Have you heard the one about the guy who asked his doc about getting a vasectomy?
“That’s a big decision,” his doctor says. “Have you talked it over with your family?”
“Yes, we took a vote,” the guy replies. “They’re in favour of it 15 to 2!”
Seriously, though, seeing our doctor isn’t just about elective procedures like the ol’ snip-snip. More importantly, it’s about getting expert care and attention when health troubles arise.
Still, us guys often like to play it tough and ride out an illness. The good news is that we don’t need to run to the ER with a stuffy nose, but these five symptoms should trigger a trip to the doctor ASAP to help us make informed health decisions:
A nasty flu.
Chills, fever and body aches are the most common symptoms, but if these escalate to include difficulty breathing, chest or stomach pains, light-headedness or severe vomiting, then it’s time to see your doctor ASAP.
Guys, young and old, can all struggle with erectile dysfunction. Whatever the reason is, it’s best visit your doctor to get some tips and be in the know. After all, Your doc may be able to recommend some relaxation techniques to help you regain your bedroom swagger.
A bump on the head.
Hey, we know you can take your lumps, but if these lumps produce a severe headache or vomiting you should go straight to your doc. The same goes for more severe symptoms like seizures or passing out, but that’s a 9-11 call.
There’s heartburn, and then there’s heartburn that doubles you over in pain. If chest pains go from mild to agonizing, or if the pain spreads to your arm, neck or jaw, head straight to the ER. That’s also a 9-11 call. Ditto for chest pain that’s accompanied by a feeling of pressure in your chest, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating, an uneven pulse, or if you have trouble breathing.
Blood in your stool.
Colon cancer is on the rise, so if the toilet water turns red you should head straight to your doc. The same goes for unexplained weight loss or a change in bowel habits, especially if you have a family history of bowel cancer.
In short, these symptoms are no joke! The general rule of thumb: when in doubt, consult a pro.
It’s the final minute of the third period. Your team is down by a goal. You have a few friends over for the big game, and your rec room seems louder than the arena on the tube.
Suddenly, everyone falls silent. Why? Because there’s a break in the on-screen action…and the first commercial is about erectile dysfunction.
It’s an uncomfortable, embarrassing topic for men on many levels. We like to laugh off so many of our problems, but this seems insensitive and even suspicious when ED is involved. So we clam up and change the subject, despite the fact that around 40 per cent of men over the age of 40 have some degree of ED, which is caused by a range of physical, mental and lifestyle factors.
Thankfully, medications such as Viagra and Cialis have helped millions of men conquer ED, and have even brought a measure of levity to the topic. (Some of the ads are pretty funny, after all.)
Still, there are plenty of natural ways to get and stay firm in the underpants area. Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about improving your sexual performance, and heck, why not share your (G-rated!) tips in the comments below? Otherwise, you can simply heed, and share, these five hardwood helpers:
You gotta have heart
Penis 101: Blood engorges it, and for this to happen you need adequate blood pressure. If the vessels that supply the organ can’t sustain pressure for as long as you (and whoever else is involved) would like, the penis will go prematurely limp. If the blood pressure never gets where it needs to be, then, well, you get the idea. In short, what’s good for your heart and circulatory system is good for getting it up.
Work it out
Of all the ways you can help your heart, regular cardiovascular exercise deserves special mention here. Getting your sweat on for half an hour every day busts stress – itself an erection-killer – and has been shown to boost the male sex drive, too. And yes, exercise between the sheets counts! Plus, a buff body will probably boost your chances of getting between the sheets in the first place.
Eat the right stuff
Certain foods increase blood flow to the penis. Onions and garlic, for instance, improve circulation; potassium-rich bananas moderate blood pressure, which benefits the sex organs; and spicy chilies and peppers help blood flow by reducing hypertension and inflammation.
The same goes for various vitamins and nutrients: The omega-3 acids in salmon, tuna, avocados and olive oil also increase blood flow. Pork, peanuts and kidney beans are rich in Vitamin B1, which boosts the signals from your brain to your penis. Eggs, meanwhile, are full of other B vitamins that balance hormone levels and bust stress. On that note…
Bad habits, begone!
Many of us handle stress by consuming alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs. But too much of the former can leave your penis too relaxed to spring into action. Smoking and drug use, meanwhile, can constrict blood vessels.
Go get some…sun
Yes, the bare skin of summer certainly helps the libido, but sunlight also gets our mojo working by inhibiting the body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy and quells sexual urges. Does this mean the night time isn’t right time? Well, it still is, but maybe not quite so much…