Men's Health

by Jacob Aguiar, ND

As a man, do I have specific health needs? 

The naturopathic doctors at North Coast Family Health in Portsmouth, NH are equipped with a variety of tools to address the specific needs of men of all ages. These unique conditions include Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH), prostate cancer, low libido, erectile dysfunction (ED), loss of muscle mass, male infertility, and many others.  

In fact, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and nearly every male in his 80’s will have prostate cancer. 

It is now well understood that the processes leading to conditions such as BPH, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction begin in our 20’s and 30’s.  They are often insidious processes that can be recognized early on by a skilled clinician and treated before they become serious issues.

What’s the deal with testosterone therapy?

If you’ve watched television or surfed the web lately, you’ve probably seen advertisements for testosterone, purporting that “low T” is the cause of everything that ails the average middle aged and older male. 

While low testosterone can be a cause of loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, and loss of muscle mass, in some cases these symptoms don’t improve even when the low testosterone is addressed. 

In fact, in a 2005 study, the Journal of the American College of Cardiologists states that “the presence of erectile dysfunction should prompt an aggressive assessment for cardiovascular risk,” meaning the underlying cause of erectile dysfunction may be cardiovascular disease and not low testosterone. 

Erectile Dysfunction, Cardiovascular Disease & Diabetes

Erectile dysfunction can be the FIRST sign of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. 

In a 2004 study in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigations, the authors state that erectile dysfunction prompted testing for diabetes, and in 15% of patients with ED, diabetes was discovered for the first time. 

Basically these studies are showing that erectile dysfunction is often caused by other significant disease processes in the body, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes.  Rather than treating the symptom alone, a skilled clinician can utilize this knowledge to create a treatment approach that addresses the underlying cause of men’s health concerns.

The NH naturopathic doctors at North Coast prescribe testosterone in certain circumstances.  They first do a blood test to determine a patient’s testosterone levels and pair that with the symptoms being experienced prior to prescribing testosterone in appropriate cases.

Treatment

The treatment approach for men’s health concerns may include a combination of the following:

  • Exercise:  Exercise is the single most important tool we have to improve testosterone naturally, increasing energy, libido, and muscle mass, and reversing erectile dysfunction.  There are specific types of exercise that are particularly beneficial for men, and have the added benefit of reducing blood pressure and cholesterol, improving mood, improving cognitive function, and decreasing stress and anxiety.
  • Diet:  An individualized diet plan focusing on lower carbohydrate intake, and increased intake of high quality protein and fats.
  • Stress:  High stress increases the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine, which can increase blood sugar and the risk of diabetes.  Diabetes has been proven to lower testosterone and can lead to ED and low libido.  Utilizing stress reduction techniques and supplements, we can mitigate the effects of stress.
  • Sleep:  Getting 7.5 - 8.5hrs of sleep per night is essential for men of all ages. We get the greatest release of growth hormone (GH) during sleep.  GH is responsible for repairing the tissues in our bodies.
  • Supplements:  specific supplements can improve men’s health complaints of all types when prescribed by a skilled clinician.

If you are currently experiencing any of the men’s health issues mentioned above, call our New Hampshire office at (603) 427-6800 to schedule an appointment with one of our men’s health experts.