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Thursday, August 16, 2018

How to Reduce Your Chances of Contracting STDs

Regular sex can be good for a man’s mental and physical well-being, not to mention, it’s good exercise as well! Unfortunately, sex can also lead to some seriously painful and even life-threatening diseases if you are not careful.

Therefore, it is important to find ways to protect yourself from contracting an STD, without practicing abstinence, and we will discuss some of the most effective methods below.

Use that Condom

Yes, you already know about condoms, but the question is, are you really using them? Unfortunate as it is, studies have shown that a good percentage of people who are perfectly aware of HIV, AIDs, other STDs and the role of condoms in preventing them, don’t use condoms anyway. Ignorance is not the issue here, but a misplaced sense of trust, lack of intellectual maturity and just plain carelessness is the prime reason behind men not wearing condoms during sexual intercourse.

Get Yourself Immunized

The HPV vaccine for men is available in the UK and most doctors advise it as well. While women are at the highest risk of developing cancers (cervical and oral) due to HPV infection, it doesn’t mean that men don’t stand to gain from the immunisation either. To learn more about how and why all men need HPV immunisation, you should read the following article by LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor:

https://onlinedoctor.lloydspharmacy.com/blog/men-benefit-hpv-vaccine/.

In their guide you can find details on how you can benefit from the vaccine, how to get it and the potential side effects.

The HPV vaccine for gay men is particularly necessary and insisted upon by doctors, but even heterosexual men benefit from the immunization. The HPV vaccine for boys is advantageous and recommended, irrespective of their sexual inclination because it helps to prevent men from ever contracting or spreading the disease in the first place. Nobody should have to feel guilty about afflicting their partners with a potentially carcinogenic virus, without even knowing that they had it in the first place.

Limit the Number of Your Sexual Partners

There are multiple STDs that a condom cannot protect you against and therefore, the chances of men getting infected with crabs, herpes, HPV, syphilis, etc., increases exponentially when monogamy is not practiced. It can still happen even if you are faithful to each other, because there are ways in which sexually transmitted diseases can be spread without ever having sex unfortunately.

Do Not Share Clothing or Towels

Very few people know that even the simple act of sharing a towel in the gym or a piece of clothing (underwear in particular) can get men infected with an STD. This is easier said than done, especially when you are among friends, but considering the consequences, the extra effort is well worth it!

Keep in mind that sex is like driving; there’s always a risk each time you get behind the wheel, but with the proper precautions, you can definitely reduce the chances of an accident from ever occurring. As long as someone has an active sex life, it is advised to get tested every few months for STDs, particularly, if there is more than one partner involved in the person’s sex life. It will not prevent the contraction of the infection, but regular check-ups can help you to cure or control the disease before it sets in too deep.

This is a guest blog entry.

How Can You Tell If You're Healthy


When was the last time you took your clothes off and spent a few minutes inspecting your body in front of a mirror?  Not just a quick check for flab and love handles in anticipation of this summer’s pool and/or beach days.  But a real evaluation – a critical look at your whole body.  How is the overall image?  Has it changed much?  Noticing even small changes can lead you to researching potential problems with your doctor – before they become big problems.  Here are some suggestions about where to look and what to look for that might just prevent things from getting out of hand.

1. CHECK YOUR FEET

Have your shoes felt a little more snug than usual, lately?  Take a look at your feet, ankles and your lower leg all the way up your calves.  Do you see any swelling?  Is there tenderness?  You might have slightly sprained an ankle, or your foot and not realized it at the time.  If so, you probably need to see an orthopedist because you could have a slight bone fracture along with that sprain, which is what’s causing the swelling and soreness.  If your feet, ankles and lower leg are noticeably swollen, this could be edema, an initial sign that you are retaining fluid because of a fault in your heart’s pumping action – an early indication of impending heart failure.

2. HOW IS YOUR BREATH?


Get up close to your mirror and breath on it, heavily enough so that you fog it.  Do this a few times in rapid succession and take a whiff.  Do you smell anything?  Bad breath can be a sign of poor oral hygiene.  An expert on oral hygiene at Precision Dentistry explains it this way: "Research has shown that a healthy mouth is crucial to maintaining the health of your entire body."  Scottish researchers reporting in the British Medical Journal found that tooth brushing and semi-annual deep cleaning lowers the risk of heart disease.  Compared with twice-a-day brushers, people who brushed less frequently had a 70% greater risk of heart problems.  Chronic bad breath can also be a sign of periodontal disease like gingivitis, or even worse, osteoporosis of the jawbone, which is a prelude to catastrophic tooth loss.

3. SEE ANY DARK SKIN PATCHES?

Try to get a good look at the back of your neck in the mirror.  You might have to use a small hand mirror, along with your mounted bathroom mirror to do this.  Do you see a ring of dark skin on either side of the fold between your neck and your back?  It might just look like a dirty neck.  If it doesn’t scrub off with soap & water it could be Acanthosis nigricans, a condition where the skin appears darker and thicker — even velvety — along body creases.  These dark patches could be a sign of insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity or, in rare cases, cancer.  Although not a definitive sign of diabetes, you should point these abnormalities out to your doctor so s/he can run tests and refer you to a specialist, if necessary.

4. HOW WHITE ARE THE WHITES OF YOUR EYES?


Our eyes can be windows into our health condition.  If they’re bloodshot, that just probably means too much hard partying the night before, or perhaps the pollen count is high.  If the whites are uniformly tinted pink, this is probably ‘Pink Eye’ or conjunctivitis, which can be effectively treated with over-the-counter eye drops.  If it is persistent, your doctor can subscribe an antibiotic like Trimethoprim or Neomycin.  If your whites are tinted yellow, this is serious.  Commonly called jaundice, it could be Gilbert's Syndrome, where bilirubin has built up in the blood, or a more serious liver condition such as hepatitis or cirrhosis.  It can also mean that the ducts that ferry bile away from the liver are blocked.  Yellowed whites of the eyes mean you need to see your doctor – and the sooner; the better.

5. ARE YOUR LIPS CRACKED?

Severely cracked, dry lips can say a lot about your health.  These painful ruptures may be a reaction to medication, a result of very low humidity and dry desert conditions, an occupational hazard (if you're a brass or woodwind musician), a symptom of allergy, or an indication of infection.  Severe cracking at the corners of the mouth may be a symptom of an immune system disorder known as Sjögren’s (SHOW-grens) Syndrome. Sjögren’s also can cause dry eyes and mouth, as well as joint pain and dry, cracked skin. It is not uncommon.  Data shows that as many as 4 million Americans — mostly women — suffer from this condition.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

10 Ways to Help a Senior with a Drinking Problem


According to The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, there are currently 2.5 million seniors with an alcohol or drug problem, which includes 50% of all nursing home residents. What makes these statistics additionally scary is that an aging body is already under a higher threat for illnesses or mobility-related accidents. Alcohol only aggravates these dangers.

In times like these, it’s difficult to know what to do because you can’t force someone to stop drinking. However, this does not mean that you have to sit there and do nothing either. Start by reading over the following 10 suggestions to help a senior with a drinking habit and see if any of them can apply to your circumstances.

1. Plan Your Wording Carefully
Before you let your emotions boil over and you verbally attack your loved one, take some time to build a case about what it is you want to say. Approach this exercise with love and support, focusing on your observations without any blame. Speak calmly and use words which let them know that you are on their side while granting them the chance to speak too. The most important thing here is that they do not feel threatened.

2. Get More People Involved
If there are other concerned family members, then why not give them a call? It will be much easier than facing this alone, and together, your unified love will be even stronger as you collaborate on the smartest strategy. If you know someone who has already quit drinking, you could ask them for advice too.

3. Choose Your Timing Well
It’s in everyone’s best interest that you do not approach this conversation when any party has been drinking. Said intoxication may heighten aggressive emotions and they might not entirely comprehend your intentions. Rather catch them during the day’s early hours in a private place to better secure their full attention.

4. Encourage Exciting Activities
New hobbies can break old habits, hence why a few healthy suggestions may inspire them to turn their lives around. Look into yoga or meditation classes for seniors, or even accompany them on nature walks. Consider purchasing some mobility equipment for those dealing with injuries or age-related ailments, as this will help to bypass certain drinking excuses. These activities should also stabilize their chemicals during sobriety while tiring the stress out.

5. Suggest a Support Group
Venturing into a new lifestyle can be daunting, which is what makes support groups so valuable. Here, one can realize how many people are on the same team and they may feel less alone. Offer to go with them for the first few sessions to ease the initial steps. If they refuse, there are still similar groups for people dealing with alcoholic family members just like yours, and they may have the exact advice you need.

6. Suggest Social Gatherings
Sometimes the loneliness of an individual is what drives them into further realms of antisocial behavior, hence why you may need to address this problem first. Research local get-togethers and see if they’d like to be involved. Ideas include senior events, dance classes, or bake sales for charity. It’s also important that you visit them often too.

7. Visit Their Doctor
If you are concerned about your loved one’s health, then attend their next doctor's appointment. There’s a good chance that they’ve been understating their drinking habits, and this gives you an opening to step up with the facts. Ask for advice and query about medication conflicts as well as any underlying health concerns.

8. Build a Program
Once you have everybody on board, you need to find a safe way to embark on this journey. Abruptly quitting alcohol is extremely dangerous and can even prove fatal. Speak to a specialist (either a doctor or an addiction counselor) and discuss the healthiest options for this situation. And most importantly, you must be completely dedicated to this process right until the very end, even in the event of a relapse.

9. Reduce the Triggers

Especially during the early stages, it is imperative to minimize those people, places, and things which provoke temptation. Pay close attention and alter these high-risk influences, whether it be negative friends, certain hours of the day, or even just the removal of all alcohol from their house.

10. Lead by Example

It goes without saying, but it wouldn't be very fair to have a drink in front of a struggling loved one. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking yourself, although if you did, you could give them that extra boost of encouragement. Perhaps you’ll even realize that this undertaking requires much more strength than you initially thought.

This is a guest blog entry.