Can Stem Cell Therapy Treat Erectile Dysfunction?

Can Stem Cell Therapy Treat Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is characterized by difficulty getting or maintaining an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. It affects up to 30 million men and can stem from a broad range of causes, including stress, limited blood flow to the penis, and underlying conditions such as high blood pressure. While addressing any existing health issues that could be contributing to ED is important, addressing ED itself is also critical to supporting sexual health and quality of life. You may be asking yourself can stem cell therapy treat erectile dysfunction?

Traditionally, treatments for ED have included PDE5 inhibitors such as Viagra. Yet, these drugs are among the most controversial on the market. They relax the blood vessel walls in certain areas of the body and, while typically effective in addressing ED, are linked to both minor and serious side effects. Common side effects include nasal congestion, vision impairment and light sensitivity, indigestion, and headaches. More serious side effects include painful and long-lasting erections, damage to the optic nerve, hearing loss, and heart attack, among others. 

When oral medications fail, treatments such as injection therapy and penile implants may be explored as a last resort. Yet, these treatments also have their own set of potentially serious side effects. For this reason, experts have been exploring alternative options for treating ED.

Stem Cell Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction 

One promising treatment for ED which has emerged recently is stem cell therapy. In one clinical trial, men who have experienced ED after prostatectomy for prostate cancer experienced improved erectile function, even after all previously attempted treatments showed no results. The treatment has also shown promise for improving erections in men whose ED is caused by underlying conditions such as diabetes.

Stem cells work to promote tissue regeneration and healing, due to their ability to either become new cells through self-renewal or give rise to virtually any other cell type in the body. No other cells have these remarkable capabilities. When administered strategically, they can, therefore, promote the repair of almost any type of damaged or injured tissue. 

Researchers are encouraged by their findings and believe that the treatment offers a powerful alternative to traditional therapies for ED, as well as a viable solution for patients who have not responded to other treatments. Men experiencing the frustrations of ED may therefore once again be able to achieve and maintain spontaneous erections without invasive surgeries, injections, or medications, thereby improving their sexual satisfaction and relationships. 

Natural Solutions for Erectile Dysfunction

Natural Solutions for Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) may seem like an issue that exclusively affects sexual health, but it could actually be a telling indicator of larger issues with overall wellness. The issue could simply be a result of a lifestyle change, such as a new medication. For the majority of men, however, the underlying cause of ED is related to a physical issue, such as high cholesterol, clogged arteries, or high blood pressure.

The remedy for ED could, therefore, lie in making changes to promote better overall health. Here are some natural tactics you could try to improve both your wellness and your sex life:

Be Mindful of Heart Health

Your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels all influence the arteries in the heart, brain, and penis. It’s therefore essential to both your sexual and overall health that you monitor and control these levels. Meet with your doctor regularly to discuss your vascular health, and if needed, pursue lifestyle changes and medications to get on track. 

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity is a known cause of ED, so losing weight if needed and maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI) are some ways to combat the issue. Being overweight also contributes to diabetes and vascular disease risk, which are also causes of ED. Moreover, excess fat can alter hormone levels, which can play a role in the condition. Set a goal to reach and maintain a healthy weight to prevent or alleviate ED.

Exercise Regularly

Men who exercise regularly are 20-30% less likely to develop ED than their sedentary peers, according to a Harvard Health study. While participants in the study either ran or completed vigorous outdoor work, moderate and low-impact workouts can be beneficial, too. In fact, walking just 30 minutes a day is linked to a 41% drop in ED risk – proof that you don’t need to become a marathoner to enjoy the health benefits of physical activity.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Diet influences many aspects of health, and sexual wellness is no exception. According to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, men who follow a diet rich in natural foods including vegetables, whole grains, and fish were less likely to experience ED than their peers. Limiting or avoiding refined grains and red or processed meats is also beneficial, according to the study.

Strengthen the Pelvic Floor

If you think Kegels are just for women, think again. Pelvic floor strength is important for both men and women. Men, in particular, need strength in this area to maintain rigid erections and prevent blood from leaving the penis. One study in the UK even showed that doing Kegels twice a day for three months, combined with healthy habits like weight loss and smoking cessation, showed better results than lifestyle changes alone.   

Addressing ED isn’t always simple since it often involves a complex interplay of physical, hormonal, and psychological factors. Yet, trying these tactics can’t hurt, as their benefits will extend to your overall health while increasing your odds of combatting ED.

What Are the Best Foods to Relieve Chronic Pain?

What Are the Best Foods to Relieve Chronic Pain?

Whether it’s from arthritis, fibromyalgia, or another chronic condition, persistent pain is frustrating at best. There are many therapies available to help reduce discomfort, but one often overlooked lifestyle change is refining your diet. In particular, there are a few foods known for combatting inflammation, a key agent behind chronic pain. Try incorporating some of these foods and ingredients into your diet to see if it makes a difference with your pain levels. Here are some of the best foods to relieve chronic pain:

Soybeans

Soybeans have an anti-inflammatory effect, which could be a result of their powerful, protective phytoestrogens and omega-3 fatty acids. While soybeans are commonly found in prepared products like tofu and soy milk, you can also enjoy them as a protein-rich snack in the form of steamed edamame.

Fish

Experts have been touting the benefits of fish for decades due to the food’s many health-boosting qualities. Cold-water fish, in particular, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to curb inflammation. Reach for varieties like tuna or salmon for the greatest benefits.

Cherries

Delicious tart cherries are convenient, low-calorie snacks loaded with antioxidants. They’re also good sources of cyanidin, which has anti-inflammatory effects even stronger than that of vitamin E. The compound is known for reducing pain caused by arthritis and gout, in particular.

Turmeric

Turmeric’s most active compound, curcumin, is a potent anti-inflammatory agent which is believed to help control the symptoms of arthritis. It can also help to improve depression symptoms and even aid in the prevention of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease. Try the seasoning with your eggs, rice, or even in a smoothie.

Foods with Vitamin D

Interestingly, vitamin D deficiencies are very common among people with chronic pain. While experts are still unsure as to whether a deficiency could exacerbate existing pain or actually cause it in the first place, getting ample intake of this nutrient is clearly important for keeping discomfort at bay. With your doctor’s approval, consider taking supplements or getting vitamin D from sources such as fatty fish and egg yolks. Just try to steer clear of cow’s milk, which has inflammatory properties that may worsen pain.

Could Too Much Salt Contribute to Dementia?

Could Too Much Salt Contribute to Dementia?

Experts have been researching the potential causes of dementia for quite some time. Like many conditions, it’s believed to result from a combination of lifestyle, hereditary, and environmental factors. Recently, however, there’s been one dietary factor catching the attention of researchers: excess salt. Discover the connection between table salt and dementia risk below.

Dietary Salt & Cognitive Impairment

According to research published in October 2019 in Nature Neuroscience, a link has been established between excessive salt intake and elevated dementia risk. While experts have long associated poor cerebrovascular function with high salt diets, this new study suggests high sodium levels don’t just restrict blood flow to the brain; they can actually affect tau protein levels in the brain, too.

Tau supports neurons under normal circumstances. It does so by stabilizing microtubules, the structures which carry nutrients to neurons. When tau becomes unstable, it can build up in the brain. The buildup of tau is a hallmark characteristic of Alzheimer’s.

In the rodent study, scientists used nitric oxide to stabilize the tau, which in turn led to normal cognitive function – even though blood flow to the brain was still restricted. This suggests that the tau buildup caused by salt – and not the restricted blood flow – is the true causative agent behind dementia.

Reducing Salt Intake

Based on these findings, experts are now urging individuals to be mindful of their salt intake. Although further research needs to be completed to confirm the connection between sodium and dementia in humans, reducing salt consumption is a good idea anyhow. Excess sodium can accumulate in the blood when the kidneys can no longer keep up with it, which causes the body to hold onto excess water. This, in turn, increases fluid and blood volume, which puts added pressure on the heart and blood vessels. As a result, the risk for blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke increases.

The American Heart Association recommends adults take in no more than 2,300 mg of salt per day, but suggests aiming for an ideal limit of 1,500 mg. The majority of sodium comes from packaged and prepared foods, so making your own meals at home with whole ingredients such as fresh vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is one of the best ways to reduce salt intake.

3 Reasons to Consider a Daily Probiotic

3 Reasons to Consider a Daily Probiotic

When you go to the doctor’s office for a bacterial infection such as strep throat, you’ll likely receive a prescription for antibiotics to clear up the illness. Yet, if you’ve been down the vitamin aisle lately, chances are you’ve come across probiotics. What are these new supplements, and why are so many people taking them? Here are 3 reasons to consider a daily probiotic.

While antibiotics are used to zap the bad bacteria in your body, probiotics are used to promote the helpful bacteria that support intestinal, and ultimately, whole-body health. When we take antibiotics, these medications also naturally take away some of the good bacteria our body needs to thrive. Probiotics help to restore the essential balance in our intestinal tract. Moreover, aside from antibiotics, there are many other dietary, environmental, and medical factors which can affect our population of good bacteria. Thus, probiotics can be a healthy choice for many populations – with a doctor’s permission, of course.

If you’re not already doing so, here are three reasons to consider discussing a probiotic supplement with your healthcare provider:

Prevent Gut Dysbiosis

Because probiotics help to maintain a healthy population of microorganisms in the intestines, it is important to consider a daily probiotic. They could help to prevent against a serious condition known as gut dysbiosis. When factors such as age, diet, stress, and disease diminish the abundance and diversity of healthy gut bacteria, it can impact the homeostasis, or stable state, of the gut. Gut dysbiosis occurs when this imbalance happens consistently. The condition is linked not only to intestinal issues such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but also central nervous system disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. Fortunately, probiotics have been shown to help regulate these bacteria for improved intestinal health.

Support Immune System Health

The intestinal immune system encounters more foreign and harmful substances than any other system in the body, making it a key player in disease prevention. In fact, as much as 70% of the body’s entire immune system is located in the intestines. Yet, to provide the right immune responses when needed, the intestinal tract needs a healthy balance of bacteria. Taking probiotics can help to promote that balance, and use of these supplements has even been linked to prevention of the common cold.

Aid in Weight Management

Losing weight and keeping it off can be challenging. While eating a diet rich in lean protein, whole grains, and nutrient-rich fruit and vegetables is essential to maintaining a healthy weight, probiotics could also play a beneficial role in weight management. Specifically, the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium lactics B-420 appears to help control body fat and assist with the regulation of body weight.

Why Are You Waking Up in the Middle of the Night?

Why Are You Waking Up in the Middle of the Night?

We’ve all heard about the importance of clocking seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Getting adequate slumber has been linked to dozens of benefits, including the preservation of mental and physical health, quality of life, and safety at every age. Yet, if you’re like many people, you may find yourself waking up in the middle of the night on occasion.

When you find yourself rising from slumber on a regular basis, it’s categorized as insomnia. Although common, this issue usually points to a need for some type of change. Of course, you must first know what’s causing the pattern before you can address it. While there are many potential reasons for waking up from sleep unprovoked, here are a few common causes to explore.

Hormones

Hormonal changes can have a significant impact on sleep, especially for women during pregnancy and menopause. Changing levels of estrogen, in particular, can lead to sleep challenges such as waking up in the middle of the night. Maintaining a comfortable bedroom temperature (possibly on the cooler side), scheduling exercise earlier in the day, and drinking a soothing beverage before bed may help to facilitate uninterrupted sleep.

Of course, it’s also possible for hormone imbalances to trigger sleep problems even if you aren’t a pregnant or menopausal woman. Be sure to speak with your doctor if you suspect hormone issues could be the culprit for your periodic wake-ups.

Blood Sugar Changes

Eating foods with carbohydrates or sugars can boost your blood sugar. Eventually, the insulin in your body will remove the sugar from your blood and send it to your cells, resulting in declining blood sugar levels. While it’s likely you’ll feel sleepy at this time, the dip in blood sugar can actually trigger a stress response, releasing cortisol and adrenaline, which could actually stir you out of your slumber.

To combat these dips and spikes, try to steer clear of sugary or carb-rich foods at least two hours before going to sleep. Be sure to include protein with your meal, along with healthy fats and fiber. Avoid skipping meals during the day, too.

Medical Conditions

Medical conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, musculoskeletal disorders, and sleep apnea can all cause sleep disturbances. Be sure you’re seeing your physician for regular checkups to maintain any existing conditions or to identify potential underlying causes of sleep problems. Additionally, mental health disorders such as general anxiety and depression may also lead to irregular sleep patterns. If you think your sleep issues are related to a mental health issue, seek help from a professional counselor.

Daytime Habits

Daily napping, drinking caffeine late in the day, and drinking more than one alcoholic beverage can all contribute to poor sleep. Additionally, waking up and going to bed at different times each day could make it difficult for your body to regulate its natural sleep clock. For this reason, you should try to maintain a consistent sleeping schedule, even on the weekends.

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