Category Archives: Health – antiaging

Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)

Getting old is not for sissies. No matter how good a life style we live now we still “Have to pay the piper” for the many past years we had a different life style. Hopefully we have evolved to a better, healthier life style but certain things still happen to us as it will to any older engine. For men, it is Benign Prostate Hyperplasia; an enlargement of the prostate.

Normally the prostate is the size of a walnut. But as men age the prostate enlarges and causes uncomfortable problems which is designated as BPH (Benign Prostate Hyperplasia): the urgency to “pee”, especially nocturia (the individual has to wake at night more then once to void (i.e. to urinate). This can leave him tired in the AM and maybe throughout the day especially since for some it is difficult to fall asleep immediately again. Besides the urgency to urinate there is the dribbling. This can be embarrassing if it is in the underwear or even coming through certain colored pants like khaki. It can limit the male to activities where he would be away from a bathroom. There is the slowing down of the stream so that he ends standing over a urinal for excessive time, often when there is a line behind him.

All the latter is because as the prostate increases in size it pinches the flow of urine from the bladder to the penis and not only causes the slow flow and dribbling but also stops the bladder from emptying on the first try. The latter can be just from the pinching or causing a backflow of some of the urine as if it was making a “U” turn. This leaves excess urine in the bladder which needs emptying sometimes soon after the first try or at least in the near future. This partially empty bladder leads to the uncomfortable feeling of urgency. This leads to the stress of feeling old, unmanly, loss of confidence for going to places where you have to sit for long periods of time like out to dinner or a movies. It can also increase the occurrence of urinary tract infections since the urine left in the bladder can be like stagnant swamp water to breed unwanted bacteria. This is specially true if the male does not want to frequently interrupt a meeting often to excuse himself to urinate.

In previous blogs and in my book I write a lot about the advantages of testosterone and enumerate the laboratory tests a male should undergo to check his testosterone levels and the hormones that are also necessary to check at the same time. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a very strong testosterone – like hormone that derives from testosterone. This is especially true with very high levels of testosterone and/or with aging. In many cases I do not at first check the DHT unless I feel there are signs or symptoms that require the test. One of these is signs and symptoms of BPH. This is because DHT is believed to be a main causal factor for the enlargement of the prostate. Baldness is also attributed to DHT along with other evolutionary and DNA factors This does not mean that a man on testosterone needs to stop the advantages of it. There are many natural and pharmaceutical ways to interfere with this conversion of testosterone to block higher levels of DHT. Since we know the enzyme 5-alph reductase is what converts testosterone to DHT we can block this process either naturally or with pharmaceuticals.  I do not like to give medical treatments without seeing and examining a client but typically one can try combinations of saw palmetto, zinc with copper, pumpkin seed, beta sterols (which are plant steroids without the negative side effects),pygeum and a few other herbs. A good supplement for BPH will have most in one capsule. Remember each person is an individual so one does not always get the results wanted by following the instructions on the bottle. I usually recommend a loading dose higher then the bottle states. I may maintain this dose according to the results and then tweak them or let the client do so.

I also refer those reading this to my other blogs on prostate and also on testosterone and especially for easy clarification and greaat information to my book; Emotional Vampires and Your Hormones: an holistic physician’s view of how stress affects your well-being and what you can do about it.

Real Men Eat Quiche and Do A Lot More

real men

This great article written by my wife, Jennifer Sault, MFA,MD/Eds, LMHC, Guided  Imagery Guide, Certified Hypnotherapist, taught me so much that I feel the need to put it on my blog site. Some of the ideas she taught me I have also included in my book.

We All, men and women, are made up of both masculine and feminine energy. Yang, or masculine energy is the archetype of focus, direction and goal orientation. It is assertive, logical, left-brain and linear, and it is associated with doing. Yin, or feminine energy is the archetype of openness, flow, intuition, and creativity and is associated with the state of being. It is compassionate, and nurturing and right-brain and holistic. These energies are both  necessary! Purely yin energy might be highly intuitive and creative, but the ideas never make it into physical form. Purely yang energy is full of zip and enthusiasm, but lacks the creativity to give it structure. All of us, men and women, are somewhere along the continuum of yin and yang dominance, and a rare few have found the place of balance in the middle.

Until relatively recently, society has assigned masculine and feminine roles according to gender, without understanding that our physical and emotional health, as well as our spiritual development, depends upon creating a balance of the masculine and feminine energies within us, whether we are male or female.  The archetype of the male was the provider, the decision maker, a strong, largely silent, dependent presence, Fatherhood was mostly a matter of setting an example of what the male was expected to do and to be, a somewhat distant role rather then an intimate daily involvement with his children.

The women’s movement of the nineteen seventies was a drive towards creating a more healthy balance within women. The feminist pioneers were dissatisfied and unfulfilled with being limited to a traditional feminine role of wife and mother and being dependent. Assertiveness training, one of the tools of the movement is about developing healthy yang energy, to complement,not replace, the highly developed yin.

A generation latter there is a sizable movement towards the development of healthy yin energy within men. There are fathers who want to be a nourishing presence in their children’s lives, husbands who want a balanced partnership and shared responsibilities,, men who want the freedom to express a full range of emotion. There are other men who are feeling lost, who don’t know any more what their role is or what is expected of them. As women began to explore their power of choice, these men were faced with a situation for which they had no models and no experience. Traditional man, the provider and protector, the head of household and primary decision maker, began to be something of an anomaly.

In our culture, which sex we are largely conditions our gender identification and therefore the dominance of yin or yang. The people around us are likely to encourage certain behaviors based on whether we are little boys or little girls. A girl, for example, born to parents with traditional ideas of gender roles, may be called a “little princess” from the moment she emerges into the harsh lights of a delivery room. She may be coddled and protected and given overt and covert messages conveying the impression that she deserves and requires protection. She may internalize those messages and grow up believing that it’s not okay to develop and express her masculine energy. A small boy gets the message that it’s not manly to cry, which often becomes internalized as a belief that it is not acceptable to express., or even to feel the tender emotions, He learns to channel that energy into physical activity, or violence. As a culture we may not like or want to encourage anger in males, but we do not say it is unmanly to cry or to be afraid.

Jennifer (one of my preceptors to life writes: I had a conversation with an attorney once at a neighborhood party. His specialty, he said, was “to make money

Criminal law: drug dealers and DUIs.” I recently had my first experience to the legal system with a client who was a battered wife, and I wondered how in the world attorneys and others who work at the courthouse deal with the toxic energy there. “By shutting down,” he said. He mentioned several times that his shutting down had created difficulties in his marriage.

A shutting down of the emotions often resulting in marital discord is not a monopoly of the legal profession.  “E” was married to an emergency department physician, and over five or six years she watched him shut down his compassion and empathy because he had never learned how to be compassionate and detached at the same time. The only way he knew how to protect himself from the cruelty and pain he experienced every day was to cut himself off.

The inner yearning for balance is manifest in our relationships. Our choice of partner indicates the qualities that we believe, at a deep level of mind, we are lacking. We are seeking wholeness and completion in another person, when in fact we need to find wholeness within ourselves.  A woman, who lacks the self confidence to make her own decisions and take care of  herself will remain emotionally immature if she seeks a mate to take care of her instead of developing her yang aspect. Likewise, a man who denies his feminine aspect – the nurturing , compassionate, intuitive aspect of his being-and allows his partner to express all the emotions in a relationship, will not  be healthy and whole, emotionally or physically.

Client T was in his early forties. In terms of the success criteria of our culture the had it all, respect, wealth, attractive home, lovely wife, handsome son. Yet, he was desperately unhappy and suffering physical and mental problems of increasing severity.  Yin and yang roles within his marriage were clearly defined along traditional lines. He was the provider,, the decision-maker, and head of the household. His wife was his helpmeet, his dependent, the homemaker and nurturer.  As her due, as part of their contract, she enjoyed the fruits of his successful professional life, and he felt it was his duty to continue to provide them for her.

T reached the very bringk of physical and mental breakdown before he was willing to question the foundations upon which he had built his life. Through courageous self-exploration he healed the wounded yin, the feminine side of himself that had been locked away since he was a small child undergoing male acculturation from his father. He had been taught that  a real man, first of all, makes a lot of money. He never shows weakness, fear or indecision. There had been no room in T’s life for art or music; there was no” woman’s intuition” in his way of being, no “woman’s touch” in the stark white walls and utilitarian furniture of his office. As he integrated his feminine aspect, his physical and emotional health improved dramatically and he experienced a spiritual awakening that gave his life deep meaning.

Yin and Yang speak different languages. Learning to speak each others language, learning to empathize with each others world view, is part of development on all levels and vital to creating not only an intimate relationship with another, but a deeper understanding of self. It is not that any relationship ever reaches the point where he speaks fluent yin and she speaks fluent yang and they live happily ever after finally.  It is a journey not a destination, rediscovered at each way station. It is the journey itself that nourishes growth and wellbeing. When partners in a relationship fail to understand that, each partner can become locked into  the misery of misunderstanding and feeling misunderstood.

 

P was an ex-marine in his early 50s. He had tried his best to be what our culture and time, and no doubt the Marines, had taught him a man should be. Strong!

Taking responsibility! Making decisions! Doing his duty~ He had done his duty, providing for ones wife’s children by another man, paying off various wives’ debts and being the family provider while pushing his personal dreams onto the back burner.
Underneath the John Wayne façade he was wounded. Wanting and needing to love and be loved but not having any idea how. He had a pattern of choosing women who were needy, wanting to be taken care of, wanting to abdicate responsibility for their lives, probably younger, probably very attractive. But he never managed to create the satisfying relationship that he wanted.

Opening the heart can be a terrifying experience for such as P, because it means exploring realms of emotion that have never before been acknowledged. He had always disregarded pain, physical or emotional. He was proud of his ability to go back to work  immediately after knee surgery or a serious accident. When a wife let him down he left her, secure in the belief that that he had done his duty and she was wrong. He nursed his pain in solitude, never sharing it with anyone, never nurturing himself in any way.

The series Star Trek in its various incarnations, examined the issues of our time in the context  of a future culture that has survived the nuclear age and learned to transcend the eye-for-an -eye ethos. One of the ways in which the series confronted contemporary challenges was to take some of our cultural archetypes and express then in extreme form. Vulcans are pure Yang, our cultural veneration for reason untempered by yin. But where our culture simply disparages emotions and considers them a sign of weakness, Vulcans banished them completely to a deep and heavily fortified region of the psyche and live solely according to the dictates of logic and reason. They believed themselves superior to humans because their decisions were uncontaminated by emotion, or yin energy.

Subsequent variations on this theme, as the series developed were Commander Data and the Doctor, a machine and a computer-generated hologram respectively. Unlike Mr. Spock they recognized  their lack of wholeness and tried, in ingenious and often entertaining ways, to become “more human” by exploring and developing the non-rational aspects of humanity: emotions, or yin. So far we are able to program a computer to do left brain functions, but the right brain includes intuition and inspiration qualities that are indefinable and unprogrammable and a vitalpart of who we are.

The first men in space were scientists, engineers, fighter pilots, pure yang. And yet as they gazed on the ineffable beauty of our planet, a blue glowing jewel against the black infinity of space, they became poets and mystics.  There is no language in yang for the response of the soul to such experiences, and yin finds a way – at those moments of transcendence – to make her presence and power felt.  Most of us have known such moments, however fleeting, as we read a poem, heard a particular piece of music, or watched a sunset; moments when we knew, deep within, the harmony of creation. Whether we heed the call, whether we pay attention and work to integrate the moment of balance into a lifetime of harmony once the moment passes, that is our choice and our challenge.

Alan J. Sault MD, ABHM-Dpl

Author: Emotional Vampires and Your Hormones: an holistic physician’s view of how stress affects your well-being and what you can do about it

holisticsecondopinion.net,vampires

 

EXERCISE=FUNERCISE (WHY????)

EXERCISE 

Because I have been an holistic MD for the last 25 years and anti – aging is one of my specialties, I have an interest in both exercise and nutrition. On the subject of exercising for health, it is impossible to separate nutrition, and stress. You can work out religiously but if you are not eating wisely the full health benefit is not reached, because the body is not receiving the nutrients it needs in order to build healthy tissue and the cellular components for energy renewal. By the same token, if you eat healthy foods but do not exercise the health benefits are diminished. Muscle has to work to maintain or increase its mass. Now if one is doing both of the latter but the routines of either one or both are resulting in stress this can also defeat progress and health. For this blog I will concentrate on exercise; the next blog will be on nutrition. Stress is always a factor in health to me. Not the stress itself but how we react to stress.

After years of abuse, both poor nutrition and lack of exercise can have chronic consequences on the body. This is especially true if proper nutrition has not been followed for long periods of time while the body was under physical stress, such as intense sports training. Mental stresses have similar negative effects because of the constant adrenal – cortisol response to mental stress. (Please refer to my other blogs on stress – holisticsecondopinion.net/vampires). A quick reminder is that the body – mind cannot discern between physical and mental stress. The response to both are equal to cause the same output of cortisol for flight or fight protection and the consequences of chronic stress.

I do believe that both aerobic exercise and resistance (weight) training are necessary to keep a healthy body. The resistance is necessary to build strong muscles and bones and to prevent osteoporosis deflating muscles and to keep strong tendons: the aerobic for cardiovascular health. I have  a lot of experience in both and now share my ideas and experience with patients. I find this helpful because many people are either afraid of starting or have no idea of how to start. Stretching both before and after exercise keeps the muscles toned and helps prevent injury. When I was teaching karate I would emphasize to the students that having big muscles is no advantage if the joints do not react properly and are prone to different types of tendon-joint injuries. This is especially true as one advances in age. Exercise does not have to be either strenuous nor boring. In fact, I like to call exercise “funacise.” Today there are many different types from which to choose. Some people would benefit from joining a gym so that the exercise is structured, the equipment is there and varied, instructors are available, and the possibility of a social atmosphere is present. The latter can be especially helpful for those that do not have the incentive to exercise and to those that have depression so they are with other people. (A caveat to this is the many scientifically based studies that demonstrate that exercise is as effective for mild to moderate depression as the pharmaceuticals).There are numerous classes offered in different forms of exercise. Other people prefer to exercise at home, using their own equipment and/or videos. The problem with this is that one may not be using proper form if no one is watching, correcting and teaching and therefore prone to cause injury. It can be beneficial to have an exercise partner so that you can keep each other’s motivation high as well as having time to enjoy the company of each other. The type of exercise that works for you is the one you enjoy. Once in the habit of your choice you may branch out to other forms. Sometimes motivation is diminished because of boredom of the same repetition each time. There is no reason for this. If it is aerobic exercise that one does for 20 minutes or more it is not necessary to do a continuation of the same exercise. One can do 5-10 minutes of bicycling and then switch to rowing or treadmill, Etc.. Of course you can do different aerobic exercises on different days or join certain classes of different types. Walking is still one of the best and least physically invasive forms of aerobics if the person is not a “dawdler.” Your favorite music will help as you can sing with it even if you have a voice no one else wishes to hear (my own personal experience). For myself, I like to combine weights and aerobic by not stopping lifting but rather go right into a different muscle group even if using light weights. This cuts down on the time I spend “funacising” to about 20 – 30 minutes with all the benefits of both. Of course, it is important first to learn good form so you do not injure yourself while trying to improve your health. For those that dislike exercising, especially resistance exercise, you can get around this and be finished quickly if you do the eccentric method. This is done by taking a light weight and doing the extension part very, very slowly. For example, biceps: lift up a weight you consider lighter then normal for yourself but let it down (with good form) to the count of 12 or more. You will ache after 3-5 reps. You can do this eccentric exercise for any group of muscles.

There is a caveat to any form of exercise be it resistance or aerobic.! If you know you are an obsessive and/ or compulsive personality, or competitive personality you need to watch stressing yourself to the point of defeating the purpose of exercising. Why? Because exercising is to relax your mind as you become physically fit. It is not meditation but a form of moving meditation in the sense that you are escaping from the everyday stresses for the time that you are exercising. You do not need to add another stress to the day. When I was running a mile for each round that I fought I would get so aggravated if I did a poor time or was not progressing in my time/mile. This is competitive-obsession. My wife would ask me why do I run and I would say to relax – duh. When I would come home from my emergency-room shift and be “up- tight” and volatile before I was allowed to sit down and eat with my son and wife one or the other would say first go down to the basement and jump rope for half an hour-to-forty-five minutes. It worked every time to get rid of the ER mind trauma so I could enjoy my family meal.

When one starts to do resistance exercise they may get really severe muscle aches the first few times they are working out. Some refer to this as good aches “No pain, no gain.”. This latter is only true if you are going into this for body building and do not care about future osteoarthritis. DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Syndrome) is the proper term. They use to believe that these aches were due to lactic acid buildup from the workout. It is really the muscles healing from the nano tears that are a  result of a proper workout. It is the repairing and building up of the muscle. When it occurs be thankful and happy that your body is responding properly. They will not occur after you get through the beginners part except when you decide to start a new plateau or new type of funercise. Sometimes when you leave go of the exercise for a long time and start again DOMS will hit but for a shorter time. Do not forget that form for each muscle group is so important. Above all ”Do no harm!”

Some people tell me that they do not have time to exercise or even relax. Think of it this way; taking time for yourself is doing something.
I point out that they have time to be caretakers each day for their spouse, boss, children, etc, but not an half hour per day for themselves. This is sending a subconscious message to their brain that everybody else is worth their time but they feel they do not deserve time for themselves. “Today I will love myself enough to exercise.”

Alan J. Sault MD, ABHM-Diplomat

Author: Emotional Vampires and Your Hormones: an holistic physician’s view of how stress affects your well-being and what you can do about it

holisticsecondopinion.net/vampires