Sunday, December 27, 2015

Harajuku Gyoza Brisbane | thebrunchaddict

While visiting Brisbane on today's hot boxing day my shopping buddy and I decided to grab a quick bite between department stores and avoiding the heat. Harajuku Gyoza fitted the bill with great food, cheery staff and the one essential ingredient, air conditioning! First impressions of here is quite amazing... The roof was covered with…

Thursday, February 5, 2015

What Are The Common Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction?

Many men though their life will suffer episodes of poor erections. This is quite common however if a person is suffering with frequent episodes of not being able to get an erection it's important to seek medical review to work out why. This article will cover the common causes of erectile dysfunction.

Psychological Stress Kills Erections

By far the biggest group of men with poor erections are those suffering with psychological causes of erectile dysfunction. To have a firm and lasting erection men have to be relaxed. Stress by far is the biggest destroyer of erections.

Imagine you are a caveman running away from a sabre tooth tiger, your body will redistribute blood towards vital survival organs i.e. the brain and eyes, and the legs to help you run away.
Getting an erection at this time is not helpful for your survival.

Unfortunately many guys get stress when with a new partner or perhaps worry about getting an erection itself. This results in decreased blood flow to the penis and poor erections.

Relaxation exercises can sometimes help a man feel more comfortable, the stress levels go down and the erection starts to become more reliable.

Many Medications Can Kill Erections

Another common cause of erectile issues are medications that are used to treat other conditions.

Heart medications, antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs and  epilepsy drugs are known causes of erectile dysfunction. Antidepressants are also known for frequently causing ejaculation dysfunction with many men reporting they find it hard to climax and sometimes can't even get to that point.

Medical Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

When you see your doctor to talk about poor erections one important step is to exclude the common medical causes for erectile problems. Diabetes, low testosterone, thyroid disfunction can all cause problems with erections.

Heart disease is another major cause for impotence. The arteries to the penis are around the same size as the arteries to the heart. If there are issues with the penis there may be similar going on at the heart.
For this reason any man having erection problems should have a full cardiovascular screening to ensure the health of his heart.

I always recommend seeing a doctor if you are having any concerns. Not only does this help ensure your ongoing health but can also lead to treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Yours in good health

Dr George Forgan-Smith

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Quick Guide To Getting Your Men's Health Problems Solved

Sadly the statistics are that men are more likely to wait to see a doctor until a problem has developed. Often many of these problems are highly preventable and can be easily detected with a regular men's health checkup.

Today's post is to create a guide on how often men should consider getting a health review with their doctor as well as what to expect when they see their doctor. I hope that by even just a simple annual visit many men can lead healthy lives well into their older ages.

How Often Should A Man Get A Checkup?

For all guys I recommend getting an annual check up. It's a great chance to have a chat, get a skin check, check blood pressure and help ensure you are heading on the straight and narrow.

These annual visits are a perfect time to discuss any problems that may be worrying you as well as help identify any potential future problems. These can include checking for family history of different cancers, prostate issues, smoking and alcohol intake and perhaps other substances.

Some guys may be suffering with erectile dysfunction. Your doctor will be able to talk with you about common causes of ED.

I like to recommend a set of screening bloods to help check cholesterol, blood sugars, kidney, liver and other electrolytes.

For guys who are sexually active this is also a great chance to talk about sexual health screening and sexual dysfunction.

How Often Should A Man Have A Sexual Health Screening?

For all sexually active guys I recommend having a full sexual health screening every year. If you've had more than 10 sexual partners in 6 months it's best to get it done every 6 months or even sooner if you've had a lot of action.

If you have any symptoms like rash, discharge from the penis, ulcers, sores, lumps or pain with passing urine it's best to see your doctor straight away.

Sexual health check ups involve a chat about what's been happening, examining and addressing any issues that have shown up as well as screening tests such as:
  • urine test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea
  • blood test for HIV and syphilis
For men who sometimes have sex with other guys there is some additional swabs of the throat and anus if required.

What To Expect In A Men's Health Exam

All health checkups start with a conversation. This is a great time to share any particular problems you may be concerned about. If you have a couple of problems you are concerned about it's good to have a bit of a list so you won't forget anything.

It doesn't always have to be about problems, if you have any questions about healthier living this is a great opportunity to have your questions answered.

After this I like to check blood pressure, ears and throat, heart and lungs, abdomen, testicles if required and check of the prostate if there are any concerns.

A men's health checkup is very straight forward and I recommend taking the time to look after your health on a regular basis.

Dr George Forgan-Smith
Era Health, Melbourne (03) 9944 6200

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Getting A Men's Health Exam: What To Expect

One of the biggest barriers for guys to get a men's health exam is not knowing what is going to happen in the examination.

Many guys have stories told by friends of embarrassing or painful procedures, with fear mounting many simply avoid the doctor till it's absolutely necessary.

To help dampen the fear I wanted to share what happens when I see a patient for a men's health checkup.


By far the most important part of any interaction with a doctor is to get a good understanding of what issues you are concerned or worried about.

By taking a careful and detailed history the examination can be focused on areas of need rather than a scatter gun approach.

Topics I like to cover include:

  • Current health status. Are you allergic to anything? Taking an medications? Have you had any operations or major medical issues?
  • Current concerns: What are your worries, what prompted you to come get an exam?
  • Smoking and Alcohol use
  • Common issues associated with prostate problems: difficulty passing urine, having to get up frequently at night, poor stream...
  • Any issues or problems with gaining or maintaining erections
  • Any signs of sexual health problems or infections
This information allows for a more focused examination


Having discussed the various issues that need to be addressed doctors are able to have a very focused examination.

With all patients I like to check blood pressure, listen to heart and lungs, checked the abdomen as well as examining skin for any early skin cancers or changes.

Depending on our conversation prostate may be examined via a finger in the back passage. While this is an uncomfortable procedure it's over and done with quickly.

Examination of the genitals may be required particularly if there are any lumps on the testicles.

Further Testing

After examination I like to organise any other tests that may be required. This includes blood tests, urine tests and perhaps ultrasounds or x-rays if required.

Common blood tests that are part of a male health checkup include full blood count, kidneys and liver, blood sugar for diabetes as well as cholesterol and other lipids.

I like to get patients to return after these tests have been done so the results can be discussed.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

When Should I Get A Mens Sexual Health Checkup?

For all men that are sexually active it's vital to be sure getting a sexual health screening on a regular basis.

For anyone who is sexually active I recommend men's sexual health exams be every year. If you have had more than 10 sexual partners in 6 months it's best to have them done every six months or sooner if you have had even more partners.

For heterosexual men the following screening tests are recommended.

  • A urine test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea
  • A blood test for HIV and Syphilis
If you notice any lumps or bumps on the penis, foreskin, scrotum (nut sack) or anus it's a great chance to have them checked by the doctor. Anal warts are very common and are easily treated to it's best to show any lumps that are new.

If you have sex with other men even if it's only every now and then the following tests are recommended.

  • A urine test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea
  • A blood test for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis C
  • Throat and anal swabs for chlamydia and gonorrhoea
It's also important to consider having you immunity checked for hepatitis A and B.

Young men who have sex with other men should also consider getting the HPV vaccination as this helps greatly reduce the risk of genital warts as was as cancers of the mouth, throat and anus.

The best places to have a full sexual health screening is at your local sexual health clinic or with a family practitioner who has a good understanding of mens sexual problems.

Regular sexual health screening is highly recommended as part of a comprehensive men's health exam.

When Should You Get A Men's Health Exam

One of the more frequently asked questions I am asked is how often men should consider getting a men's health exam.

As a man ages there are different mens health issues that present for different age groups.

For younger men the risks of testicular cancer are much higher than older males however older men have higher risk of prostate cancer then young men.

For this reason I recommend all men consider having focused mens health check-ups every 1-2 years.

For men in their late teens to 30's it's vital to be sure to cover areas such as testicular cancer, depression, anxiety and risks of substance misuse. This is also a fantastic opportunity to start preventative strategies to help prevent other health issues that can come later in life.

When a man enters his 40's it's ideal to review testosterone levels, risk factors for heart disease as well as again discussing things like smoking, exercise levels, weight and mood issues.

In the 50's we again keep a keen focus on cardiovascular health. The risk of bowel cancers also increases later in life so it's time to discuss whether it's worth having a colonoscopy to detect and also help prevent bowel cancers.

The 50's is also a great time to start discussions about prostate health.

From the age of 60 men's health exams tend to focus on diseases such as prostate cancer, prostate enlargement, mood disorders such as depression, heart disease and stroke. This is also a time that wear and tear on bones and joints may start to present with early osteoarthritis.

As you can see as a man ages there are changes in both the diseases that present. By starting to have regular mens' health checkups every 1-2 years there is much that can be done to help prevent disease, illness and disability as a man goes though his life.

For this reason I recommend having a good GP or family practitioner to help ensure you have the best check up and maintenance regime designed for you.