working together seems to be more synergistic and effective. Listed below are some of the major nutrients being investigated for their blood glucose lowering effects.
The mineral vanadium in the form of vanadyl sulfate was a big seller in sport nutrition a few years ago, mainly due to its insulin mimicking effects. But, there was little scientific proof that the mineral increased the anabolic activity in muscle cells as was claimed in the supplement ads. In the case of Type Two diabetics though, research has shown that vanadyl sulfate and other forms of vanadium can prove useful. A large amount of research has shown vanadium compounds to mimic the actions of insulin. Vanadyl sulfate studies have shown no adverse effects from the compound. In fact, it is shown to prevent tissue damage to the liver in diabetic animals. Vanadyl sulfate is shown to cause some intestinal discomfort and is poorly absorbed. A new organic form of vanadium with the long name of Bis(maltolato) oxovanadium(IV) or BMOV has been shown to be two to three times as potent than vanadyl sulfate when used orally.
This means a much lower dose of BMOV can be used. A daily dosage of 50mg of vanadyl sulfate, or 20mg of BMOV may be useful at lowering blood sugar levels.
Chromium compounds are also useful to diabetics. Chromium functions in the body as a key component of the "glucose tolerance factor." It works with insulin to facilitate the uptake of glucose into cells. It is estimated that 90% of A merican's diets are deficient in this trace mineral. The two most popular forms are chromium picolinate and niacin bound chromium. A daily dose of from 200 micrograms (mcg) to 400mcg seems to be helpful at maintaining better blood glucose levels.
Antioxidants can play a key role in both protecting the body from the stress caused by diabetes, as well as creating a more favorable environment for optimal insulin-receptor interactions. C ommon antioxidants such as vitamins E, C, and beta carotene can be helpful. Other antioxidants such as n-acetylcysteine, lycopene from tomatoes, and polyphenols and flavonoids from milk thistle, green tea, and grape seed are also useful. Diabetics are especially p rone to low vitamin C levels, about 30% less than non-diabetics. In addition, vitamin C is shown to help control diabetes by stimulating the actions of insulin. A daily dose of 2,000mg to 4,000mg of vitamin C in 500mg amounts taken throughout the day can be very helpful at helping to drive blood sugar into cells.
Trace elements such as zinc can play a significant role in controlling diabetes and protecting cells. Zinc is often 20% lower in diabetics, suggesting poor absorption. Additional zinc can improve insulin sensitivity, protect against free radical damage, and stimulate the immune system. Zinc in the form of zinc aspartate can be consumed at a dose of 40mg daily.
Another mineral which is shown to be extremely valuable to the diabetic is magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is very common in diabetics and may play a key role in insulin resistance. Magnesium given to diabetic patients is shown to improve glucose tolerance and reduce the requirement of insulin in IDDM. It will also help persons with NIDDM. Magnesium is also a key nutrient in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. A daily dose of 400 milligrams of either magnesium aspartate or magnesium orotate are very useful to t he diabetic.
Increased physical activity, the use of low glycemic index foods, reduced intake of sodium, an increase in proteins and fiber, and the addition of high quality multivitamin and mineral supplements which contain magnesium and potassium, GTF chromium, organic vanadium, and antioxidants are what it takes to build a solid anti-diabetes program.
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Hypoglycemia has been classified as the functional opposite to diabetes, due to the condition of low blood sugar brought on by the presence of too much insulin. This condition is one of the predisposing factors that triggers, in time, the onset of diabetes.
The condition may res ult from an excessive rate of removal of glucose from the blood or from decreased secretion of glucose into the blood. Overproduction of insulin from the islands of Langerhans or an overdose of exogenous insulin can lead to increased utilization of glucose, so that glucose is removed from the blood at an accelerated rate. Some large tumors of the retroperitoneal area and tumors of the island of Langehans can increase the production of insulin and result in rapid removal of glucose from the blood.
Because the liver is the source of most of the glucose entering the blood while a person is fasting, damage to the liver cells can result in impaired ability to convert glycogen into glucose. If secretion of the corticoids, is deficient, the protein precursors of glucose are not available and the and the blood glucose level drops as the liver's glycogen supply is depleted.
Hypoglycemia may be tolerated by normal persons for brief periods of time without symptoms; however, if the blood sugar level remains very low for a prolonged period of time, symptoms of cerebral dysfunction develop. These include poor erection, mental confusion, hallucinations, convulsions, and eventually deep coma as the nervous system is deprived of the glucose needed for its normal metabolic activities.
Foods and herbs that can be helpful in stabilizing both low and high blood sugar levels are as follows:
Onions, Garlic, Mugwort, Olive Oil and Leaf, Sunflower Seeds, Barley, Spinach, Artichoke, Bitters, Suma Celery, Nettles, Tomatillo, Cashews, Carrot. Back to Topics
Clinically, the most obvious contributors to male spermatogenic deficiencies are:
- 1. low sperm count or deficiencies in maturation of germ cells in the semen (which may be a secondary effect caused by hypogonadismn (deficient activity of the testis) or hypopituitarism (diminished activity of the pituitary gland)
- 2. low percentage of motile sperm (sperm capable of spontaneous movement)
- 3. short duration of sperm motility
- 4. low percentage of normally formed sperm
- 5. Other contributors to male infertility, though rare, are:
obstruction of conduction of system and hypothyroidism (a state produced by deficient secretion of the thyroid gland).
The cause of the above conditions is not usually so obvious. Stress, nervous anxiety and/or an underlying stat e of health are three major possibilities. Survival stress due to burn-out can result in a man having no interest in anything other than personal survival issues.
Creating appropriate combinations of herbs based on the specific needs of the individual man will build a strong nutritional base for a program to help reverse male infertility.
- The adaptogenic herbs, Siberian Ginseng, Ginseng, Ginseng, Suma and Licorice, greatly assist a man to deal with all forms of stress and anxiety. They are excellent tonic herbs to help build the state of health and ada ptation to stress necessary to produce adequate sperm count and the libido to deliver it.
- System tonics that build underlying vitality to help reverse infertility and low adrenal energy are: Damiana which is a specific for this purpose, it is a nerve tonic with a strong affinity for the sexual organs. Hawthorne and Ginko work to increase cardiovascular power, improving circulation.
- Gentian, Mugwort, Yarrow and Golden Seal are bitter herbs having a secondary affinity fir the sexual organs. They simulate appetite, digestion and assimilation necessary for improving health and increasing energy
- Sasparilla, Licorice, Wild Yam and Ginseng provide hormone precursors to help enhance hormonal health.
- aw Palmetto and Ho Show Wu are herbs noted to help increase sperm count and improve sperm motility.
- Herbs having alternative action improve the condition of the blood and facilitate overall improvement of health. Alternative herbs that are also specific for the reproductive system supply primary nourishment for eliminating infertility. These herbs are: Sarsaparilla, Red Raspberry leaves, Burdock root and Saw Palmetto berries. Back to Topics
Orchitis (inflammation of the testes) is not a common disorder, but it can occur in a variety of infectious diseases, including syphilis, tuberculosis, glanders, leprosy, and certain of the parasites disease. It usually accompanies epididymitis. Acute orchitis may also occur in such diseases as typhoid fever, pneumonia, or mumps in adult males.
The symptoms of acute orchitis are swelling of one or both testes with pain and sensitivity to touch. In chronic orchitis there is no pain but the testes swell slowly and become hard.
Therapy consists of bead rest, some form of scrotal support, placing an ice pack on the testicle, and, of course, treatment of the primary infection.
The use of Dong Quai as a sexual organ tonic is very helpful for this condition. Also include Crampbark, Black Haw and Roman Chamomile, for these herbs will help tremendously to relieve the pain of this condition. They are anti-spasmodic, anti- inflammatory, relaxing nervines which have a strong affinity for the genital organs. Back to Topics
The American Psychiatric Association defines premature ejaculation as "persistent or recurrent ejaculation with minimal sexual stimulation before, during, or shortly after penetration and before the person wishes it." The reoccurring question remains. What is considered to be shortly after penetration? Alfred Kinsey state that 75% of men tested ejaculate within two minutes after vaginal entry. Does this mean that 75% of the men tested are premature ejaculators? Premature Ejaculation cannot be determined in time frame or by a partners dissatisfaction, considering that 75% of all women are unable to climax during sexual intercourse without direct clitoral stimulation, leaving only 25% capable of climaxing strictly from direct penile penetration. Premature ejaculation is an act of rapid, involuntary climax.
Some cases of premature ejaculation are more severe, bringing the man to orgasm as soon as his penis makes vaginal contact. In less severe cases the man is able to make vaginal entry and stroke, but unable to maintain control in high levels of arousal. The voluntary ejaculator can sustain sexual intercourse in the "plateau" stage of arousal, maximizing sexual stimulation as the penis is at its most erect state before climax.
In example (a) the male sexual response is rapid and constantly escalating with no distinguished "plateau" stage due to high levels of excitement resulting in involuntary ejaculation prior to vaginal entry. (severe premature ejaculation)
In example (b) the male sexual response is strong and controlled in th e "plateau" stage prior to intercourse but escalates to climax soon after vaginal entry. (normal case of premature ejaculation)
In example (c) the male sexual response with good ejaculatory control is able to sustain intercourse for a considerable amount of time at the "plateau stage before peaking to climax.
(good ejaculatory control)
Graphs (a and b) indicate rapid rate of excitement nearly skipping the "plateau" stage immediately after vaginal entry, leading the male to ejaculate against his will. With good ejaculatory control the male is able to sustain coitus until he or his partner decide to climax.
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Prostitis (prostatocystitis) is inflammation or infection of the prostate gland. This can in turn inflame the prostatic urethra and ultimately the bladder. The common symptoms of an inflamed, infected and/or an enlarged prostate gland are similar: there is an aching pain in the area of the prostate; pain on sitting; frequent dribbling; urination can be difficult with difficulty starting stream and difficulty emptying the bladder; sometimes blood will appear in the urine and often there are chills and fever. Causes often boil down to stress (usually, but not only, sexual stress), excess in diet (especially excess consumption of alcohol and caffeine products), lack of regular physical exercise and as a secondary infection caused by another in fection such as tooth abscess, venereal disease, etc. If prostate infection is the result of another infection, of course the primary infection must be attended to concurrently and the immune system bolstered.
In addition to using appropriate herbal and nutritional therapy, congestion of an enlarged prostate can be relieved by the use of a firm seat on chairs and by avoiding cold, dampness, long rides in automobiles, trains, etc., hard bicycle seats, alcohol (especially heavy beer drinking because of sheer volume and delay in urinating), caffeine, cooked hot spices which appear to irritate the prostate urethra, and sexual excess. The call to urinate must be acted upon immediately for the bladder must never be permitted to be over distended.
As exemplified by the following formulas, the strategy to consider when tending to the symptoms of an enlarged prostate should include the following herbal actions:
* Male reproductive system and prostate tonics: Saw Palmetto, Siberian Ginseng, Suma.
* Genito-urinary system tonics and astringents to strengthen and heal overall system. Yarrow, Horsetail, also Buchu, Dandelion.
* Diuretics to prevent excess build-up of urine in the bladder due to an enlarged prostate, to prevent potential measures:
Hydrangea, Couch Grass, Cleaver, Cornsilk, Watermellon seed, also Pipsossewa.
* Demulecents to soothe and protect the urinary system: Couch Grass, Corn Silk, Marshmellow, also Comfrey. Back to Topics
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