For many people, June means the start of summer and the end of school, but it’s also Men’s Health Month. This is a time to encourage men everywhere to take control of their health. Our goal is to foster awareness and conversation about common conditions that affect men, such as low testosterone, erectile dysfunction, and Peyronie’s disease. Read on to find out more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options offered by the specialists at UAM.
Testosterone, the male sex hormone, plays a vital role in the male anatomy. It controls sperm production, a man’s sex drive, not to mention characteristics like muscle mass and body composition. Additionally, testosterone also plays a key role in maintaining a male’s energy levels and metabolism. When the balance of testosterone is disrupted, the body cannot perform or function at its full capacity.
Low testosterone levels can result in a variety of symptoms. Mentally, it can cause a lack of motivation and heightened anxiety. Physically, men can experience symptoms such as weight gain, decreased sex drive, loss of muscle mass and body hair, and fatigue. In some cases, it can lead to erectile dysfunction and gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue).
The physicians at UAM can diagnose patients through a combination of lab tests and reviewing a patient’s lifestyle and medical history. Once diagnosed, a physician will work with the patient to develop a unique treatment plan composed of tailored lifestyle adjustments to one’s diet and exercise regimen that will help stimulate healthier hormone development. Additionally, a physician may recommend testosterone replacement therapy, such as injections, subdermal pellets, and topical creams.
Erectile dysfunction is a common condition that primarily affects males over the age of 50 and is linked to poor vascular system health that prevents proper blood flow needed to allow a male to achieve an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. There are a number of physical and mental factors that can cause ED, such as low testosterone, obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol issues, and heart disease. High stress levels and depression are also key factors that can contribute to ED.
After consulting with a physician, patients can expect to undergo lab testing that includes blood tests, ultrasound, and urine sample analysis. After a diagnosis is reached, a physician can offer a spectrum of treatment options that include medication, testosterone therapy, and lifestyle/diet changes. For patients living with diabetes and blood pressure issues, working with a physician to treat these conditions more aggressively can vastly improve their ED symptoms. Additionally, a physician may recommend therapy to help resolve mental health issues that are linked to a patient’s sexual dysfunction.
Peyronie’s Disease is a condition that causes plaque growth in the penis. This plaque buildup can lead to painful erections, narrowing/shortening of the penis, and penile curvature. Peyronie’s can be a major roadblock for men when it comes to their sex life and having children. Men over the age of 55, as well as men with family history of Peyronie’s, are the most at risk of developing this condition.
A physician can diagnose Peyronie’s through consultation of symptoms and observation of physical changes in the penis. For patients with more severe symptoms, there is an outpatient surgical option in which an implant is placed in the penis to properly straighten the penis in order to allow for normal sexual function.
Additionally, UAM offers XiaFlex injection treatment - XiaFlex is a medication that is injected directly into the penis and when combined with specific stretching and straightening exercises, XiaFlex can effectively destroy the plaque inside the penis. Depending on the patient and the severity of their condition, patients need between 1 and 4 XiaFlex treatment cycles, each spaced 6 weeks apart. Each treatment cycle includes 2 injections, and the treatment option has proven highly successful for many patients.
For more information on these conditions, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment with a physician, give us a call or request an appointment online.
For many people, June means the start of summer and the end of school, but it’s also Men’s Health Month. This is a time to encourage men everywhere to take control of their health. Our goal is to foster awareness and conversation about common conditions that affect men, such as low testosterone, erectile dysfunction, and…