Erectile Dysfunction: Current Situation, Causes and Treatments

If we consult the clinical definition, we can define ED as the impossibility to get and maintain an erection. And this is a problem that affects more men than you think.

The number of men affected by this problem has been growing since 1990s, and more worrying is the fact that it is attacking younger people more than before.

Let’s start by checking the statistics.

The Statistics of Erectile Dysfunction:

This is a global problem, but we are going to mainly focus on how this problem is developing in the United States of America.

In this country around 18% of men – which is approximately 30 million – suffer of ED. In a global scale, approximately 10% of men have to deal with this problem. And here is something truly worrying: We will have the double of cases of ED in 25 years (based on population trends)

As we can see this problem is affecting a big part of the male population not only in the US, but around the world. Let’s check a few examples:

  1. Canada: 3,585,427
  2. Finland: 575,129
  3. France: 6,664,434
  4. Belgium: 1,141,353
  5. United Kingdom: 6,647,504

It’s important to mention that these numbers are not 100% accurate, as they are calculated extrapolations, but it allows us to see how this problem is affecting men around the world.

The risk of suffering this problem increases as we get older, because 15-25% of men over 65 tend to suffer it.

There are also many factors that can contribute to it:

  1. Smokers. It has been reported that smokers experience a 50% increase in ED.
  2. Diabetes. 50% of diabetic men tend to experience ED in some level (mild, moderate or severe)
  3. Obesity
  4. Heavy drinkers

As we can see it is a very big problem, and it has been increasing lately. There are more and younger men who have to deal with it, and that’s a worrying fact. Even though not all of them face a severe case of erectile dysfunction, the sole presence of it is a red flag.

We all can agree that ED is already affecting a large part of population, at least in some level. Now that it is clear, and we have some statistics to back it up, it’s time to review the causes.

The Causes of ED:

There are several causes which can contribute to it:

  1. Cardiovascular disease
  2. Nerve damage
  3. Anxiety and low self-esteem
  4. Hormonal imbalance
  5. Certain drugs and medication

We can also add that the diet has a very important role, because if your diet is loaded with sugar and highly-refined products, then you will have a poor production of nitric oxide, which will lead to ED eventually.

Cardiovascular disease is strongly linked to ED. In the UK we have that 50% of men aged 40 to 70 with some kind of cardiovascular disease suffer of erectile dysfunction. The most common causes of this order are high blood pressure,

ED can also have psychological roots. The excess of stress, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem can be cause of this problem as well.

As we can see this problem has several facets and different roots/causes. Therefore, each case needs a special kind of treatment, but right below we are going to discuss interesting and effective treatments.

The Treatments and Solutions:

An Holistic Perspective and Straight to the Root:

It has been proven that diets that focus on increasing the production of nitric oxide along with testosterone have helped many men overcome their ED.

The hormonal balance is vital. Although low levels of testosterone are not the unique cause of ED, it is essential for optimal erections. Even though studies cannot find the exact link between both things, the relationship exists. That’s why it is a good idea to treat your ED by following a diet focused on increasing the levels of testosterone and nitric oxide.

Although some products like Spanish Fly (which is extracted from a special kind of beetle) seems to work, it won’t be a complete solution till you address your diet.

Spanish Fly
Lytta vesicatoria (Spanish Fly)

Western men’s diet is contaminated with foods that reduce our testosterone levels and minimize the production of nitric oxide. That’s why, in many cases, all that’s needed is a change in diet for better. It’s a complicate yet fascinating topic, something that we can discuss in a next publication.

Other Official Treatments:

There are many cases which cannot be solved by simply improving your diet, because as we have seen, it has different causes.

Drugs:

The most popular drugs used are Levitra, Viagra and Cialis, which have to be taken 30-45 minutes before intercourse.

Although they work, they do not address the issue of the problem and they come attached to several secondary effects: Indigestion, headaches, etc.

Surgery:

In some cases surgery may be the most effective approach, and here we have the most common solutions:

  1. An inflatable penile implant which is inflated by pressing a pump placed in the scrotum
  2. Restoration of damaged blood vessels which prevent erections from happening

Injection:

Liquid alprostadil is also used in men with ED. It’s injected in the penis and produces an erection which lasts up to 15 minutes.

Although, in some cases, it can give origin to priapism, which is an erection that lasts more than 4 hours and can be extremely painful.

Pump:

The pump is also one of the most popular treatments for ED. It is a plastic tube that encapsulates the penis, which is then pumped, in order to draw in blood. After that, a ring is placed around the base of the penis.

The treatment has a maximum duration of 30 minutes. After that it has to be removed.

Final Words:

We’ve learned many new things about erectile dysfunction. A problem that is affecting a vast number of men around the world, and which is sadly growing and attacking younger men. Although, we have also explored solutions and treatments for this problem.

Do Coffee Machines Destroy the Coffee Health Effect?

There’s nothing like enjoying an exquisite cup of coffee early in the morning, especially if it has been brewed by using freshly-grinded coffee beans. The problem is that not all people have the time to grind the beans and then brew the coffee, and that’s why bean-to-cup machines have been created, because they make everything easier.

These machines grind the beans automatically. The quality of the coffee, provided the machine is good, will be surprisingly good. If you are looking for a great pick which will bring you the quality of coffee you are after, then find it here.

But how do they work? You already know what they do, but it’s precise to understand how they accomplish so and what mechanisms they use.

Understanding Its Goals:

The ultimate goal of this type of machine is to bring a creamy, flavor-rich and fresh coffee. Meanwhile some people have the time to grind the beans manually, many others don’t have such privilege, and in order to solve this problem bean-to-cup machines have been created, to provide a top-notch quality coffee at the touch of a button.

A good machine will provide the user with an intuitive control panel with different options in order to regulate temperature, coffee strength and many other variables you can adjust to your liking. An easy way to brew coffee should not be an excuse for poor customization, and most machines understand that.

But this goes according to the price. For example, the control panel you find in a De’Longhi Eletta ($900 USD) comes with many more options than the control panel in the Cuisinart One Cup Grind & Brew ($129 USD). The difference in price is quite notorious, but the options for customization are infinitely better.

And a special note is that most of the best bean-to-cup machines use 15 bars of pressure, in order to bring you the best espresso. Even though according to experts on the matter 9 bars of pressure are excellent for this purpose, many machines list up to 15-17 bars of pressure.

These are the principal goals of this machine. The price can be higher than your average coffee machine, but it’s totally worth it if you are looking for a superior quality of coffee at the push of a button, because it cannot get better than that.

Bean to Cup Coffee Machines
Image: mirror.co.uk

The Parts and the Process:

These machines are composed by a reservoir for hot water, a grinder and a thermoblock. These are the most important parts.

The first thing the machine does it to grind the beans. Many machines will give you the option to regulate this, because if you make it very fine, then it will take more time to brew. Once the beans are grinded and the special oils have been released, the machine is ready to take the next step.

An important thing to notice is that many machines use a thermoblock to heat the water. This device comes with a valve which limits water to move in only one way, which is excellent because it allows you to heat water on demand.

Then, using approximately 15 bars of pressure, the hot water is forced through the fresh ground coffee and gives you a flavor-rich, sharp and exquisite cup of espresso.

In summary this is how these machines work. You can customize the end result to your liking by using the options provided in the control panel. They vary from model to model, take that into account.

The process has been explained in very easy terms, although it can be more technical and harder-to-understand than that if we really get into the details. But there’s one thing you need to know: Every machine handles the process differently. That’s why you always need to read reviews before buying one.

Some come with a thermoblock, some don’t. Some allow you to customize the grinding, some don’t.  That’s why it’s primordial to read reviews, so you can make sure the machine you are about to buy comes with all the features you are looking for, which for instance can be a milk reservoir.

Final Words:

Even though some people argue that you can only brew the perfect cup of coffee manually, a bean-to-cup machine makes things much easier and practical. That’s its goal and that’s why so many people prefer it.

Researchers from Belgium Create Revolutionary Dental Implant That Reduces Infection Risk

Scientists and researchers from Belgium have developed a revolutionary dental implant which uses a slow-release drug system to reduce the risk of infections.

This state of the art system uses a reservoir for the slow release of drugs. It releases a powerful antibacterial compound proven to get rid of bacterial biofilms, which is a major source of dental infections.

The objective of this invention is to reduce infection risk, and so far now, it has shown very promising results.

Researchers from KU Leuven in Belgium published a paper in the journal European Cells & Materials, where they described they designed this new implant and how they tested it.

This revolutionary dental implant is filled with the antibacterial agent by removing the cover screw, as explained by lead author Dr. Kaat De Cremer, from the center of Microbial and Plant Genetics at KU Leuven.

The implant, according to Dr. Kaat De Cremer, is made of porous material, which allows the drugs to slowly travel to the outside of the implant, which is directly connected to bone cells. This prevent bacteria from forming a biofilm, by stopping the action from the root.

This is a very important advancement, because biofilm can be hard to treat, especially when it turns chronic. They also tend to develop resistance to antibiotics, making their treatment even more challenging.

The goal of this invention is to stop its occurrence, something that would bring relief to millions of people who struggle with dental infections due to biofilm. And these mouth infections are the leading cause of dental implant failure.

Researchers have also identified a problem: Implant developers are utilizing materials with rough surfaces, with the end objective of increasing anchorage with bone cells and integrating it better into the bone.

It’s a problem because rough surfaces encourage the formation of biofilm. In order to avoid that, this new implant had to use a completely different model and different materials.

The implant is composed by a diffusion barrier made of silicon and load-bearing porous titanium structure. By using silicon and titanium, the chances of developing biofilm are reduced considerably.

During the tests the implant used a powerful antibacterial substance known as chlorhexidine, which is largely used in several dental care products due to its efficacy.

The tests brought the following results: The dental implant filled with chlorhexidine eliminated biofilms present on the implant before filling the reservoir and also stopped and eliminated Streptococcus mutans, a mouth bacterium known for attacking teeth.

dental implant
Schematic representation of the experimental setup of chlorhexidine release experiments and biofilm prevention using Ti/SiO2 disks or implants.
Image: ecmjournal.org

Researches – based on these tests – confirm that this slow-release dental implant is to key to combat infections and reduce their occurrence, because it has proved that it can eliminate biofilm as well as dangerous mouth bacteria like Streptococcus mutans.

Although the initial tests have proven to be successful, further research and tests are required to prove its efficacy. Lab tests can show promising results, but further research is necessary to attests for its efficacy in real-life treatment with humans.

One of the main problems the new implant needs to address and find a solution for is the risk of calcification blocking up the pores, and therefore, suppressing its mechanism of action. Perhaps another substance could be loaded in the reservoir in conjunction with the main drug in order to prevent calcification, but solely further research will prove the validity of this idea.

Another problem to be addressed is whether the materials used in this special implant will meet the main objectives and mechanical requirements of a normal dental implant. A silicon and titanium implant is something new in concept and be to be properly evaluated.

Researchers also point out that the reservoir can contain different drugs, according to the patient’s needs. Therefore, it opens the possibility for a wide range of personalized treatments. Once further research is done that validates its efficacy, it can be a tool useful for more than preventing and curing infections.

They conclude that this concept could be easily translated to any other percutaneous implant which opens the possibility to integrate a reservoir.

There’s still much to be done, and the team knows it. But for the moment, it seems like a promising invention.

Source: toothbrushtalk.co.uk

Paramedic Places

This year, the ASA has created 150 highly subsidised places for paramedics to attend the Clinical day at AMBEX.

All ASA member services were offered 10 places for paramedics to attend AMBEX on Thursday 28 June 2007 at the special rate of £35.00+VAT per person. The deadline for applications from ASA member services was Friday 27 April 2007.

The British Paramedic Association now holds the remainder of these places. To find out how to apply, please visit the British Paramedic Association.

For more information on these places, please call Max Porter on 0207 928 9620.

Guidelines

Version History

Version 1 Guidelines were originally launched at the annual conference of JRCALC in November 2000.

Version 2 (2002) Guidelines were released in January 2002 following two years of development through the existing evidence base and consensus opinion of experts from within the ambulance service, prehospital care and other clinical specialists.

Each UK ambulance service will receive a CD-ROM of the Version 2 (2002) JRCALC Guidelines for implementation.

Version 2.1 can be viewed online or downloaded and contains all of the amendments to date on version 2.0 and also re-incorporates the General and Procedures chapters as well as the Sexual Assault guidelines carried over from version 1. This file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

A separate sheet of amendments is also available to those of you using version 2.0 and is available to view or download as a Word document.

If you are employed by an NHS Ambulance Trust and would like a copy you should contact your training department in the first instance If you are a member of St John Ambulance please contact National HQ. Other enquiries should be addressed to paramedic@warwick.ac.uk but you should be aware that any usage outside of the National Health Service may require the payment of a license fee which will be used to further develop the Guidelines

The new UK Ambulance Service Clinical Practice Guidelines 2006 are now available on the web at:

JRCALC Guidelines 2006

National Electronic Library for Health website

Registration

Registration Fees

This year, AMBEX 2007 has a flexible registration scheme. Delegates have the option of booking for the entire event, from Wednesday 27 June to Friday 29 June 2007, or for individual days.

Full Registration = Wednesday 27 June to Friday 29 June 2007 and includes one ticket to the AMBEX Dinner on Thursday 28 June 2007One Day Registration = Thursday 28 June 2007Half Day Registration = Wednesday 27 June 2007 OR Friday 29 June 2007

ASA Member (on Agenda for Change Band 7 and above)

Full Registration: £440.00+VAT One Day Registration: £200.00+VAT Half Day Registration: £100.00+VAT

ASA Member Front Line Staff (on Agenda for Change Band 6 or below)

Full Registration: £250.00+VAT One Day Registration: £105.00+VAT Half Day Registration: £55.00+VAT

Non Members

Full Registration: £545.00+VATOne Day Registration: £265.00+VATHalf Day Registration: £135.00+VAT

International Delegates

Full Registration: £475.00+VAT

Students

One Day Registration: £60.00+VATHalf Day Registration: £30.00+VAT

How to get to AMBEX 2007

The AMBEX 2007 Conference and Exhibition will take place at:

The Harrogate International CentreKings RoadHarrogateNorth YorkshireHG1 5LA

Harrogate is located centrally on the UK map, midway between the ports of Hull and Liverpool and with ready access to London and Edinburgh. A first class motorway network, mainline rail, sea and 24 hour air links, ensure that Harrogate is able to offer all the benefits expected of a truly global location.

By Car

VIA M1 FROM SOUTH OF HARROGATEM1 north to Junction 48. Join the A1M northbound. Take the A661 Wetherby junction and follow A661 to Harrogate or carry on to A59 Knaresborough/ Harrogate junction – stay on A59 through Knaresborough to Harrogate.

VIA A1 FROM SOUTH/OR NORTHA1 to Wetherby exit – 9 miles to Harrogate (A661) or A1 to Knaresborough exit – 9 miles to Harrogate (A59).

FROM THE WEST(Manchester or Manchester Airport) M56 to M63 to M62 Junction 29 taking the M1 northbound to Junction 48 to merge with the A1M. Travel north taking the Wetherby turning using the A661 to Harrogate or carry on to A59 Knaresborough/ Harrogate junction – stay on A59 through Knaresborough to Harrogate.

FROM THE EAST(Hull area) From Hull take the M62 to Junction 29. Take M1 northbound then merge with A1M taking the Wetherby turning using the A661 to Harrogate or carry on to A59 Knaresborough/ Harrogate junction – stay on A59 through Knaresborough to Harrogate.

Alternatively, from York/Scarborough direction, take A64 to York – A1237 around north of York and A59 to Harrogate via Knaresborough.

By Rail

Please check with local train operators before starting your journey.

Sizeable price reductions can be gained by booking early.

GNER Train Timetable http://www.gner.co.uk/GNER

National Rail Enquiries 08457 484950

By Air

Leeds Bradford International Airport Tel: +44 (0) 113 250969612 miles south of Harrogate, 20 minutes drive.

Manchester International Airport Tel: +44 (0) 161 489300056 miles from Harrogate, 1 hour 30 minutes drive

International Delegates

Information for International Delegates

This year, AMBEX 2007 will be exploring topics that are relevant to emergency health services and professionals all over the world. The event will provide an ideal opportunity for delegates from overseas to share information and best practice with their UK colleagues.

Fees

A special overseas delegate rate is available at £475.00 plus UK VAT of 17.5%. (The VAT is reclaimable). This fee includes all conference sessions and materials over the three days, refreshments/lunches and all social functions.

Social Functions

An International Delegate Reception will be held on Wednesday 27 June 2007 at Harrogates Pump Rooms. This event will be free of charge for all International Delegates attending AMBEX 2007, and will provide an opportunity to meet Chief Executives and other representatives of the UKs Ambulance Services and staff of the Ambulance Service Association.

The AMBEX Dinner held on Thursday 28 June 2007 will be held at the Old Swan Hotel, a beautiful Victorian hotel based five minutes away from the Harrogate International Centre. The Dinner is included in the International delegate fee. More information will appear in future issues of AMBEX Update, our electronic newsletter. Read the latest version of AMBEX Update.

NHSmail

NHSmail is an email and directory service designed specifically for NHS staff. As it is purpose built, NHSmail can offer you more benefits than any other email service. Most importantly, it provides the ability for staff with authorised access to clinical data to securely exchange patient identifiable information between NHSmail users; NHSmail is the only email service that has Department of Health and BMA approval for this purpose.

Using NHSmail you can:

* exchange patient identifiable information with other NHSmail users * access the service at work, at home or on the move* send free SMS text and fax messages* benefit from cutting edge anti-virus and anti-spam protection* keep the same email address throughout your NHS career even if you move to a different organisation, or your organisation merges or splits* access over a million NHS staff contact details in the NHS Directory* share your calendar with your NHS colleagues, in other organisations as well as your own.