Natural treatment options for erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to have or maintain an erection that is adequate to engage in intercourse. It may give rise to feelings of inadequacy and shame but one need not worry too much as the condition can be treated. Occasional ED is not a cause for concern; if the condition is long-term and persists and one frequently has a problem keeping an erection, then he will need to treat the underlying disease responsible for the condition. Herein, we look at some natural treatment options that can help treat ED.
Check testosterone levels
Testosterone levels decline sharply after a man hits 50 according to experts. Every year following 40, testosterone levels are said to drop around 1.3% and this could be a cause for concern. One is advised to consult a doctor if he experiences moodiness, low sex drive, trouble making decisions, or inadequate erections as these are all signs of low testosterone levels. The doctor could talk about the situation and prescribe something to help.
Kegel exercises are repeatedly advised for preventing incontinence and solving other sexual problems like premature ejaculation. However, there is limited evidence to show its efficacy in dealing with ED. Kegel exercises involve contracting and relaxing the muscles in the pelvis repeatedly and it is said to have multiple benefits like allowing men to last longer and preventing incontinence as well. One can definitely try out Kegel exercises but remember that for full efficacy he needs to pursue these exercises daily for a long period of time.
Stay away from anabolic steroids
Anabolic steroids are used by many sportsmen, athletes, and weightlifters. They are abused to give an added boost to their performance and this has a negative impact on sexual health. These steroids shrink the testicles and sap their ability to produce testosterone. Thus, if one suffers from ED, he would want to mention any steroids he takes to the doctor. Never leave out this detail as it can stop one from getting good treatment.
For smokers, it would be best to stop. It would also be wise to avoid secondhand smoke if family members or colleagues at work smoke in the general vicinity. The nicotine in the cigarettes severely harms blood vessels and stops them from supplying blood to the penis. Furthermore, the blood vessels contract due to the nicotine and this has a harmful effect on sexual health.
Get rid of stress
Easing tension and getting rid of stress can be very beneficial to one’s sex life. According to experts, stress releases the hormone adrenaline that is responsible for the contraction of blood vessels. This may affect the flow of blood to the penis. It is advised to live a stress-free life for the sake of one’s sexual health and wellbeing. Practice meditation or even switch to yoga as an exercise form to help de-stress.
4 natural ways to relieve itchy skin in dogs
Like humans, even dogs are prone to allergies. These allergies can manifest through various symptoms, one of the most common being skin inflammation or itchiness in different body parts. Itchiness can also develop due to environmental factors, which can lead to frequent trips to the vet. This article discusses how you can relieve itchy skin in dogs using natural methods. We’ve also listed a couple of medications for the same.
An oatmeal bath is one of the best dog itchy skin relief methods. The bath washes away the allergens trapped in your pet’s fur, thus reducing inflammation and itching. In addition, it locks in moisture and prevents skin dryness. You can either buy colloidal oatmeal or make some at home. Just grind the oats and mix them in warm water to prepare the bath. Alternatively, you can make an oatmeal paste and apply it to your dog’s coat.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar makes for the perfect salad dressing. But, what many don’t know is that the vinegar’s antibacterial and antifungal properties can also help relieve itchy skin in dogs. Mix apple cider vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio and spray it onto your dog’s coat. Diluting is crucial as apple cider vinegar can do more harm to your pooch than good when used in its natural form.
Another excellent remedy for your dog’s itchy skin is aloe vera. It has tons of medicinal properties and can help reduce inflammation, redness, and itching if used correctly. You can apply aloe vera directly to your pup’s skin, but it’s best to check with the veterinarian first. Also, try to use organic aloe gel. Store-bought varieties may contain alcohol that can burn the skin and worsen itching.
Coconut oil is an excellent dog itchy skin relief ingredient. It can help with eczema, allergies, and even skin infections by soothing the inflammation on the skin. The only thing that you need to keep in mind when using coconut oil is to opt for high-quality products. Try finding organic or unrefined coconut oil as it can provide better results.
Medications can also help treat itchy skin in dogs. Popular options include:
Apoquel tablets provide relief to any allergic itch within four hours. The medicine can be used for both long-term and short-term treatment and is steroid-free. You can contact a vet to understand the correct dosage for your pet.
This medication by Virbac is another effective option for relieving itchy skin in dogs. The supplements are filled with omega-3 and omega-5 fatty acids that can help promote healthy skin and coat in your dog.
Everything You Should Know about a Blood Glucose Test
A blood glucose test is required to measure the amount of glucose (sugar) present in the blood. This is an important aspect of diabetes care since the disease essentially hampers the proper absorption of blood sugar by the body. Let’s look at some of the fundamental aspects of a blood sugar test:
Glucose is a simple form of sugar that is present in blood in the form of blood sugar.
It is a vital source of energy in microorganisms like bacteria, plants and animals as well as in humans, in different forms. In humans, it enables the working of all the major organs like the brain, heart, liver, kidneys, etc. by providing them with the necessary fuel. Glucose is essential for the functioning of the brain and lower than normal glucose level affects the mental and psychological functions. It can also be stored in the body to be used when required.
Sources of glucose
Energy is released by the conversion of carbohydrates in our food into glucose. However, our food is a combination of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. All the carbohydrates we consume are immediately released into the bloodstream. Some of the proteins are converted into glucose and is stored in the liver for use later. Only very a very small quantity (less than 10%) of fats are converted into glucose and they are absorbed very slowly into the bloodstream.
However, a diet high in fats results in the slower conversion of carbohydrates into glucose. That’s why many people who eat a high-fat diet may find their blood sugar levels spiking after several hours.
Why is high blood sugar harmful?
While glucose is vital for energy, hyperglycemia (excessive levels of blood glucose) or long-term presence of excess sugar in the blood can cause serious damage throughout the body. It can destroy the blood vessels that transport blood to important organs, causing heart problems, strokes, kidney damage, vision problems, nerve damage etc.
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas and it enables regulation of glucose in the bloodstream. When we consume food, signals are sent to the insulin cells which begin to produce insulin. Insulin sends signals to blood cells to allow glucose to enter them and either uses it as fuel or store them for later. Blood sugar levels begin to drop during this process as the glucose is used by the body’s cells. The cells in the pancreas then get the signal to slow down insulin production. This balances the amount of glucose in the blood. In the absence of insulin, or the inability of the body to respond to insulin, all the glucose produced by digestion enters the blood and causes damage.
Blood glucose test
This is a procedure to measure the amount of glucose in your bloodstream. Glucose in the blood is measured in units of millimoles per liter. It may also be measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Blood glucose tends to fluctuate through the day because of the insulin-regulating mechanism.
However, when you have a condition like diabetes, this regulation doesn’t take place and the blood glucose levels remain constantly high. Low blood glucose is equally harmful. It can cause delirium, seizures, brain damage, coma, unconsciousness and even death due to insulin shock.
What are normal levels of glucose in the blood?
- For those below 59, with no other health conditions, between 80-120 mg/dL
- For those above 60, or those who have health conditions like heart disease, lung/kidney disease or low sensitivity to low blood sugar, between 100-140 mg/dL
Based on your condition, your doctor will recommend testing schedules. Blood glucose can be tested in a lab or at home. There are several different tests:
- Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test: This test gives you your blood sugar level at a single point in time without your having consumed any food for at least eight hours.
- A1C test: This is a long-term test that monitors blood glucose over three months.
- Random plasma glucose (RPG) test: This is also a single point in time test, but without fasting.
- Other tests for gestational diabetes include glucose challenge test, oral glucose tolerance test, etc
In the lab, a small amount of blood is drawn from a vein. This is because arterial blood has the highest concentration of glucose and so it’s advisable to test venous blood to get an accurate level.
Reagents and enzymes like glucose oxidase are used to determine the amount of glucose present in the sample. This method is prescribed by physicians and gives very accurate results. It can be used to diagnose diabetes and hypoglycemia. The blood glucose test is conducted by qualified lab technicians.
The testing procedure requires the use of a testing device called a glucometer. The tip of the finger is pricked to release a drop of blood which is placed on a testing strip. Within a minute the result is displayed on the attached LED screen. This blood glucose test is ideal for home-based self-monitoring by diabetic patients and caregivers.
Effective Home Remedies to Treat Constipation
Constipation, a problem faced by nearly one-fifth of the country, is characterized when a person has irregular bowel movements. Thankfully, there are many home remedies to treat constipation. Given below are some quick and easy remedies that can help find relief from constipation instantly.
Increase fiber intake
Fiber consumption is one of the best home remedies to treat constipation, as it ensures smooth bowel movements. It can prevent constipation and help treat someone who is already facing this problem. Dietary fiber can be obtained from soluble fiber sources like oatmeal, flaxseeds, carrot, and apples. Insoluble fiber is found in nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables.
Apart from dietary fiber, supplements help treat constipation too. Psyllium is one of the best supplements that have non-fermentable soluble fiber.
Start your day with a hot cup
A hot cup of coffee or tea is one of the best ways to loosen the bowels, thus helping in smooth bowel movements. Herbal tea made from hot water and lemon juice or hot water with mint and ginger can also be helpful.
Fitness is important for general health. Doing something as simple as taking a brisk walk can help in the process of digestion. Walking after meals is recommended to help in the process of digestion.
Keeping the body hydrated is a natural remedy to help the digestive system. Drinking eight glasses of water every day helps keep the body hydrated. It can be very helpful and provides great relief from constipation.
Practice regular bowel movements
Sticking to a schedule for bowel movements and following it every day can help ensure regular bowel movements. When you do not pass stools and avoid visiting the loo for any reason, it creates problems.
Therefore, one should have a schedule to visit the bathroom to pass stools. However, it is also important to not exert much pressure, as it may cause hemorrhoids or rectal prolapse.
Use natural laxatives
Those suffering from constipation can take laxatives to facilitate bowel movement. However, as laxative medicines cause various problems, regular use must be avoided.
It would be better to consume a natural laxative like Senna. Since it contains plant-based glycosides, it is safe for consumption. The laxative should be used only for a short duration of time.
Magnesium citrate is a common home remedy. It is available as a supplement and can be consumed to help make the stool soft, thus facilitating bowel movement.
Mineral oils are lubricant laxatives. They add a slippery coating on the intestine, which helps the stool pass smoothly through the colon. This remedy should be consumed before going to bed.
Squatting while passing stools can be helpful for a smooth bowel movement. Additionally, a footstool can be used to get into a squat position while passing stools.
Various home remedies treat constipation. These remedies, when practiced regularly, are helpful and ensure effective digestion and timely bowel movements.