The 5 most important health checkups for men

M al honest: When men feel ill, they may suffer quite a bit. Especially in the presence of a woman. But go to the doctor? Nope, not necessary. If your own body finally forces you to see a doctor, the sober diagnosis from the experts is in the worst case: “If you had come earlier, we could have saved something.” Whether ignorance, fear or allegedly no time: the data speaks against you! The most common causes of death in men are cardiovascular diseases and tumors. These and many other insidious diseases can often be detected in good time through early detection screenings. Problem: Only a lousy 17 percent use the free health check-up for men over the age of 35. 

Don’t let it get that far. We will tell you which 5 preventive medical check-ups you are entitled to, from what age they are sensible and how often you should take them. Tip: Many health insurances award points for bonus programs when you participate in the so-called screenings . The bill: You pay attention to a healthy lifestyle and have yourself examined, for this you reward the health insurance, for example with cash premiums (up to 300 euros) or benefits in kind.

1. Skin cancer screening

When and how often? From the age of 35, often much earlier, as a person with statutory health insurance, you are entitled to an “early detection examination for skin cancer” every 2 years.

Your entire body will be examined for different types of skin cancer, such as malignant melanoma (black skin cancer). Yes, the doctor will look at your entire body, including your hairy scalp and every fold of your body. Do not believe just because certain parts of the body are not exposed to direct sun that you cannot get skin cancer there.

Important: You do not necessarily have to see a dermatologist. A specialist in general medicine can carry out the screening, informs the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV). In addition: Many health insurance companies offer the early detection examination much earlier. It can even vary from state to state. Example: With the Techniker Krankenkasse, patients from the age of 20 can be examined for skin cancer. Therefore: Be sure to ask your health insurance company.

2. Health check-up

When and how often? From the age of 35, as a person with statutory health insurance, you are entitled to a health check-up every 2 years.

You can think of the examination as a kind of inventory: the doctor will first ask you about previous illnesses and illnesses of family members as well as any complaints. Then a blood count is done and balance, reflexes, muscle tone checked, blood pressure and pulse rate measured. Your nervous system will also be examined.  

You feel good and fit, so why should you do this check-up? It only takes time! We are happy to repeat it for you: because many diseases, such as diabetes, now start inconspicuously! For a cardiovascular disease such as arteriosclerosis (hardening of the blood vessels), a high cholesterol level and blood pressure can be sufficient. In the worst case scenario, it can end in a heart attack. And do you know what your urine is telling you? The color and smell can indicate kidney and bladder disease or diabetes.  

3. Cancer screening

When and how often? From the age of 45, the health insurances take over this useful preventive examination once per calendar year.

This involves a medical examination of the external genital organs, the local lymph nodes and a palpation of the rectum to examine the prostate. Testicular and prostate cancer are one of the most common types of cancer: Prostate cancer alone ranks third among the causes of cancer-related death in men. Prostate cancer does not automatically affect older men. Actor Ben Stiller was diagnosed when he was only 48 years old.    

Many experts and health insurance companies also advise: Men should feel their own testicles once a month from the age of 18. Look out for indurations, lumps, enlargements or reductions and pronounced tenderness of the testicles. Because: The malignant testicular tumor is the most common cancer for men between 20 and 35 years of age.  

4. Dental care

When and how often? The statutory health insurance companies offer 3 types of health care for your biters. First there is the well-known check-up. Adults can have their teeth checked for diseases such as tooth decay by the dentist twice a year. Next up: Once a year you can have tartar removed. You should definitely not do without it. Because: If left untreated, inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) can quickly turn into periodontitis. In addition, you can go for periodontal early detection every 2 years, the so-called periodontal screening index, informs the consumer advice center. Everything is free. Do it.  

5. Colon cancer screening

When and how often? From 50 to 55 years of age, you are entitled to the screening examinations for the early detection of colon cancer once a year. This is first done using a test for invisible blood in the stool, the so-called immunological stool blood test (iFOBT). You can then have this test done every 2 years. The proctologist does that, but so does your family doctor. From the age of 55, the health insurance companies offer a colonoscopy, which can be repeated every 10 years. If colon polyps are found, the doctor can remove them on the spot.  

So far, the stool blood test was only valid from the age of 55. Why was the screening brought forward? Because it was found that 10 percent of the diagnoses were made before the age of 55! Plus: Colon cancer is the second most common diagnosis of all types of cancer and also the second most common cause of death, reports the Robert Koch Institute. In 2018, they estimate that 33,000 men will be newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The earlier the disease is detected, the higher the chances of survival. Your relative 5 year survival rate? Solid 62 percent. So don’t hesitate: make an appointment with your specialist! 

Conclusion: preventive medical checkups can save your life

Many diseases creep up over the years. Early detection examinations for men are therefore not only useful for the over-50 generation. On the contrary: If you are between 18 and 45 years old, you are in luck: health insurances are obliged to offer their patients a certain number of preventive examinations free of charge. Use the chance to identify and defuse diseases at an early stage.

The 9 best tips against bloating

A bloated stomach causes unpleasant noises, smells and pain – and makes your six pack look like a paunch. This is how you expel excess air from your stomach

What do you get a bloated stomach from?

Gases form in the intestines after eating. They arise when the food is digested and broken down into its individual components. A large part of the air enters the lungs via the bloodstream and is exhaled again. But sometimes the stomach is so bloated that it cannot be transported back via the blood. There are various causes that can lead to a bloated stomach. Bad diet, intolerance and stress are part of it. To find out what the cause is, you should try these tips for treating excess air in your stomach. Usually it is enough to change your lifestyle and daily habits just a little to prevent bloating.

How do you avoid a bloated stomach?

Here are the 9 most effective tips for the bloated stomach.

1. Make a note of your eating habits: A first step in tracking down the causes is a food diary . Keep a record of what you eat and what complaints occur over a longer period of time (preferably several weeks) – in a classic way in a notebook or with an app. This makes it easier to identify suspicious foods. If you have identified a personal list of puffy products, leave it out. The bloated stomach disappears? Bingo! Now take a closer look: is it mainly dairy products? Then you may not tolerate lactose so well. Show the list to your doctor the next time you visit a doctor and have yourself tested for allergies and intolerances.

2. Drink against the bloated stomach: If you drink little, the bowel becomes sluggish. Because he needs enough liquid to transport the food pulp on. It should be at least 1.5 to 2 liters per day. Still water is well tolerated and does not cause gas.
No-gos with a tendency to bloat are mineral water with a lot of carbon dioxide or coffee, they only irritate the intestines even more. Anyone who is sensitive to carbon dioxide should also avoid the cool after-work beer, lemonades and sparkling wine. Warning: If you sip your refreshment through a drinking straw, you will also swallow air.
In addition to water, herbal teas such as peppermint, cardamom, caraway and dandelion teas soothe the bloated stomach. The super bulb ginger also provides relief from stomach upsets and flatulence. It stimulates the digestive processes and has a relaxing effect. Simply cut 2-3 thin slices and pour hot water over them. 
3. Eat more fiber slowly: Plant-based foods contain a lot of fiber, which swells in the intestines and thus stimulates digestion. However, the intestinal flora sometimes has to get used to it. So increase the amount of fiber slowly, day by day, until it reaches the nutritionist recommended amount of around 30 grams per day. This corresponds to about 2 slices of whole grain bread, an apple, 160 grams of berries, 200 grams of potatoes with their skin, 200 grams of broccoli and 100 grams of radish.

These foods are particularly high in fiber and should therefore end up on your plate as often as possible:

  • Whole grain products (bread, pasta, rice)
  • linseed
  • millet
  • Berry fruits
  • artichoke
  • soy
  • peanuts
  • broccoli
  • and dried plums

Take your time while eating! If you eat too quickly and swallow large bites without chewing, you will also swallow a lot of air and make it difficult for the intestines to process the nutrients. He copes better with smaller portions than if you fill your stomach 3 times a day. In addition, your gut is totally into routine. Regular meals are important so that he can get used to suitable emptying times. It is best to eat 5 small meals throughout the day.

4. Do more exercise: you sit at your desk all day? No wonder that the gases have a hard time escaping. Too little exercise is one of the most common reasons for bloating.
Therefore, use every opportunity for more exercise in everyday life. Instead of the elevator, take the stairs. Stop by the colleague in the office for a moment instead of calling him. And on the way home you take a little detour on foot.

5. Avoid “intestinal irritants”: Some foods are known to have a bloating effect. If your intestines are already irritated, you shouldn’t eat these foods:

  • Onions and cabbage
  • legumes
  • unripe fruit
  • Nuts and raisins
  • very fresh bread
  • coffee
  • carbonic acid
  • chocolate
  • Ice, ice cubes
  • Greasy
  • Fast food
  • breaded meat
  • and hot spices

Are you a little bit intolerant too? Food intolerance (e.g. lactose intolerance) or allergies are often the trigger for a bloated stomach. But intestinal diseases such as chronic inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome or intestinal fungus could also be the reason. You can only be excluded by the doctor. There you can also get tested for intolerance and allergies.

6. Out with the gum! Most of the gas that collects in the intestines comes from the air that we unconsciously swallow when we eat and drink. With each sip, 2-3 milliliters of air enter the stomach. When chewing gum, the proportion of air swallowed is much higher.

Chewing gum is a problem for the intestines for another reason: Chewing gum almost always contains sugar substitutes (mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol), which stimulate digestion and worsen the symptoms. The note “Can have a laxative effect if consumed in excess” is a sure sign that the proportion of artificial sugar substitutes is particularly high. So chew some fresh peppermint leaves for fresh breath.

7. Soothe your stomach with herbs: Many herbs are known for their healing properties. If you have a bloated stomach, however, you should keep your hands off hot spices and not irritate the intestines additionally. These rather mild culinary herbs refine your meals and help to get rid of bloated stomach:

  • anise
  • basil
  • Savory
  • dill
  • garlic
  • coriander
  • Caraway seed
  • turmeric
  • Lovage
  • marjoram
  • clove
  • and parsley

Tip: Before you resort to synthetic laxatives or other drugs such as defoamers, try to soothe the bloated stomach in a gentle way. A good remedy for all kinds of gastrointestinal problems is healing clay . The finely ground powder binds excess gases in the digestive tract. If you take it half an hour before the meal, you can effectively prevent bloating.

8. Increase the number of “good” bacteria in the intestine: Without bacteria, nothing works in the intestine. More than 100 trillion bacteria colonize your digestive organ. It is important for the health of the intestines that the right tenants live with you. You can support this with probiotic foods. They contain lactic acid and bifidobacteria, which regulate the pH value of the large intestine and thus act directly on the scene. Anyone who eats kefir, sauerkraut, quark or foods with artificially added probiotic cultures for 4 weeks can support the growth of the natural intestinal flora and build up effective protection against gastrointestinal complaints. 

9. Relaxation for relaxed digestion: Now do it halfway ! Stress is also one of the more common causes of bloating. For one simple reason: stress hormones increase the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and your body switches to fight-or-flight mode. A legacy of our ancestors that enabled them to flee quickly or to fight bravely in dangerous situations: pulse and respiratory rate skyrocket, the focus is now on the oxygen supply to the muscles. There is no time for digestion on the run or during a fight, so it is simply suppressed. What was vital to our ancestors’ survival now causes us to have a bloated stomach, pressure and a feeling of fullness.

Only one thing helps: relaxation for you and your intestines. Treat yourself to a little break or a soothing massage to shake off stress. In emergencies, a hot water bottle can also help relax the smooth intestinal muscles. Make sure the temperature is comfortable and not too hot.

This is how you protect yourself from fatty liver disease

More and more men are suffering from the dangerous consequences of fatty liver, even those who are slim. Here you can find out how it arises and how to prevent it

What exactly is fatty liver?

As the name suggests, this disease is an obesity of the organ. The fatty liver – medically called “steatosis hepatis” – arises from the storage of fat in the liver. This fat is deposited in the liver in the form of fat vacuoles. Even if a fatty liver can regress, you should not underestimate the disease. Because the fatty liver is considered the preliminary stage of diseases such as hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver.

We explain the common disease, its causes and symptoms and tell you how you can protect yourself: Starting with a healthy diet to losing weight, because obesity is also one of the reasons for fatty liver.

What are the causes of fatty liver?

For a long time, liver obesity was practically only diagnosed in people who drink too much alcohol. The causes of fatty liver can also be found in the wrong diet.

This is about the so-called non-alcoholic fatty liver(after the English term non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, abbreviated NAFLD), the cause of which lies in the derailment of the metabolism, mostly triggered by improper nutrition. The liver is not only responsible for detoxifying the blood. It also ensures that the cells always have all the nutrients they need. This is why a healthy liver always has a small amount of fat on hand. However, if you overeat too quickly for too long, a chain reaction starts that causes the body to store more fat than the naturally intended amount. Doctors speak of fatty organism when more than 5 percent of the liver cells have visibly stored fat. In a full-blown fatty liver, it is even 50 percent of all cells or even more.

What are the symptoms of fatty liver?

Your liver can almost suffocate in fat, but you don’t notice anything – the organ doesn’t feel any pain. Only when the liver is already greatly enlarged is it sometimes noticeable through feelings of pressure in the upper abdomen. (If it hurts badly in this area, it is mostly migrating gallstones – completely different construction site.) A stressed liver can also make itself felt through tiredness – but who leads such a relaxed life that there are not umpteen other reasons for the dullness Question could come? Until the liver is irreversibly damaged, there are practically no symptoms. A timely diagnosis is therefore difficult.

The fatty liver can be seen on the ultrasound image, but very late: “Only when significantly more than 10 percent of the cells have stored fat,” adds Worm. More precise imaging processes are so complex and expensive that they are only used in studies. A biopsy, i.e. a tissue removal, would also be very accurate. However, nobody undertakes such drastic interventions without justified suspicion – being often tired is not a sufficient indication on its own. Fortunately, an abundance of studies has now shown that the doctor can find out about obesity by combining different blood values.

Fat trap: sick can soon become life-threatening
An obese liver suffers in a number of ways. Inflammation often occurs. The possible consequences are always the same, whether it is fat, viruses, alcohol or other poisons: If it cannot be contained, more and more liver tissue loses its function and becomes scarred – this is called fibrosis and later cirrhosis. A tumor can then develop from the fibrinous tissue. But even if that doesn’t happen: at some point a cirrhotic liver will no longer be able to perform its tasks, and without a transplant, that’s it. But as startling as these prospects may be, obesity in your liver has put your life in serious danger long before it happens, because it drastically increases the risk of diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.

What are the dangers of fat deposits in the body?

Not only fat people have fatty livers. Around 15 percent of slim people also suffer from it. The reasons for this are fat deposits in the body and genetic causes.

Researchers call those affected Tofis (from thin outside, fat inside – i.e. thin outside, fat inside). Their often poor blood lipid values ​​have puzzled the doctors – only now are the connections slowly clearing up. The root of fatty liver disease is how the body deals with the excess calories. Some people can park a lot of fat exactly where it belongs, namely under the skin. Even if the bacon rolls created in this way don’t exactly improve your chances of flirting on the beach: this is probably an advantage for your liver. In these people, despite being significantly overweight, their blood values ​​are often okay; their risk of developing diabetes or suffering from a heart attack is not increased. But in people whose bodies cannot store the fat in the subcutaneous tissue, it often ends up in tissues that cannot handle it. One speaks of ectopic (stray) fat. In the beginning only the liver is affected, but later almost all other organs of the body, including the brain and bones. The stray fat paralyzes the cells and can even kill them. 

Disturbed vessels: The fat wanders around dangerously in the body
The fat becomes a danger if the body doesn’t know what to do with it. A layer of fat would be a great place – but this is a highly active tissue and must therefore be well supplied with blood. However, if you eat really lavishly for a long time, you force the fat cells to grow and multiply very quickly – the blood vessels may not keep up. Then the cells are no longer adequately supplied with oxygen and send out alarm messages that fuel inflammation and thus stimulate vascular growth. “The inflammation also reduces the cells’ sensitivity to the hormone insulin,” explains expert Worm. This works like a key, without which no new fat can get into the cells provided for it.

When this happens depends on the individual and also genetically. The fact is: fat goes astray faster in men. Whatever your figure looks like: a bulging stomach is an alarm signal! The ball indicates that fat has accumulated in the abdominal cavity – then the liver is practically always fatty. And don’t try to blame everything on genes – lifestyle also plays a decisive role. Numerous factors influence whether an inflammation just flares up or blazes up – for example, whether you are well supplied with nutrients such as vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. But stress and poor sleep also fuel the process. Ultimately, two questions are decisive: How much exercise do your muscles get and where do the calories you feed come from?

Killer glucose: carbohydrates cause fatty liver

Ultimately, carbohydrates are primarily responsible for fatty liver, and most of them consume (too) many nowadays.

It may seem like a contradiction, but the connection becomes clear when you look at the role of insulin: When you eat, all the usable carbohydrates end up in the blood as individual glucose molecules. With the help of insulin, they are channeled into cells. It has to be done quickly, otherwise the sugar will damage the blood vessels. So that glucose has priority, insulin slows down fat utilization. In the cells, the glucose is either used immediately for energy production or stored in the liver and muscle cells. These memories are limited, however, because glucose is just a wild card for intense exertion. If these don’t exist, meaning you lead a comfortable life but still eat plenty of carbohydrates, the stores are full. This initially makes your muscle cells less sensitive to insulin – they keep the door closed, so to speak. In order to get rid of the excess sugar anyway, more insulin is released. And indeed the glucose disappears from the blood – but where does it go?

A study from Yale Universityshows: In this metabolic situation, the insulin resistance, the glucose is converted into fat in the liver. In this situation, however, the doors of the fat cells are often tight. You already know what happens next: the fat has to be stored in the liver or ends up in other tissues via the bloodstream. It then triggers inflammation in the vessels, which can promote arteriosclerosis on the inside of the veins. If it is the coronary arteries that seal, it comes to a heart attack, if arteries in the brain are affected, you suffer a stroke. The risk of diabetes also increases: with increasing obesity, the pancreas and liver also become insulin-resistant, they can then hardly be regulated – and the sugar metabolism derails more and more. If even enormous amounts of insulin are no longer enough,

How do you prevent fatty liver disease?

You can prevent fatty liver disease, especially by losing weight. But a lighter lifestyle, i.e. more sport and less sugar, is also a precaution.

The liver can recover if you lose weight. You don’t have to wait until your figure is fit for the beach again. Research by the University of Newcastlehave shown that you can defat the liver quickly and effectively without losing too much weight: by fasting. The test subjects (all diabetics) consumed 600 calories daily in the form of powder shakes, plus 200 calories from vegetables with a little dip – and in this way already lost 30 percent of liver fat in the first week. Both the blood lipid and blood sugar levels improved immediately. In the further course, even pancreatic cells believed dead regenerated.

“The key to this development, which was first observed after gastric surgery, is the drastically reduced energy intake,” says expert Worm. It is even better if the 800 calories allowed daily contain as few carbohydrates as possible but enough protein: “Otherwise too much muscle mass will be broken down.” If you are carrying a lot of excess weight with you, however, a 2-week fast is usually not enough to make muscles and adipose tissue sensitive to insulin again. That means: If you don’t want to bring your metabolism back on the wrong track, you either have to fast more often, lose weight significantly or shape your life a little differently – above all more actively.

More exercise and less sugar than prevention

To prevent your liver from becoming fatty again after such a fast, it is best to try a double strategy:

  1. Increase movement: More endurance training is good, more strength training is even better. Because the more muscle mass you have, the more blood sugar you can store. In addition, thicker muscles consume more energy with every movement. Studies show: Even in people who are already insulin-resistant, every burst of activity improves their current situation, and the effect lasts for the rest of the day. 
  2. Lower insulin requirements: Eat in such a way that the body can get by on smaller amounts of the hormone. Reduce your carbohydrate intake and give your metabolism as much relief as possible during the night. Do not add anything after dinner, especially no carbohydrates (so no beer, no apple carvers). About 4 hours after the last bite (which you slept through blissfully), the healing mini-fast begins until the first meal of the new day. Increase the effect by having a low-carb dinner or (if breakfast is not your cup of tea) extending the insulin break until morning. Even coffee without milk and sugar does not destroy the effect. This is how you keep your metabolism on track – and your liver fit.

How do I eat properly if I have fatty liver?

Now you know how to prevent fatty liver disease. But what to do if you already have fatty liver? First of all: don’t panic! Fatty liver is basically a benign disease. Only if the causes that led to the liver damage are not eliminated in good time can it become a serious danger and in the worst case lead to liver cirrhosis or hepatitis. Otherwise, fatty liver disease can usually even completely regress. Here are a few tips on which diet can contribute to the regression of fatty liver:

  1. Goodbye alcohol:   If you suffer from fatty liver, you should completely avoid alcohol.  
  2. Drink plenty of water: The basic requirement for a balanced and healthy diet is to drink enough fluids: At least 2 liters a day. Conventional mineral water or tea is recommended. Fruit or vegetable juices should only be drunk diluted.
  3. Rely on whole grain products: If you have the choice between whole grain bread or white bread, then it is best to opt for the former and avoid the quickly digestible sugars that are found in white bread, cakes or sweets, for example.
  4. Fruit and vegetables: True to the motto: “One apple a day, keeps the doctor away”, you should buy fruit and vegetables, because they contain many vitamins and minerals. Already knew? In order not to lose such valuable substances when cooking, it is advisable to only briefly cook or stew the vegetables. 
  5. Protein, protein, protein: foods containing protein are particularly helpful in combating fatty liver. Hard-boiled eggs, (lean) quark, yoghurt or cheese are ideal sources of protein. But be careful: it is better not to grab cheeses that are too fatty and avoid the mostly fatty fried eggs or scrambled eggs with bacon. 

The general rule is: Avoid a diet that is (too) high in fat. You should also make sure not to consume too many carbohydrates, but rather to follow a protein-based diet – with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. 

Medical check-up: this is how you recognize fatty liver

Perhaps it will soon be enough to take a single blood test to detect fatty liver disease. Until then, your doctor has to collect several values ​​and combine them correctly. A check overview.

1. Collect classic blood values: For a meaningful indication of the state of the metabolism, you need two blood values ​​that your doctor may have already collected during a check-up: the triglycerides (free fats) and the “good” HDL cholesterol. Then you do the math: Triglyceride value divided by the HDL value. The result should be less than 2. Significantly higher values ​​(in men from 3.5, in women from 2.5) are typical for insulin resistance – thus also for fatty liver and an increased risk of diabetes and heart attack.

2. Measure blood sugar levels:The fasting value is usually measured, but this is the last to react conspicuously. The result – usually given in milligrams per deciliter (mg / dl) – becomes more meaningful if you also have the insulin content in the blood measured. This is given as a thousandth of a standard unit (mU for milli-unit) per milliliter. You multiply the glucose value with the insulin value and divide the result by 405. Values ​​greater than 2 indicate insulin resistance. Diabetics are at 5.

3. Analyze typical liver values:There are 3 blood tests that indicate liver cell damage. You will find the abbreviations GPT, GOT and GGT on the laboratory slip. But these values ​​are not always reliable: even if they appear normal, the liver can be fatty or even inflamed. In any case, increased values ​​are an occasion to check whether a fatty liver is present.

Vitamins B and C make you beautiful and strong

Water-soluble vitamins strengthen the body: They ensure firm connective tissue, promote physical fitness and support the immune system. Without it, the metabolism would not function.

If you want to stay healthy, you should regularly eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables in order to always have enough vitamins. Because these organic substances are vital and regulate many metabolic processes. With a few exceptions, the body cannot produce them itself, so they have to be ingested through food.

Some vitamins are water-soluble, we are talking about them here, others need fat as a transport medium so that the body can use them.

The water-soluble get into the blood via the intestines , where they have different functions: some strengthen the skin and nerves, others support the immune system or help detoxify the body. The body cannot store excess supply – it eliminates it. A deficiency, on the other hand, often has much more serious consequences.

The individual vitamins are described in more detail on the following pages.

vitamin C

Vitamin C strengthens the connective tissue

The best-known water-soluble vitamin is vitamin C. If it is missing, the consequences are fatal: Centuries ago many seafarers suffered from what is known as scurvy. At first the skin turned pale, later it bled, then the sailors’ teeth fell out. In the terminal stages, her heart also began to beat irregularly, and many died.

Today such severe deficiencies are unthinkable in the industrialized countries. Those who eat healthily get all the vitamins they need with their food. Vitamin supplements can also help sick and pregnant women .

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is the universal talent among vitamins. Thus ascorbic acid apparently protects the body from the attacks of cell-destroying substances, so-called free radicals. It supports the absorption of iron from food, strengthens the connective tissue and the gums.

Long cooking destroys the vitamin

Apparently, vitamin C also strengthens the immune system . However, it has not yet been proven whether it helps against flu-like infections . Anyone who regularly consumes fresh fruit and vegetables can easily cover their daily requirement of 100 milligrams.

Ascorbic acid is mainly found in the skin of the fruit and directly below it. Good sources are citrus fruits, potatoes, peppers, and kiwis. Kale, fennel, Brussels sprouts or spinach also contain plenty of vitamin C. However, when prepared traditionally, they lose a lot of it, as long cooking and keeping the food warm destroy the vitamin. Deficiency leads to fatigue, irritability and delayed wound healing.

Vitamin B1 and B2

Vitamin B1 strengthens the condition

As an accompanying enzyme, vitamin B1 (thiamine) helps to break down carbohydrates and thus quickly supplies muscles and nerve cells with energy. This increases the energy metabolism of the cells and thus strengthens concentration and physical condition.

Since the vitamin is contained in many foods, a balanced diet is usually sufficient to cover the daily requirement of around one to 1.3 milligrams. Pregnant women and athletes need more. If there is a lack of thiamine, tiredness, muscle weakness and poor concentration can occur. Larger amounts of it can be found in meat, especially pork, as well as in liver, whole grain products, oatmeal, pulses and potatoes.

Vitamin B2 gives energy

As a typical milk vitamin, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) stimulates the metabolism and in this way provides energy. With a large glass of milk, the daily requirement of 1.2 to 1.5 milligrams is already half covered.

In addition to dairy products, eggs, liver, fish, spinach, kale, broccoli and mushrooms are also rich in vitamin B2. Deficiency or excess are rare.

Niacin and pantothenic acid

Niacin strengthens the skin and nerves

Niacin (nicotinic acid / nicotinamide, also obsolete vitamin B3) is involved in the build- up and breakdown of sugar , fatty acids and amino acids. It is important for the transport of electrons. Niacin is found primarily in meat and offal, milk and fish, but also in whole-grain bread and coffee . The body can also produce some of it itself from the essential amino acid tryptophan.

The daily requirement is between 13 and 17 milligrams. A deficiency in niacin first becomes noticeable through physical weakness and loss of appetite, followed by skin inflammation and diarrhea.

Pantothenic acid stimulates the metabolism

Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates , fatty acids and proteins in all tissues . It is also needed to make hormones like estrogen and testosterone. It is found in almost all foods.

Good sources are meat, liver, grains, and legumes. The recommendations for daily intake are around six milligrams per day. A deficiency is extremely rare, then manifests itself in headaches and tiredness.

Vitamin B6 and biotin

Vitamin B6 supports the immune system

The vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is a companion of many enzymes in the protein metabolism. The amino acids contained in the food proteins are processed and finally converted into the body’s own proteins. The vitamin supports the immune system and helps with blood formation.

B6 is contained in almost all foods, so deficiency is very rare. Daily doses of 1.2 to 1.6 milligrams are sufficient. Particularly good suppliers are meat, fish, whole grain products, wheat germ, cabbage, green beans, potatoes, and bananas.

Biotin is used by the skin and hair

Biotin (vitamin B7 or vitamin H) helps to build up skin tissue , hair and nails . It is made by microorganisms in the intestine and is found in many foods, such as liver, egg yolks, soybeans, spinach, mushrooms and nuts.

A daily amount of 30 to 60 micrograms is recommended. People who take antibiotics, alcoholics and smokers are more prone to deficiency symptoms such as abnormal changes in hair and skin . Alcohol reduces the absorption of the vitamin in the body, nicotine increases the consumption of biotin.

Folic acid and vitamin B12

Folic acid is important for the embryo

This substance plays a special role in all growth and development processes. The body needs folic acid (vitamin B9) above all for the formation of nucleic acids, the building blocks of the genome. Folic acid is therefore particularly important during pregnancy, especially in the first few months, as the embryo needs the vitamin for its development. Pregnant women should consume at least 0.6 milligrams a day , as deficiency can lead to deformities in children. This dose is also recommended for breastfeeding women.

The 0.4 milligrams per day otherwise required for adults can usually be covered with food. A 200 to 250 gram portion of spinach covers more than half the daily requirement. Folic acid is also found in lettuce, leafy vegetables and tomatoes, as well as in wheat germ, egg yolks and liver. Folic acid is sensitive to heat and light. For this reason, vegetables should be eaten fresh if possible or, if stored for a long time, be kept in a cool and dark place.

Vitamin B12 helps with cell growth

The body only needs vitamin B12 (cobalamin) in very small amounts, around three micrograms a day. Nevertheless, it plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells and supports the growth of the cells.

Vitamin B12 is only found in foods of animal origin, including meat, offal, milk, cheese, eggs, and mackerel. Since the body cannot manufacture the substance itself, vegans are particularly at risk of not getting enough of it.

In sauerkraut and beer, the vitamin is produced in small quantities by bacteria that are involved in fermentation. It can take years for a B12 deficiency to manifest itself. Symptoms are, for example, impaired perception, depression , changes in the blood count or damage to the nerves and mucous membranes.

When the environment makes you sick

More and more often people suffer from unspecific hypersensitivity that cannot be clearly grasped. Since there is no uniform clinical picture, the search for triggers is difficult.

For some years now, more and more people have appeared in doctors’ offices who suffer from unspecific and elusive hypersensitivities. Some of them have very different symptoms that cannot be clearly assigned to either allergic or pseudo- allergic causes. Often those affected have already been to numerous specialists or also to naturopaths, environmental consultants and miracle healers – each without success.

The list of suspected disease triggers is headed by wood preservatives, molds and solvents; fragrances also cause many problems. In most cases, however, analytical methods cannot clearly confirm that these substances are the cause of the symptoms. The symptoms described cannot usually be narrowed down precisely and range from persistent tiredness, exhaustion, headaches and dizziness to severe skin and mucous membrane diseases to memory disorders, irritability and depressive moods.

Whether environmental pollutants are actually involved is still highly controversial. The fact that often no triggers can be detected could also be due to the fact that the diagnostic possibilities in this area are still very limited. Some scientists suspect an increased sensitivity to smell, others believe it is due to neurophysiological changes in the transmission of stimuli. In some cases, however, it is possible to prove genuine hypersensitivity reactions with a thorough, professional detection method. A study by the Robert Koch Institute has shown that behind unspecific complaints there is a difficult to unravel variety of partly allergological, partly psychosomatic and only very rarely toxic reactions.

Chemical intolerance: eco or MCS syndrome

The symptom complexes are summarized by various authors and experts in a large number of disease descriptions, for example as eco-syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS syndrome) or sick building syndrome, a phenomenon in which those affected become ill due to a “disease-causing” Building feel sick. According to current estimates, around 400,000 people in Germany are affected by such hypersensitivity to chemicals, reports the German Allergy and Asthma Association (DAAB).

According to the “White Paper on Allergy”, an eco-syndrome is understood to mean clinical pictures that are associated with different, very subjective complaints, “combined with the conviction that one is ill from environmental pollutants”. In the public discussion, the term is often used synonymously with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS syndrome). However, medical professionals mainly use the term to define complaints that are associated with chemical substances. However, these are present in extremely low concentrations, so that they are generally no longer considered harmful. With conventional detection methods, no clear cause of the disease can be determined.

In a study, scientists from the Technical University of Munich were unable to find a connection between exposure to certain chemicals and the corresponding complaints. The head of the study, Thomas Zilker, therefore believes that the assumption that there actually is such a thing as an eco-syndrome is a misconception that is reinforced by medical treatment and socially – an assessment that other experts do not necessarily share. The doctors examined more than 300 patients with such unspecific symptoms, which were attributed to environmental pollutants. They compared this group with around 60 workers from the semiconductor industry, who frequently come into contact with small amounts of chemicals due to their work. In both groups, the researchers looked at exposure to solvents, Heavy metals and other poisons and checked the psychological state of the people on the basis of surveys. The research found that nearly half of MCS patients suffered from psychosomatic disorders, compared with about eight percent for workers. Depression was in a ratio of 19 to 3.5 percent and anxiety disorders even in a ratio of 18 to 0 percent. There is therefore much to suggest that psychosomatic and personality disorders as well as emotional problems are causally closely linked to MCS syndrome. 5 percent and anxiety disorders even in a ratio of 18 to 0 percent. There is therefore much to suggest that psychosomatic and personality disorders as well as emotional problems are causally closely linked to the MCS syndrome. 5 percent and anxiety disorders even in a ratio of 18 to 0 percent. There is therefore much to suggest that psychosomatic and personality disorders as well as emotional problems are causally closely linked to MCS syndrome.

“It should be emphasized that these are unconscious processes,” says Torsten Zuberbier, head of the Allergy Center at the Berlin Charité and the European Foundation for Allergy Research (ECARF). “Smells in particular have a high level of significance from the history of evolution.” Those affected could unconsciously associate negative experiences with supposed danger. “The discomfort that arises when reliving the smell is evolutionarily to be understood as a protective mechanism, even if this is objectively not necessary,” says the allergist.

Buildings that make you sick: sick building syndrome

According to an international convention of the World Health Organization (WHO), the term sick building syndrome occurs if more than 10 to 20 percent of the residents or employees in a building experience unspecific complaints that quickly subside after leaving the building. The presumed connections between staying in certain rooms and certain complaints often cannot be refuted, but they cannot be proven either.

In part, the causes can be found in inadequate air conditioning. The problem, however, is that there are many factors that can play a role that may also affect one another. If even an elaborate analysis and diagnostic procedure does not produce a clear result, one must assume that psychological factors probably also play a role.

Best therapy: avoid triggers

A therapy is based on the results of the studies, write the authors of the “White Paper on Allergy”. It is particularly important to avoid the trigger factors recognized as relevant. If, for example, technical building facts such as air conditioning play a role, renovation must take place here. “If no causes are found, psychosomatic or psychiatric therapy can be helpful,” says Zuberbier. “In doing so, the person affected learns to develop strategies on how to cope with at least those subjectively perceived triggers that he cannot avoid in everyday life and at work.” Overall, the need for research in this area is still very great.

You shouldn’t ignore these 7 pains

As a real guy, you know exactly what to do when you are in pain: grit your teeth – and through! With these 7 pains, however, you’d better accept help

1. Sudden, severe pain in the groin area

The pain is as intense as a Roberto Carlos free kick that goes straight to your abdomen. The testicles are more likely to swell later.

Diagnosis: It could be testicular torsion. Usually the testicle dangles from the spermatic cord and is anchored to the bottom of the scrotum. If the anchorage is weak, the spermatic cord can be twisted in dangerous situations, which also cuts off the blood supply. A doctor has to untangle the testicle within six hours, otherwise the last hour has struck.

Treatment: The urologist feels the testicles and makes an ultrasound scan. Surgery is often indicated.

2. Constant pain in the feet or in the shins

The worst hurts when you exercise. But even when doing nothing you can feel it either in the back of the foot or in the shin.

Diagnosis: Presumably it is a fatigue fracture. Like any other body tissue, bone is continually regenerating itself. “But if you train so hard that the bones don’t have a chance to heal themselves, they can break,” says Dr. Andrew Feldman, doctor for the New York Rangers NHL ice hockey team.

Treatment: Radioactive markers make a stress fracture visible on the X-ray. Then there’s an end to running. In the worst case, you might have to wear a cast for a few weeks.

3. A sharp pain in the stomach

The stomach ache almost feels like a knife stab – but the attack comes from within.

Diagnosis: Because the space behind your washboard abs is crammed with organs, the pain can indicate inflammation of the appendix, pancreas, or gallbladder. None of these organs should burst and possibly pour pus into the abdomen. Then there would be mortal danger.
Treatment: “If it hurts in the lower right corner, the appendix is ​​probably to blame,” says Professor Siegfried Kra from Yale University. One can suspect the gallbladder behind pain in the upper abdomen. In contrast, the pancreas (the pancreas) reports with agony below the breastbone and increased enzyme levels in the blood.

4. Temporary chest pain

Severe chest pain that comes on suddenly and goes away quickly.

Diagnosis: In this case, it could be an upset stomach – or a heart attack. “Even if the pain is short-lived, it can be a sign to be taken seriously,” warns Dr. John Stamatos, Medical Director of North Shore Pain Services in Long Island. A blood clot in one of the coronary arteries could block blood flow to an area of ​​the heart. In around half of all heart attacks, death occurs after three to four hours.
Treatment: A blood test will show evidence of damaged heart tissue. Treatment options: balloon dilatation, bypass.

5. Leg pain with swelling

Your calf is killing you in pain. It is swollen, tender to the touch, and warm.

Diagnosis: You sit in place for six hours or more, for example on a long-haul flight. The blood sinks into your lower legs and clumps into a clot. If it is large enough, it clogs a deep vein in the leg. Unfortunately, the first thing you want to do, namely scratch, is also the worst: “Movement can cause the lump to migrate to the lungs. With fatal consequences,” says expert Stamatos.
Treatment: An X-ray venography detects thromboses. The phlebologist (vein doctor) will try to break up blood clots with medication.

6. Sudden, severe back pain

You have back pain, as if you had just lifted yourself on the closet. Usual treatment methods (warmth, rest, painkillers) do not help.

Diagnosis: “If you have nothing to do with lifting, sudden back pain can be an indication of an aneurysm,” says Professor Kra. The pathological dilatations of your blood vessels are most dangerous when the aorta is affected. But don’t worry, eventually the pain will subside – right after the main artery bursts.
Treatment: Computed tomography reveals where the aneurysm is and how big it is. Then there’s medication or an operation.

7. Pain when urinating

You moan while peeing, but not with pleasure. Plus, you could swear your urine stream is a rusty hue.

Diagnosis: the worst case? “Bladder cancer,” says Dr. Joseph A. Smith, Senior Consultant Urologist at Vanderbilt University. Incidentally, smoking is the most important risk factor for this fourth most common cancer in men. But maybe it’s just a bladder infection.
Treatment: If there are no inflammatory bacteria in your urine, the urologist will take a look inside the bladder. The doctor treats a tumor surgically or orders chemotherapy and / or radiation.

So now you finally become a non-smoker

Smoking even increases the risk of corona disease. The best tips and strategies on how you can actually quit smoking permanently now

Exactly what could make smokers more susceptible to Covid-19. You have wanted to quit smoking for a long time, but it has never worked, at least not in the long term? You are not alone with the problem. According to the Deutsches Ärzteblatt, 28 percent of all smokers have tried at least once to renounce the vice. But 73 percent relapsed. So that this doesn’t happen to you (anymore), we have put together the most important tools for you that will make you a non-smoker for good.

What is the most proven way to quit smoking?

Definitely the final point method, according to which 90 percent of ex-smokers made it. The cigarette consumption is not slowly reduced, but given up completely from one moment to the next.

Many health insurance companies offer a ten-week program in which the smoker should slowly ignore his consumption. If you try it out yourself, you’ll quickly notice that it works badly. With a lot of willpower, you might get five cigarettes a day, but it doesn’t actually make quitting easier. Also, hypnosis and acupuncture are recognized methods by which it have some ex-smokers managed to get the fags go. But here too, your own motivation is decisive. If you want, you stop, if you don’t, then don’t.

When is the right time for the end point method?

New Year’s Eve doesn’t have to be the best time to become a non-smoker, any other day is just as good. If you are having a hard time figuring out the right time, set a date in the near future. In the meantime, do your research on the dangers of smoking for your body and read about the benefits of a nicotine-free life. And then imagine the advantages you will benefit from immediately after quitting smoking: Your immune system will be strengthened, you will no longer smell like cold smoke, have more money … Find alternatives to smoking when you are relaxing or have your time-out want. It makes sense to have ideas up your sleeve here.

The best time, however, is to quit on a day when you’re really fed up with the smoke. Take advantage of such an opportunity and stop smoking immediately, without intent, without planning. It works amazingly well!

What happens in the body when you stop smoking?

Need a little motivation? You are welcome! The following effects happen after you’ve smoked the last cigarette:

  • After 20 minutes  , your heart rate and blood pressure will normalize. The body temperature of the hands and feet rises to normal.
  • After 8 hours  your breath will smell fresh. In addition, the level of carbon monoxide in the blood decreases and the level of oxygen increases to normal.
  • After 12 hours  your body is almost nicotine free.
  • After 48 hours,  the physical consequences of nicotine withdrawal will subside. Your nerve endings grow back. You start to smell and taste better again.
  • After 3 months  , your lung function increases by 30 percent.
  • After 9 months  your energy level increases. Fatigue and shortness of breath decrease. Your cough will go away, the congestion of the frontal and sinuses will subside. The cilia in the lungs are regenerated to such an extent that they can carry out infectious agents.
  • After a year  , the risk of having a heart attack drops by 50 percent.
  • After 5 years  , the risk of dying from lung cancer has halved. Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker.
  • After 6 years  your weight will only increase as much as a never-smoker (about a pound per year of life).
  • After 15 years  , the likelihood of developing lung cancer is similar to that of non-smokers. Your personal heart attack risk has returned to normal.

Conclusion: Your body needs 72 hours to break down the pollutants from just one cigarette. If he can no longer do this, there is a risk of lung cancer or emphysema. Therefore: It pays to quit, no matter how long you’ve been smoking.

What are the dangers if you don’t quit smoking?

We can also increase your motivation by telling you how nicotine is specifically sabotaging your health:

Smoking endangered …

  • … your back:  Smoking is partly responsible for back pain and damage to your intervertebral discs. Because smoking creates deposits in the blood vessels around the spine. As a result, the intervertebral discs are poorly supplied with nutrients and become brittle.
  • … your loved ones:  Anyone who lives with a smoker has a four times higher risk of cancer, according to a study by the British Imperial Cancer Research Campaign .
  • … your feet:  And we’re not even talking about the notorious smoker’s legs! No, smokers have athlete’s foot more often: because the feet have less blood, the fungi can spread more easily.
  • … your wound healing:  The tissue of smokers is poorly supplied with blood and therefore receives too little oxygen. In this way, wounds and broken bones heal more slowly – smokers are incapacitated longer than non-smokers.
  • … your kidneys:  In men without a particular kidney risk, smoking increases the risk of damaging this organ three times.
  • … your image: It  may be that smokers were just as cool in your youth as the Marlboro Man. In the meantime, however, this image has changed: Anyone who smokes is shy, insecure, nervous, dependent … The Marlboro Man is a wimp.
  • … your teeth and your gums:  Take a look at the teeth of long-term smokers. Brrrrh!
  • … your life in the next six hours:  Cigarettes have an immediate deadly effect, discovered researchers at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Infarcts are usually caused by blood clots that detach from vascular deposits and are flushed to the heart. The larger the lump, the more severe the infarction. In people who smoked in the six hours prior to the heart attack, the blood clots are larger: an average of 23 compared to 6.7 square millimeters if the last cigarette was at least 24 hours ago.

Where is the risk of relapse lurking for a new non-smoker?

The first two weeks are the most dangerous. For withdrawal symptoms and the whimpering in the first few days after quitting smoking, walks, drinking plenty of water and, in the worst case, biting a chilli pepper have proven effective. If the first 14 days are over, there are four main triggers for possible relapses:

  1. alcohol
  2. Cozy rounds with smokers
  3. Frustration and stress with superiors or the partner, as well as breakdowns and accidents
  4. The conscious decision to return to smoking because pleasant memories prevail

You have to learn to cope with this situation and not to misunderstand the cigarette as a problem solver.

What is the significance of my smoking biography?

It doesn’t matter whether you quit after five or thirty years. The starting age is also irrelevant. But be prepared that the more and the harder you smoke, the more difficult it will be.

Conclusion: Yes, you can quit smoking too!

In theory, you now know that and how it works to quit smoking. Don’t wait long to put your knowledge into practice. Use the next day when you are really fed up with smoking. And then put out your last cigarette. Without long planning, but immediately. Follow our timeline to see how much better your body is with every smoke-free hour.

Does honey really help against coughs?

The throat hurts and the bronchi whistle: coughing attacks are among the most unpleasant symptoms of a cold. Can honey ease the agony?

Coughing is a practical thing in itself: it removes foreign bodies from the airways and lets us breathe freely again. This is especially useful in the case of a cold , when tough mucus forms in the bronchi that has to be transported outside. That makes us cough and cough – sometimes without ceasing.

Now you have to drink a lot, for example herbal teas with thyme are useful . A spoon with honey often goes into the glass – this sweetens the tea and is also said to help against the cough. But does that even bring anything?

The thought does not seem completely absurd. Bee products are known for their healing properties, such as the putty resin of animals, also called propolis. Bees collect it from tree buds and use it in the beehive for disinfection . In experiments, propolis was bactericidal and fungicidal, i.e. it killed bacteria and fungi. Applied as a tincture, the remedy is supposed to combat skin eczema and inflamed corners of the mouth.

Honey – an ancient home remedy

Similar beneficial effects are attributed to honey, and the bee product is particularly popular in folk medicine . In any case, the list of potential health makers is long: Honey consists of more than 200 ingredients – in addition to various sugars, it contains minerals , vitamins , antioxidants, enzymes and phenols. The latter should have disinfecting and antiseptic properties.

In a small study, US researchers investigated the question of whether honey can relieve cold symptoms. To do this, they divided 105 boys and girls with a cold into three groups: The first group received some buckwheat honey before going to bed, the second a common cough suppressant and the third none of the two. The next morning the parents were asked: How well had the child and parents slept? Were you often woken up by coughing attacks at night? In fact, the honey got the best results: it relieved the kids’ nightly coughing fits and made them sleep better.

Sore throat The name of the sage plant is derived from the Latin word "salvare", meaning to heal. In fact, the plant has an antibacterial effect and inhibits the growth of viruses and fungi. In addition to the antiseptic effect, there are also decongestant and vascular sealing properties, the thujone contained in the essential oil has a pain-relieving effect. The experts of Commission E, an expert committee for herbal medicines, therefore advise gargling with sage tea in the case of mouth and throat infections. Recipe ➝ Pour half a liter of boiling water over a teaspoon of dried sage leaves. ➝ Let it steep for ten minutes and drain the tea. ➝ Gargle with it several times a day until the symptoms subside.

What could be responsible for the effect?

Another small study from 2012 seems to confirm this effect: The researchers divided 300 children with a cold between one and five years into groups. They each administered one of three types of honey to the first three groups, while the fourth received a placebo. And here, too, it was found that the children who received honey before going to bed tended to sleep more calmly. Although the cold symptoms improved in the placebo group, the changes were not statistically relevant here.

The conclusions that can be drawn from these small studies are limited, but at least there is evidence that could explain an effect: It is known that honey accelerates wound healing and has anti-inflammatory effects. Antioxidant and antimicrobial properties are also attributed to it. It also contains a lot of sugar and stimulates saliva production. This moisture could settle on irritated mucous membranes and help provide relief.

Red light against colds - a classic. But does the deep heat also help?


Does red light help with a cold?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends tea and honey for a cold: “Most home remedies are harmless, in contrast to commercial remedies, which may contain harmful substances.” The use of gentle and safe means should therefore be supported.


The definitive proof that honey works against coughs is still pending. However, a corresponding effect is being discussed – at least it appears theoretically possible. If you want, you can take one or two spoons of honey before going to bed, preferably before brushing your teeth. On the other hand, the product is not suitable for children under one year of age: honey is a natural product and can contain germs that lead to symptoms of poisoning in young children.

Sick after orgasm – that’s how dangerous POIS is

Fever after sex? Bitter reality for some men. An allergy to your own sperm is that dangerous

an hour’s nose begins to run, shortly after the headaches start and after a day following the fever. This is not how it should go for men after sex. But it’s not a made-up story: for some men, this is exactly what happens – every time after orgasm and ejaculation. We are talking about the “Post Orgasmic Illness Syndrome” (POIS). Put simply, this means an allergy to one’s own sperm. But what is this disease all about?

What is POIS?

“With this syndrome, those affected get sick after orgasm and ejaculation,” says Christian Wülfing, chief physician of the department for urology at the Asklepios Klinik Altona. The “Post Orgasmic Illness Syndrome” is a type of flu that occurs after men have sperm – regardless of whether they have had sex or have masturbated. The disease is extremely rare: “Very few urologists have ever experienced this in a patient,” emphasizes Wülfing. According to vague estimates, 0.25 to 1 percent of the population could suffer from it.

What are the symptoms of a semen allergy?

The disease feels like the flu for those affected, says Wülfing: Patients describe flu-like symptoms – from sweating and chills to fever and nausea. Some also feel weak and have headaches, as is the case with the flu.

“In the men examined, the symptoms appear in the first hour after orgasm and last 2 to 7 days,” says Wülfing. When the disease first occurs in men is still unclear. However, some patients report that they already felt the symptoms while masturbating as adolescents.

What are the effects of a semen allergy in men?

It is important to emphasize again: the symptoms only appear after a sperm effusion. So if you can’t orgasm, the syndrome won’t happen either. However, it is precisely this knowledge that leads many men to avoid behavior. “The men affected often adapt their sexual behavior and may also lose the desire to orgasm,” says the expert.

Many of those affected are also less sexually active and relationships also suffer. “The illness has a major impact on self-esteem. It can almost feel like a punishment to get the ‘flu’ after an orgasm,” said Wülfing.

The flu-like symptoms are not life-threatening, but the syndrome can have consequences, especially if the illness lasts for several days, for example for the job or the partnership.

What are the causes of an allergy to your own sperm?

“It is still not known exactly what causes this disease,” says Wülfing. Because there is a lack of empirical values ​​and comprehensive examinations because the disease is so rare. There are now a number of theories that describe possible causes.

  1. Autoimmune disease: the immune system reacts to the body’s own tissue: In a Dutch study, 45 POIS patients were examined to determine the possible cause of the disease. 33 of the subjects underwent an allergy test. The result: 29 of the men had reddened skin after the skin prick test with their own sperm. This suggests an autoimmune disease. “In an autoimmune disease, the body acts against its own components,” says urologist Wülfing.
  2. Allergic reaction to one’s own sperm: Since the symptoms only appear after a sperm effusion, it is reasonable to assume that it is an allergic reaction. “If it really is an allergy to one’s own sperm, the allergic reaction should take place shortly before the seminal fluid emerges in the tissue of the urethra,” says the expert.
  3. Psychological causes: “In another thesis it is assumed that the POIS has psychological causes,” says Wülfing. Because many affected men show signs of depression. Researchers asked themselves the classic “chicken-or-egg” question: Did the psychological problems or the POIS come first? However, according to the Dutch study, this thesis is largely refuted.

What therapy options are there for POIS patients?

The rarity and lack of examinations make treatment very difficult. “There are currently no real treatment options for those affected,” says Wülfing. However, there are some approaches that have already shown success with some of those affected. In treatments with a desensitization , as it is also used in patients with a pollen allergy, the symptoms were alleviated by 60 to 90 percent. Men are injected under the skin once a month with their own semen in a low dose. The therapy lasts about 15 to 31 months.

Another treatment option: “Treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs such as diclofenac was investigated ten years ago – and gave those affected an improvement of up to 80 percent,” says Wülfing. However, it has not yet been adequately tested whether it also achieves the desired effect in most men.

“One patient reported that his symptoms eased during his wife’s pregnancy. Therefore, it was considered whether it could have something to do with the hormone progesterone,” says the expert. The hormone is increasingly released during pregnancy. In theory, treatment with the hormone could therefore be a therapeutic approach.

What should I do if I have symptoms of a semen allergy?

Even if it is a very rare disease: do not hesitate to see a doctor. It is best to see a urologist directly if you have had flu-like symptoms after an orgasm for a long time. Far too few men do that: “I assume that there is a higher number of unreported cases with this syndrome because many men are ashamed of their symptoms,” says the urologist. It is therefore important to seek treatment. Because only with many examinations on patients can progress in research be made.

Conclusion: Affected men with POIS have a high level of suffering

The disease is very humiliating for patients: a “flu” after every orgasm, hardly any therapy options and sex life is impaired. But hope is not lost: some treatments have shown success in the past. If you have flu-like symptoms after sex or masturbating, don’t hesitate to see a urologist. Because the more men seek treatment, the sooner scientists can develop antidotes.

That is how much protection against coronavirus face visors offer

T extilmasken in this country are still new and unfamiliar to many or even strange. And many finally want a little normalcy and a little lightheartedness back. Couldn’t transparent face visors be a good compromise?

The short answer: yes and no. For the long answer, we spoke to a doctor and manufacturer of such visors. They explain to us how much the visors bring and what you have to consider when using them.

How is a face visor constructed?

Such a visor is very simple: “It consists of a headband with a flexible band for the head, and the actual visor, a transparent film that is usually made of PET,” describes Dominik Wilming from the Vechta against Corona initiative, the face visors against Covid19 produced. PET is the same material that is used, for example, in returnable bottles. With some models, the foil lies against the forehead, with others there is an extra arch between the head and the foil so that you can carry it more comfortably. The film does not lie on the bottom or on the side, but is open so that the air can flow along there.

When is a face visor useful?

“There is a particular need for such visors, especially in kindergartens and schools, but also in nursing,” explains Wilming. The textile masks currently on offer are particularly a hindrance in areas where you speak a lot and loudly (e.g. at school) or where facial expressions and personal contact are important. Even in people with shortness of breath, the physical and psychological barrier can make the problem worse. This is one of the reasons why the demand for such visors is increasing enormously, in the hope that they can offer a compromise between infection protection and a free face. This is practical, but only works to a limited extent.

What does a face visor do?

“A clear advantage of the visors is that the eyes and thus potential entry points are protected from the virus,” explains Dr. Lutz Graumann from Sports Medicine Rosenheim. It can also stop any coarse droplets that you or someone else releases into the air when you sneeze, cough, or speak. But: “With every cough, around 3000 droplets are ejected at a speed of 90 km / h, while sneezing there are even 100,000 droplets at 160 km / h”, describes Graumann. It is very likely that some of the droplets will simply be pushed past the film and then enter the environment unhindered.

Face visors do not protect against aerosols!

Both experts, doctor and manufacturer, agree that the visor does not help against so-called aerosol transmission. Aerosols are droplets that are so small that you can hardly see them and do not immediately fall to the ground, but “stay” in the air. There is increasing evidence that this is a relevant transmission route for Covid19. Air with aerosols can flow past the visor unhindered. “Some visors get wider towards the bottom and are shaped like a kind of funnel, which could make transmission via the breath even more likely,” warns Wilming.

Does a visor replace a mask?

A visor is therefore very likely to protect your own eyes and, to a lesser extent, perhaps also the environment. However, this effect is not great enough to replace a mouth and nose protection, even the handmade ones probably hold off significantly more droplets than the non-fitting visor. For this reason and also because the effectiveness of non-certified visors has hardly been researched, you cannot meet the mask requirement with face visors in most federal states. However, there are a few exceptions and regional differences.

What is definitely allowed, however, is a combination of both. This gives you external protection through mouth and nose protection and self-protection through the barrier for large droplets and eye protection. “In medical areas where a lot of aerosols circulate, a combination, or a mask and protective goggles, is recommended,” says Graumann.

What do you have to consider when buying a face visor?

If you are looking to buy a visor to protect your eyes and keep out coarse droplets, there are a few things to consider. The two experts have these 5 tips:

  1. Harmless material: “Especially with products from 3D printers, you should be careful that the material is harmless and robust. PLA, for example, is harmless, but a bit brittle,” says the manufacturer. Visors from the so-called injection molding, on the other hand, usually consist of harmless and resistant PET.
  2. Proper care and disinfection: One advantage of the visors is that they are easy to clean. “It is particularly important that a soft cloth is used that does not scratch the material,” warns Wilming. To disinfect you can use all commercially available agents that are labeled as “virucidal” in any form. “Only chlorine and acetone, such as those found in nail polish remover, should be avoided because they attack the material.” Be careful not to inhale the fumes from it when you put on the visor.
  3. A smooth surface: if the visor is scratched, visible or invisible grooves can appear. “On the one hand, they can impair the view, but above all, they are much more difficult to disinfect,” emphasizes Wilming. So always be careful and thorough when cleaning.
  4. Correct use: Visors protect against infection, among other things, because they make it difficult to touch your face. At least as long as they are properly seated and used. “But if you put your face more than usual with the unfamiliar visor or neglect other hygiene measures out of a supposed sense of security, it makes it worse than better,” warns Graumann.
  5. The wearing comfort: You can theoretically wear face visors for many hours as long as you clean them every now and then. “The headband in particular should have a certain width to sit comfortably and firmly,” advises Wilming. Applications such as foam or textile can make the headband more comfortable, but are more difficult to clean from the corona virus.
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