INTIMACY PROBLEMS Symptoms: Difficulty achieving or maintaining erections or decreased libido. Likely culprit: Erectile dysfunction or low testosterone. Erectile dysfunction may be an early sign of cardiovascular disease. Other causes of erectile dysfunction include diabetes, obesity, stress, depression. Patients with low libido and erectile dysfunction may be low in testosterone. Treatment options: “There are many effective and safe treatment options for men with erectile dysfunction” says Dr. Staller. First line treatment involves lifestyle changes, like diet and exercise. If that is not successful, there are several treatments such as medication and testosterone replacement. Urologists can even perform surgery in which a penile implant is placed which results in 90 percent to 95 percent satisfaction rating in patients and their partners. LARGE WAISTLINE Symptoms: He snores loudly, urinates often and has heartburn. Likely culprit: Obesity. His organs are surrounded
by visceral fat and crammed into his tummy—and that’s bad news. “Obesity is a major killer because it’s linked to diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and other grave diseases,” says Etakarina Elliott, DO, an assistant professor of surgery at McGovern Medical School and bariatric surgeon affiliated with Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital. “Yet men don’t address their weight till their pain and medical problems are unbearable.” Treatment options: According to Dr. Elliott, it’s important to increase physical activity to keep the weight off and improve heart and lung health but making changes to your diet is the key to losing weight. For eligible candidates, bariatric surgery can lead to faster and perpetual weight loss. The minimally invasive surgery resolves not just obesity, but also many of the above issues. Yet only 1 percent of those eligible get the operation. “And of those, just one of five are men,” Dr. Elliott says, “even though they need it as much as women do.” According to Dr. Elliott, gastric bypass creates a thumb-sized pouch from the top of the stomach and connects it to the small intestine. Gastric sleeve, also called sleeve gastrectomy, cuts down your stomach by 70 percent until it’s the size of a banana
“People can eat very little, yet they feel full,” she says. “Once men lose the weight, their quality of life is so much better.” MAINTENANCE Why it’s needed: His body is more complex than his car, but just like it, he needs regular checkups and maintenance. Providing those visits is his primary care physician (PCP), says Hailie Shah, MD, family medicine physician with Memorial Hermann Medical Group Clear Lake. “If a male has health issues, the PCP often is the first to recognize them. We can prescribe or adjust medications and decide what treatments are right.” Treatment options: He should have an annual physical at least yearly to measure blood pressure, height and weight, cholesterol, blood sugar and other key body metrics. His doctor may urge other tests or health screenings, based on his family or personal health history. It’s never too late to rev up for better health. Regular tune-ups will spare him from major mishaps down the road. “Screenings can discover a problem early and help stop it from worsening,” Dr. Shah says.
Fernando Gomez-Rivera, MD ENT Surgeon
Hoang Le, MD General Surgeon
Angie Staller, MD Urologist
Etakarina Elliott, DO Bariatric Surgeon
Hailie Shah, MD Family Medicine Physician
Learn more about men’s health and recommended screenings by age at memorialhermann.org/menshealth
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