Disorders of the Gallbladder the Pancreas and the Liver

The gallbladder has a single, nonessential role in digestion it stores bile produced by the liver until it is needed in the duodenum to digest fats. Both the pancreas and the liver help regulate metabolism (the chemical processes that take place in the body) and have essential roles in digestion. The pancreas releases hormones and enzymes critical to the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. The liver, one of the most complex organs in the body, performs more than 5,000...

Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is a growth of abnormal cells within a testicle. Doctors do not know the exact cause of testicular cancer. It accounts for only 1 percent of all cancers in men. However, it is the most common cancer in men aged 15 to 34. Testicular cancer is about four times more common in white men than in African American men, with rates for Hispanic, Native American, and Asian men between those two groups. Thanks to dramatic advances in therapeutic drugs, along with better diagnostic tests,...

Cataracts

A cataract is a cloudy area in the normally clear lens inside the eye. The cloudy area worsens as protein fibers in the lens clump together, preventing light rays from passing through the lens and focusing on the retina, the light-sensitive membrane that lines the back of the eye. Cataracts usually develop very gradually, and early changes in the lens of the eye may go unnoticed. As the cataract continues to develop, symptoms begin to appear. The person may have blurred vision in one eye....

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease, also called simply heart disease, is a condition in which the coronary arteries (the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart muscle) become blocked, cutting off blood flow and, therefore, oxygen to the heart muscle. This damages the heart, causing it to malfunction. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Nearly 20 percent of men aged 65 to 69 have had a heart attack, and nearly 30 percent of men aged 80 to...

Dandruff

Dandruff (known medically as seborrheic dermatitis), the scaling and sloughing of the skin on the scalp, usually occurs during adolescence and adult life, reaching its peak severity at about age 20. In a person with dandruff, small white or gray scales accumulate on the surface of the scalp. The scales detach from the scalp, falling among the hairs and on the shoulders. Doctors once suspected that a yeast infection may have been the cause of most cases of dandruff, but current evidence shows...

Disorders of the Stomach and the Duodenum

Most digestion of food occurs in the stomach and duodenum. This portion of the digestive tract produces and receives from other organs a wide range of chemicals to break down food for nutrient absorption. The stomach uses both mechanical means and chemicals (such as hydrochloric acid and pepsin) to break down food. The duodenum releases hormones that stimulate the pancreas to ensure the proper release of enzymes to digest carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The duodenum releases another hormone...

Sexual Desire and Aging

Male Steriod Facies

Several factors play a role in determining whether an older person is sexually active, including the biological processes associated with normal aging, the desire to engage in some form of sexual activity, and availability of a suitable partner and privacy for sexual expression. Among men, some sexual problems may increase with age, but not necessarily because of aging. The incidence of erectile dysfunction increases for men over 40 and escalates with each decade. The intensity of sexual...

Jock Itch

Jock itch (known medically as tinea cruris) is a fungal infection of the groin. The fungus also can infect other areas of the body, such as the feet and the area between the toes, where it causes athlete's foot (see next page). The infection begins as small, red spots that enlarge to form rings. At the edge of the ring the skin is raised, red, and scaly. Jock itch is common in men who perspire heavily, who exercise vigorously in hot weather, or who are overweight. The infection can be...

Allergies to Food

A food allergy is a reaction of the immune system to a food or food ingredient that most people find harmless. If you eat a food that produces an allergic reaction, your immune system responds by releasing numerous chemicals that cause allergic symptoms. A food allergy is different from a food intolerance, which does not trigger an immune response. A food intolerance (such as lactose intolerance, see page 266) usually arises from an enzyme deficiency and produces symptoms such as stomach...

Is Sildenafil for

Softness The Tip Erect Penis

Sildenafil is a prescription medication that is used to treat erectile dysfunction. It is the first oral medication for this purpose approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Sildenafil is not an aphrodisiac. It will not arouse or increase sexual desire. It is not a means to improve erections in men who do not have erectile dysfunction. It is not a chemical substitute for working on a relationship. Sildenafil blocks an enzyme in the penis that naturally breaks down a chemical called...

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Being overweight is a major health problem in the United States, and there are many good reasons to keep your weight within a healthy range. You will feel better, look better, and have more energy than men who are overweight. Having more energy makes you more likely to exercise, which can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more restfully. But the most important reason to keep your weight within a healthy range is that you will lower your risk for certain chronic diseases, including heart...

Urinary Tract Infections Urethritis Cystitis and Pyelonephritis

The structure of the urinary tract reduces the likelihood of infection by preventing urine from flowing backward toward the kidneys and by washing bacteria out of the body with the normal flow of urine. In men, the prostate gland also produces secretions that slow bacterial growth. Urine is normally sterile. However, urinary tract infections are common, especially among women. An 287 obstruction of the urinary tract (such as a kidney stone or an enlarged prostate Urinary gland) also increases...

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases your chances of developing heart disease or kidney disease and of having a stroke. About one in every four American adults has high blood pressure but may not be aware of it. It is often called the silent killer because it usually causes no symptoms. However, high blood pressure is easy to diagnose, and there are practical steps you can take to bring your blood pressure under control. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls...

The Prostate Gland

Your prostate is a walnut-shaped gland that lies immediately beneath your bladder surrounding the urethra, the tube inside the penis that carries urine out of your body. It secretes a fluid that becomes part of semen. The gland can easily become inflamed during an infection, causing soreness, swelling, frequent urination, and a burning sensation while urinating. The prostate gland also can become enlarged, a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia, which is a common problem in older men....

Boils and Carbuncles

A boil is a collection of pus beneath the top layer of skin. It is caused by bacterial infection of a hair follicle, the tiny pit in the surface of the skin in which a hair grows. Boils can cluster under the skin such a cluster is known as a carbuncle. Boils may result from infection of a cut or scrape in the skin, poor hygiene, cosmetics that clog the pores, exposure to chemicals, and friction from tight clothing or shoes. Perspiration contributes to the development of boils and carbuncles and...