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Finasteride - For Prostate Problems and Male Pattern Baldness

Finasteride belongs to the class of enzyme inhibitors. Finasteride blocks 5-alpha-reductase, which is critical in changing testosterone into another hormone that causes prostate enlargement. BPH (Benign prostatic hypertrophy) occurs in men over 55 years. Finasteride has been used in the treatment of urinary problems resulting from an enlarged prostate. Finasteride is effective in reducing the severity of the symptoms. But the prostate tends to grow again if the drug is discontinued.


Finasteride is also used in stimulating hair growth in the case of male pattern balding. Read up on Hair Restoration in the TargetWoman Collection of articles. Male pattern baldness or Androgenetic Alopecia is caused by increased levels of DHT (DiHydro Testosterone). Propecia (brand name for Finasteride) blocks the formation of DHT thereby maintaining or increasing the hair growth.

Side Effects of finasteride: The side effects of Finasteride that are noticed range from skin rashes and swelling of lips to breast enlargement. Rarely do persons on Finasteride experience abdominal or back pain, dizziness, headache or impotence. Men on Finasteride faced lesser desire for sex and reduced semen. This drug is never recommended for women. Women who are pregnant or of childbearing age must not handle crushed tablets of Finasteride as it can cause birth defects in a male fetus. Finasteride falls in the FDA pregnancy category X. This means that it is known to cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Since Finasteride is mainly metabolized by the liver, patients with liver dysfunction must inform their physicians about it. Patients who are taking amphetamines, antihistamines, antidepressants, decongestants or ephedrine must consult the doctor before embarking on a course of Finasteride.


Dosage of finasteride: Propecia is also known as 1 mg. finasteride - it is a potent inhibitor of human 5 alpha-reductase without affecting the circulating effects of Testosterone. Proscar is yet another brand name for Finasteride. Finasteride tablets are usually taken once a day. It is not advisable to take more than the prescribed dosage. The drug must be stored away from light in a tightly- closed container. For BPH patients, a 5 mg dose of Proscar daily is prescribed by physicians. Taking additional doses will not make it work faster or better. 1 mg dose of Finasteride is prescribed for those suffering from male pattern baldness. Find out more about hair loss, its causes and patterns in Hair Loss in the TargetWoman Collection of articles.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy treatment works just after surgery; Being a systemic treatment, it attacks young and small clusters of cancer cells anywhere in the body. Chemotherapy drugs work best against rapidly dividing cells. The flip side is that they may kill normal cells too. Since cells in the blood, mouth, nose, nails and hair area also undergoing constant and quick division, chemotherapy affects them too. This explains the side effects of chemotherapy such as falling hair, dipping energy levels and infections. Supportive medicines are prescribed to help the body during this phase.


A typical treatment process may involve four to eight cycles of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy reduces the chances of cancer recurring after surgery. The tumors are shrunk with chemotherapy treatment, especially in cases of inflammatory cancer. The chemotherapy drugs are injected through IV needles. Sometimes they are given as pills. Oncologist will monitor your response to the therapy.

Side effects of chemotherapy



Thyroid

Thyroid is a gland in the neck overlying the windpipe that regulates the speed of metabolic processes by producing a hormone with the eponymous name thyroxin. Thyroid is an endocrine gland. The thyroid gland which resembles a butterfly, sits astride the trachea. Its secretion - thyroxin, a hormone that regulates the metabolic activity of the body. Too much thyroxin races the metabolism resulting in weight loss, temperature elevation, nervousness and irritability. On the other hand, too little thyroxin slows down the metabolism rate resulting in deep voice, weight gain and water retention. This can result in retardation in physical growth and mental development in children. Both conditions equally affect hair and skin growth, bowel function and menstrual flow.

The thyroid gland is often enlarged whether it is secreting too much hormone, too little or even when it is functioning normally. The thyroid is controlled by the pituitary gland, which secretes Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) in response to the amount of thyroxin in the blood. TSH increases the amount of thyroxin secreted by the thyroid and also causes the thyroid gland to grow.




Hyperthyroid Goiter : If the amount of TSH is high, the thyroid will both enlarge and secrete too much thyroxin. The result is termed as Hyperthyroidism with a goiter. Graves' disease is the most common form of this disorder.



Euthyroid goiter : If dietary iodine is insufficient, too little thyroxin will be secreted and the pituitary will sense the deficiency and produce more TSH. The thyroid gland will enlarge enough to make sufficient thyroxin.

Hypothyroid goiter: If dietary iodine is severely low, even an enlarged gland will not be able to make enough thyroxin. The gland may keep growing under the influence of TSH, but it may never make enough thyroxin.

An endocrinologist who specializes in the endocrine system can also be consulted for thyroid problems and diseases. Specialists who deal with thyroid problem are called thyroidologists. Thryoidologist and endocrinologist are specially trained doctors who diagnose and treat diseases affecting the thyroid gland. A thyroid specialist continues specialized education focused on thyroid issues after obtaining a Masters degree in medicine. He is qualified and trained to treat conditions that are complex and involve many systems within the body that may be affected due to thyroid imbalance.


A primary care doctor too often misses the diagnosis of a thyroid disease. Sometimes primary care doctors refer patients to a thyroid specialist when there is problem in the endocrine/ hormone systems. Thyroid specialists treat patients with too much or too little thyroid hormone. The thyroid specialist helps the patients to reach a hormone balance by replacing or blocking thyroid hormone. Thyroid specialists also receive special training to manage patients with thyroid growths or thyroid cancer and enlarged thyroid glands. There are times when the services of a thryoidologist or an endocrinologist become absolutely necessary.


  • A thyroid specialist has to be consulted when a patient is suffering from the hyperthyroid autoimmune - Graves' disease. This is a condition which can be treated only by a thyroid specialist and not by a regular GP. Graves's disease and hyperthyroid management involves a number of therapies, anti thyroid drug use, radioactive iodine treatments and even surgery if necessary.
  • Evaluation and treatment for thyroid nodule can be rendered only by thyroid specialists. Thyroid nodule is evaluated by ultrasound and fine needle biopsy process. This is done to rule out the possibility of thyroid cancer.
  • Thyroid cancer is rare and less than 15000 new cases are diagnosed every year. An expert thyroid specialist is highly recommended to diagnose, evaluate, treat and help in long term follow up and support management of thyroid cancer.
  • Thyroid surgery is performed when the gland becomes so large that is cosmetically disfiguring. This is normally done if a thyroid has markedly enlarged for years. Thyroid surgery should be performed by an experienced thyroid surgeon. Only an experienced thyroid surgeon can handle the complications that can arise due to thyroid surgery.
  • A thyroid specialist can assess hypothyroidism levels. This is done by evaluation of TSH level. S/He considers other options such as symptoms, family history and clinical factors to make a thyroid diagnosis.
  • After a person has been diagnosed for hypothyroidism, a thyroid specialist treats and manages the patient for other signs and symptoms as well. Such symptoms are weight gain, depression, brain fog, hair loss, shortness of breath, intolerance to heat and cold, muscle aches and joint pains, constipation, carpal tunnel, high cholesterol, infertility, Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: August 20, 2019