Uncategorized

5 Drugs Keeping Men Down

pills

Prescription Drugs And Erectile Dysfunction: 5 Drugs Keeping Men Down

 

These five categories of drugs may cause erectile dysfunction.

 

Most men who take prescription medications know that they’re going to come with a list of side effects, which usually include drowsiness, headaches, dry mouth, or upset stomach. Sometimes, they’re a bit more serious, encompassing everything from skin irritation to allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock. But most of these guys forget one of the more unwanted side effects: erectile dysfunction.

 

Around the country, erectile dysfunction, or simply ED, affects as many as 30 million men, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Though this figure probably doesn’t include all those men taking prescription meds, they certainly experience the same effects, such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and a decreased quality of life. Nevertheless, it’s important to know which medications may cause these side effects, and speak to a doctor about possible alternatives — or just prepare to have trouble keeping it up. Here are five of them.

Benzodiazepines

 

It’s interesting that benzodiazepines, which are commonly used for anxiety — but also seizures and insomnia — can cause ED, and thus further anxiety. In fact, you’ll find that it’s a running theme. Anxiety is well known to cause ED, as increased levels of stress harm the body and take away from a man’s libido.

Though common benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Librium, may help calm a man’s anxieties through sedative effects, they may also end up lowering a man’s desire to have sex, as well as his ability to stay erect.

Antidepressants

 

Another condition that causes ED in itself, major depression affected an estimated 16 million adults in 2012. Antidepressants are also used to treat anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and even long-term pain. One of the major forms of antidepressants, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are comprised of the drugs Celexa, Prozac, Zoloft, and Lexapro.

Up to 60 percent of people taking SSRIs may experience ED, according to Medscape. Though it’s unclear how it causes ED, experts suspect it relates to the way the drugs influence function of the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, all of which relate to feelings of well-being.

Beta Blockers

 

High blood pressure damages blood vessels, including those in a man’s penis; causing ED. But beta blockers, one of the drugs most commonly prescribed to people who have blood pressure, may also cause them to experience ED. Drugs that fall into this category include Sectral, Lopressor, Cogard, and Tenormin.

Just like antidepressants, these drugs also affect neurotransmitters in the brain, specifically epinephrine (adrenaline). In this particular case, they counteract the stimulatory effects of the molecule, tamping down on a person’s excitement. At the same time, some evidence suggests beta blockers also messes with the areas of a man’s nervous system that make him erect.

Antihistamines

 

Millions of men suffer from allergies, but some of the most common drugs, such as Benadryl and Dramamine, may be causing them to have ED, too. Though it’s unclear exactly how it causes ED, personal accounts of its effects suggest that it could alter the way men’s nervous systems react to stimulation around the penis. It also seems to be temporary, with sensation coming back gradually after ending use.

H2 Blockers

 

Also called H2-receptor antagonists, this category of drugs include the popular heartburn drugs Zantac and Pepcid. They’re used to treat gastrointestinal disorders like gastric ulcers, erosive esophagitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

For the most part, they cause ED when taken in high doses, and the drug Tagamet (cimetidine) is most likely to give men problems. Along with Ed and a decreased libido, they can also lower a man’s sperm count.

Though life on these drugs may seem grim within the sexual arena, taking them is important for treating whatever disease a doctor has prescribed them for. Also, by talking with a doctor about alternative treatments, lowering doses, or taking supplements, anyone who takes these drugs may be able to get some of their sexual health back.

 

So what do you do?

 

As always give us a call.  The answer to many of the symptoms described here, which started someone on the cycle of various prescriptions, can be treated and reversed with other ways.  Taking a chemical to treat a symptom is only going to cause more problems for you.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Naturally Flavored Waters

flavoed-waer

Say goodbye to soda, juice, and bottled water with these refreshing, healthy flavors! I’m keeping 2-3 flavors of this “spa water” in my fridge now, so I have a variety to motivate me to drink more water.

 

I was a hardcore Dr. Pepper girl for years. Then I gave up regular soda because of the high sugar content and switched to diet soda. Next we were warned to avoid the chemicals in diet soda; and more recently studies have indicated that diet soda actually causes rather than prevents weight gain (source). Geez. Lots of us moved on to bottled water, but that has landfill and environmental consequences and can be less healthy than regular tap water (source). Juice has more nutrition than soda, but is comparable in sugar, carb, and calorie content (source). Dang. It’s hard to keep up.

 

Simply water

At the end of the day, regular old tap water–or at least a filtered version of it–seems to be the way to go.  I’m fortunate that St. Louis is considered to have some of the best tasting tap water in the U.S. I still prefer the taste of it filtered through a Brita Water Filter Pitcher–we’ve been using one for years. But, I still don’t drink enough water.

 

Aside from my morning coffee, I honestly forget to drink fluids throughout the day. I know that it’s important for my health. I don’t dislike water, but I do get kind of bored with it. That was the motivation for starting to make flavored waters.

 

Subtle flavor without sweetness

These aren’t sweet waters, so they’ll be disappointing if that’s what you’re expecting. This is water with subtle flavors infused into it. Water with a little something extra. A touch of flavor–not an explosion of flavor–with little or no sweetness. You’ve probably had pitchers of ice water with lemon served at restaurants. This is the same idea, but with more variety. Many spas serve fancy waters like these, and it turns out that they couldn’t be simpler to make. And, they are oh-so-refreshing.

 

 

The KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) approach to Flavored Waters

My natural tendency is to go overboard and overcomplicate things, so I really have to fight that when I’m developing recipes. I read about and was tempted to try all kinds of methods for flavoring water that involve blenders, boiling, specialty infuser pitchers, and lots of different ingredients. But, I know myself. If I truly want to transition completely away from soda & juice and drink more water throughout the day, I have to make this simple so it can be an easy routine for me to maintain. When I read celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s quick and uncomplicated approach to making flavored waters, I was inspired to follow his lead and keep it simple. My easy formula for making KISS flavored waters is to use only fruit and herbs, water, ice, and a jar or pitcher. This is something I can make in a minute or two so I can always have flavored waters on hand in my fridge.

 

How to make

Naturally Flavored Water

 

Supplies Needed:

 

fruit — whatever kind you like (except no bananas); make sure it’s good and ripe for maximum sweetness and flavor.  I like to use all kinds of citrus and berries. I also found pineapple and watermelon to work well for flavoring water. If you don’t want to buy whole ones, many grocery stores sell small containers of pre-cut fruit.

herbs — these are optional, but many herbs are a surprising complement to fruit flavors; almost any herb will work depending on your personal preference

jars or pitchers — I use 2 quart mason jars primarily, but any 2 quart pitcher will do.

fruit infusion pitcher–I recently purchased one of these–it’s another option if you think you’ll be making infused waters regularly; a very easy, tidy way to strain fruit from water.

fruit infusion water bottle–I love using this for a portable, on-the-go option.

muddler or wooden spoon for mashing fruit and herbs

water — I use filtered water, but regular tap water is fine if yours tastes good to you

 

Fresh vs. frozen fruit. When in season, I prefer to use fresh fruit. However, when fruit is out of season, the fresh version can be tart or flavorless. Because fruit that is to be frozen is picked at the peak of ripeness, it is often the better option for the best flavor, sweetness, and nutrients. I find this to especially to be the case with berries and peaches.

A variety of fresh herbs. Use whatever herbs you like or happen to have on hand. I picked all of these from my herb garden and have tried them in flavored waters. It’s surprising how well they blend with most fruit flavors, and they amp up the refreshing factor of the water. Mint is the most obvious herb choice. I also have tried basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, lavender, and tarragon. All good.

 

I’ll share some of the fruit and herb combos that I’ve recently tried for flavoring water. But, honestly, you can combine most fruits and herbs according to your favorite flavors and what you have on hand in your fridge. I’ll show you how to make 5 flavor combos. You can take it from there, creating endless flavor combos of your own.

 

Quantities: The quantities in my flavored water recipes are all for 2 quart jars or pitchers. However, I ran out of the 2 quart jars and used a few 1 quart jars, halving the recipe ingredients. So, don’t be confused by the different jar sizes. It’s easy to make a full or half batch depending on your jar or pitcher size.

 

The first 2 waters are

flavored with fruit only (no herbs)

WASH FRUIT THOROUGHLY! The citrus and berries need to be really, really clean to keep contaminants and bacteria out of your flavored water. I recommend organic fruit, if it isn’t going to be peeled.

 

  1. 1. All Citrus Flavored Water (adds refreshing tartness to water) — slice 1 orange, 1 lime, 1 lemon into rounds, then cut the rounds in half. Add to jar, press and twist with a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon. Press enough to release some of the juices, but don’t pulverize the fruit into pieces. Fill the jar with ice. Pour in water to the top. Stir it with the handle of a wooden spoon or a chopstick. Put a lid on it, put it in the fridge, and chill.

You can drink it right away, but the flavor intensifies if it’s made an hour or two ahead. It’s even better the next day. 24 hours later straight from the fridge, the ice still hasn’t melted completely in mine. The ice at the top serves as a sieve so that you can pour the flavored water without getting fruit bits in your glass.

 

  1. Raspberry Lime Flavored Water (beautiful color and mildly tart) — Quarter 2 limes; with your hands, squeeze the juice into the jar, then throw in the squeezed lime quarters. Add raspberries. Press and twist with a muddler to release some of the juices (don’t pulverize the fruit). Fill the jar with ice, then add water to the top. Stir, cover, and refrigerate.

 

 

The next 3 waters are

flavored with fruit and herb combos

 

  1. 3. Pineapple Mint Flavored Water (a hint of minty sweetness). Add a sprig of mint to the jar–you can throw in the whole sprig; or, remove the leaves from the sprig, if you prefer to have the mint swimming around and distributing in the jar. Muddle the mint–the goal is to bruise the leaves and release their flavor–don’t pulverize them into bits. Add pineapple pieces, press and twist with the muddler to release juices. Add ice to the top and then water. Stir, cover, and refrigerate.

 

  1. 4. Blackberry Sage Flavored Water (subtle, refreshing flavor). Add sage leaves to jar and bruise with a muddler. Add blackberries; press and twist with muddler to release their juices. Fill jar with ice cubes, add water to the top, stir, cover and refrigerate.

 

  1. Watermelon Rosemary Flavored Water (lovely flavor combo). Add a sprig of rosemary to jar and muddle gently (rosemary releases a strong flavor without much muddling). Add watermelon cubes; twist and press gently to release juices. Fill jar with ice cubes, add water to the top, stir, cover and refrigerate.

How long will they keep? Put a lid on them, put them in fridge, and they will keep for up to 3 days. It only takes a few minutes to make several varieties to keep on hand. No more boring water for me!

Pour a glass. When there’s still ice left in the jar (my ice lasts up to 24 hours in the fridge), it will filter out the fruit/herb bits as you pour the water into a glass. After the ice melts, if you don’t want to drink fruit bits along with the water, use a small wire strainer to remove them as you pour the water into your drinking glass. UPDATE: Another option that was suggested by reader Kelley in the comments section is to use a sprout strainer lid made to fit wide mouth mason jars. I bought one, and it works great! (Thanks for the tip, Kelley!)

 

Sweeten it up, if you must. If you have a sweet tooth and find these flavored waters undrinkable without some sweetener, go ahead and stir in some simple sugar syrup, honey, agave syrup, or whatever sweetener you prefer. 1 teaspoon of sugar only has 15 calories, so go ahead and add one to your glass. Given that a single can of soda or juice has the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar, you are still way better off drinking slightly sweetened water. If you are hooked on sweet tasting drinks and want to reduce or eliminate sugar or artificial sweeteners, you may need to wean yourself gradually. Unsweetened beverages are an acquired taste. I prefer them now, but it took me awhile to get there.

 

Or, try making my Naturally Flavored Fruit & Herb Honey Syrups. Just stir these into your chilled water for a healthier way to add a hint of flavored sweetness.

Great for entertaining! Flavored waters are very popular now, as more people are avoiding soda and juice. Make a variety of flavored waters to offer at your next party. Look how gorgeous they are! Refreshing, healthy, inexpensive, and beautiful. Plus you can make and refrigerate them well in advance of the party.

 

You might also enjoy these recipes:

 

 

General formula for whatever fruit/herb combo you desire.

  1. If using herbs, add a sprig of fresh herbs to jar/pitcher; press and twist with muddler or handle of wooden spoon to bruise leaves and release flavor; don’t pulverize the herbs into bits.
  2. Add approx. 2 cups of fruit to jar/pitcher; press and twist with muddler or handle of wooden spoon, just enough to release some of the juices
  3. Fill jar/pitcher with ice cubes.
  4. Add water to top of jar/pitcher.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

 

Suggested flavor combinations:

ALL CITRUS (no herbs) —  Slice 1 orange, 1 lime, 1 lemon into rounds, then cut the rounds in half. Add to jar and proceed with muddling, add ice & water.

RASPBERRY LIME (no herbs)  — Quarter 2 limes; with your hands, squeeze the juice into the jar, then throw in the squeezed lime quarters. Add 2 cups raspberries. Muddle, add ice & water.

PINEAPPLE MINT — Add a sprig of mint to the jar (you can throw in the whole sprig; or, remove the leaves from the sprig, if you prefer to have the mint swimming around and distributing in the jar). Muddle the mint. Add 2 cups pineapple pieces, muddle, add ice & water.

BLACKBERRY SAGE — Add sage sprig to jar and muddle. Add 2 cups blackberries; muddle, add ice & water.

WATERMELON ROSEMARY —  Add rosemary sprig to jar & muddle. Add 2 cups watermelon cubes; muddle, add ice and water.

 

 

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Health and Wellness Associates

Archived: Michelle

312-972-WELL

Foods, Uncategorized

Florentine Meatballs

 

Florentine Meatballs

 

Ingredients

 

1 box frozen spinach, defrosted in the microwave

1 1/3 pound (1 package) ground turkey breast

1 medium onion, finely chopped, divided

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large egg

1 3/4 cups milk, divided

3/4 cup bread crumbs, 3 handfuls   ( I would use Panko, made from rice)

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, 2 palm fulls

Coarse salt and black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken stock

1 (10-ounce) sack shredded provolone or blend of Italian cheeses, available on dairy aisle

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, eyeball it

1/4 cup parsley leaves, chopped

 

Directions

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

 

Wring defrosted spinach dry in a clean kitchen towel. Place turkey in a bowl and make a well in the middle of it. Add the spinach, all but 3 tablespoons of the onion, all of the garlic, 1 large egg, about 1/4 cup milk, bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, salt and pepper. Mix well. Form into 12 large balls and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Arrange on a nonstick cookie sheet and roast 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

 

While balls are in the oven, heat a small sauce pot over medium heat. Add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter. Melt butter, add remaining finely chopped onion and cook 2 minutes then whisk in flour. Cook flour 1 minute, then whisk in 1 1/2 cups milk and 1 cup stock. Bring liquid up to a boil then stir in shredded provolone or blended Italian cheeses. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg, turn heat to lowest setting.

 

Place 3 balls on dinner plates and top with sauce, garnish with parsley.

 

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Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-9355

 

Thank you Anthony Kaminski for sharing with us

florentinemeatballs