Sunday, November 23, 2008

HOW GENES GIVE YOU YOUR SOCIAL AND PERSONALITY TRAITS!

HOW GENES GIVE YOU YOUR SOCIAL AND PERSONALITY TRAITS

Genes influence how you act and interact in unpredictable ways. Half of your behavioral traits are caused  by your genes. Scientists are trying to nail down the genes that give you your unique personality.

How can your social behavior  be linked at a genomic level? Genes do not directly dictate your behavior. Brain development, and behavior depend on what you inherited and also how your environment has influenced you. You produce, receive, and interpret social signals that influence how you act.

How do your genes respond to social stimuli? Social stimuli lead you to change your behavior. This alters the pathways of your brain's gene expression. Thousands of genes are involved at once in different brain regions. There are shifts in your neurognic state rather than activation of special genes in your local circuits.

Environment can bring out, neutralize, or negate the genes influence.  Differences in stress responses from generation to generation can be passed along. This is not an inheritance of a particular gene, but is due to changes in your DNA methylation.

It's hard to tell what genes make you verbally fluent, make you outgoing, or give you spirituality. Behavioral genes are not solo players. It takes many genes to orchestrate each trait. The same gene may make you overeat, be depressed, or be impulsive.

Each gene comes in a variety of flavors (called alleles). These sequences vary. One allele may give you a wrong personality and another allele may increase your risk for mental illness.

GENES THAT RECENTLY MADE THE NEWS:

MARITAL SUCCESS GENE

You can get your vasopressin checked for $99 by Genesis Biolabs.  This is a hormone test that  checks your degree of attachment to your mate and your children. The more vasopressin you have ,m the more likely you will not be promiscuous.

The DNA preceding your vasopressin gene is responsible for fidelity. If your  DNA has  a short  variant, your relationships  will be less stable and you will lack the feeling for attachment.  The vasopressin  receptors are distributed differently.  You will not get a reward feeling when you love or are giving, if your vasopressin level is low. These short variants are implicated in autism since connections can't be made in autism.

 

RESILIENT GENE 

This gene is linked to everything from heart disease to autim, sleeping disorders and depression. It really is a very general gene linked to serotonin.

WARRIOR GENE

This gene called MAO-A (monanineoxidase-A)  causes risk taking and aggressive behavior, gambling and addictions. Sixty percent of Asians have this gene and 40% of Caucasians also carry the gene. The amygdala region of the brain is overactive and individuals have trouble regulating their emotions. Trauma in childhood, like child abuse, can trigger this violent behavior tendency, and lead to  a life of crime. High testosterone with low MAO-A results in antisocial behavior.

BOUNCE BACK GENE

This gene makes you thick skinned and you can fight life's slings and arrows. It a gene for protein that  regulates serotonin brain messages. It is called the SERT  gene, short for serotonin transporter.

The length of the regulating DNA at the beginning of SERT affected your behavior. A short version of the gene puts more serotonin in the synapses and causes anxiety and negative emotions. Four percent of us have  this gene. With major stresses, depression runs high, around 43%. Two thirds of these depressions are in people abused as children.

CAN'T GET  SATISFACTION GENE

This gene prevents  you from getting excited about pleasurable things. Less dopamine is fired up in the reward circuits. This leads to drug  abuse, sensation seeking, and impulsive and antisocial behavior in forming relationships. Having this gene leads  to early sexual activity.

There is no social bonding when dopamine receptors are at a low level. If you have more A2 alleles, your are more trusting. Boys who have only on e A 1allelehave ore delinquencies than  those who have two copies of A2 allele.

FAiLURE TO PLAN AND REASON GENE

This is the COMT gene (catechol O-methyl transferase) gene). It is linked with an enzyme that breaks down dopamine in the cortex that prevents planning and reasoning. High COMT means there are low  dopamine levels in the synapses. This results in poor memory and less sensitivity  to pain. There is also more negative thinking and anxiety.

THE STARTLE REFLEX GENE

An involuntary  blinking when you hear a sudden noise or see unpleasant pictures. A low COMT activity results in an exaggerated startle response. This low COMT could be an asset, since there are denser nerve connections present that lead to better concentration. But there is also less ability  to shift one's focus. You also dwell  on stressful thoughts for a long time.

 COMMENTARY

These theories  are intellectually appealing but can we blame  our social awkwardness on having an anxiety gene? But the mechanisms for personality traits are still one of science's biggest mysteries and challenges. 

SCIENCE IS RAPIDLY UNRAVELING THE MYSTERY OF THE GENETIC MECHANISM  FOR PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL TRAITS.

Source: Science, Nov . 7, 2008

Your comments are always appreciated.

Visit www.drneedles.com for more medical blogging of controversial medical subjects.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

THE BORDERS ARE CLOSED TO CHINESE MILK PRODUCTS

CHINESE DAIRY PRODUCTS DETAINED

Candy, snacks, bakery products, pet food and other Chinese products that contain milk will now be detained at the border until tests prove that they are not contaminated.

There is concern about such products being contaminated with the toxic chemical melamine.  Visit my Nov. 3, blog for more on this subject.  Melamine was found in infant formula in September and has sickened more than 50,000 infants in China and killed at least four.

Melamine contamination has now broadened.  It has now been found in milk, eggs and fish feed. Several products sold in specialty products sold in Asian stores have been recalled. They include a nondairy creamer and Mr. Brown brands of tea and instant coffee, yogurt, frozen desserts, biscuits, chocolates, and cookies.  

Chinese shrimp may be added to the banned list because it is breaded with dairy products.  Chinese supplements, protein powders and shakes may be included since they are made with powdered milk. It probably should include egg and fish products since animal feed has been found to be contaminated with melamine,

Unscrupulous food and feed dealers in China added melamine to their products because it increases nitrogen content to give the appearance in testing that protein levels are adequate. Because it dissolves poorly, melamine can block the body's filtering system, potentially leading to kidney failure and death.

The products are now held up at the border and tested for melamine and cyanuric which is another contaminant found in this scandal.

This alert might last a long time, since importers must prove that every shipment is free of contamination. It's hard to get off the alert list quickly.

Clearly, the problems involving melamine in China are significantly deeper than F.D.A. would have us believe.

Source NY Times Nov. 13, 2008

Visit my blog of Nov.3, on this melamine subject ,and of course ,visit www.drneedles for more medical blogs on controversial medical subjects.

THE BORDERS ARE CLOSED TO CHINESE MILD PRODUCTS

Candy, snacks, bakery products, pet food and other Chinese products that contain milk will now be detained at the border until tests prove that they are not contaminated.

 

There is concern about such products being contaminated with the toxic chemical melamine. It was found in infant formula in September and has sickened more than 50,000 infants in China and killed at least four.

 

Melamine contamination has now broadened.  It has now been found in milk, eggs and fish feed. Several products sold in specialty products sold in Asian stores have been recalled. They include a nondairy creamer and Mr. Brown brands of tea and instant coffee, yogurt, frozen desserts, biscuits, chocolates, and cookies.  Chinese shrimp may be added to the banned list because it is breaded with dairy products.  Chinese supplements, protein powders and shakes may be included since they are made with powdered milk. It probably should include egg and fish products since animal feed has been found to be contaminated with melamine,

.

Unscrupulous food and feed dealers in China added melamine to their products because it increases nitrogen content to give the appearance in testing that protein levels are adequate. Because it dissolves poorly, melamine can block the body's filtering system, potentially leading to kidney failure and death.

 

The products are now held up at the border and tested for melamine and cyanuric which is another contaminant found in this scandal.

 

 

This alert might last a long time, since importers must prove that every shipment is free of contamination. It's hard to get off the alert list quickly.

 

Clearly, the problems involving melamine in China are significantly deeper than F.D.A. would have us believe.

 

Source NY Times Nov. 13, 2008

SHOULD EVERYONE TAKE STATINS.

SHOULD EVERYONE TAKE STATINS

A study called Jupiter is stirring debate in the heart world. This study implies millions of people with even low cholesterol would be helped with Crestor, since it lowers heart attacks and strokes by almost 50%.  

 The clinical trial  was to be for 5 years but was stopped with less than 2 years.  Stopping the trial early limited getting more meaningful detail and the long term safety of taking this drug. as the number of patients that were saved by going on the statins.  Other reports in 2007 showed taking the statins to lower LDL had no effect on whether you lived longer or died sooner. Visit my Nov 3 blog on this subject.

The study showed that if 120 people take the drug, one would be helped. Twenty five people would need to take the drug, and only one heart attack in 5 years would be prevented.  Your chances of dying would be the same.

So, who should take the C reactive protein,CRP, blood test and at what high level of the protein should one start statins? The role of the protein, CRP, and inflammation in heart disease is hotly debated. Dr. Ridker believes inflammation plays an important role, probably by causing plaque in the arteries to rupture.  CRP can rise with short-term infections unrelated to chronic inflammation. It is not a standard test that everyone should have.

Heart disease is a complex illness and is affected by many risk factors, such as smoking, high Blood pressure, and obesity.  If you don't have these risk factors, should you take the CRP test? You should be counseled about diet and exercise.

Just because you have a high CRP does not justify taking statins if you never had a heart attack or don't have high cholesterol. Statins have been linked to muscle deterioration or kidney problems, and some patients reported fogginess of memory loss.

Cost is also a factor.  The CRP test alone costs up to $50. Name brand stains cost $3 ad day.  To put healthy patients on statins for the rest of their lives would cost the health system billions of dollars.

Dr. Ridker, a co-inventor of a CRP test, said he first sought federal financing for the study and was turned down. The pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, who made the drug in the trial, called Crestor on the market, sponsored this study, called Jupiter.

Maybe we should just put statins in our drinking water like we do fluoride. We all want to believe every new drug is the answer to our health problems.

Check my related blog of NOV.3, 2008:" Will lowering your LDL keep you  alive longer?"

Source NY Times Nov.9, 2008

Visit www.drneedles for more medical blog articles on controversial subjects.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

WHO MARRIES WHO AND WHY?

SELECTING YOUR MATE

Who marries who, and why?  You look for romance when looking for a mate. It is not a hit or miss operation.  Most of us over several years go through a dating system that exposes all of us to an ever-narrowing field of potential marital mates.   Through trial and error you learn your options. Others reveal themselves to you allowing you to assess their qualities as your potential mate. 

Social, cultural and psychological factors also influence you. Your mating does not begin with romance.  Less romantic factors play a great role in your eventual choice.  Love relationships appear after you filteri out other factors.

In some societies, mate selection is arranged, with no options.  You could never ask: “Am I making the right choice?”  Marriage is not made in heaven.  It involves a number of possibilities that lead you to be ambivalent and hesitant.

You look for someone your age, religion, race, family background. and birth order.  You also want your mate to share your values, interests, and your personality.  All these factors are variable and depend on how much pressure you get from friends and family.

You may be pushed to move rapidly to marriage because of love, companionship, emotional and financial security, status, and social and family pressures.  A magnet may be pulling you together neutralizing your fears.

You may be pushed by society that tells you to value marriage and have a family.  Society still sees marriage as the expected outcome of a love relationship.  With legitimization of sex. you are pushed toward marriage since it also legitimizes your relationship.

You may also look at marriage as an escape from loneliness, an unhappy home, financial pressures if you are a single parent, premarital pregnancy and the fear of getting old and thinking: “its now or never”.

Our complex society leaves you fragmented and isolated.  You need a stable, secure relationship with someone strong, who can fulfill your emotional needs and on whom you can depend.

At the same time, you want to share your interests and activities.  They may daily have highs and lows.  In marriage, communication is free and open. You can now eliminate the game playing, and disclose your true thoughts and feelings.  You may desire to finally have children, along with emotional and financial security. 

Birds of a feather flock together.  You often don’t get attracted to someone who is different from you. You unconsciously eliminate dissimilar people.  There is the tendency for likes to marry likes.  The more traits you share, the greater the probability you will marry.

Family and friends have an impact on how you define your relationship.  You are invited to social functions and become included in family activities.  You are told what a nice pair you make.  If there is negative feedback from your friends, it may destroy your relationship with your mate.

Your parents taught you how to love and who to love.  A search for the right person, means you have a pool of eligible that are socially approved. You should choose your mate from this pool.

You will tend to marry someone nearby.  If you live far apart, you are less likely to meet or keep a relationship long enough to get deeply involved.   Long distance relationships, become a drain on you.  Since we are a mobile society, you are likely to select someone from work or the neighborhood you now live.

Don’t rob the cradle.  You don’t need a father figure or to marry your mother. Most married couples are at most 2-3 years different in age.  Some emotionally immature people hope to escape their family problems and break away from their emotional dependence on their parents.  This social immaturity is one of the causes of the high divorce rate.

Do you speak the same language?  Those with the same values, education, and goals are more likely to want to be together.  Common values are shared in similar social classes and educational backgrounds.  You are drawn to someone who accepts your basic values and engages in your activities. You have less to argue about and more to talk about and enjoy being together.

Opposites do not attract!  You are on your best behavior when dating and look for someone with your personality. You have a unique set of criteria of who is and who is not a suitable mate.  You can be as choosy as you dare.  If you have few assets and more liabilities, perhaps divorced with several children, you may have to settle for someone less desirable, since you bring more baggage into your relationship.

You only continue a relationship if you are getting as much out of it as you are investing.  You want to maximize your chances for a good marriage.  If you believe you have a lot of assets, you will look for someone of comparable value.  If you are satisfied with the exchange, your match is likely to be successful. 

Equity is not equivalent to equality. Every one wants a fair deal.  You don’t need to both be earning the same amount of money, and work as hard as each other, but you don’t want to be shortchanged.  Your mate’s physical attractiveness, family background, and career expectations and potential all add to this equity.

It takes time to share and disclose your values and attitudes.  The longer you date, the more likely your marriage will be successful.  You will more likely find the perfect match.

With rising divorce rates and high remarriage rates, finding a perfect mate is no longer an issue that confronts just the young.

 GOOD LUCK!

Your comments are always appreciated.

Visit www.drneedles for more blogging on controversial medical subjects. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

UNCLE SAM WANTS TO KNOW ALL YOUR MEDICAL RECORD

MEDICAL CODING REVISION STIRS DEBATE

The government is changing the coding system that doctors and hospital use to bill insurers with a complete overhaul promised within the next three years.  The final ruling on this is scheduled for the end of this year.  New medical developments emerge each year and the system can’t keep up with it.

The new system, ICD-10 will have at least 10 times the number of codes now present, which has 9200 codes.  There will be 150,000 codes for ailments and procedures doctors do.  Today there is one code for angioplasty.   The hospital will be able to choose 1170 codes for each patient.  There will be 68,000 diagnoses (up from 13,000), 87,000 procedures (up from 3,000).

The CMS, the federal agency that maintains the medical codes say it will allow doctors to give more details on your medical records.  It will be the next step in a nationwide electronic medical-information system.  Hospitals like it because they can describe advanced surgeries and procedures that will get them more money.  Hospital also will have less administrative costs because they will match the procedures with the diagnoses that pay the most.

Doctors who don’t work for the hospital will need to adapt to the new complex system.  It will cost them new software and they will need to higher more coders and nurses to their staffs to just handle all the new paperwork.  Doctors will of course spend less time with you.

 It is estimated that over 10% of claims will be returned because of errors.  Bluc Cross estimates there will be up to 25% billing errors the first year.  This means the insurance will not pay the claims for these 25% of claims and you the patient will be on the hook for the money.  Your Medicare currently pays half of all procedures done in hospital.

 

There will be more billing errors, you the patient will be overcharged, and the insurance company will be able to deny your doctor’s claim stating it didn’t have the proper code.  There will be more billing fraud and you and the doctors will not be paid quickly.  You will need to give the doctor more medical details, and each insurance company will want different details of your life.

With national health care coming, it will not matter, since the government will control all the details and the reimbursements.  It wills simply the life of your private doctor, who will be employed by the hospital, who will set the rules.  Surely he will not encourage his children to enter the profession.

Source: WSJ, Nov. 11, 2008

What do you think?  Your comments are always appreciated.

Visit www.drneedles.com for more blogging on medical controversial subjects.

 

 

Monday, November 10, 2008

FEWER HEART ATTACKS WITH NEW STATIN, CRESTOR

WILL LOWERING YOUR LDL KEEP YOU ALIVE LONGER?

Another statin drug, Crestor, hit the headlines challenging heart disease prevention strategies.  It makes men over 50 and women over 60 who have no problems with cholesterol to get CRP test, a marker for inflammation.  If elevated they are at increased heart risk. 

Since half of the heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol levels, this takes prevention to a new level.  The study showed those on the drug suffered 142 major cardiac events compared to 251 who were on a placebo, this out of 18,000 patients in a study called Jupiter.  

Dr Riker of Harvard led the study.  Incidentally, Dr Riker is the inventor of CRP and the company AstraZeneca gave grants for this study to him and his coauthors.  Sounds like a conflict of interest might be suspected.  However the cardiology community is excited, since it will give them a new section of the population to treat, at least 6 more million people.   It is rare for people between 50-60 to otherwise even think about visiting a cardiologist when they have no symptoms.

Putting millions of low risk patients on medication for the rest of their lives raises the cost risk value of such a prevention program.  The patients were studied for just under 2 years.  The LDL plunged to a very low 55.  Since plaque formation occurs with high LDL levels, it makes sense that reducing the LDL might prevent the disease.   Muscle cramps and muscle weakness occurred in 1352 people on the drug.  The group had 270 diabetics and 216 placebos.  The FDA will probably approve the drug use in 2010. 

What is the safety of aggressive long-term treatment of patients with normal cholesterol?  Last year three large trials were done on people with LDL levels of 192.  When given statins, the LDL levels dropped 25%.  Yet after 5 years it made no difference in rates of coronary disease.  Death rates were lower in those not taking statins , 8.3% compared to 10.3% in those patients taking statins.                                              NEJM 10.11.2007


Controlling cholesterol is gospel in heart medicine.  It guides treatment, and sell billions of dollars in drugs.  We all are told bad cholesterol, LDL causes heart attacks and good cholesterol HDL, is protective.  But why do people with great cholesterol levels still suffer heart attacks?


Twenty-one years ago, the FDA approved the first statin drugs to lower LDL.   18-year-old kids killed in the Korean War already had plaque build up.   The disease really starts as kids.  But is there a missing link called inflammation that may be a high risk factor.

Cholesterol builds cell membranes, and forms hormones.  It doesn’t dissolve in the blood but is carried by lipoproteins as LDL from the liver to other tissues and by HDL from tissues to the liver.

 

Since lowering the bad LDL cholesterol works in reducing heart attacks, how far can we lower LDL?   We consider less than 130 a good LDL level, but is that good enough?  Looks like we now can go as low as 55.

Studies now show that adding other cholesterol lowering drugs that lowered LDL below 120 did not lead to healthier arteries, and in fact raised the risk of cancer.

Could this be true with Crestor?  Only time will tell.  The study has been for less than 2 years.

 Because the link between excessive LDL cholesterol and cardiovascular disease has been so widely accepted, the Food and Drug Administration generally has not required drug companies to prove that cholesterol medicines actually reduce heart attacks before approval. So far, proof that a drug lowers LDL cholesterol has generally been enough to lead to approval.

 

Knowing what drugs do to LDL doesn’t tell us what they do to people.  Its amazing that so many of us have bought the idea that stains are magic.  It is doubtful that they have anti-inflammatory effects preventing heart disease, yet the CRP marker for inflammation, sees to contradict this assumption.  

You will be prescribed many more drugs to enhance the lowering of your LDL.  And all of it will empty your pocket books.   You are told you can’t have too low an LDL.

 

But what will this also due to your levels of cholesterol?  Low cholesterol may alter mood and behavior.  Cholesterol is a part of most brain biochemicals.  Serotonin drops in the blood.  Low total cholesterol below 150 increases the risk of a bleeding stroke.  If there also is high blood pressure the risk increases 6 fold.  Postmenopausal depression and suicides are also increased.

 

And let us think about all the side effects of statins that many of us will need to be treated for: 

Digestion

         Diarrhea, gas, indigestion, stomach cramps, nausea          heartburn, and liver disorders

         Muscle and joint pain especially leg, back and should pain, muscle cramps

Nervous system

         Headache dizziness, trouble sleeping, numbness, anxiety          and depression, changes in taste, and memory problems

 Skin problems

         Increase sensitivity to sun resulting in sunburns

Lab tests changes in thyroid function tests, liver enzymes, and                   CPK elevations

 CONCLUSION

A study performed by authors who have ties to the blood test monitoring system and who have received grants to make the study, who has 25% more diabetics in this study, who tests 50 year old men, who relies on an inflammatory marker CRK, as the only criteria for taking Crestor, who has reported a study only of two years duration, is a premature study.

The big question is, after 5 years are there fewer deaths in patients taking Crestor?

Your comments are always appreciated.

Sources:   NEJM Nov 10,2008

                  Medical blog Nov 1, 2008, drneedles.com

Visit www.drneedles.com for more blogging on these medical controversial subjects.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

EFFECT OF ALCOHOL ON SEXUAL PERFORMANCE

ALCOHOL AND SEX

The pattern on the American scene is changing with more young people drinking, and more alcohol consumed, especially among women.   The more affluent our society the more we can afford hard drinks, which is very destructive. 

A large amount of alcohol is a deterrent on sexual performance and is the major cause of impotence in middle-aged men.  We are not talking necessarily about being an alcoholic, but just an excessive use of alcohol by anyone.

DRINKING IN MARRIAGE

As drinking increases, marital situations deteriorate.  One of the spouses is repelled by the other’s drinking, cease to enjoy sex, and tries to avoid sex as mochas possible. This also may block the husband’s agility to maintain or get an erection.   Both parties feel a lack of esteem at losing their masculinity or femininity.  They feel it is the other’s fault and start quarreling and shy away from further attempts at sex.  This makes a good sexual life almost impossible.  The family often becomes closer and pushes the alcoholic out. 

Each spouse may feel trapped in such a marriage and neither really cares about the other.  Though there is impotence at home, it may result in extramarital relationships out of the home.

Alcohol is a great releaser of aggression.  Happy drunks after many years develop increased hostility.  What starts as a verbal abuse progresses to actual physical abuse to the wife and the kids.  It is as though they put all their past and present woes and frustrations, anger and disappointment into one big huge ball and throw it at the nearest person, usually the closest being the wife, husband, mother or father.  Most cases of child abuse are caused by drunkenness.  People who say they drink moderately drink excessively. 

Stopping alcohol results often in improvement in the marriage, and also in sexual performance. There is more self-esteem and tolerance, more giving and less egocentricity.  Often the pleasure of sex between the couple returns. 

TEENAGE DRINKING

People do what they wouldn’t do if they were not drunk.  Alcohol is often a means for seduction, especially in our teenagers.  After getting drunk they don’t know what happened to them, and they can’t behave responsibly in the sexual field.  With condoms and the pill,  they have license to have sex.  Most girls today are now actually ashamed of being virgins.

If you a parent get drunk, but consider it a normal way to be and get pleasure from it, our kids are going to imitate you.  It will be hard for or kids to identify with you, even if you are loving and generous when sober, but mean and punishing when drunk and pitiful when hung over.  Your kids are angry and confused when they witness quarreling between you and your spouse.  They see what you have done with your life with alcohol.

Being young, and fairly healthy, many can still get away with their drinking.  They think they drink like all their friends do and the pleasure of drinking outweighs the painful consequences.  There is now a lack of commitment to the norms of our culture, to unwanted pregnancies, and even to psychosis.   Our young have to decide for themselves.  They are allowed to make mistakes.  But this is a hard way to learn.

Things have changed and we the older generation are slow to appreciate this. The norm we offer to our kids often doesn’t make sense to them.

When they have lost control and have blackouts and personality changes they may see they are in a progressive disease, need help and seek therapy.  They started drinking to expand their awareness of people, become more outgoing and friendly.  Yet it is so easy to overstep the bound s of moderation, where alcohol is an impediment rather than a help to social relationships.

We have a danger of a lost generation if we don’t help our kids in some way.  We can’t impose our attitudes and beliefs on them, but need a dialogue, not a telling.   We need guidelines on how to use alcohol and how to use sex.

WHAT ARE THE LIMITS OF NORMAL DRINKING?

There is certainly more drinking in both sexes.  Most people are drinking and more are becoming alcoholics. Women alcoholics now are overtaking the men in numbers. Alcohol increases the rate of promiscuity, and increased sexuality seems to promote alcoholism.  Some drink to work up their sexual drive or their courage our culture seems to look at the capacity to drink as a mark of virility, just as being active sexually is a mark of manliness. 

We as a society, have become too permissive of drunken behavior.  We often just laugh about it and make a joke of it.  Yet may people finally get to the point where they can’t stand to have a real drunk around them any more and reject them or no longer invite them out.  We in America never have spelled out the limits of normal drinking. 

IT’S ABOUT TIME WE DO!

What do you think?  Your comments are always appreciated.

Visit www.drneedles.com for more medical blogging on controversial medical subjects.

 

 

 

 

SOME WOMEN JUST WANT TO BE HELD

JUST HOLD ME HONEY

 

Some women just want to be held.  For a few of them that is their sole aim. To them cuddling or body contact is the reason they sexually entice their mate to fulfill a childlike wish to be held.  Everyone knows the fresh excitement obtained from tactile stimulation.  There is a certain amount of touching indispensable among everyone before the sexual aim can be attained.

Usually cuddling is a type of forepleasure along the road to genital gratification.  For many women it is occasionally an end in itself instead of a means to an end.  The desire may be so strong that it resembles an addiction.

Often the man is mislead into thinking an appeal for closeness means a sexual invitation when it is only an appeal for physical contact.  Tactile stimulation serves the same purpose sexually for women as visual stimulation does for the man. Of course being held is a natural accompaniment of coitus. 

Some women who have an intense desire to be held may have no desire for coitus, even though they enjoy intercourse.  Still others want both body contact and sexual intercourse, but one is usually more intense than the other at a particular time.  Some just strongly want coitus but have little wish to be held.

Many times the woman fails to directly ask to be held and makes a non-verbal request, by sexual enticement. She may barter coitus for body contact.  The woman gives the man sex and he in return gives her cuddling.

“I just want you to hold me.  Put your arms around me and let me relax for a minute. “ One thing goes with another.  Sexual activity is a price to be paid for being cuddled and held.

Some women are sexually promiscuous because of a need for cuddling.    Most men misunderstand the act of holding as an end to sex.  A woman could sit for hours and be held, but for the man, it leads to stronger passions, since men are stimulated so much easier. The man assumes that her overture even if subtle, is a request for coitus, since he sees body contact as a prelude to coitus.  If she rebuffs his actions, he feels misled. 

Some men may feel that a woman who leads a man on and then stops short of coitus is trying to hurt him.  He feels cut down since she does not fulfill what he assumes is the bargain.  She is not trying to get even with him by leading him on and then hurting him.  She only wants the gratifications she gets when she is held.

Freud would explain this cuddling in the following manner: "As a young girl she would turn to dad hoping to get warmth and love that she failed to get from her mother. She looked at the father as a substitute mother.”  Now as closeness was sought, the  male sex partner was substituting for father.  Such childlike thinking makes it impossible for her to get adult sexual fulfillment from her man. 

Being held produces a sense of comfort and also security, sexual stimulation, or both.  Being held means being loved, and this is very important to a lot of  women.  Loving words are nice, but they just don’t give the woman any kind of feeling inside.  She may need someone to touch and hold her, just like a baby.  It may be more important to her than having an orgasm.  It gives her something she missed when she was young.  By being held after coitus, it makes her fell her feel she is not held just for sex, and she does not feel used.

It is important to understand the difference between the sexual and nonsexual aspects of being held.  Being held makes everyone feel, close comforting and secure.  Sexual enticement is commonly used to get this cuddling.  It is often a forepleasure on the road to genital gratification.  To a few however, being held is the major sexual aim.  It is childish, but men must be aware and try to understand it.

What do you think?  Your comments are always appreciated.

Visit www.drneedles.com for more blogging on controversial medical subjects.

 

 

 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

APHRODISIACS BEFORE VIAGRA

BEFORE VIAGRA

Looking back through history, aphrodisiacs turned out to be placebos.  But placebos work up to 35% of the timeToday, these placebos are replaced with pharmacologically active aphrodisiacs, Viagra, Cialis, and others.

Anything that scientifically reports to prolong or recover sexual vigor perks up our interest.  Over the centuries, the next great discovery was always greeted with promise and excitement.

Any form of stimulation that caused sexual excitement was considered an aphrodisiac.  It could have been food, drink, poultice, or even a mechanical device.  Many of these were used to cure impotence. 
A
 pharmacological active substance that can elicit a person of either sex increased desire for and ability to engage in coition is defined today as an  aphrodisiac.

The oldest aphrodisiacs were from the 8th century B.C., found on Babylonian cuneiform tablets.  If  your potency came to an end, you behead a partridge, put its blood in water, swallowed its heart, and let the liquid stand overnight which made the mixture more potent when it was drunk in the morning.  

Genesis (30:12-17) saw the mandragora or mandrake as valuable, but did not give it aphrodiisiac powers.  The first wife of Jacob, Leah, was infertile.  Her son Reuben collected some mandrake.  Jacob’s second wife Rachel wanted the plants and in exchange for the plants let Leah sleep with Jacob that night and Leah became pregnant.  The root of mandragora resembled the legs of a man, and this was believed to benefit manhood.  It however was used more as a soporific.

THE DOCTRINE OF SIGNATURES

There was a belief in ancient times that things that have physical similarities will have similar effects, Substituting one for the other could be medically useful.  This concept was repopularized by Paadelsus again in the 16th century.  It was known as the doctrine of signatures, and termed “sympathetic magic”

A German Oswald Croll, a follower of Parcelsus summarized this belief in a Treatise of Signatures of Internal Things” in 1608.  If you want to be a physician and understand medicine you must know the external signs of nature and understand the internal significance of them. Nature by its silent notes speaks to us and reveals the ingenuity and manners of everyone.  Plants can open the treasure of hidden things to us sickly mortals.

Plants were named for their therapeutic use.  Two famous plants in Greco-Roman times were orchis (testicle) and satyrion (satyr).  The orchis got its name by its double bulbous root.  If you ate the greater root, it made you father a son.  The lesser root, when eaten by women helped conceive girls.  The women in Thessalia did not drink goat’s milk, but chose the tenere root to promote fertility.

Pliny in the 1 st century AD considered the orchis to be a variety of the plant satyrion, which also has a double root. It is shaped like human testes and swells and contracts in alternate years.  It had several names including Priapiscus. It’s bulbous root is as big as an apple, is red and has some white like an egg.  It was drunk with black hard wine before sleeping with a woman.  Another variety of satyrion was called erythraicon by Pliny.  If the root was held in the hand and taken with dry wine, a stronger passion was assured.

Ginseng (Panax), another plant in the doctrine of signatures was discovered in Quebec in the 18th century. It was a major export to the Orient and is even widely used today.  In 1950, the U.S. exported 200 tons of ginseng annually to China.  The Chinese called it “ the form of Man”.   The Canadian missionaries found the Iroquois name for this plant was “man’s thighs separated.  The Cherokees also used a decoction of this root as a drink to get rid of menstrual camps.  There is no evidence the Indians ever used it as an aphrodisiac.

The Spanish fly”, Cantharides, is probably the most famous and least understood of all the alleged aphrodisiacs.  It was used for centuries for many illnesses.  The cantharides is extracted from a beetle in southern Europe and North Africa. 

In ancient times it was used as a diuretic. But in 1830, over 8 tons of these insects were imported into England.  In small quantities it caused a greater erection of the penis, but in large amount it caused the bladder to bleed. 

In 1816, an American John Francis of New York publicized it as a treatment for impotence in old men.  It actually causes inflammation of the urethra and priaprism, a painful erection without sexually excitement.  The British Encyclopedia 1966 edition had it as one of the two recognized aphrodisiacs, despite its toxicity and failure.

Strychnine (Nux vomic) was the first aphrodisiac.  It was used centuries to induce vomiting.  Because it excited the nervous system, Trousseau in 1836 published a report where he used it to rehabilitate paraplegics. An overdose, caused priapism in the paraplegics.  They thought it showed  a recovery of virility in the male paraplegics.

Galvanic (D.C.) and faradic (A.C.) current was use in 19th century, also for impotence.  An insulated positive electrode was placed in the urethra and  the external faradic applicator was placed over the external genitalia at the perineum.

Numerous animal parts, products and symbols were used since primitive times.  The horn of a unicorn, considered a phallic symbol was used in Europe as an antidote against poisons and to teat plague.  A prescription by Maimonides (1156) had one take the penis of an ox, dry it, grind it, and sprinkle it on a soft-boiled egg and sip and drink it.  Horse testes were dried and made into a powder to drink.  The right testis of an ass was taken in wine or worn as a bracelet.  Today elk horns from Montana are sent to Japan and considered an aphrodisiac,  The turtle nests in Florida are often raided for their unhatched eggs and sold as aphrodisiacs.

Solutions from guinea pigs and dogs containing testicular venous blood, semen and testicular juice were crushed and injected to restore seminal fluid that was lost over the many years of sex.  This became popularized by Brown-Sequard after he wrote of injecting himself with these juices with success.

This led to human testes transplants by Steinach, a Viennese physiologist, in 1920.  He reported the results of 1000 injections in 656 men with an 85% success rate.  Rheumatism improved 84%, and impotence in 63%.  Monkey glands were later used.

In 1935 testosterone was crystallized from bull testes.  Now there was finally a hormone to inject impotent men.  There were no controls and numerous frauds existed.   Most aphrodisiacs worked as placebos.  Today alcohol and marijuana are used to treat impotence, but there is no evidence they work.  You may drink so much alcohol that you no longer suppress your inhibitions and can act out your normal sexual drive.  As a matter of fact alcohol is an anti-aphrodisiac.  On an alcoholic binge, erections are difficult.  That is why so many sales of Viagra are sold to men under 40.  Cannabis, hashish, and marihuana in small doses lower inhibitions and have also a placebo effect.

Other plants were also used to improve virility:  Cayenne pepper from South America, black snakeroot resin from Cimicifuga, oleoresin from Cubeb plant in Java,  damiana from Mexican Turnera leaves, ergot alkaloid from Claviceps which was injected into the dorsal vein of the penis, bloodroot an extract from the Sanguinaria plant, yohimine from the bark of West Africa’s Corynanthe yohimbe plant,  lecithin phospholipids from animal sources, gold chloride, iron arsentate, and zinc phoshide.

Now after several thousand of years of futile trial and error, advance have been made in understanding sexual physiology.  We now have drugs that reliably produce sexual stimulation.  They however have some side effects.

 So the journey for youthful sexual pleasure continues.

                  Source: T.Benedek, Pittsburgh Medical School, 1971

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