“The part can never be well unless the whole is well.” – Plato
What did Plato mean? Could he be suggesting that isolated maladies stem from a core illness? Was he enlightened to understand that symptoms should not be confused with disease processes?
We know chest pain is not treated with Tylenol before angina is considered!
Is this an example of Plato’s message? If treatment follows diagnosis then Tylenol is not used to treat a cardiac ischemia or lack of blood flow.
Men have choices when they have a men’s health problem! In our arena of The Y Factor medicine, men seek help achieving a pregnancy, improving a sexual problem, testosterone management or seeking a circumcision for penial problems.
How should they choose their practitioner and treatment? Here are some examples of heavily marketed treatment for men’s health issues!
- There are testosterone injection clinics treating the symptoms of low testosterone.
- There are sexual dysfunction clinics promoting quick temporary solutions through Viagra sales or single modality shock waves to the penis.
- There are fertility clinics promoting in vitro fertilization for male infertility problems.
There is an underlying unifying shortcoming in the above suggested treatments solutions.
Treatment of the parts takes precedence over treatment of the whole.
Let’s explore this further. Every good physician knows treatment follows diagnosis.
Core ethos of medicine is to understand the patient and the disease.
Sometimes the quickest solution is not the best solution.
Men need to make good healthcare solutions because they are afflicted with serious health problems and a shorter lifespan than women.
As a medical provider for men for over 30 years, I have some observations and perspective on the healthcare choices available to men!
What Should Happen: Know the reason for low testosterone and develop a treatment plan or plans. Often you can develop several options and choose the best treatment for you.
How others approach Testosterone Treatment:
Injection testosterone therapy will show results in symptoms but it will affect underlying body systems. It will down regulate the brain sensors that govern testosterone balance. It will stimulate the liver to work harder creating inflammation to adjust to the injections. It will cause increased blood thickness heightening the risk of blood clotting. It will cause decreased testicular health and size.
The Y Factor solution: Restore or correct the underlying process that caused the decrease in testosterone. This more body aligned approach is often a safer choice in treatment. This approach though requires expertise in understanding the complete hormonal system- the hypothalamus, the thyroid, the pituitary, gonadotropins, the hormone receptors and the enzymes involved in testosterone metabolism.
Complicated? Not if one is knowledgeable and experienced in the science and medicine of testosterone. The benefit is it improves testosterone while preserving the overall sexual and reproductive health of the man.
Sexual dysfunction solutions
What Should Happen: Diagnose if the cause for the sexual dysfunction is a central nervous condition, a peripheral nerve problem, an arterial blood flow problem, and venous outflow blood problem or an end organ or tissue problem.
How others approach Sexual Dysfunction treatment:
Sexual dysfunction could be a sign of an underlying serious health condition.
If the sexual dysfunction is from arterial inflow problem, then men are at significant risk for a cardiac heart event in the future. Diagnosing the underlying cause of sexual dysfunction helps assess this risk. This same risk does not hold true if the sexual dysfunction is from non vascular causes. Taking a Viagra pill maybe helps the erectile dysfunction but does not further assess the risk of future heart trouble.
The Y Factor Solution: Choose to use your symptom of sexual dysfunction to fully understand your body. Choose an evaluation that details the quality of your hormonal system, your nervous system, your arterial blood flow system and the health of end organs like penile erectile tissue and pelvic floor musculature. This approach will yield more choices in treatment options and help you know your risk for heart disease.
Overcoming Male Fertility Problems
Assess the fertility potential of the man to best select the next step in treatment. Diagnose what underlying condition is resulting in decreased male fertility. Rule out the conditions that are serious health problems like testes cancer, hormone imbalance and genetic abnormalities manifesting as decreased male fertility. There are multiple options to achieve a pregnancy and the goal is to successfully achieve the pregnancy and preserve the health of the man.
How others approach Male Fertility Treatment:
Invitro fertilization is often promoted as a treatment for male fertility problems. The in vitro fertilization bypasses the male fertility evaluation and uses the abnormal semen analysis to create a pregnancy. Even though in vitro fertilization has resulted in healthy pregnancies it does cancel the male fertility evaluation and emphasis on his health. Missed opportunity to better the man’s health! Furthermore, if male genetic problems are the source of his decreased fertility, these genetic abnormalities can be passed along to the offspring. The highest quality of care is to let couples know if this risk exists!
The Y Factor Solution: Men should be evaluated early in the pregnancy process by a urologist. Early evaluation saves lost reproductive time, allows for full improvement from treatment and it promotes the least expensive more natural option to pregnancy. The urologist is the most capable physician because he is trained in the physical examination of the infertile male. If in vitro fertilization is needed, enhancing male fertility enhances the quality of the sperm and in vitro fertilization success. Male fertility treatment can make in vitro fertilization more successful.
Circumcision and Penial problem
What Should Happen: Men should seek a physician with experience in penile disease treatment and surgery on the penis. If a circumcision surgery is needed, then experience and skill of the surgeon is important.
How others approach Circumcision:
Not all circumcisions proceed without complications. Some Circumcisions heal incorrectly and some Circumcisions need “an adjustment to meet the individuals preference”. Now this situation requires more advanced surgical skill. A urologic surgeon can offer not only the initial mini invasive ring or conventional circumcision but he has the skill to more complex surgical challenges.
If your circumcision physician is not a surgeon then he has to refer you to a surgeon willing to handle the initial complication. A single surgeon with complete skills sets provides a more desirable experience.
The Y Factor solution: Urologists are well trained highly respected surgeons who are most capable of treating simple and difficult circumcisions The urologist knows penial anatomy and function. He knows the different problems and solutions to penile disease. He can best help you understand the pros and cons of the procedure. The circumcision might be just the beginning of your genital care and you should entrust this service to an experienced and formally trained physician in penile problems.
Medical training and residency training of physicians is a long arduous process and medical care has become specialized. Physicians have settled into areas of expertise to practice the highest standards of care. That high standard of care is developing treatment options from great experience and knowledge of diagnosis.
Men have many choices presented to them for health care. Some by practitioners not formally trained in men’s health. Plato was right in his emphasis that disease problems should not be evaluated as symptoms only but rather as a manifestation of the whole health of the individual.