Men's Health Frequently Asked Questions
Speaker 1: Well, June is Men's Health Month. And here on the Morning Show, we've focused on a number of issues during June. And this morning, we're going to tackle the questions that you are hesitant to ask your doctors. Joining me once again on the Morning Show, Dr. Ali Kasraeian. Hey, good morning.
Dr. Ali Kasraeian: Good morning.
Speaker 1: So I've got four, going to try and get to all of them. This first one, a lot of guys ask: "I get up in the middle of the night. Can't get a night's sleep, and I go to the bathroom because I just got to go, and I'm not having a lot of water. Should I be concerned?"
Dr. Ali Kasraeian: The answer to a lot of questions starts with, if you're concerned about it, if the concern rate is raised in your mind, go talk to your doctor. As urologists, we see this all the time. It's usually one of the first reasons people come and get evaluated for BPH, benign prosthetic hyperplasia, which is a benign growth of the inner portion of the prostate, for urination. There are very simple evaluations we can do to see how that works out. There are medications that can help. And even nowadays, the procedures are very minimally invasive, some that we do in the office.
Dr. Ali Kasraeian: So if something's concerning you, talk to your doctor because the answers may not be quite as scary. And those are worth knowing early because anything we do early, we do less. The other thing to keep in mind is what you're eating and drinking. You can start decreasing the amount of fluid you drink after bedtime, as long as you're hydrating well during the course of the day. And after the age of 80, actually your body concentrates more of your urine at night, so that may be the reason that you're waking up more. So talk to your doctor because you can look at a lot of different reasons and come up with very, very easy to deal with answers earlier.
Speaker 1: Okay, so here's the next one. I'm going to rephrase a little bit here. "I'm not feeling as sexually vital as I used to. And erectile dysfunction is an issue. Could it be a sign of a bigger health issue?"
Dr. Ali Kasraeian: Very important question. We actually in urology clinics, have questionnaires that we put where people fill out before we see them because a lot of men don't want to talk about this. One, you're not alone. 50% of men will have some difficulty with erectile dysfunction and 25%, 26% of men in their forties, begin noticing difficulties with erection. Very important to talk to your doctor about this. Sometimes erectile function issues can be the first sign of heart disease. If you can imagine the same thing that clogged blood vessels in the heart can potentially do so at the penis, so that's important.
Dr. Ali Kasraeian: The other thing is to be mindful of reasons why you may be noticing it: inactivity, obesity, smoking, diabetes. All those things can potentially have impacts. So stop smoking, be more active. They found that in studies, exercise 160 minutes a week, for a six-month period of time, can help your erections. So it may be a symptom of a bigger picture. And if not, you talk to your doctor, they're very simple things that we can start out to help. So talk to your doctor.
Speaker 1: A lot of lifestyle things can lead to these other problems. So the first two questions actually led to the third. "I can't get a good night's sleep. In fact, I may not be sleeping at all, or I think I'm not sleeping. Is that cause for concern?"
Dr. Ali Kasraeian: Depends. One thing that is consistent in studies year, after year, after year, is that getting six hours of sleep is very important and the implications of not doing so in terms of overall health, cardiovascular health, mortality, memory issues are very, very impactful. So if you're not sleeping well, talk to your doctor because we can find out why. Things like sleep apnea. You may not be getting deep sleep, so you keep waking up in the middle of the night enough that it becomes bothersome to your course of the day, urination issues. And then, just talking about ways that you can help sleep better are important to talk to your doctor: sleep hygiene issues, TV, screen time. But your doctor can guide you in terms of making sure nothing serious is going on, but also make sure that you come up with a path that can be helpful.
Speaker 1: Also, turn off the darn phone because that light, can cause you to lose sleep. All right, then there's this. "I have this strange pain or discomfort. I feel silly talking about it. I don't want to bother the doctor." Is the reality here, there are no stupid questions?
Dr. Ali Kasraeian: There are never any stupid questions because you want to get the answers to the questions that are bothering you, so that's very important. So if something's in your mind, something's worrisome, make sure you talk to your doctor. And I always recommend to people write down questions that pop into their mind. A lot of times, you go to the doctor, and you're focusing on one thing, and you forget about the thing that's important for you to have answers, questions that you want to be answered, and you leave, and you remember it then. And potentially sometimes getting back in quickly is difficult.
Dr. Ali Kasraeian: So if you have a question that pops into your mind to talk to your doctor, write a list and take that with your doctor because one, it helps all of us facilitate a better conversation, but most importantly, it makes sure that the questions that are bothering you are answered. And if something is worrisome, we can evaluate it earlier. Be mindful. Anything found earlier is easier to deal with than later on in the course of the disease.
Speaker 1: I'm out of time, but we've got to broach this. Guys don't go to the doctor. Their significant others, push them?
Dr. Ali Kasraeian: Absolutely. Make it a couple thing, times for regular screenings. We talk about this a lot with cancer screenings. Very important, men don't go to the doctor for screenings. Sometimes women don't go to the doctor. A third of people get colonoscopies, encourage each other to keep the healthy aspects of things in your life in place, and the regular screenings because the goal of everything in healthcare should be to keep you healthy, not treating illness.