1. Opioid painkillers linked to low testosterone levels

    Painkillers linked to sex problems

    One day, you're battling back pain. The next, it's everything from memory loss to physical weakness to erection problems and low testosterone levels.

    "Well, that's it," you might think to yourself. "I guess I'm just falling apart!"

    I can't tell you how often I've heard that from my own patients, especially first-timers who've come to me after getting nowhere with a mainstream doctor. And if you've ever felt that way yourself, I have some good news for you today: You're not falling apart.

    In fact, the problem may not even be you at all.

    It's your meds -- because the painkillers given for chronic conditions such as back pain can lead to a downward spiral of poor health, and new research shows how it can even ruin your sex life.

    Men who take opioid painkillers such as hydrocodone and oxycodone have a 50 percent higher risk of both low testosterone levels and bedroom problems, according to the study of 11,327 men with back pain.

    It doesn't take long before those risks kick in, either -- just three months of normal use. And for the highest doses (120 mg of morphine-equivalent drugs per day or more), those risks kick in almost immediately, according to the study in the journal Spine.

    But low testosterone levels and bedroom problems are risks you don't have to face yourself.

    In many cases, opioid painkillers aren't even necessary in the first place. I find that nondrug treatments such as acupuncture, natural anti-inflammatories, and cold laser can often bring real and lasting pain relief.

    (Prescription meds such as opioid painkillers kill more Americans than illegal drugs. Shocked? Click here to learn more.)

    And in the rare cases where opioid drugs are needed, they should be restricted to the lowest dose for the shortest period to prevent low testosterone-- a stopgap measure to manage severe pain while you and your doctor work on finding and correcting the cause of your pain.

    Of course, even if you take no painkillers at all, you could still find yourself battling low testosterone levels and everything that comes along with it -- including erection problems, memory loss, and general weakness.

    So if you're on one of these drugs and you feel like you're falling apart (or worse) don't worry, a holistic physician can put you back together with a natural testosterone replacement regimen. And if you're in the Southern California area, I can help -- because I happen to run one of the most complete hormone testing and treatment programs around.

    Contact my clinic at 855-DOC-MARK for more information or to make an appointment.

  2. Ginseng benefits can help beat erectile dysfunction

    Natural cures for erection problems

    It's one of the most common male complaints -- but too many men are too embarrassed to talk to their doctors about it.

    So instead of getting real, natural help like ginseng benefits for erectile dysfunction, many men engage in the riskiest sexual behavior of all: They buy penis pills such as Viagra from shady online pharmacies.

    These drugs are dangerous enough in the best of times. But when you buy them from the back alleys of the Internet, you could get something even worse -- including tainted or even phony drugs.

    But you don't need to mess around with these meds either from real pharmacies or online, because there are natural treatments that have withstood both the test of time and rigorous modern science.

    One new study backs ginseng, a common remedy that's been used in Asia for centuries.

    More than 100 men with erection problems were given either ginseng or a placebo. After eight weeks, men on ginseng benefits had small but measurable improvements across the board.

    Of course, some men need more than small improvements. And for some men, the ginseng benefits may not even work at all. So while it's an option I sometimes recommend to my own patients, it's not the first one on the list.

    Some of your other natural choices include:

    L-arginine:This is usually the first supplement I recommend to men with erection problems. This essential amino acid can help improve blood flow. And when blood flows freely, it can flow to the places you need it most -- and yes, that includes "down there."

    Ginkgo biloba: In one study, 60 mg a day restored sexual function in half of the impotent men who tried it. Higher doses will often have better results, so try between 180 mg and 240 mg a day.

    For more all-natural solutions to impotence and other erection problems, see my book "Prescription for Natural Cures." Some men may need to try more than one remedy -- or even combine remedies -- until they find one that works best.

    It's worth the trial-and-error.

    Unlike sex drugs, these all-natural option, including ginseng benefits, have little risk of side effects.

    Sex drugs, on the other hand, can pack a few side effects that can ruin your life -- including vision problems, hearing loss, cold symptoms, headaches, and other troubling conditions.

    There's even a chance they can cause the infamous four-hour erection -- which might sound like fun, until you realize it's actually a very painful condition that requires immediate emergency medical care.

    That's not exactly a recipe for romance with your wife.

    In addition, many male sex problems are caused by low levels of testosterone -- and no penis pill in the world can correct that. So instead of turning to drugs, turn to a holistic physician who can test your hormone levels. If you're deficient, he can help restore you testosterone levels naturally.

    And for expert hormone testing and treatment, make an appointment to see me at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

  3. Obesity linked to erection and urinary problems

    Obese men have triple the risk of ejaculation problems and double the risk of erection problems as thin men, as well as a higher risk of urinary problems.
  4. The risk of a PSA test outweighs the benefits

    The PSA test used for years to help detect prostate cancer has been found to be unreliable.
  5. PSA tests don't save lives

    The best way to protect your prostate is to keep it far away from doctors who want to screen it -- and even further from the surgeons who make a living off prostate cancer procedures.
  6. The high price of hair growth

    A common hair loss drug can lead to erectile dysfunction, impotence, and libido problems. And that means men who think a full head of hair will boost their sex lives are in for the shock of their lives instead.
  7. Drink and be merry

    If you find that you're happier when you have a drink or two, you're not alone – and you're not necessarily drunk, either.

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