Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The most potent male hormone - Testosterone

Although Testosterone is the most potent male hormone, it is only one of a large family of male hormones known as androgens. The ancient Greeks provided the name, and they chose well: androgen comes from the word for “man-maker” and indeed, androgens make the man, or at least his characteristic male traits.

Androgen production requires a complex chain of events. It all begins in the brain, where the hypothalamus produces gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH, also known as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone, LHRH). Hormones are chemicals that are produced in one part of the body before traveling to another part to do their work. GnRH is a true hormone, but it doesn’t have a long commute; it acts on a nearby part of the brain, the pituitary gland. In response to GnRH, the pituitary secretes two additional hormones, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). FSH and LH were named for their effects on ovaries, but they are every bit as important for men; both act on the testicles, where LH triggers testosterone production and FSH, acting with testosterone, stimulates sperm production.

Testosterone is produced by the Leydig cells of the testicles. The starting point is cholesterol, notorious for its effects on the heart but critical as the building block of all sex hormones, male and female.
Testosterone has many direct effects on the male anatomy and metabolism. It is responsible for the deep voice, increased muscle mass, and strong bones that characterize the gender. It stimulates the production of red blood cells by the bone marrow. It also has crucial, if incompletely understood, effects on male behavior; it contributes to aggressiveness and is essential for the libido or sex drive, as well as for normal erection and sexual performance. Testosterone stimulates the growth of the genitals at puberty, and it is responsible for sperm production throughout adulthood. Finally, and for most men unhappily, testosterone also acts on the liver, raising the production of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

Although testosterone acts directly on many other tissues, some of its least desirable effects don’t occur until it is converted into another androgen, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT acts on the skin, sometimes producing acne, and on the hair follicles, putting hair on the chest but often taking it from the scalp. Male pattern baldness is one thing, prostate disease quite another—and DHT also stimulates the growth of prostate cells, producing normal growth in adolescence but contributing to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer in many older men.

About 95% of a man’s testosterone is produced in the testicles under the control of LH. The remaining 5% is produced in the adrenal glands. Women also make testosterone in their adrenal glands in both sexes, adrenal hormone production is independent of LH and FSH. In both men and women, cholesterol is the basis for adrenal androgen production—and in both, an important precursor of testosterone is dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), another hormone that is widely popular as a non-prescription dietary supplement.

Testosterone metabolism has a final complexity; in its last throes, the quintessential male hormone is converted to estradiol, a major female hormone. Most of this final conversion takes place in fat cells, which is why obese men (and women) have higher estrogen levels than lean men (and women).

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Alopecia areata and Finasteride

Alopecia areata (AA) is a type of autoimmune disease characterized by hair loss that has a variable presentation and course. Some patients exhibit spontaneous remission, while others progress to develop total loss of scalp and body hair. The current therapy for AA is not curative, but rather aimed at controlling or limiting the pathogenic process. Intralesional corticosteroids (ILCs) are used frequently in alopecia areata. Their use was first described in 1958, with the use of hydrocortisone.

Steroids with low solubility are preferred for their slow absorption from the injection site, promoting maximum local action with minimal systemic effect. Immunosuppression is the main mechanism of action. Corticosteroids suppress the T-cell-mediated immune attack on the hair follicle. Preparations used include triamcinolone acetonide, triamcinolone hexacetonide, and hydrocortisone acetate. Triamcinolone acetonide is the preferred intralesional product because it is less atrophogenic than triamcinolone hexacetonide.

The efficacy of ILCs injection is variable depending on the patient population treated. The efficacy appears to be greatest in certain groups of patients including those with less than 75% scalp hair loss, children, and those with a shorter duration of hair loss. Patients with extensive alopecia areata, rapidly progressive disease, and greater than two years’ duration of the current episode, respond poorly to ILCs. Patients with exclamation point hairs and a positive hair pull test respond better to ILCs, as these reflect the active inflammation of the follicles. It is difficult to evaluate the efficacy of ILCs in alopecia areata, as it is known to show spontaneous remission.

Finasteride is available on private prescription from your GP. It comes as a tablet that you take every day. It works by preventing the hormone testosterone being converted to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT causes the hair follicles to shrink, so blocking its production allows the hair follicles to regain their normal size.

Studies have suggested Finasteride can increase the number of hairs people have (hair count) and can also improve how people think their hair looks. It usually takes three to six months of continuously using Finasteride before any effect is seen. The balding process usually resumes within six to 12 months if treatment is stopped. Side effects for Finasteride are uncommon. Less than one in 100 men who take finasteride experience a loss of sex drive (libido) or erectile dysfunction (the inability to get or maintain an erection).

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Does Bodybuilding Destroy your Heart or Viagra?

When a celebrity bodybuilder drops dead from a heart attack, it rapidly hits the front page of the papers and becomes the topic of the daytime for many news outlets online. Armchair health experts and licensed doctors and nutritional experts debate about why an athlete or bodybuilder after years of training and maintaining a healthy looking build would drop dead of a heart attack or have by-​​pass surgery to unclog arteries. Non-​​exercisers may relish in the news. Finally, another reason for them to remain sedentary! But bodybuilders that want to build muscles and athletes that are training for endurance and performance want to know if they can find a bodybuilding supplement that works to gain muscle, enhance performance, and still protect the heart. First, let’s take a look at the connection between your heart health, bodybuilding, muscle growth. Your heart is a muscle that thrives with exercise. Its job is to work tirelessly day in and day out to pump blood throughout your corpse. And if you’re lifting weights, training for a sport, and structure muscles then you are going to be involved in more frequent and varying levels of exercise than the “average” civilian. As a result, this exercise will put greater strain on your heart and require it to pump enough oxygenated blood to feed your activity. And this is a good thing when your heart is healthy.

Exercise can, in fact, strengthen your cardiovascular system when it’s healthy and is supported with the right lifestyle choices that compliment your training. This means: eating clean, drinking enough water to flush your system, and taking dietary supplements to support and enhance your overall fitness training. However, if you are not getting the best mix of nutrients in your diet, then the effects on your heart and entire cardiovascular system can be fatal. And the problem with bodybuilding and heart disease is that too often guys train with the sole goal of getting big fast at the risk of their heart health. They take an assortment of protein, creatine, steroids, potions, powders and pills in various forms to achieve instant bulk or shrink-​​wrapped abs with the least amount of effort in the least amount of time. For bodybuilders seeking muscle, this doesn’t seem like a “problem” at all until they are lying on the operating room table.

And while many of these dietary supplements are in reality safe and give you the results you’re looking for, without the full nutritional story you could be setting yourself up for health and heart problems in the future. Athletes looking for a performance boost are increasingly turning to a little blue pill more usually taken for its off-the-field benefits Viagra.  The World Anti-Doping Agency is currently studying Viagra effects in athletes, but hasn't yet banned it. Experts are divided over whether it actually offers athletes an edge. Viagra, also known as Sildenafil. It was originally developed as a heart medication; its use as a treatment for erectile dysfunction was only accidentally discovered.

The medication works by increasing the effects of nitric oxide, which makes blood vessels expand. That should theoretically allow blood cells to travel to the lungs more efficiently and to also receive more oxygen. It may also better heart charge. Viagra is also approved to treat pulmonary hypertension, a condition where the lungs' blood vessels tighten. Doctors have used the drug experimentally to manage pregnant women with high blood pressure and to ward off jet-lag. But whether Viagra makes athletes faster, higher or stronger is uncertain. "Just because you have more nitric oxide doesn't mean that you are going to be a better athlete," Butch said. "If you have all the nitric oxide you need, and if you generate more from Viagra, it's not clear what result that would have." Still, some preliminary studies have shown that cyclists taking Viagra improved their performances by up to 40 percent. Athletes often mistakenly assume that a medication will travail in their bodies the same way it does in sick people. For instance, in people with lung problems who take Viagra, the medication widens their blood vessels so they can absorb more oxygen.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Teenage ED and anabolic steroids

Anabolic steroid are man-made substances related to man sex hormones. Anabolic steroid in general relates to muscle-building while androgenic refers to increased masculine characteristics. Steroids are available legally, but under certain circumstances. They are legally available only by prescription from a doctor, to treat conditions that occur when the body produces unusually low amounts of testosterone, such as delayed puberty and some types of impotency. They are also prescribed by doctor to manage corpse wasting in patients with diseases such as AIDS that result in loss of lean muscle mass. Abuse of anabolic steroids can lead to serious or even fatal health problems. Steroids are known to be the fastest growing epidemic in the world today. There are an estimated three hundred million users in planet. Even though steroids do have wonderful enhancing abilities, they also have dreadful side effects. This is the worst class of rage possible. Football players who have used steroids say that roid rage made them want to rip the heads off of their opponents, and also teammates at practice. Several athletes feel this is a positive effect. They often find they lift more, and are more intense during workouts. On the negative side, users discover themselves fighting with family, friends, and co-workers with an uptight behavior. It is said that males who have used steroids suffer from shrinkage in the testicles and impotence. Impotency occurs when a user goes on and off steroids. When steroids are first used sexual interest increases because of the heightened frequency and duration of the erections. But eventually the opposite happens and no erections can be produced.

The long term effects of steroids are brain tumors, high blood-pressure, kidney malfunction, and liver damage. The mental effects include the inability to sleep, and paranoia. Also depression can occur once you have stopped the usage of steroids. On some occasions suicide follow the depression stage, which is because your body feels that it is missing something vital to keep it going. Steroids are imitation testosterone, which causes your body’s real hormone system to shut down. Steroids can even prevent an adolescent from reaching their full potential heights, because they can stunt your growth during your teenage years. They also can cause a buildup of fat called cholesterol. Females who take steroids usually tend to start growing more facial hair, and are at danger of not being able to bear children.

Factors like too much toxification, pollution as well as chemicals and hormones are playing a greater part in turning teenage impotence into an space that deserves more attention. Teenagers may need to seek help and treatment even if the problem appears to be mild or occasional with regard to their sexual performance. Though teenage impotence would normally mean erectile dysfunction amongst the youth; it may also refer to their dissatisfaction with the hardness of their organ or the angle of erection or partial erection or brief erection and even lessened libido. Teenage impotence may also require checking the liver and kidneys as well as Oestrogen while other possible causes of teenage impotence could be leakages as well as non-functioning nerves. Improving the testosterone levels could help a teenager recover his or her sex drive and abilities. However, the testosterone as well as hormone replacement is a gray area that requires further study before adequate knowledge will have been gained to produce proper treatment for teenage impotence as well as other forms of impotency.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Erectile Dysfunction And Bodybuilding

It seems that many people are asking today if body building effects or causes Erectile Dysfunction. Realistically, the general consensus is that overall, bodybuilding doesn’t cause erectile dysfunction, and in some cases can improve it. The higher levels of testosterone can make the male have better blood flow to the area, improving erections, as well as the duration. Higher testosterone levels will make a person feel better in general, which translates to better overall sexual function.

However, there are some things about body building that CAN have an impact on erectile dysfunction. Bodybuilding does produce an increase in blood flow, but sometimes this blood flow can be higher in the muscle tissues, rather than being able to fill the soft tissues of the penis. This restriction can cause a decrease in proper blood flow, especially when it comes to getting or maintaining an erection. People who are using steroids in their body building may have heard that this can lead to sterility, and those taking these chemical enhancements have higher incidents of erectile dysfunction for a number of reasons. One is that because the body produces testosterone on its own, taking steroids for a prolonged period of time can cause the brain to stop producing this hormone, temporarily or even permanently. These drugs can also decrease the length of the erect penis quite substantially, contributing to erectile dysfunction.

As males age, there is going to be a decrease in testosterone levels in the body, which can contribute to erectile dysfunction. Some doctors may prescribe steroids and other testosterone producing hormones for these people. These medications are closely monitored, unlike many who seek artificial help when building muscle. It is important that you consult your doctor when taking any enhancements, whether it is steroids or Human Growth Hormones or HGH. Many of these are totally illegal for obvious reasons.

It is not a bad thing to want to build up the muscles in your body, many people are seeking this to look and feel better about themselves. It is important that you have moderation in everything you do, including body building.