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LiveWell: His & Hers LiveWell: Health

6

Male “Menopause” Is Not a Myth

You might think that male menopause isn’t real. But the truth is both women and men experience hormone changes as they age.

“Male menopause is sometimes used to describe low testosterone in men,” says Muzzamil Ahmed, M.D. “Testosterone begins declining gradually around age 30. It’s part of the aging process. But if it declines too quickly and doesn’t keep pace with your lifestyle, you should seek treatment.”

Some men with lower testosterone have no symptoms. Others experience depression, trouble concentrating, trouble sleeping or changes in sexual function. Because many underlying factors can cause these symptoms, a blood test is the only way to diagnose low testosterone.

“There are treatment options to help patients maintain good quality of life,” Dr. Ahmed says. “These include testosterone replacement via creams, gels or injections,” Dr. Ahmed says. He cautions that, “side efects can include prostate enlargement, heart attack, stroke or high blood pressure.” Be sure to thoroughly discuss treatment options and potential side efect concerns with your doctor.

“Testosterone levels can have a big impact on your quality of life. If you experience symptoms or have concerns, see your doctor for an evaluation.”

Urinary

Incontinence: A Common Problem

There’s no need to feel ashamed about loss of bladder control. In fact, urinary incontinence afects millions of women, says Muzzamil Ahmed, M.D., a urologist with Afliates in Urology in Westland.

“Loss of bladder function afects about one in every seven women over age 50,” he says. “It can range from occasional minor leaks to wetting your clothes frequently.”

Urinary incontinence isn’t a disease, but it can be part of the aging process. Weakening of the pelvic muscles after childbirth or pelvic prolapse (a downward shift of the pelvic organs) are common causes.

Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent and treat the problem.

“Weight loss can help, since excessive weight puts pressure on the bladder,” Dr. Ahmed says. “Pelvic foor and muscle exercises can improve the ability to hold urine. Medication, gentle electrical stimulation and a variety of outpatient surgeries are other treatment options.”

If an over-active bladder afects your lifestyle, see your doctor to rule out other conditions, like a urinary tract infection.

Want to Learn More?

Visit the HAP Health Library for more information about low testosterone, urinary incontinence and other health issues. Just log in at hap.org , choose the My Health & Wellness tab, link to Tools and Resources , then select Health Library .

Muzzamil Ahmed, M.D.

You bought those gym shoes with good intentions, but lately they’ve been gathering dust in the corner. Or perhaps that new treadmill has become a basement clothes hanger.

It’s not always easy to start and maintain an exercise program. But don’t get discouraged, says Renee Zack, supervisor of Corporate and Community Wellness for Henry Ford Health System and a certifed health coach. There are ways to become motivated and get back on track.

“To start, form a vivid mental picture of what you really want for yourself,” Zack says. “Ask yourself how you want to look and feel. Keep that image at the forefront of your thoughts. It will help keep you motivated to reach your overall ftness goal.”

Once you’re mentally ready to begin working out, Zack recommends writing down specifc exercise goals so you can remain focused as you take action.

“Make sure your goals are SMART: Specifc, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely,” she says. “Challenge yourself, but don’t make your goals so difcult that you can’t attain them. It takes about six weeks to begin making a change into a lifestyle habit. If you can do that, you’re on the path to success.”

Zack says these strategies also work for wellness, fnancial and career goals. It all starts with a clear mental image of your ideal self.

HAP’s iStrive SM for better health digital health coaching program can also help keep your exercise program on track. The program uses state-of-the-art technology to create a workout plan tailored just for you. To get started, just log in at hap.org , visit the My Health and Wellness tab and click on the

Making the Most of Motivation

Renee Zack

Record Your Fitness Goals

Use this form to track your exercise goals. Check your progress each week and adjust your goals if necessary. Always consult your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Overall Fitness Goal (describe in detail how you want to look and feel):

Exercise Goal 1 (for example, you might want to lose 15 pounds by a certain date):

Action Step 1 (to reach Exercise Goal 1, you might commit to working out for 30 minutes, four days per week):

Exercise Goal 2:

Action Step 2:

Exercise Goal 3:

Action Step 3:

7 2012 LIVEWELL MID-LIFE ISSUE 3 -- PROOF #4

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