Sunday, September 27, 2009

Is there such a thing as male menopause...

Is there such a thing as male menopause...

Is there really such a thing as "male menopause"? Conventional wisdom says that menopause is a "woman's condition," but as men advance into their 40s they also experience a progressive decline in hormone levels, namely testosterone. The result can be andropause, which is estimated to affect about 5 million American men.

The hormonal decline that men experience isn't nearly as abrupt as it is in women — it's more like walking down a hill than jumping off a cliff. However, waning testosterone is likely to make a guy moody, irritable and depressed.

(Upon hearing this list of symptoms, one woman joked of her husband, "Is it possible he's had menopause since he was 20?") A decrease in available testosterone also increases a man’s risk for heart disease, and makes him more prone to injury because of decreasing bone density.

Let's be clear: Andropause is not the same as a mid-life crisis, which is a psycho-social issue. And not all guys who experience aging — and the inevitable decline in testosterone that comes along with it — can be qualified as having andropause.

Andropause is a medical condition, diagnosed with a blood test by a physician that reveals testosterone levels below a certain level. If a diagnosis of andropause is warranted, treatment with testosterone replacement may be an option, depending on a man’s health history. Just as there are various hormone replacement therapies for women, there's also testosterone replacement therapy for men — and research is still ongoing into potential side effects.

However, the biggest, and most misunderstood, symptom of declining testosterone is a decrease in libido. Testosterone is truly the hormone that stokes the flames of desire. Many men confuse andropause with erectile dysfunction (ED), because they often occur around the same time. These men often turn to an ED medication, such as Viagra, to improve their erectile ability, which works for a time in most cases. However, as men get older, the gap between desire and arousal widens and many men become deeply disappointed when Viagra doesn't give them the desire to have sex. That's because Viagra doesn't boost testosterone levels.

The first issue for men, and their partners, is to accept the very concept of male menopause, talk about it as a couple, and, if they’re concerned, make an appointment with an endocrinologist to check hormone levels. But beyond medical therapies, it's also about knowing, understanding and accepting that sex evolves with the passage of life.

For guys who can embrace a deeper intimacy and open themselves up to a different experience of sex, the passage of time brings many rewards. Unfortunately, many men have a limited idea of sex, and they feel that if they're not having sex the way they were at age 20 or 30, then something must be wrong. It's too bad more men aren't open to sharing their experiences with each other, since changes in sexual function are so common. Fortunately, if women know what's going on and realize that hormonal decline can affect their partners, too, then they can take a proactive lead in starting a dialogue.

For more on this subject, consider reading Jed Diamond's "Surviving Male Menopause: A Guide for Women and Men."

Acknowledgements: Ian Kerner PH.D, author.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Rupert Murdoch plans to charge for reading his online newspapers...

News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch plans to charge people to read his newspapers’ websites within the next year.

It's a bold move designed to claw back some of the $4 billion in lost revenues — in a year that has been "the most difficult in recent history".

Murdoch is the world's most famous media mogul, but many people think he could be wrong to charge for general news stories online — any of which could be read elsewhere, for free.

Will Murdoch’s bold move work? Are you willing to pay to read the news online?

If you had to pay, would you expect special extras? Or would you look for a website offering the same for free?

Join the debate and have your say below. After all, it's free. Would you really Pay? I'm damned if I would!

Reading online newspapers

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New incentive for bloggers at Blogevolve...

New incentive for bloggers at Blogevolve...

A new incentive for bloggers at Blogevolve. Those who accumalate 5,000 points or more will be considered for a bonus. It is still confidential and only two bloggers have qualified so far.

Elly would like an all expenses paid trip to either China or Korea to consider a new job opportunity.

Huttriver would like an all expenses paid trip to Gotland In Sweden, to trace his whakapapa.

What would you like? You'd better start some serious blogging because you still have a long way to go brothers and sisters before you reach the magic target of 5,000 points.

Arriving down here soon...

Arriving down here soon...

First published at Qondio:

Karl wanted everything to be perfect for his anniversary trip to the hotel where he and his wife honey-mooned thirty years before.

So he decided to get up an hour earlier to make all the necessary arrangements. That night he emailed her, but for some inexplicable reason, he misspelt the address and it was sent to a recent widow.

The next day the widow's son found his mother passed out in front of of her computer. On the screen sat this email:

"My darling wife, I've just got here and everything's set for your arrival tomorrow. Hope your trip down here will be as pleasant as mine. P.S. Its really hot!"

Saturday, September 12, 2009

President Obama's address to Congress on health insurance reform...

President Obama's address to Congress on health insurance reform...

In an address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama explained how health insurance reform will provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance, coverage for those who don’t, and will lower the cost of health care for our families, our businesses, and our government.

"I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process. It will be hard. But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough. So let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year."

– President Barack Obama, February 24, 2009

Read further

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

US teenager cries tears of blood...

An American teenager has baffled doctors by crying tears of blood.

The eyes of Calvino Inman, 15, well up with blood about three times a day in episodes that last up to an hour.

While the Tennessee boy says he doesn't experience great pain from the phenomenon, the tears can sometimes burn his eyes.

The first time it happened, his mother Tammy Mynatt phoned 911 emergency.

"The scariest thing in my life was when he looked at me and said 'Momma, am I going to die?," Ms Mynatt told Stirile Pro TV.

"That right there broke my heart."

But after seeing several specialists and undergoing MRIs, catscans and ultrasounds, the cause of Calvino's tears remains a mystery.

Adding to the teen's pain is instances of schoolyard bullying over his condition, which has seen him called a vampire.

"I've been called ‘possessed’ ... the first time it hurt my feelings," he said.

In April, Indian girl Rashida Khatoon was declared a miracle by Hindu holy men for also shedding tears of blood.

Followers flocked to her home in Patna, northeast India, to shower her with gifts.

"I do not feel any pain when it happens but it's a shock to see blood instead of water," The Sun quoted Rashida

Monday, September 7, 2009

International Hunger Day - October 16

Achieving Food Security in Times of Crisis - A story of the times:

At a time when the global economic crisis dominates the news, the world needs to be reminded that not everyone works in offices and factories. The crisis is stalking the small-scale farms and rural areas of the world, where 70 percent of the world's hungry live and work.

With an estimated increase of 105 million hungry people in 2009, there are now 1.02 billion malnourished people in the world, meaning that almost one sixth of all humanity is suffering from hunger.

Both public and private investments are needed, more specifically through targeted public investment to encourage and facilitate private investment, especially by farmers themselves.

On the occasion of World Food Week and World Food Day 2009, let us reflect on those numbers and the human suffering behind them. Crisis or no crisis, we have the know-how to do something about hunger. We also have the ability to find money to solve problems when we consider them important. Let us work together to make sure hunger is recognized as a critical problem, and solve it. The World Summit on Food Security proposed by FAO for November 2009 could be fundamental for eradicating hunger

Some Hunger Facts: International...

World Hunger and Poverty: How They Fit Together:

•1.02 billion people across the world are hungry. 1

•Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes--one child every five seconds. 2

•In essence, hunger is the most extreme form of poverty, where individuals or families cannot afford to meet their most basic need for food. 3

•Hunger manifests itself in many ways other than starvation and famine. Most poor people who battle hunger deal with chronic undernourishment and vitamin or mineral deficiencies, which result in stunted growth, weakness and heightened susceptibility to illness. 3

•Countries in which a large portion of the population battles hunger daily are usually poor and often lack the social safety nets we enjoy, such as soup kitchens, food stamps, and job training programs. When a family that lives in a poor country cannot grow enough food or earn enough money to buy food, there is nowhere to turn for help. 3

Facts and Figures on Population

•Today our world is home to 6.7 billion people. 4

•The United States is a part of the high-income group of nations, which consists of about 65 countries with a combined population of about 1 billion, less than one sixth of the world’s population. 5

•In contrast, approximately 5.6 billion people live in low and lower-middle income economies. This world, earning under $3,705 GNI per capita, is made up of about 103 low and middle income countries in which people generally have a lower standard of living with access to fewer goods and services than people in high-income countries. 6

Facts and Figures on Hunger and Poverty

•In 2005, almost 1.4 billion people lived below the international poverty line, earning less than $1.25 per day. 7

•Among this group of poor people, many have problems obtaining adequate, nutritious food for themselves and their families. As a result, 947 million people in the developing world are undernourished. They consume less than the minimum amount of calories essential for sound health and growth. 8

•Undernourishment negatively affects people’s health, productivity, sense of hope and overall well-being. A lack of food can stunt growth, slow thinking, sap energy, hinder fetal development and contribute to mental retardation. 1

•Economically, the constant securing of food consumes valuable time and energy of poor people, allowing less time for work and earning income. 1

•Socially, the lack of food erodes relationships and feeds shame so that those most in need of support are often least able to call on it. 1

•Go to the World Food Programme website and click on either "Counting the Hungry" or "Interactive Hunger Map" for presentations on hunger and poverty around the world.
Facts and Figures on Health

•Poor nutrition and calorie deficiencies cause nearly one in three people to die prematurely or have disabilities, according to the World Health Organization. 9

•Pregnant women, new mothers who breastfeed infants, and children are among the most at risk of undernourishment. 9

•In 2006, about 9.7 million children died before they reached their fifth birthday. Almost all of these deaths occured in developing countries, 4/5 of them in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the two regions that also suffer from the highest rates of hunger and malnutrition. 10

•Most of these deaths are attributed, not to outright starvation, but to diseases that move in on vulnerable children whose bodies have been weakened by hunger. 11

•Every year, more than 20 million low-birth weight babies are born in developing countries. These babies risk dying in infancy, while those who survive often suffer lifelong physical and cognitive disabilities. 12

•The four most common childhood illnesses are diarrhea, acute respiratory illness, malaria and measles. Each of these illnesses is both preventable and treatable. Yet, again, poverty interferes in parents’ ability to access immunizations and medicines. Chronic undernourishment on top of insufficient treatment greatly increases a child’s risk of death. 11

•In the developing world, 26 percent of children under 5 are moderately to severely underweight. 10 percent are severely underweight. 11 percent of children under 5 are moderately to severely wasted, or seriously below weight for one’s height, and an overwhelming 32 percent are moderately to severely stunted, or seriously below normal height for one’s age. 13

Facts and Figures on HIV/AIDS

•The spreading HIV/AIDS epidemic has quickly become a major obstacle in the fight against hunger and poverty in developing countries.

•Because the majority of those falling sick with AIDS are young adults who normally harvest crops, food production has dropped dramatically in countries with high HIV/AIDS prevalence rates. 13

•In half of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa, per capita economic growth is estimated to be falling by between 0.5 and 1.2 percent each year as a direct result of AIDS. 14

•Infected adults also leave behind children and elderly relatives, who have little means to provide for themselves. In 2003, 12 million children were newly orphaned in southern Africa, a number expected to rise to 18 million in 2010. 14

•Since the epidemic began, 25 million people have died from AIDS, which has caused more than 15 million children to lose at least one parent. For its analysis, UNICEF uses a term that illustrates the gravity of the situation; child-headed households, or minors orphaned by HIV/AIDS who are raising their siblings. 13, 15

•1 % (ages 15-49) of the world is HIV prevalent (2005 data). 5

•1.1 % (ages 15-49) of developing countries are HIV prevalent (2005 data). 5

•Approximately 39.5 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in the world. Of this figure, 63 percent live in Sub-Saharan Africa. 14

•In 2006, 4.3 million people become infected with HIV and 2.9 million people died of AIDS. 14

You Can Help in the Fight Against Hunger and HIV/AIDS
Bread for the World's members contact their senators and representatives about legislation that affects hungry people in the United States and worldwide. We do not provide direct relief or development assistance. Rather, we focus on using the power we have as citizens in a democracy to support policies that address the root causes of hunger and poverty.

You can make a difference, too. Join us in our efforts.

Cites and links to source material:
1 State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2008 FAO."Food Security Statistics".
2 Black, Robert, Morris, Saul, & Jennifer Bryce. "Where and Why Are 10 Million Children Dying Every Year?" The Lancet 361:2226-2234. 2003.

3 Are We On Track To End Hunger? Hunger Report 2004. Bread for the World Institute. 2004.

4 2008 World Population Data Sheet, Population Reference Bureau.

5 World Development Indicators 2008. The World Bank. February 2008.

6 World Bank Country Classifications. The World Bank. February 2008.

7 Global Purchasing Power Parities and Real Expenditures. The World Bank. 2005 International Comparison Program. August 2008.

8 Global Development: Charting a New Course Hunger Report 2009. Bread for the World 2009
9 "Malnutrition". World Health Organization.

10 State of the World's Children 2008--Child Survival. UNICEF. January 2008.

11 State of Food Insecurity in the World 2002. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

12 Low Birthweight: Country, Regional and Global Estimates. World Health Organization. 2004.

13 "The Global Challenge of HIV/AIDS." The Population Bulletin Vol. 61, No. 1. Population Reference Bureau. March 2006.

14 “Briefing Paper Hunger on the Rise: Soaring Prices Add 75 Million People to Global Hunger Rolls.” Food and Agriculture Organization. 17 September 2008.

15 "Protect and Support Children Affected By HIV/AIDS." UNICEF. March 2006.