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Archive for Men’s Health

Smoking: Steps to Help You Quit

Smoking causes changes in the bodies and behavior of those who smoke. These changes are caused by an addiction to nicotine and develop over time.

Quit smoking

There are a few reasons to stop smoking:

  • Bad breath and stained teeth/ gum disease
  • Bad smell on clothes, hair, furniture, automobile
  • Lower athletic ability
  • Cough / sore throat
  • Raised blood pressure and increased heart beat
  • Cost
  • Risk of lung cancer/heart disease
  • Breathing problems and COPD
  • Wrinkles
  • Stomach ulcers/acid reflux

To stop smoking, following these steps will result in a higher success rate:

  • Get ready (set a date for stopping)
  • Get support and encouragement(stop smoking with a friend or co-worker)
  • Learn to handle stress and the urge to smoke in other ways
  • Get medication and use it as prescribed
  • Be prepared for relapse
  • Keep trying

Set a stop date of two to four weeks out in order to prepare yourself. Write down your personal reasons for stopping, and keep the list with you for encouragement. Keep a diary of why and when you smoke to help manage the urges to smoke, and plan how you will deal with these stressors. Throw away all of your cigarettes, matches, and lighters.

Tell your family and friends that you’re going to stop smoking to help build encouragement, or seek help from your doctor, local hospital and health centers for stop-smoking programs. Find other ways to manage your stress, such as taking a hot bath, going for a walk or drinking tea.

How you feel when you stop depends on how much you smoke. You may crave a cigarette, feel hungry or edgy, have trouble concentrating, get headaches, or cough. These symptoms will go away in a few weeks.

Nicotine replacement products are ways to take in nicotine without smoking and reduce the withdrawal symptoms. They come in several forms such as gum, patches, nasal sprays, inhalers and lozenges. There are also prescription products that help people stop smoking that do not contain nicotine. Talk to your doctor to decide which products are best for you.

Finally, most people gain a few pounds after they stop smoking. This, however, is a minor health risk compared to smoking itself. Dieting while trying to quit smoking will cause increased stress on your body, so it is preferred that you tackle one goal at a time. Don’t feel like a failure if you relapse. Set a new date and try again.

~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed

If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our providers to start your journey to stop smoking, please call our office at 757-488-3333. 

 

Posted in: Health Advice, Men's Health, News, Uncategorized

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A Healthy Prostate

Benign prostatic hyperplasia also called BPH is a condition that affects the prostate gland in men.  The prostate is a gland that is found between the bladder, where the urine is stored, and the urethra, where the urine passed through.  As men age, the prostate gland slowly enlarges.  This growth may press on the urethra and cause the flow of urine to be slower.  This enlargement typically isn’t caused by cancer or infection.

Most symptoms of BPH start gradually.  One symptom is the need to get up more often at night to urinate, and to empty the bladder often during the day.  Other symptoms include difficulty in starting the urine flow and dribbling after urination ends.  The size and the strength of the urine may also decrease.

Such symptoms can be caused by other things besides BPH.  They may be signs of more serious diseases, such as bladder infection or cancer.  Tell your doctor if you have these symptoms so they can evaluate your condition.

In order to know if you have BPH your doctor will perform a rectal exam, which will allow the doctor to feel the size of your prostate.  To ensure that the problem is benign the doctor may need to look a sample of the urine for signs of infection.  A blood test may also be in order.  An ultrasound or a biopsy of the prostate may help the doctor make the diagnosis.

Once the doctor is sure that the symptoms are caused by benign growth of the prostate gland, treatment can be recommended.  Surgery is considered the most effective treatment and is used in men with strong symptoms that persist after other treatments are tried.  Drug treatments are also available, which block a natural hormone that makes the prostate enlarge.  This medicine has side affects that have to do with sexual function.

Another medicine called alpha blockers, can also help the symptoms of BPH.  Alpha blockers have been used for a long time to treat high blood pressure, but they can also be used to help the symptoms of BPH, even in men with normal blood pressure.  These medicines may not work with all men.  The side affects include dizziness, fatigue, and lightheadedness.  The side affects go away once the medication is stopped.

If you are dealing with any of these symptoms, make an appointment today. Call 757-488-3333. Treatment is available.

~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed

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