Getting it right in terms of general health doesn’t just happen, it takes quite a bit of thought in terms of research and planning. Being informed about what harms and what helps can be a lifesaver, and the more you find out, the more you realise that looking after yourself is a holistic process. Your head and your heart need to work together in every way. Here we discuss all aspects of men’s health.
How Does Stress Affect Men’s Health?
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Stress is one of those things that you can’t see, but its impact can wreak havoc with your wellbeing. It’s not only about your mental health; stress seems to have a knack of knowing just where to attack everyone’s physical health too. It can wriggle its way into your digestive system, causing inflammatory bowel disorders, ulcers, indigestion, and reflux. It causes migraines, skin disorders such as rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. It can go for your respiratory system and give you asthma. It can even stop you wanting to make love and persuade you that you’ve lost your mojo. So, stress is an insidious, persistent, and destructive force that can make you feel pretty low, and if not dealt with, can lead to depression.
Like so many things, stress has another, more positive, side. When those stress hormones are doing what they were originally designed to do, they can save you from danger, galvanise you into action when you need to act quickly and help you achieve things you never dreamed you could do! It’s just when it all gets out of control in the wrong place at the wrong time that problems arise. There are ways to help yourself recognise inappropriate stress and there are mechanisms that can be learned to deal with it.
Here are some natural supplements clinically proven to help take the edge off stress and anxiety and promote a state of calm:
- Ashwagandha Root Extract
- A herb used in ancient Indian medicine, is known for its ability to help your body deal with stress. It supports brain function, energy levels and because it lowers cortisol levels in the bloodstream, has the effect of calming symptoms of anxiety. Available in 500 mg capsules, ashwagandha is often known as Indian Ginseng.
- Panax Korean Ginseng
- A traditional herb, well known and used in Korea, Japan, China and the USA. It is high in antioxidants called ginsenosides which are extracted from the whole plant. Proven by science to have the ability to regulate immune response and hormonal changes due to stress, ginseng also has the ability to suppress the onset of symptoms caused by anxiety. Available in 500 mg capsules.
- Valerian Root Extract
- Used throughout ancient medicine as well as in modern times to support peaceful sleep and promote calm. Valerian root has also been found to contain the antioxidants hesperidin and linarin, and these both have sleep-inducing properties.
- Valerian also contains compounds that can inhibit activity within the amygdala which is the area of the brain that deals with fear and the emotional response to stress. Available in capsule form.
If you would like to read more about stress and anxiety with tips on how to manage those imposters, you may find it useful to take a look at our blog post:
Protecting Your Circulatory System
At the epicentre of your being is a beating heart, the lifeforce of all the functions of your body and mind. If it is to work effectively it requires you to have blood vessels that are in good working order to allow blood to flow freely through every part of your body.
When there are problems with the blood vessels, such as narrowing of arteries due to wear and tear, certain diseases, poor food choices, obesity, or lack of exercise, this can impact on your general health in various ways. When blood flow becomes sluggish there are certain bodily function that suffer, and various pains or sensations can develop. Pain may sometimes be present at the location of any narrowing or blockage.
Tell-tale signs and symptoms that your circulation is struggling are:
- You may notice that you are suffering with cold hands and feet
- There may be signs of swelling or feelings of heaviness in your ankles and feet
- Erectile dysfunction is a very common symptom of a sluggish circulation
- Problems with digestion can arise
- You may notice that you are feeling particularly tired
- Often joint pain and muscle cramps are an indication of circulatory problems
- Some degree of cognitive dysfunction may become apparent
Years of eating a diet high in saturated fats is possibly the culprit when it comes to discovering why your circulatory system is less than efficient. It’s important to get your GP to check out your cholesterol levels and arrange for you to have blood pressure readings taken. Often it is preferable for you to do this yourself at home as you are more likely to be relaxed so the readings will be more meaningful. It’s useful to take readings at various times of the day. This is the first step to diagnosing and then correcting the problem.
You may be able to lower your cholesterol level by changing your eating habits but if your levels are too high it may be necessary for you to take cholesterol lowering medication such as statins, and possibly blood pressure lowering medication too.
Many people have found that in addition to changing their diet and increasing physical activity, certain natural supplements help greatly in boosting circulation. The top players in terms of both general circulatory function benefits are:
- Maritime Pine Bark
- Known for its power to strengthen blood vessels and increase blood flow through the largest arteries to the smallest capillaries. It improves cardiovascular health and increases circulation, supports healthy blood pressure levels. It is also heralded for its ability to support cognitive function, improve the delivery of oxygen to cells and reduce leg and ankle swelling.
- Used for raising nitric oxide levels in the blood. This has the effect of relaxing hardened artery walls which in turn lowers blood pressure and increases blood flow throughout the whole body.
- GT6 Powder
- Designed to increase circulation and boost nitric oxide production with an emphasis on helping alleviate the frustration of ED. As well as stimulating blood flow, GT6 protects blood vessels from the damage that can occur from normal ageing. The two natural ingredients in GT6 are L-citrulline and French maritime pine bark.
- Korean Red Ginseng
- This has been the subject of a study using digital infrared thermal imaging and Doppler sonography to check both the efficacy and safety of the substance. The randomized, double blind, placebo controlled clinical trial concluded that digital infrared thermal imaging showed that the Korean red ginseng safely improves blood circulation in the human body.
To get more information about methods of helping lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and to achieve a healthy circulation by making some lifestyle changes, see our blog:
Many men find that they are experiencing symptoms similar to those known to belong to the female menopause. Such things as fatigue, muscle pain, night sweats and hot flushing. It is a medical fact that during their 40s and 50s some men begin to experience mood swings ranging from irritability and aggression to a lack of interest in any of the things that were once hobbies and pastimes. These unaccustomed emotional as well as physical symptoms can trigger anxiety and sometimes result in periods of depression where men may be afraid that their virility is lost.
There are highly effective natural supplements available to help with the pains and frustrations of ageing. Look for those that are backed by scientific research and sourced from high quality natural substances:
- In terms of boosting testosterone levels and improving sexual function, extracts from the roots of the ashwagandha plant have the highest number of positive clinical trial results to date. Available as a supplement in 500 mg capsules.
- Tribulus Terrestris
- The findings of clinical trials have proved positive in terms of enhanced sexual function and erectile dysfunction support. Tribulus has also been found to have libido enhancing properties. Our highly acclaimed T-Boost Complex capsules contain a high percentage of tribulus terrestris. T-Boost Complex is available as a supplement.
- Tongkat Ali
- Also known as Malaysian ginseng, has been used in ancient medicine to boost sexual desire and help men overcome the problem of impotence. It is also known to ease high blood pressure and chronic fatigue as well as helping with depression. Substances extracted from the roots of tongkat ali have been found to give great support to those struggling with mid-life issues. Supplements available in 600mg capsules.
To read more about the problems that present with similar symptoms as menopause and ideas on how to manage them, see our blog:
Men’s Health and Low Testosterone
Tell-tale signs that all may not be well with your testosterone levels, can include:
- Unusual fatigue
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Excessive sweating (including night sweats)
- Poor concentration or memory
- Needing to shave less frequently
Your GP will be able to arrange for a blood test that will check testosterone levels.
Possible reasons why testosterone levels should change are:
- Chronic disease such as liver or kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity.
- Chronic disease such as liver or kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity.
- An underactive pituitary gland.
- Injury or disease of the testicles.
- Non-cancerous tumour in the pituitary cells.
- Medications such as opiate painkillers.
- Radiation or chemotherapy.
Natural supplements that have been found to support low testosterone and infertility issues are:
- Used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 3,000 years, has been proven to have positive outcomes for fertility issues. It has also been found to have benefits in terms of increased strength and exercise performance as well as boosting testosterone levels.
- Findings are that ashwagandha can help to reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This has the effect of increasing testosterone levels because cortisol is known to have a destructive effect on testosterone. Ashwagandha root extract is available as a supplement in 500mg capsules.
- Saw Palmetto
- A berry extract of the serenoa repens plant. Its properties are known to reduce the symptoms of enlarged prostate caused by low testosterone levels. It contains antioxidants called epicatechin and methyl gallate. These compounds are protective to cells and help reduce inflammation of the prostate gland. Saw Palmetto is available as a supplement in 350mg capsules.
- Tongkat Ali
- This has been used in ancient medicine as a libido enhancer. It is also known as Malaysian ginseng and in modern times is used to improve libido and restore energy, hormonal balance, enhance fitness and support weight loss.
- In clinical trials, tongkat ali has been found to balance mood as well as boosting testosterone. It has earned the reputation as an adaptogen against age-related stress. Indonesian Tongkat Ali is available as a supplement in 600mg capsules.
To read more about low testosterone see our blog:
There are many reasons why sexual desire may diminish. Sometimes two people cease to find one another attractive, or it could be that they have been together for a long time and the excitement has been lost. These scenarios are somewhat different from physical or emotional problems that specifically result in a lull in an otherwise healthy libido. It’s a highly frustrating problem when you may wish that the feelings and physical manifestations were present, but for some reason they are not. Sometimes the causes can be due to a physical issue, and sometimes it may be because of an emotional situation or a mental block. If this situation continues for more than a short spell it is a good idea to try to establish the underlying cause so you can find a solution.
Some of the physical causes, such as clogged arteries, that might cause a diminished blood flow, have the effect of making arousal and erection difficult. Sometimes a spell of low mood or depression can cause a cooling of sexual interest, and if you have been ill or on medication this can also have the effect of taking away that spark. Many men struggle on, sometimes for years, without realising that there is much that can be done to help in terms of boosting circulation or addressing the fact that their sex life has petered out.
A very common cause of low libido is to do with lack of self-esteem. Following some of life’s traumas such as rejection, bereavement, divorce or redundancy, there may be a period of feeling very low and believing that you are not attractive sexually. This is almost always an unfounded belief, but it can take some dispelling.
Body image is also a big thing for many, and it may be that spending a few hours a week on an exercise programme will begin to pay dividends in terms of firming up a bit of flab and toning those biceps. There’s no point in insisting that looks don’t matter, because to many people they do. Anyone can try to make the best of themselves, and it can only help their general health to pay attention to getting more physically fit.
Disturbed sleep over a long period of time can impact upon the libido. Sleep deprivation has also been found to decrease testosterone levels as well as making you feel generally exhausted and therefore not particularly in the mood.
Stress is a big libido killer. It has much to do with the fact that stress gives rise to high levels of the hormone cortisol streaming through your body, and cortisol makes your brain think you need all your energy for flight or fight, so sex is probably off the menu. An encouraging finding is that just a moderate amount of daily exercise will help mop up that excess of cortisol, and apart from that, it will help you to avoid illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease that all have low libido as a side effect.
Natural Supplements to Help Boost Libido:
- Ashwaghanda Root Extract
- One of the tried and trusted herbs used for many centuries of Ayurvedic medicine to boost libido is ashwagandha root. Also known as Indian ginseng, ashwagandha has been used for over 3000 years for its energy-enhancing properties and it is believed to be helpful in the treatment of certain psychosomatic conditions, improving tissue vitality, physical and mental strength as well as neuromuscular ability. Based on these properties, Ashwagandha was chosen as the trial drug in a clinical study into psychogenic erectile dysfunction.
- Our capsules are made using the award-winning KSM-66 Ashwagandha sourced from India and extracted only from the root of the plant.
- Amino Optima
- Our Amino Optima capsules contain 635mg of pure Norweigan Young Tissue Extract, providing 23 of the most necessary amino acids required by the human body. Among many other positive functions, Amino Optima helps boost stamina and libido.
- Sometimes known as Peruvian ginseng. With a long history of both medicinal and culinary use in its native Peru, maca can be found growing at high altitudes in the Andes. It has been heralded for its libido boosting properties which come from the dried root of the plant. It was found from the outcome of a lengthy clinical study that maca conclusively improved sexual desire. Peruvian Maca Root Extract is available as a supplement in capsule form.
- This powder raises nitric oxide in the blood which helps to relax hardened artery walls. This helps lower blood pressure and improve circulation. L-Citrulline is available in powder form.
- Zuyosa Vitality Capsules
- An effective and powerful natural alternative to the pharmaceutical drug sildenafil citrate (Viagra). Zuyosa is a highly effective supplement for counteracting the problems experienced by those struggling with ED.
- Viapro Capsules
- A highly effective natural food supplement especially formulated from herbal ingredients including Maca, Ginseng, Ginger, Zinc and Vitamin B6 to enhance libido and stamina as well as stimulating sexual performance.
- T-Boost Complex Capsules
- This dietary supplement contains a blend of eight natural and powerful ingredients with proven ability to support men’s health, particularly stamina and increased libido.
To read more about low libido and how to help overcome it, see our blog entitled:
When it comes to keeping you informed on health, nutrition and fitness we’re here for you and aim to always be a source of knowledge and advice.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of using natural supplements, or would find advice helpful, please feel free to contact us on 01297 553932.