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The Everyman Centre is one of Ireland’s most respected STD health clinics and has been performing  STI testing since 1998. The dongle can test you for HIV and syphilis and deliver the results in the space of 15 minutes.
STD TESTS COULD become more accessible after a team of researchers built a testing device that can plug into your smartphone.
Researchers from Columbia Engineering have developed a low-cost smartphone dongle that can test you for HIV and syphilis from a single prick of blood. The smartphone acts as a monitor, providing step-by-step instructions on the procedure, and provides results in 15 minutes.
While it’s able to recreate the same lab tests you normally associate with such procedures, the cost of manufacturing a dongle is estimated to be $34 (€30). The aim is to bring this dongle to developing countries as a way of detecting infections faster and reducing deaths.
Over there, it took 30 minutes to teach healthcare workers how to use the device and almost all patients (97% to be exact) said they would recommend the dongle because of its fast turn-around time and simplicity.
The associate professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia Engineering Samuel K.Sia, who led the project, said they were looking at how the technology could benefit both those in developing markets as well as those back home. We could all be more vigilant of what people around us are going through, the Fianna Fail deputy writes. It’s one thing to start a new fitness regime and quite another to stick to it, writes Andrew McGinley.
Body mass index Your body mass index (BMI) is a good estimate of how much of your body is made up of fat. Your increased health risk is greater when the extra fat is mainly around your waist ('apple shaped'), rather than mainly on your hips and thighs ('pear shaped'). If you already have high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, or diabetes, these conditions are likely to improve. Most people in Ireland live where tasty food can be found at almost any time of day or night. THE BULK OF MOST MEALS should be starch-based foods (such as cereals, wholegrain bread, potatoes, rice, pasta), plus fruit and vegetables.
NOT MUCH fatty food such as fatty meats, cheeses, full-cream milk, fried food, butter, etc. If you are able, aim to do at least 60-90 minutes of moderate physical activity on at least five days a week.
Men who are screened run some risks from the biopsy test, and may not benefit from treatment even if they do have cancer.
PSA is a normal product of the prostate gland, but raised levels suggest cancer or other prostate problems. The main ways to treat prostate cancer that has not spread are either radical surgery to remove the whole prostate gland (radical prostatectomy) or radiotherapy. If the blood test results are not within normal limits , this 'early warning' allows you to make lifestyle changes and consider treatments to lower your future risk of heart attack and stroke. Some cholesterol tests can be conducted with a finger-prick blood sample, but more detailed testing requires a blood sample collected from a vein in the arm. Erectile dysfunction means a man is unable to maintain an erect penis sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse. Many men have (often temporary) erection problems at times, and the likelihood increases with age.
Recent illness, such as a heart attack, or injury to the brain or spinal cord can be a cause. A wide range of drugs used to treat some health conditions (eg, heart failure, high blood pressure and depression) can also affect your ability to get an erection.
If you still have erections at times (eg, when you wake) this usually means psychological reasons are involved. You can help yourself by cutting down on alcohol, stop smoking and reducing the stress in your life. Many men are unhappy with their ability to get or maintain an erection, but only 5% of these men seek help. Understanding that erectile dysfunction could have a medical cause, just as asthma or arthritis do, can allow you to feel more at ease in mentioning it to your doctor. If your erection problems have a medical cause, your doctor can explain the treatment options, the techniques needed to make them work and their suitability for your needs in the light of your overall health.
These tablets usually allow an erection to occur, but only when the man is stimulated or aroused. Injecting a prostaglandin drug into the base of the penis allows most men to get an erection, which may last beyond ejaculation.
It is common knowledge that a monthly breast self-exam for women is an effective part of early breast cancer detection. Find the epididymis, the soft, tubelike structure behind the testicle that collects and carries sperm. Does the amount of alcohol you drink seem to be enough to call your drinking a problem or not?
The following questions are a guide to deciding whether you think you may have an alcohol problem. Have you ever been sweaty, shaky or confused when you have gone without alcohol for any length of time? Do you ever have to have a drink as soon as you wake up to stop the shakes (this is sometimes called an 'eye opener')?
Some people may never drink above accepted safe limits and may never become hooked either psychologically or physically.
Relationship problems, eg, with your partner, friends, or other family and whanau members, or at work.
Family problems, such as violence, disruptive relationships, financial difficulties through drinking. It is useful to draw up a list of the good things and the less good things that you experience with your own drinking. In terms of the less good things, consider any of the negative effects that might be affecting your life. Some people develop drinking problems simply because they develop an unchanging regular pattern of drinking.
If you're going to pick up signs of trouble you need to know what your testicles normally feel like.
If you notice anything unusual about your testicles, you should go and see a doctor as soon as possible.
EchocardiogramThis test uses sound waves to study the movement of the heart's chambers and valves. In recent years the most commonly used blood test to measure the level of cardiac muscle damage are proteins called troponins.
Blood cholesterol is best measured as part of an overall assessment of your cardiovascular risk. If you are already overweight, you need to reduce your heart risks by losing weight and trimming your waistline. If you smoke, your chances of a heart attack are two or three times more than for a non-smoker, and you have a higher risk of stroke and many other diseases. Active people have fewer heart attacks and have a better chance of recovery than inactive people. This was kept as low as possible, only your smartphone is used as a power source, and instead of accessing the battery directly, it uses the headphones jack as a way of powering it and transmitting data. The step-by-step instructions means little training is required to work them and the device has already been tested in Rwanda.
They are on the specialist register of the Irish Medical Council or the British Medical Council in the fields of Genito-Urinary Medicine or Infectious Diseases. As a rule, a waist measurement of 102 cm or above for men and 88 cm or above for women is a significant health risk.
This is mainly because you are less likely to die from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or obesity related cancers. You put on weight if the amount of energy in the foods and drinks that you eat is greater than the amount of energy that you use. Conditions such as Cushing's disease and an underactive thyroid are rare causes of weight gain.
You may not feel that being overweight or obese is a problem to you, and have little motivation or desire to lose weight. At least one of which should be 'oily' (such as herring, mackerel, sardines, kippers, pilchards, salmon, or fresh tuna).
However, if this target is too low, you may become fed up about poor progress, and give up. To keep the weight off, it is vital that you have a permanent change in your attitudes and lifestyle.


In fact, by diagnosing and treating cancers that might not need to be treated, the risk of reduced quality of life from treatment complications may be higher than if they were not screened.
The most common test for prostate cancer is the PSA test, which measures a substance called Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) in the blood. Doctors looking for prostate cancer will do a PSA test in conjunction with a rectal examination of the prostate gland itself.
Because both forms of treatment carry significant risk of complications like impotence, incontinence and bowel problems, 'watchful waiting' can be considered as an alternative option. Instead, measuring cholesterol and knowing the levels of these lipids provides important information on your health and your long-term risk of heart disease and stroke. You will need to fast (go without food and most drink apart from water) for a specified period (usually at least 12 hours) before taking the test. It may have a psychological or a physical cause, either way it is distressing and may cause loss of confidence and self-esteem or depression, as well as relationship problems.
Estimates seem to be increasing as more careful studies are done and as men become more prepared to seek help.
During an erection, the blood vessels that let blood into the penis relax and widen (dilate).
For most men there is a physical or medical reason for this, for others the problem is psychological. Many other medical conditions can also lead to nerve damage or reduced blood supply to the penis – the most common of these is diabetes (men with diabetes are much more likely to have problems with erections). If you are taking medication and have erectile dysfunction you should talk to your doctor about your drugs – there may be others without this side effect. This is because men, in general, are unwilling to discuss their sex life, even when it is going well. By opening up this discussion, which is confidential, your doctor can help you in a number of ways.
If psychological reasons are suspected, your doctor can advise you on the appropriate action and help you access counselling services you (and your partner) may benefit from. They can, however, cause headaches, dizziness and nausea, and PDE5 inhibitors can cause flushing or rarely some visual disturbance. Some men may be put off by this method, but the injector devices are simple and convenient to use and the procedure is virtually painless. For men, starting at age 15, monthly self-exams of the testicles are also an effective way of getting to know this area of your body and thus detecting testicular cancer at an early - and very curable - stage. Moderate drinking can be protective for middle-aged men and women who are at risk of some forms of heart disease.
Alcohol can cause brain diseases (eg, a dementia similar to Alzheimer's disease); it can trigger illnesses like depression and schizophrenia, and its use can make the management of almost all psychiatric problems more difficult.
Write down all the good things you can think of, eg, that drinking alcohol makes you feel better; that it means you have a good time with your friends, or whatever. There can be a genetic component to severe alcohol problems, that is, we can inherit a tendency to develop them.
You are less likely to drink heavily if no one in your peer group, family or social group drinks heavily.
They always drink at the same time and place, every day, rarely changing the type or amount of drink. It is the most common cancer among men aged 15 to 24 years of age, but men of any age can get it. Most men don't know about it, so they ignore the first warning signs, hoping everything will just come right. How the physician decides which tests to perform (and how many) depends on factors such as your risk factors, history of heart problems, current symptoms and the physician's interpretation of these factors. It is a simple, painless test that takes about 10 minutes.Every time the heart beats, natural electrical currents can be picked up by electrodes placed on various points around the body. This is particularly useful as you can assess different areas of the heart while it is beating. It is performed on people who need to have a exercise ECG but are unable to walk any great distance due to mobility problems. The level of troponins in the blood helps to give a quick and accurate idea of the amount of muscle damage after a heart attack. To do this you need to cut down, slowly and properly, on your food intake (particularly fats) and start to increase the amount of regular physical activity in your life.
Lifetime smokers have a 50% chance of dying from smoking-related diseases, and their lives are shorter by an average of 14 years. It also damages the blood vessels which, if they become narrow or blocked, may result in a heart attack or stroke. You can work out your BMI by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by the square of your height (in metres). In short, the heavier you are, the longer your carry the extra weight, and the more the fat is around your waist, the greater your health risk.
Some people notice an improvement in their self-esteem.There are also definite health benefits from losing some weight. Energy from foods and drinks that you do not use is converted into fat, and stored in the body.A common wrong belief is to think that if you are overweight or obese, you have a low metabolic rate. Although our body gives us a feeling of fullness after eating enough (satiety), we can easily ignore this feeling if we are enjoying tasty foods. The variety of labour saving devices and gadgets in most homes, and the overuse of cars, means that most people need to use-up much less energy compared to previous generations.
Some medicines such as steroids, some antidepressants, sulphonylureas and sodium valproate may contribute to weight gain.
Therefore, a detailed diary of every amount of food and drink that you have over an average week is more helpful. As mentioned, in most cases most health benefits come from losing the first 5-10% of your weight (often about 5-10 kg). It is important to be aware that the initial kilogram or so may seem to fall off, but then the weight loss commonly slows down.
This does not stop men asking to be screened and a test (the PSA test) is available if you request it. If the PSA test is positive, other tests and investigations will have to be done before a definite diagnosis of cancer can be made.
The current evidence is that treating some prostate cancers does not improve your likelihood of survival, and may reduce the quality of your remaining life. Together with other cardiovascular risk factors (such as blood pressure, and bodyweight), your cholesterol results can give us an overall picture of your health.
You should still be allowed to drink water and take your normal medications - do not stop taking these unless your doctor advises you to (eg, if the medications would interfere with the test result). There are several solutions, but recognising the problem and talking about it with your doctor are the first essential steps.
Even when there is an initial physical reason, a man may still feel anxious about having sex, and this can compound the problem. You can consider (with your partner) how important sexual intercourse is to your relationship – there are other aspects to intimacy, and not all couples require an active sex life to have a fulfilling relationship.
Men with certain heart conditions or those taking nitrates for angina can’t use PDE5 inhibitors as this combination has proved fatal in some circumstances.
Roll the testicle gently between the thumbs and fingers - you shouldn't feel any pain when doing the exam.
Cancerous lumps usually are found on the sides of the testicle but can also show up on the front. However, alcohol affects every part of the body, the heart included, and excessive amounts of alcohol can cause physical damage and a wide range of physical diseases.
This does not mean it will always happen, but severe alcohol problems do tend to run in families and, if you have a family member who has been dependent upon alcohol, you are at greater risk of developing a problem with alcohol yourself.Certainly, our physical make up can contribute to the development of drinking problems as life progresses. If we get drunk at a party and make fools of ourselves in front of our friends, we might not drink so much the next time.
Others drink because they are stressed, depressed, or they have some other kind of problem in their life. The echo sound waves create an image on the monitor as an ultrasound transducer probe is passed over the chest and heart. Cardiac troponins Cardiac troponin measurements help either confirm or exclude a heart attack in a person who may be having, or recently had, a cardiac event. You can do more with less effort, have better heart function and possibly lower blood pressure.
Get your blood pressure checked regularly – and more often if you are older, taking any medication (including the contraceptive pill), overweight, or if you have diabetes or a family history of heart disease. Working with your doctor to develop a plan to control your diabetes is the first step in safeguarding your heart. Many diseases are more common in obese and overweight people, and you are less likely to develop them if you lose some weight.


The average person in ireland watches 26 hours of television per week, and many even more (the 'couch potato' syndrome).A lack of physical activity by many people is thought to be a major cause of the increase in obesity in recent years.
Therefore, for some people, part of the problem is genetic.It is not fully understood how this 'genetic factor' works. Skipping meals will just make you feel more hungry, make you think more about food, and you are more likely to overeat in the evening. Regular weighing, advice, and encouragement by a nurse or dietician is often helpful.Special diets which are often advertised are not usually helpful.
You may know or have heard of someone who swears by the PSA test (for more on this see Screening tests heading below). People taking blood-thinning medications (eg, aspirin or warfarin), or those with bleeding or clotting problems, should also inform the nurse or laboratory staff of this before the blood sample is taken. For some men erection problems occur suddenly but for most there is progressive difficulty. Complex biological mechanisms are involved in allowing these blood vessels to relax and redirect blood to the penis.
People who become very sick when they first drink alcohol (or who cannot hold their drink) are unlikely to go on and develop a regular drinking pattern. Drinking can start as a way of coping with problems or trauma but, unless properly controlled, it can develop into a problem in its own right.
It's quite normal to have one larger than the other, or higher than the other, but they should be about the same weight. If it's cancer and you delay going to the doctor, the cancer can spread to other parts of the body. The tracing records the heart rate and rhythm and whether the muscle is conducting the electricity normally. Exercise stress test (treadmill test or exercise ECG) Some heart problems only show up when the heart is working hard. Heart function and rhythm are monitored.Cardiac catheterisation (angiogram) Coronary angiography is an x-ray procedure used to examine the arteries of the heart. They also help decide what treatments a person with unstable angina may need.Troponin T and Troponin I are proteins that are part of the heart or cardiac muscle. You can get more advice from your doctor, practice nurse or dietitian, or ask your doctor for our topic on High Blood Cholesterol.
You can ask for more advice from your doctor or a dietitian, or ask your doctor for our topic on Healthy Weight Control.
If you stop smoking, all the above risks soon become much less – quitting lowers the risk of a heart attack to that of a non-smoker within five years. To keep your blood pressure down you should maintain a healthy diet and body weight, exercise regularly, use less salt and, if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Many of the lifestyle changes suggested for keeping your heart healthy (ie, diet and physical activity) are important in controlling diabetes.
This is because after losing weight, if your old eating habits remain, the weight often goes straight back on.
Only one in 10 men with prostate symptoms will have cancer; in the rest, the cause of symptoms is usually a non-cancerous enlargement known as benign prostatic hypertrophy.
Three quarters of men who have a positive PSA test will not have cancer, so the PSA test is not itself a reliable diagnosis. If you have previously experienced problems having blood taken, inform the the clinic so we can use a butterfly needle. It may mean you are completely unable to get an erection, can get only a partial erection or can keep it for a short time. Your thoughts and senses (touch, hearing, smell and sight) influence a part of the brain that can trigger an erection. Please note that free-floating lumps in the scrotum that are not attached in any way to a testicle are not testicular cancer. On the other hand, people who drink heavily and who can hold their booze are more likely to carry on drinking and therefore to possibly develop problems.
Tests that do not involve inserting needles, instruments or fluids into the body are termed non-invasive. Damaged heart muscle, or muscle that is short of oxygen, will result in a different appearance on the tracing.
An introducing sheath is inserted into an artery, usually in your groin or sometimes an arm.A catheter is threaded through this to the part of the aorta near the heart, where the coronary arteries start. Find different activities you enjoy and take opportunities to add physical activity to your day.
When we eat, certain hormones and brain chemicals send messages to parts of the brain to say that we have had enough, and to stop eating. It is usually not a special diet that is needed, but changing to a normal healthy balanced diet - for good. Right now there is no evidence that screening a man without symptoms will help him to live longer.If you feel well but have some concerns about prostate cancer, or if you have symptoms, a discussion of the options will help you decide on a course of action. Benign enlargement of the prostate gland tends to occur at the same age as prostate cancer, but there is no evidence that one leads to another. There is also a small risk of infection and bleeding from a biopsy, so the test is only done if there is a suspicion that a cancer is present. Testicular cancer is a serious disease, but when it's discovered, and treated early, there's usually a complete cure.
The resultant tracing can give the doctor a lot of information about your heart, but, like most tests, the ECG is not infallible.
A special dye is injected through the catheter, into your bloodstream.X-rays of the heart and coronary arteries are then taken. Troponin T and I are more sensitive to heart muscle damage than the enzyme creatine kinase (CK).
In some people, this control of appetite and the feeling of fullness (satiety) may be faulty, or not as good as it is in others.If you do inherit a tendency to overeat, it is not inevitable that you will become overweight or obese. The things to be considered are any family history of cancer, your age, your general health and how a diagnosis of cancer may affect you.
Arousing thoughts or nervous mechanisms (eg, touch reflexes) are two ways an erection is initiated. If you have angina your heart tracing may be normal if it is recorded at rest when you are free of pain.
The test takes a maximum of 10 minutes.You will be connected to an ECG machine and blood pressure monitoring facilities. The dye in your bloodstream helps highlight the coronary arteries and the narrowings in them. You can learn about the power of your appetite, ways to resist it, be strict on what you eat, and do some regular physical activity. The D2 Medical Centre can advise you of the potential risks and benefits of being screened, and also of the treatment options for cancer if it was to be detected. Every year about 2000 to 3000 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed, three quarters in men over 70. Your cardiologist will then review the X-rays and discuss the results with you.Electrophysiological studies (EPS) Your cardiologist might refer you for electrophysiology studies if you have an abnormal heart rhythm or palpitations. They can be detected in blood as early as three hours after a heart attack associated chest pain starts. However, you are likely to struggle more than most people to prevent or overcome weight gain. Holter monitoringThe purpose of Holter monitoring is to look for heart rhythm problems over a 24 to 48-hour period.The Holter monitor is a small, portable, battery powered ECG machine worn when at home. Possible symptoms include difficulty starting to pass urine, a slow flow, dribbling, blood in the urine, having to get up often at night, or having to rush to get to the toilet. They are then gently moved into position in the heart, where they stimulate the heart and record electrical impulses. This means that if you have had chest pain for several days a heart attack can still be detected. More men who have been diagnosed as having prostate cancer die from other causes than die from the cancer itself.
You will be asked to keep a diary of activities and any symptoms that you experience while the Holter monitor is being worn. This type of investigation assists the doctor to make a definitive diagnosis and plan treatment for arrhythmia management.Blood tests Various blood test may be performed depending on your type of heart disease. However, it is difficult, even with screening, to identify tumours that are going to develop rapidly. At the end of the time period, the monitor needs to be returned to the hospital and a technician will view the recorded information.



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