Health

Testosterone

Manage Cholesterol Brain Injury Liver-Related Dementia Aging "Smart" Domestic Violence Health Risks Parents Benefit Genetic Testing Understanding Ovarian Cancer

Testosterone: What You Need To Know About The Most Important Male Sex Hormone

(NAPSI)—It’s a fact: as men age, their bodies produce less testosterone. However, some men, whose bodies make very little or no testosterone, could have a condition called hypogonadism. The effects of hypogonadism and “Low T” could be a game changer for some men.

Hypogonadism is a relatively common condition in which a man’s body doesn’t produce enough testosterone.1 Approximately 40 percent of men over the age of 45 have hypogonadism and “Low T.”2 For men whose bodies aren’t able to produce normal levels of testosterone, it may begin to alter their daily life. Signs and symptoms may include: erectile dysfunction, decreased sexual desire, fatigue and loss of energy, depression, loss of certain male physical characteristics and osteoporosis.3,4 However, the effects of low testosterone needn’t be a permanent mainstay-diagnosing low testosterone involves a simple blood test, often conducted in a doctor’s office, and once identified, a variety of treatment options are available for hypogonadism.

For men with hypogonadism whose bodies make little or no testosterone, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) may offer benefits.5 TRT is available in several forms including topical gels, patches and injections. When choosing a TRT, take the following into consideration:

• Gels. Several preparations are available with different sites of application.1 With gel application, the body absorbs testosterone through the skin. Gel applications offer effective treatment for male hypogonadism and have low incidences of skin reactions. Packaging flexibility makes gels highly desirable.3,4

• Patches. A patch containing testosterone is applied each night to the back, abdomen, upper arm or thigh. Site of the application is rotated to maintain seven-day intervals between applications to the same site to lessen skin reactions.1

• Injections. Testosterone injections are given in a muscle. Injections can be administered by the patient, family member, nurse or doctor.1

If you and your doctor decide that TRT is right for you, then ask about Testosterone Gel (1%), the authorized generic of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Vogelxo™ (testosterone) gel 1% for topical use, CIII. Testosterone Gel (1%) is the first and only generic TRT available in three convenient configurations: (unit-dose tubes and packets and a metered dose pump). Vogelxo™ and Testosterone Gel are a prescription medicine that contains testosterone. Vogelxo™ and Testosterone Gel are used to treat adult males who have low or no testosterone and with conditions associated with low or no testosterone. It is not known if Vogelxo™ and Testosterone Gel are safe or effective in children younger than 18 years old. Improper use of Vogelxo™ or Testosterone Gel may affect bone growth. For more information about Vogelxo™, visit www.vogelxo.com.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Vogelxo™ and Testosterone Gel are controlled substances (CIII) because they contain testosterone, which can be a target for people who abuse prescription medicines. Keep your Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel in a safe place to protect it. Never give your Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms you have. Selling or giving away this medicine may harm others and it is against the law.

What is the most important information I should know about Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel? Early signs and symptoms of puberty have happened in young children who were accidentally exposed to testosterone through contact with men using Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel. Signs and symptoms of early puberty in a child may include:

• enlarged penis or clitoris

• early development of pubic hair

• increased erections or sex drive

• aggressive behavior

It is important that you apply Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to. Vogelxo and Testosterone Gel can transfer from your body to others. Women and children should avoid contact with the unwashed or unclothed area where Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel has been applied. If a woman or child makes contact with the Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel application area, that area on the woman or child should be washed well with soap and water right away.

Stop using Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel and call your healthcare provider right away if you see any signs and symptoms in a child or a woman that may have occurred through accidental exposure to Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel.

• Signs and symptoms of exposure to Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel in children may include: enlarged penis or clitoris; early development of pubic hair; increased erections or sex drive; aggressive behavior

• Signs and symptoms of exposure to Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel in women may include: changes in body hair; a large increase in acne

To lower the risk of transfer of Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel from your body to others, you should follow these important instructions:

• Apply Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel only to the areas of your shoulders and upper arms that will be covered by a short sleeve T-shirt.

• Wash your hands right away with soap and water after applying Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel.

• After the gel has dried, cover the application area with clothing. Keep the area covered until you have washed the application area well or have showered.

• If you expect to have skin-to-skin contact with another person, first wash the application area well with soap and water.

Do not use Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel if you: have breast cancer, or have or might have prostate cancer.

Vogelxo and Testosterone Gel are not meant for use in women. Do not use Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel if you are pregnant or may become pregnant or are breastfeeding. Vogelxo and Testosterone Gel may harm your unborn or breastfeeding baby. Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should avoid contact with the area of skin where Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel has been applied.

Before you use Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel, tell your healthcare provider if you: have breast cancer; have or might have prostate cancer; have urinary problems due to an enlarged prostate; have heart problems; have liver or kidney problems; have problems breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea); or have any other medical conditions.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Vogelxo and Testosterone Gel and certain other medicines you take can affect each other. Especially, tell your healthcare provider if you take: insulin, medicines that decrease blood clotting, or corticosteroids.

It is important that you apply Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel to apply and when to apply it. Your healthcare provider may change your Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel dose. Do not change your Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel dose without talking to your healthcare provider. Vogelxo and Testosterone Gel are to be applied only to the areas of your shoulders and upper arms that will be covered by a short sleeve t-shirt. Do not apply Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel to any other parts of your body such as your penis, scrotum, or stomach area (abdomen).

Vogelxo and Testosterone Gel are flammable until dry. Let Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel dry before smoking or going near an open flame.

Vogelxo and Testosterone Gel can cause serious side effects including:

• If you already have enlargement of your prostate gland your signs and symptoms can get worse while using Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel. This can include: increased urination at night; trouble starting your urine stream; having to pass urine many times during the day; having an urge that you have to go to the bathroom right away; having a urine accident; being unable to pass urine or weak urine flow.

• Possible increased risk of prostate cancer. Your healthcare provider should check you for prostate cancer or any other prostate problems before you start and while you use Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel.

• Blood clots in your legs or lungs. Symptoms of a blood clot in your legs can include leg pain, swelling or redness. Symptoms of a blood clot in your lungs can include difficulty breathing or chest pain.

• In large doses Vogelxo and Testosterone Gel may lower your sperm count.

• Swelling of your ankles, feet, or body, with or without heart failure.

• Enlarged or painful breasts.

• Having problems breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea).

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the serious side effects listed above.

The most common side effects of Vogelxo and Testosterone Gel include: skin irritation where Vogelxo or Testosterone Gel are applied; increased red blood cell count; headache; and increased blood pressure.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

This safety information is not all-inclusive. For more information, talk to your health care provider and read the Medication Guide for patients and the Full Prescribing Information, including the Boxed Warning regarding the risk of transfer to others. You can also visit www.upsher-smith.com or call 1-888-650-3789.

References:

1. Mayo Clinic. Male Hypogonadism. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/male-hypogonadism/basics/causes/con-20014235?p=1. Accessed May 13, 2014.

2. Urology Care Foundation. Low testosterone (hypogonadism). http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=132&display=2. Accessed June 9, 2014.

3. Vogelxo [package insert]. Maple Grove, MN: Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc; 2014.

4. Testim [package insert]. Chesterbrook, PA: Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc; 08/2013.

5. National Institute on Aging. Can We Prevent Aging? http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/can-we-prevent-aging. Accessed May 12, 2014.

Vogelxo is a trademark of Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc. 109543.01

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How to Manage Cholesterol in a Few Easy Steps

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Brain Injury: Returning Headaches A Serious Signal

(NAPSI)—Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious public health problem, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)--some 2.5 million occur a year—but knowing a few facts can help protect yourself and your family.

Silent But Deadly

A TBI is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain.

One of the most serious problems is what’s known as “talk and die syndrome.” The head injury sufferer is able to walk, talk and behave “normally” immediately after, and everyone thinks he or she is just fine. Then, hours later, headaches and irritability develop and the victim succumbs to the injury.

What To Do

That’s why it’s wise to err on the side of caution and get medical help immediately when a head injury may be involved. In addition, all concussion victims should take a complete break from cognitive as well as physical activity for the first three to five days, then try some light cognitive tasks and see how it goes. If headaches or dizziness come back, it’s not time to resume activity. Stay vigilant and promptly seek medical attention if headaches reappear. The headaches may indicate a brain injury but no one may have been thinking about a brain injury when the event occurred. Some head injury symptoms don’t show up until the person starts resuming everyday life and its demands.

What Causes TBI

Falls are the leading reason people have head injuries but they can also be due to slow-speed car accidents and sports injuries, particularly bicycling. The severity may range from “mild,” brief change in mental status or consciousness to “severe,” an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia.

Who Gets Hurt

Men are more likely to have TBI hospitalizations than women, and children under 4 and adults over 65 are more likely than others to be hospitalized. African Americans have a higher death rate from brain injury than any other ethnic group; 25 percent higher than for the overall population.

Signs and Symptoms

Most people understand headaches follow concussions, often starting immediately after the blow to the head occurs. What many do not realize, however, is that these headaches can become permanent and life threatening and may not occur immediately but long after a seemingly innocuous incident.

Learn More

For further facts on handling brain injuries including whether you might need a lawyer, get a free guide at http://accidentattorneys.org.

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Recognizing The Signs Of Liver-Related Dementia

(NAPSI)—Forgetfulness. Confusion. Difficulty doing math. Often, these experiences are shrugged off as a normal part of getting older. However, sometimes, these changes are actually the body signaling a more significant underlying problem—liver disease.

In some cases, these symptoms can be signs of hepatic encephalopathy (HE). A serious, chronic condition, it occurs when the liver is no longer able to filter out toxins produced within the body and allows those toxins, such as ammonia, to reach the brain. Once these toxic substances are in the brain, it may cause these dementialike symptoms.

Boomers And Liver Health

Whether you are a baby boomer or you care for a loved one within this generation, it is important to maintain liver health and understand the associated risks of liver disease. Being empowered with the awareness of specific liver conditions, such as HE, can lead to earlier discussions with your health care provider.

For starters, being a baby boomer can put you at higher risk of hepatitis C, a condition that is one of the main causes of liver damage or cirrhosis (scarring of the liver). The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded that all baby boomers should get screened for hepatitis C. With rising prevalence for this age group, hepatitis C may not show symptoms until the condition has developed into a serious liver disease.

The Threat Of Hepatitis C

The rate of patients with hepatitis C is estimated to grow to approximately 5 million by 2020. Of these patients, there will be approximately 1 million diagnosed with cirrhosis. These statistics do not take into account alcoholic cirrhosis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or the other causes of cirrhosis.

About seven out of 10 people with cirrhosis will develop some form of HE. Symptoms of the condition may begin slowly and gradually get worse or they may occur suddenly and be severe from the start. Depending on how bad liver disease is in a person, the stages of HE span from mild to severe. When symptoms reach a severe level, patients’ health can rapidly decline, and they can experience prolonged hospitalizations and coma. That is why knowing the signs can be critical.

Symptoms Of HE

Hepatic encephalopathy exhibits both physical and mental signs. The following are mild to moderate symptoms that you should look for if you feel that you or a loved one is affected by HE:

• Mild confusion

• Short attention span

• Mood swings

• Personality changes

• Change in sleep patterns

• Slurred speech.

If any of these symptoms is exhibited by you or someone under your care, it is important to speak with a health care provider. It is important to document the symptoms and share them with your health care provider.

To learn more about HE, visit the American Liver Foundation’s dedicated webpage: www.he123.org.

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Aging “SMART”

(NAPSI)—In a recent survey by the Global Social Enterprise Initiative at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and Philips, 96 percent of senior respondents said it’s important to be as independent as possible as they get older. For seniors to maintain that independence, it pays to age “SMART.” By combining basic physical and mental wellness techniques with technology, seniors can continue living the full, active lives they want and deserve. Consider these ideas:

S—Stay active, eat healthy: Activities such as walking and light weight lifting can help with balance and agility, preserving mobility and making you less likely to fall. Group classes designed for seniors can be a great way to stay fit and socialize.

Eat lots of fruits and veggies, lean proteins and smart carbohydrates. High blood pressure can be of particular concern with age, so diets should be low in sodium.

M—Mental fitness: Your brain needs a workout, too. Studies have associated activities such as reading, playing a musical instrument, learning a new language, playing memory games and other cognitively stimulating exercises with a slower rate of mental decline. Staying sharp mentally can help you maintain your independence by empowering you to manage everyday tasks.

A—A good night’s sleep: Lack of sleep can impair your memory, slow reaction time and exacerbate other conditions. Keeping a regular schedule, avoiding caffeine and sleeping in a dark, relaxing environment can help.

R—Remembering medications: It can be tricky to keep track of your medications but getting doses and timing right are crucial to maintaining your independence. One in 10 senior hospitalizations is related to medication mismanagement. The good news is there are lots of tools out there to help, some as simple as plastic pill-organizing boxes. More advanced solutions include mobile apps that send you a reminder when it’s time for meds and automatic devices that dispense pre-sorted medications at preprogrammed times.

T—Technology to keep connected: E-mail, Facebook and Skype can be great ways to stay connected with family and friends. You can watch your grandkid’s soccer game from halfway across the country or catch up with a friend you haven’t seen in decades. Isolation and loneliness can take a huge toll on mental health, so it’s important to maintain and create relationships.

Technology also keeps seniors connected to help and lets them go about busy, active lives with less worry. Mobile response apps can connect seniors to a call center with the simple click of a button in the case of an emergency. Medical alert services provide seniors with direct access to a response associate both in their homes and on the go. Some even come equipped with fall detection technology that can signal for help if a fall is detected, when the senior is unable to do so.

For more resources related to aging “SMART,” visit Philips Lifeline at http://philips.to/lifeline.

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Domestic Violence Health Risks: Doctors Can Help

(NAPSI)—While intimate partner violence (IPV), or domestic violence, is one of the most common health risks to women in the United States and can have a profoundly negative impact on health and well-being, there are ways to prevent it. Unfortunately, every minute, 24 people are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by a partner or spouse in the United States, according to a National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.

IPV is physical, psychological or sexual harm by a current or former partner or spouse. Both women and men can be at risk from either heterosexual or same-sex partners. IPV affects people in every community, regardless of race, religion, educational background or economic status.

Domestic violence stems from an abuser using power and control to emotionally or physically hurt a person close to him or her, typically in an intimate or family relationship. Someone experiencing domestic violence may have physical injuries, psychological trauma or may even die from the abuse.

Injury Beyond Wounds

IPV can result in a variety of negative health outcomes including injury and pain, nervousness and stomach disorders, severe headaches, and mental health problems. In addition, the stress of being threatened and injured by a loved one can lead to coping in ways that compromise health and wellness—things such as over- or undereating, alcohol and drug use, and isolation.

Those who witness violence—typically children—are also affected. Intimate partner violence often cycles and passes from parents to their children largely because what is seen at a young age is later believed to be “normal” in their own family and in relationships. Stopping the cycle of violence begins when steps can be taken to support healthy relationships that are not abusive.

Your Doctor Can Help

Domestic violence often goes undetected or unreported. Fortunately, new research shows that screening and support programs offered in primary care can help prevent violence against women. As a result, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended that primary care clinicians screen all women ages 14 to 46 for intimate partner violence. Discussions with doctors and nurses are a safe way for patients to discuss what is happening and get help and referrals to supportive programs and services.

Domestic Violence Screening and Support Services

Doctors often screen for health risks that were once considered too private to discuss, such as tobacco use, alcohol abuse, and HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Now, IPV has been added to that list. This means that if you are a woman between the ages of 14 and 46, you may be asked about your intimate relationship or given a questionnaire about IPV during a doctor’s office visit. Since, by some estimates, one in four women experience IPV, many women may be helped as a result of this screening.

The benefit of screening for intimate partner violence is to identify women who are being abused, link them with the help they may need, and reduce the chance of future violence and abuse. It may also help identify physical and mental harms that stem from IPV, even if the woman is not showing signs or symptoms of these conditions. If a woman screens positive for IPV, supports offered by her doctor can range from a toll-free hotline to peer support programs or domestic violence shelters, depending on her situation and the community resources available.

While family violence can be experienced by anyone—children, men, women, the elderly—there is currently not enough evidence about how primary care clinicians can effectively screen and intervene for individuals aside from women ages 14 to 46. But anyone concerned about this issue should talk with a doctor or nurse.

Protecting Your Health

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is an independent group of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that makes recommendations on primary care services. Recently, the Task Force reviewed the research on screening women for intimate partner violence and issued a recommendation.

For more information on the Task Force and to read the full report on intimate partner violence, visit www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, there is help at the National Domestic Violence Hotline-(800) 799-7233.

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Parents Can Benefit From Genetic Testing

(NAPSI)—For many, the decision to have a child may very well be the biggest and most fulfilling decision they will make. And after the decision is made to start a family, future parents often discover that planning for the baby’s future can be a daunting task. Which car seat will they use? How will they babyproof the house? Which schools will the child attend?

Regardless of all these questions, one hope in particular resonates in the minds of most future parents: that their child will be happy and healthy.

And, until recently, the genetic screening options available to help ensure a child’s health have been limited, cumbersome, inconvenient and sometimes costly. Now a new program has been created that can change that.

The First Of Its Kind

Based out of Emory University’s Department of Human Genetics, the genetic screening program called JScreen is the first of its kind. It can be used to test for over 80 different genetic conditions with an at-home saliva test. This can help parents-to-be know if they are carriers for genetic conditions such as Tay-Sachs disease, spinal muscular atrophy and cystic fibrosis.

It’s estimated that 80 percent of children with a serious genetic disease are born to parents with no known family history for the disease, making JScreen a powerful prevention tool.

While parents once had to navigate a confusing process for genetic testing that sometimes only screened for a handful of conditions, future moms and dads can now request their JScreen test kits online at www.jscreen.org. JScreen works with their doctor to order the appropriate test, and typically, no doctor’s visit is needed. After the kit is shipped to an individual’s home, he or she deposits a saliva sample in the included tube and sends it back using the prepaid shipping package. In a matter of weeks, the person being tested will be contacted by a licensed genetic counselor from Emory University’s Department of Human Genetics to discuss the results.

The Gift Of Knowledge

Also, for the first time, by using a gift card, friends and family members can purchase the gift of genetic screening for their loved ones at www.jscreen.org/gift.

“We’ve already seen great success with the gift card program, particularly among family members of newlyweds and people whose loved ones are nearing the age when they might begin trying to start a family,” said Karen Grinzaid, Senior Program Director for JScreen. “It’s a unique gift—one that I think tells the recipients that you care about them and you care about their future. It’s really quite thoughtful.”

With the development of an affordable genetic screening option available from the comfort of one’s own home, many believe JScreen marks a significant advancement in the fight against genetic diseases.

To learn more, visit www.jscreen.org.

 

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Understanding Ovarian Cancer: Know The Facts

(NAPSI)—Ovarian cancer, the eighth most commonly diagnosed and the fifth most common cause of cancer death for women in the United States, is sometimes called a “silent killer.” There is currently no reliable screening method to detect ovarian cancer and symptoms often go unnoticed. Early stages of ovarian cancer often present symptoms that are more commonly caused by other less serious conditions, such as abdominal pain, swelling or bloating, or pelvic pressure.

As a result of late diagnosis, 75 percent of patients have ovarian cancer that has spread to nearby organs. The five-year survival rate for these ovarian cancer patients is less than 50 percent.

“It is vitally important for women to understand that their risk of developing ovarian cancer and subsequent prognosis is influenced by several factors, including age, environmental and lifestyle factors, early stage of diagnosis, and family history,” said Sue Friedman, founder and Executive Director of Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered. “Additionally, the risk of developing ovarian cancer is increased in women with specific inherited genetic abnormalities. One of these risks is associated with BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutations.”

Consider these facts and work with your doctor to understand your options for ovarian cancer treatment.

Ovarian cancer facts and figures:

• Approximately 22,000 U.S. women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014.

• Ovarian cancer is a disease in which cells in the ovaries grow out of control and form tumors, which are abnormal tissues that serve no function.

• All women are at risk for ovarian cancer; however, roughly 90 percent of women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are older than 40.

• The greatest number of ovarian cancers occur in women aged 60 years or older.

• High-grade serous cancer is the most common and aggressive form of ovarian cancer.

• Approximately 60-80 percent of ovarian cancer is of the serous subtype and as many as 95 percent of advanced ovarian cancers are of the serous subtype.

• BRCA gene mutations can play a key role in serous ovarian cancer. In the general population, 1.4 percent of women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, while up to 40 percent of women with BRCA ½ mutations will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime.

If you are living with ovarian cancer, be sure to talk to your doctor about all of your treatment options. And if someone you know has ovarian cancer or may be at risk, please visit www.myOCjourney.com, which is sponsored by AstraZeneca and designed to provide the support you need to live your best life as you fight ovarian cancer.

 

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