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Is male menopause a reality?As opposed to the sudden drop in ovulation and hormonal levels in women, menopause in men is a gradual process. The consequences in men aren't that clear. The health risks, though, are significant and it is important to recognize the symptoms of male menopause early on. Read along to know more. A testosterone level of 300-1200 ng/dL is considered normal in a healthy male. As one ages, the testosterone levels too drop gradually. After 30 years of age, the levels drop by 1% per year. By the time a man crosses 50 years of age, he is in menopause. Look out for the following signs to know if your testosterone levels are dropping : Low Libido : A low sex drive or decrease in inclination to have sex is the first sign of decreasing testosterone levels. Erectile Dysfunction : Testosterone is responsible for releasing nitric oxide that leads to erection. As the levels of testosterone decrease with age, getting an erection and maintaining it for longer periods of time may become difficult. Low Semen Level : The normal amount of semen ejaculated each time varies between 0.1 and 10 mL. This normal level is due to the efficient functioning of the testes, seminal vesicles, and prostate, all of which work under the influence of testosterone. As you age, the testosterone levels drop and the amount of semen ejaculated also drops. Orgasm Troubles : As you age, having an orgasm every time may be a bit difficult due to the dropping testosterone levels. Mood Swings : This happens in men as much as in women! The interesting thing here is that the man who suffers from it is the last one to note it and acknowledge. So, if you find yourself snapping and getting irritated at the smallest of things, get your testosterone levels checked. Depression : When you feel dull and demotivated at all times, and even doing the slightest of activity seems like a chore, it means that your testosterone levels have dropped to a significantly low level. Abdominal Fat : This is again an early sign of decreasing testosterone level. Belly fat is a sign of advancing age. Low testosterone levels are a sign of advancing age. Not all men who have low testosterone levels may show symptoms. In such cases, there is no need for any kind of treatment. Low testosterone may also be due to some other conditions like thyroid disease, excessive alcohol use, sleep apnea, etc. After 30 years of age, the levels of testosterone drop by 1% per year. By the time a man crosses 50 years of age he is in menopause. Identifying and eliminating these causes will restore the testosterone levels to normal. However, if no cause can be attributed to the low testosterone levels, it is a clear indication of normal aging and 'menopause.' As with women, men too have the option of hormone replacement therapy. However, this treatment is controversial. In some men, the testosterone replacement may relive several symptoms, but the risks far outweigh the benefits. An increased chance of heart attack, prostate cancer, and other health problems are associated with testosterone replacement therapy. Herbal supplements for problems associated with decreasing testosterone levels are generally considered safe, but they too have no proven health benefits and are known to increase the risks for prostate cancer. Male menopause isn't as dramatic and abrupt as the menopause in women, but it is a reality. It happens gradually over a period of several years.
Infertility at workplaceSince infertility among the younger age is increasing, it is important that a couple decides an early suitable date to attempt conception. Time and again it has been found that infrequency of intercourse is the cause of delayed pregnancy. It is advisable that the woman has a thorough examination by the gynecologists to identify the ovulation dates and for the man to have a thorough spermatic fluid check.  If both are normal then they could wait for a suitable date later. Should there be a problem the quicker it is attended to better. Also, early in the marriage they should start a fund which could be utilized for matters related to conception. For the male, the main treatment covers his personal sex life and a detailed examination of his spermatic fluid. It is the female who has to undergo many detailed tests and possibly surgeries which are expensive. It is often seen that not only the procedures for both take a toll on their personal and intimate relationship but also severely affect their finances which may come to a point that it does not allow them to complete the treatment as for e.g. the woman undergoing IVF may costs several lakhs of rupees. The treatment of infertility has improved greatly, but interferes severely with the work schedule. Working couples particularly women may have a hard time keeping to their schedules. Depending on their infertility diagnosis, many workplace challenges exist including the need to take time off to undergo tests and other appointments. It is difficult to balance the medical and surgical procedures with daily life and work. This is a difficult issue for many people as they fear their employer may discriminate against them for taking time off from work. Sadly in India there are very few employers who include medical benefits and cost of treatment for infertility. Suggestions have been given on stress dealing with infertility treatment and work. Here are few pitfalls to avoid: Do Your Homework: Review your organization's HR policies so you understand the amount of leave you have and other policies that pertain to your situation. You may be able to arrange for flex time or work from home on the days of your appointments, so that you do not actually miss any work. Be Honest:  Go to supervisor and let her or him know that you will be using your leave time and will give as much notice as possible. Honesty is the best policy. Remember people are inherently curious about the disease of infertility. If you feel the questions are invasive and make you feel uncomfortable, remember you do not have to answer the questions. You can respond nicely and let them know that you appreciate their concern but you are not ready to answer any questions. Your co-workers are asking question because it is human nature to be curious. In conclusion, not everyone needs to know what is happening with your reproductive health. At work place should medical help be available do take advantage of it.  This treatment has nothing to do with your performance at work. Go to work feeling confident that you will be able to perform your job and handle your workload during this time.
Perfect partners in crime - Midlife crisis and dementiaThe responses we have to common stressful events in our daily lives have a lasting impact on our brain structure. The effects of a stressful event last a very long time, though apparently we seem to have recovered from it. Researchers say that the stress hormones keep circulating in our body long after the stress has passed. According to a recent Swedish research study, our response to common life events may trigger long-lasting physiological changes in the brain. These interestingly shocking findings come from the Prospective Population Study of Women in Gothenburg, a long term study on 800 women that lasted for almost forty years. The women who were a part of this study were all born before 1930, and underwent regular neuropsychiatric tests. The study started in 1968 assessed women for any baseline stressors like workplace problems, widowhood, alcoholism and illness in the family. Women who had serious issues at the start of the study had a 21% higher risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease and 15% higher risk of developing dementia later on in life. Interestingly, having to take care of a mentally ill family member like a sibling or mother, was found to be a major cause for development of dementia later on in life. The findings of this study show that accumulated stress from common life events has severe physiological and psychological consequences. These physiological consequences include adverse effects on the central nervous, cardiovascular and endocrine and immune systems. There have been several studies that state that the effects of stressful events like earthquakes, cyclones and floods can have a lasting impact on life and often shape the person's personality. What makes this study interesting is its finding that daily stressors accumulated over a period of time and often left unresolved, have a lasting impact that shows up in later stages of life!
Is circumcision a healthy ritual?Religious rituals and practices have been carried out since ancient times. Circumcision is a religious ritual that involves surgical removal of the prepuce of the human penis. Prepuce is the foreskin of the penis and during the procedure; the person performing the ritual opens, inspects and separates it from the glans. The process is painful and hence local or topical anesthesia is used to reduce physiological stress and pain. Circumcision is performed for religious as well as personal reasons and many times recommended medically for prophylactic or therapeutic reasons as well. Today's medical science makes use of this treatment for treating chronic urinary tract infections, refractory balanoposthitis and pathological phimosis. Circumcision is performed as ritual in many parts of the world. However, it is also recommended medically as protection against HIV infection. Circumcision-Is it Legal and Ethical? In the world over, the ritual or practice of circumcision is carried out on all types of people from neonatal stage to adulthood. While no significant risks have been noticed due to the practice of this ritual, rather some modest health benefits have come to the fore. The World Health Organization has recommended circumcision for male infants in parts of Africa where the children are more vulnerable to urinary tract infections. However, no other medical organization in the world has supported or banned the procedure. Over past few years, legal and ethical questions have been making rounds and many believe that consent should be taken before carrying out neonatal circumcision. HIV and Circumcision Benefits A Cochrane meta-analysis conducted in 2009 on sexually active African men have revealed that the ritual of circumcision reduces the risk rate of HIV infection by 38 to 66 percent among heterosexual men in a period of 24 months. That is why WHO has recommended circumcision in sub-Saharan African areas having high rates of HIV infection as a part of the comprehensive HIV program. Moreover, this process is more cost-effective as compared to other treatments and preventive measures recommended for HIV. Circumcision reduces the risk rate of HSV-2 infections and oncogenic HPV prevalence along with the risk of penile cancer and UTIs. Until now, there have been no concluding reports on the protective effects circumcision offers against other types of sexually transmitted infections. Circumcision is also recommended medically to children suffering from pathological phimosis and refractory balanoposthitis. Contraindications The literature worldwide review conducted in 2010 reveals that around 1.5 percent of the newborns face median complication when the process of circumcision is performed by trained medical providers. Only 6 percent children face severe complications with the common complications being infection, bleeding or removal of too little or too much of foreskin. However, the process does not cause any negative impact on the sexual functioning of an individual. Contraindications due to circumcision are also cited in infants having genital structure abnormalities right from the birth such as misplaced urethral opening, ambiguous genitalia or chordae. In such cases, the foreskin may require reconstruction through surgery.  It is contraindicated in premature babies and clinically unstable infants and it should also be avoided in children with family history of hemophilia (bleeding disorders). In such patients, it is important that the blood should be checked for its coagulation properties before attempting the procedure.
Teach your kid to stand up to bulliesAlmost everyone has heard of the beach bully who goes around kicking sand in the face of the skinny lad. That's the quintessential imagery associated with bullies and it has stayed with us for over 3 decades since the first ads came out. The ads generally endorsed body building products using the classic 'Before' and 'After' construct, i.e. before you got your face sandblasted by the beach bully and after you took that protein shake or muscle builder to get even. Bullying is a phenomenon where a person or group wilfully targets someone with the intention of troubling them over a specific thing. (Bullies generally pick on someone they perceive as physically, mentally, financially, socially or racially inferior.) There is no age-limit for bullies as the bully could be a school going kid with an attitude problem or a fully grown adult, who could indulge in it from sheer force of habit or due to a mental problem. Again there is no age limit for the victim as well. Anybody could really be a target for the bully menace, right from school children, teenagers, disabled or even old people. Well bullying has changed considerably in these times and you also have the e-bully version where insecure bullies go about harassing people, especially teenagers over the internet. Bullies resort to tactics like causing public humiliation or embarrassment to hapless victims or resort to threats or other control-based abusive behaviour. Ok so everyone has undergone bullying from time to time but the question is should you allow it to happen to your teenaged son or daughter? Mind you, here it isn't simply a question of some leg pulling by friends or teachers but some serious malice that could well destroy your teenager's confidence and cause permanent scars on his self-esteem. Yes, if your teenager is being subjected to bullying then teach him how to kick the sand right back in the bully's face. Before we learn how to do that let's see the types of bullying that your kid could be subjected to: Verbal bullying This includes teasing or making caustic remarks directed at someone on a regular basis. The school bully does that, doesn't he? As you would probably remember from your own school days that fat lout who made you quiver with fright as he snatched your lunch box away to feed the dogs. Yes, the very same guy who pulled your sister's pig-tails and called you names which made you go red in the face. You could do nothing but pray he wouldn't notice you somehow. Well so something similar could be happening with your teenager. Verbal bullying need not be done by a school friend. Even a responsible teacher could target someone for deprecatory remarks causing much embarrassment, ridicule andfeelings of inadequacy to a teenager. Sometimes kids look up to their teachers for encouragement and support and those very people could actually damage a child's self-esteem by unjustified criticism and bullying behaviour.Teenage girls could suffer taunts and remarks about certain physical traits and since they are at a delicate age where their bodies are undergoing changes, such verbal abuse can indeed cause long-term depression or personality issues. Physical bullying Physical bullying is where your teenager could be subjected to physical harassment at the hands of the bully. Whether it is a simple case of holding your teenager's hand or unprovoked physical assault, the end result is the same-injuries to the body and mind. The bully may not go as far as inflict any visible scars on the teenager's body but the episodes could certainly cause great fear and trauma to him. Even teenage girls are not spared physical abuse at the hands of bullies. In certain cases, teens suffering from long-term bullying actually took some extreme measures by committing suicide or breaking down completely. Internet bullying Internet bullying is where your teenager is probably most vulnerable. At least school bullying is restricted to school, but here your teenager is at the mercy of just about everyone - from the school bully to the earnest paedophile! Causing embarrassment on public forums, threats of physical or sexual harm is the most common and as a parent you have to take every step possible to not just protect your child but also help him take care of himself or herself. The bully menace The school bully is comparatively easier to deal with than the internet lout! Well, one can't be too sure of that statement either since these days,school kids are known to blow up their own classmates or participate in a heist with adult precision. Always watch out for the classic signs of bullying. If your child appears withdrawn or disturbed after school hours then gently probe and encourage your child to tell it all. If you feel there is enough reason to think your child is being subject to bullying then bring it to the notice of the school immediately as others could have similar complaints. Do not admonish your child or scold him as it could cause him to withdraw in to the shell that the bully provided him in the first place. Parents and elder siblings can be bullies too so remember that. Teach your child to stand up to bullies. The bully is generally an insecure person who uses brute force to feel good about himself, at the cost of others. The school bully generally has his way and is not used to being challenged. Teach your child to look the bully in the eye and register protest. This will go a long way in teaching your child how to fight back and not take any nonsense from others.If the situation worsens, then always keep a track of your teenager's whereabouts especially if it is a girl. Once the bully realizes that he is being tracked he generally lies low or picks on someone else. Internet bullying requires different measures. You can monitor your child's online activities and teach them to never ever share any personal information or photographs online or on forums which are off-limits for children and adolescents. You can complain to the authorities if things get out of hand. If someone repeatedly issues threats to your teenager, either online or in real life, is a cause for real concern and one must take them seriously. If your child does not learn to cope with bullies it could affect him well in to adulthood, where he will feel helpless and easily scared by imposing people or even develop a hatred for authority figures. Bullying can fuel an already weak personality in to gaining an inferiority complex; the flip side is that kids who have been subjected to bullying can repeat the same patterns on their younger siblings or at school. So a bully creates another bully if continued unchecked. Mental problems in children are on the rise, so bullying is also no longer an innocent joke but could be a serious crime. Bullies whether children or grown-ups, suffer from some personality disorder or a serious inferiority complex which makes them compulsive trouble makers and their victims are generally people who cannot hit back or are vulnerable. Take Hitler for instance. Wasn't he just a bully who was unhappy in his own life? Look what he did to millions of innocent people. Wasn't that a bully gone berserk?  
Crossing the smoke screenWhy should someone quit smoking? Smoking is probably the worst sedentary lifestyle habit that we pick up. Quitting smoking changes everything right from the way you feel, taste and smell, your breath smells better and even your cough goes away. Quitting smoking cuts down the risk of cancer, stroke, neuropathy, heart disease and breathing disorders like bronchitis, pneumonia, and emphysema. Not just that, quitting saves money too... just one of the many financial rewards of quitting. Quit Smoking Tips Write down the reasons you want to quit for, and how it will benefit you: for e.g. live longer, feel better, family safety, save money, smell better, find a soul mate easily, etc. You know what's bad about smoking and you know what you'll get by quitting. Read the list daily. Ask for help from your family and friends. Help and support of family and friends without being judgmental helps a lot. You need their support when you become irritable and even irrational while you withdraw from your smoking habit. Set a Deadline. Set a quit date when you will extinguish forever. Prepare a plan. Talk with doctor and take his support and guidance. Exercise. Exercise helps relieve stress and recovers body from damage caused due to cigarettes. Start slow and increase up to 30 to 40 minutes. Begin to breathe. Daily deep breathing for 5-15 minutes will help cleanse the respiratory system and provide more oxygen repairing the damage caused to respiratory system and help cope with withdrawal symptoms. Do not quit abruptly. Cut down on cigarettes gradually. Plan everything about number of cigarettes you will smoke each day till the quit date, reduce the number each day. Buy single cigarette at a time. This helps a great deal to limit smoking. Change brands. This way you won't enjoy smoking as much. Undertake social commitment. Keep your packet of cigarettes with someone else, so that you have to ask for them each time you want to smoke. This way you'll feel guilty about asking and hence smoking; hence lowering the number of times you smoke. Find a mate who is trying to quit. This will boost the morale and keep up the positivity. Try finding a quitting chat room. Learn what triggers desire to smoke - like stress, the end of a meal, arrival at work, entering a bar, etc. Avoid these triggers or if that's impossible, plan alternative ways to deal with the triggers. Now, after you have read this, sit down and write your own list suitable to your personality and way of doing things and create your own plan for quitting.  
Communicate to strengthen the family tiesA family that talks to each other stays together. Sounds easy? But how often does your family sit down together in the week to spend time with each other? How about breakfasts and dinners? Are you all able to match your meal times or are you catching each other by the end of the coats in the fast paced world that has us spinning us on our heels constantly? As the family members run in and out of the house, like in a hotel, engulfed in their daily routines they slowly start drifting away from each other. Somewhere pushed to the depths of the heart are old connections and affections with the family. Ideal conversations during childhood, encouragements received during tough times, sibling squabbles in adolescence and many a wonderful memories tug at the heart keeping the family from disintegrating altogether. On the contrary, improper communication and bottled feelings singe the heart in such circumstances and lead to the tumbling of the family ecosystem. Understanding how to build effective communication within the family is important as it helps build a stronger, inseparable family. Here are some effective practices: Communicate Frequently:With the limited time that you have with your family, make communication a common and frequent activity.  While traveling in the car, during meal times, replace TV time with talking, talk to your young ones at bedtime. Keep designated time for informal family meetings and encourage conversations among the family members. Keep the cell phones and laptops in the other room when the whole family is sitting together. Communicate Clearly and Directly:Develop an environment where the family members feel okay to communicate clearly and directly. Allow them to express their thoughts and feelings without having to mask and filter them. This is important in a parent-child relationship and sibling-sibling relationship. It also helps build confidence, family intimacy and bonding among the family members. On the other hand, veiled, indirect or vague communication is ineffective and harmful as it increases confusion and communication gaps. Active Listening:Open and free communication flows only when it is received well and the other person's perspective is acknowledged and respected. Active listening is the cornerstone of effective communication. Whether listening to your partner or child, it is necessary to pay attention to not just the words but tell-tale signs in the tone of communication and non-verbal messages too. Nodding of the head, or words of acknowledgment like, "I understand" make the other person feel that what they are saying is valued and received. Asking questions and requesting clarifications for the parts of the message you do not understand is a very important part of active listening. Trust and Honesty:Only when the family members feel that they can trust each other, can they communicate honestly. Trust is the key for strong familial relationships. Trust is propagated through openness and honesty. Understanding the Individual:The way each individual of the family feels and communicates is different. The way you communicate with the different family members should vary accordingly. Especially in case of young children, as their maturity levels are different than the young adults and adults in the family. The unspoken messages:Not everything might be said in words. Learning to read non-verbal communication such as expressions and body language are very important in understanding the entire message being conveyed to you or the parts being held back. Stay Positive:Many complications and problems between family members can be avoided or solved by effective communication. When dealing with undesired or negative situations, it is important that the words and tonality of the communication is positive. Avoid engaging in negative communication like criticism, defensiveness or contempt. Such negative communication patterns discourage communication.Communication is essential to successful family functioning. Taking inventory of how well the family is doing and readjusting course and practices will help improve the family environment and build a happy family that shares openly and honestly with each other.
5 cardinal sins for the skinWhile cigarettes may not constitute food in the strictest sense, it does have a profound effect on skin complexion, health, color and tone. We eat that we may live, but sometimes we eat way too much and consume stuff that may be extremely hazardous to our health. Since we are talking about skin, here are 5 most hazardous foods for your skin: Grease adds to the crease Since healthy skin is all about healthy blood circulation, any food which is likely to clog up the blood vessels internally is deemed bad for skin tone. Packaged snacks like potato chips may have edible oil written in bold but this contributes significantly to the slowing down of 'collagen and elastin syntheses' which in turn causes the skin to appear aged and all wrinkly. The french fries that we consume as a TV snack can also cause an acne outbreak on the skin and face. Gluten Glutton Gluten is a substance found in wheat and other food grains. We may not even be aware that some of the food grains have gluten as a main constituent. Gluten intolerance can also cause inflammations on the skin in the form of rashes or acne. Bad news is that the pizzas, pastas, cakes and bread that we get off the rack may be heavy in gluten (Surprised that they don't say that on the pack) and that may be the reason for you to lose precious skin tone. So seek gluten free foods, though that might not be the easiest of tasks, but for your skin, it certainly will be worth it. Caffeine - the skin coffin If you are one of those coffee addicts then you may as well write an obituary column lamenting the loss of your skin tone and complexion. It's not without reason that health freaks love bashing coffee beans and caffeine rich beverages, as they are truly hazardous. How? Studies have proven that just 2-3 cups stimulate pituitary-adrenocortical response. Yes, but what does that have to do with your skin? Well this leads to the hormone cortisol to increase in our bodies. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone! So now here's what it does to your skin -it accelerates the ageing process which means wrinkled skin and causes dehydration causing the skin to show an unusual pallor. So before you turn the coffee faucet on think twice. Fad to Black How fad diets are not skin friendly? Some people go on a high protein, low-carb diet which could sound the death knell as far as complexion goes. Dieting depletes calcium levels, which means your bones are going to suffer and what's the point of having skin on bad bone density? Besides low-carb diets can utterly wreck the complexion as the delicate PH balance in the skin is ruined. Some of the meat, poultry and dairy products too can have artificial chemicals injected in them which cause a hormonal imbalance in our bodies leading to skin disasters. Fruits and vegetables have chemicals injected too sometimes! Beware! Cereal Killers Cereal killers are those people who ignore the need of a proper diet for skin health. So anybody who indulges in too much sugar, caffeine and greasy food stuffs is a 'Cereal Killer' A lack of cereals in the diet can literally kill your skin. Cereal foods have high fiber and antioxidants for moisturizing the skin and protecting it from skin damage. For great skin other than cereals which are simply fabulous for keeping skin hydrated and breathing easily, one can eat fruits, olive oil, healthy fats, almonds, tofu, grains, nuts and the good old vitamin B rich products. Ceramides in raw food diets, organic foods, wheat germ and brown rice protect the epidermis of the skin and make it impervious to external attacks and pollutants while maintaining their tone and beauty.
High fiber foods and their benefitsFiber has many health benefits and that is why it is important to include fiber in your diet. However, if you are not used to fiber in your diet then introduce it slowly or it could cause indigestion and gas. Fibers are good for overall health and help to boost the immune system and help prevent a number of diseases. The digestive health benefits of fiber : If bowel movements are regular, then fibers will prevent both constipation and diarrhea. Regular movements flush out excessive cholesterol as well as harmful toxins from the intestines which could also be carcinogenic. Fiber helps to reduce inflammation of the intestines, could bring relief from irritable bowel syndrome and prevent piles, ulcers, and acidity. The benefits to the heart Soluble fiber is good for the heart. Fiber reduces the bad cholesterol levels (LDL). It helps to lower blood pressure, improves the levels of good cholesterol (HDL). Fibers reduce the risk of stroke also. These factors are good for heart heath. Weight Loss Fiber can help you to lose weight as it makes you feel fuller for longer which means you will eat less. High-fiber fruits and vegetables have lower calories, so by adding these to your diet cuts calories which could aid in weight loss. Eat 21 to 38 grams of fiber per day depending on your age and gender. Diabetes If you already suffer from type II diabetes then you should have soluble fiber as it slows down the absorption of sugar and can help to maintain blood sugar levels. Regulating blood sugar can also reduce the risk of kidney and gallbladder stones. Cancer prevention Though research is still ongoing, but the general conclusion is that eating fiber foods keeps the colon in a better condition and this could prevent colon cancer. However, it does prevent digestive tract cancer. The more fiber you eat the more fluids you should drink as that helps to absorb fiber better. Good for the skin Eating fiber is good for the skin as they help to flush out toxins from your body which otherwise cause acne. Besides eating a lot of fruits and vegetables produce antioxidants that are good for your skin. Some tips Start your day with fiber as it keeps you full and sugar levels just right to keep you energetic. Try to replace white rice, bread, and pasta with brown rice and whole grain products. Eat seeds, nuts, and flaxseeds either whole or ground and sprinkle some on fruit, yoghurt, or cereal. Add beans and legumes to your diet as often as possible. Eat whole fruits instead of juice. Insoluble fiber can be found in foods like whole grains, wheat, cereals, and vegetables such as carrots, celery, and tomatoes. Whereas soluble fibers are found in barley, oatmeal, beans, nuts, and fruits such as apples, berries, citrus fruits, and pears. Foods like meat, dairy, and sugar have no fiber and some foods like white rice, white bread, and pastries have no fiber either because it has got removed because of refining.
Stinky feet? Learn why!Most of us have experienced a bad smelly foot at least once in our lives. We all have that one friend or relative who has such smelly feet that he can clear off a room as soon as he kicks off his shoes! With more than 250,000 sweat glands in each foot, the feet are the most highly sweating parts of the body. What causes this bad smell? The feet contain thousands of sweat glands. During warm days or when you wear socks and tight shoes, the sweating increases in due proportion. The resulting sweat does not find an outlet and starts accumulating in the spaces available and this warm and moist area breeds bacteria. The bacteria start feasting on your sweat and dead skin. They digest their food and release the waste products. These waste products are toxic organic acids that cause the feet to smell so bad. About 10 to 15% of people suffer from this horribly bad smell. Why? This is because their feet are extra sweaty and become a home ground for certain bacteria called as Micrococcus sedantarius. Along with stinky organic acids, the bacteria produce volatile sulphur compounds. Sulphur compounds are powerful and extremely awful smelling almost like a dirty rotten egg. Teenage years also see extra amounts of sweating on the feet. Medical conditions like Hyperhidrosis can also make your feet sweat more. If you are suffering from a fungal infection of the foot, then rest assured that your feet will smell horrible. Smelly feet can be an embarrassing problem. It puts everyone in a spot. Hence, foot hygiene is important to avoid smelly feet. Always wash and dry your feet well every morning. Dab some antiperspirant powder on your feet and between the toes to soak the perspiration. Never wear the same shoes for more than 2 days in a row. Wear a fresh pair of socks daily. Keep your feet exposed to fresh air. Avoid tight-fitting shoes. Use an antibacterial soap to wash your feet if you have smelly feet. Visit your doctor if simple home measures do not prove very effective. Excessive sweating is often considered the cause for foot odor. This is not true. Sweating in itself is harmless; it is the bacteria that grow there that are responsible for the awful odor.
Winter - When your heart feels the cold too!As per a study in America, 193.6 people of every 10000 people die of a heart disease every year. 53% of the heart attacks occur in the winter months. Heart diseases have a seasonal trend as found by medical research recently. A team of medical researchers recently conducted a survey which saw 10,000 participants between the ages 35 to 80 from around seven European countries. The study was conducted to see if there is any seasonal variation in the presentation of heart diseases. The participants were measured on the parameters of blood pressure, waist circumference, body mass index, blood glucose levels and blood lipid levels. The parameters were later adjusted for sex, age and smoking. The results revealed that the incidence of heart disease shows an upward trend in the winter month [Jan to Feb] as compared to the summer months [June-Aug]. The researchers accept that there is no logical explanation to these findings. A plausible cause being the fact that the eating habits change in winter. One tends to eat more which in turn increases the cholesterol levels leading to heart diseases. Several other theories are being put forth. According to one, during the winter months the body undergoes hormonal imbalance. The day and night variation in the hormone levels, especially that of cortisol varies. This results in a lower threshold for heart attacks. Yet another theory says that the cold temperature tends to constrict the arteries narrowing the blood flow to the heart tissue and this result in a heart attack. On the basis of this study, scientists advise that more attention is to be paid to heart health during the winters.
Importance of sex educationOur society is beset with a lot of myths about Human Sexuality and hence the family relationships are affected adversely. A man is considered (mistakenly) as a man only when he performs effectively in bed. In other words a man hangs his self-esteem on his male organ. Hence whenever there is a problem in performing sex, he becomes frustrated and depressed. In order to cover up his inadequacy he may blame his wife for his problems. This attitude will adversely affect the martial relationship, leading to unhappiness in nonsexual aspects of marriage. He may become violent when the wife retaliates. Marital break down, even if not ending in legal separation will be a very messy affair. Sexual behavior is determined by information or knowledge one has on hand and the parameters of comfort zone. Unfortunately we are dealing with a behavior that is besmirched with myths and misconceptions, and a breeding ground for stigmas and taboos, which leads to unhealthy sex life. These barriers have to be broken; otherwise healthy sexual and family life cannot be achieved. It is guesstimated that one in every three couples have some sexual problem or other and they do not know how and where to seek help. The media gives them anonymity and guides them in proper direction. The three main enemies of sexual satisfaction are guilt, anxiety and fear. All these stem from ignorance. Due to the stigmatization sex education is not available. Hence the streets have become not only the libraries for knowledge on sex but also the laboratories. When one of the dimensions (recreation) becomes problematic it impacts the health of the other two dimensions (procreation and relation). Magazine columns endeavor to dispel sexual ignorance and empower people with scientific knowledge. The aim is twofold: First, to inform in simple language, the scientific aspects of sexual problems and clarify myths surrounding sexuality; Second, to help people become comfortable with their own sexual life and elaborate on various treatment options available. People will thus be empowered to take responsibility for their own health and happiness. Have an open mind. All dimensions of human life are important. To consider one as unimportant and attach a stigma will hamper the development of the full potential of an individual. Understanding sexuality will enrich our lives and relationships.
The earlier yearsSexual concerns experienced during the drastic body changes and feelings of adolescence are often carried into adulthood. Sexual desires are powerful and frequently go beyond the earlier popular forms of sexual expression - kissing, hugging and petting without being aware of the consequences. Anxiety the commonest case of erectile dysfunction is compounded by the present life style - get-togethers, parties, with alcohol and drugs, visits to sex workers or massage parlours which offer other sexual services leading to unplanned, unprotected sex. Consequently seen are unwanted pregnancy, abortions, drug addiction, sexually transmitted diseases, anxiety and depression leading sometimes to suicide. Males seem to have more concerns then females. A common concern is nocturnal emission (night fall, Swapana Dosh) of semen and length of penis. Nocturnal emission of spermatic fluid is falsely believed to weaken a person. Really all that's happening is that excess of sperms is being thrown out to make place for the new ones. The length of the penis troubles many. Young people fall prey to advertisements that claim to lengthen it. The fact of the matter is that a penis an erection of 2.5 wide (10cms) is enough for a sexual intercourse for a person who knows the art to satisfy a partner. Ignorance about masturbation is widely prevalent among males of all ages leading to guilt, anxiety, depression and at times to suicide. Older men erroneously think their cause of erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation is masturbation. Masturbation is a highly pleasurable act in males. It does not harm the body or exhaust the sperms. In fact it is a safe way to satisfy. Females also masturbate but the percentage to men is much less. They also seem more comfortable with the activity. Masturbation has gone through years of superstition fear of ill effects, considered as a unhealthy practice and considered sin by some religions. Fifty or more years ago doctors and activities thought it caused harm to the body. It is said that corn flakes, the popular breakfast cereal was specifically formulated by Mr. Keleog to help a person not to masturbate. Today thinking has changed. It is now thought that it is an activity that does not cause any harm to the body. It does not finish all the vital sperms over the years so that it will not hinder having children in future. Its wide misuse is common. Persons use it indiscriminatingly when they cannot sleep, when they are tense for e.g. before an examination, some do it more than four to six times a day, which only indicates their immaturity. When done to satisfy a natural sexual urge it is a healthy activity. It keeps the person safe from infection and is said to teach the person skill for sexual intercourse. Technology has helped in many ways but sometimes it creates problems. A person hooked on to porno sites to arouse his desire is found to cause a loss of self confidence conflict with the partner sexual intimacy and intercourse. Before marriage or a partnership both male and female have concerns. Females if they have a previous partner but are getting married to another worry about the husband finding out of their loss of virginity, others worry about the size of their breasts, excessive hair on body or excessive fear of pain at intercourse. Men worry about whether their penis is long enough whether their long standing masturbation will hinder intercourse or prevent them of being a father. The absent hymen a false notion for virginity can be congenitally absent, split by exercise like swimming, cycling etc. or most commonly by masturbation. The hymen therefore is no proof of virginity. Learning to do with what they have making full use of their points and feeling comfortable and proud of their bodies help a lot to overcome the concern. Adopting a safe sex policy is best achieved by masturbation; avoiding sex with an unknown person and multiple partners; during intercourse with sex workers not using condoms every time and being careful of oral sex. Satisfying each other by caressing, hugging, kissing etc. with clothes on is safe; without clothes extra vaginal sex by mutual masturbation is safe with a trusted partner and finally not so safe is vaginal intercourse unless done with a condom correctly worn.
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