When pictures hit the net of burlesque singer Beyonce and her husband, rapper Jay Z vacationing in Paris a couple of days ago, one set of pictures in particular caught my eye. Jay Z seemed to be experiencing priapism, or a persistent erection. In a few of the pictures Jigga covers his groin area with his massive hand in a poor attempt to conceal his full blown erection.

Priapism is a potentially harmful and sometimes painful medical condition in which the penis maintains erection and does not return to its flaccid (resting) state for a period lasting longer than four hours.

It was an embarrassing moment for Jay Z to be sure, but it is a common side effect of a drug often prescribed for men with penile erection dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction (or impotency) occurs when a man is unable to sustain an erection long enough to satisfy a woman (or man) during sexual intercourse.

I told you a couple of years ago that, according to a source, Jay Z, 41, was swallowing Viagra pills like they were Pez candies. According to the source, Jay Z has had trouble "getting it up" for years. Finally, out of desperation, he (allegedly) sought medical treatment to keep up with the sexual demands of his young wife, Beyonce.

Common causes of erectile dysfunction in men include cigarette smoking, diabetes, hormone insufficiencies, heart disease or drugs, such as anti-depressants and cocaine.

While it is a laughing matter for us ladies who (thank God) don't have such problems, most men can relate to Jay Z's predicament.

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Another gay black male has succumbed to MRSA/staph infection. Yesterday, celebrity hairdresser and makeup artist Dariel Pulliam, who starred in TV's 'What Chilli Wants 2,' passed away after a brief illness. According to his family, he was hospitalized for 2 weeks with a staph infection in his lungs, which likely caused pneumonia. He was 29.

The family is asking for donations to help offset the funeral costs. If you would like to help, please call (410) 800-0379 or (443) 629-3008.

I am writing this post to educate my readers about this MRSA scourge in the gay community. All of us in the gay community know of at least one friend who has succumbed to MRSA infection.

Like Pneumocystis pneumonia was in the 80s and 90s, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is rapidly becoming the #1 killer of people with HIV today.

Last year I wrote a detailed Medical Minute post about MRSA/ staph infections HERE. The reason I'm writing about this super bug again is to bring awareness to this scourge that is gaining a strong foothold in the black gay community.

As I wrote in my earlier post, those who are most at risk for MRSA infections are babies whose immune systems aren’t fully developed yet, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, such as HIV/AIDS patients.

With the advance of anti-viral medications over the last 15 years, HIV/AIDS is no longer considered the early death sentence that it once was. But unfortunately, due to the increase in MRSA cases, the tide is turning in the black gay community. For black people living with HIV today, MRSA/staph will soon be the #1 killer.

The reason you don't hear much about MRSA/staph in the news is because it's mainly killing young black gay males who continue to engage in high risk sexual behavior without using protection.

Poverty, neglect and denial are reasons why the black community accounts for the highest cases of HIV/AIDS infections today. The mere suggestion that black gays "wrap it up" brings on animosity and resistance.

MRSA causes soft tissue infections, but it can also spread to the lungs (leading to pneumonia) or to the bones and heart valves. Most MRSA skin infections are harmless and resolve within days. The infection generally starts out as small red bumps or tiny blisters, boils or spider bites on the legs and arms.

In the mid 1980s, MRSA was a hospital based bacteria. The bug was able to spread from patient to patient because nurses and doctors did not wash their hands between patients. Over the last 20 years, MRSA has leaped from the hospital setting into the surrounding communities.

Most of us are now colonized with MRSA/staph. MRSA/staph is not a threat to most healthy people. MRSA bacteria lives on our skin, but mainly in our nasal passages and throat.

Staph becomes a problem when it enters the blood stream through a break in the skin such as a cut or scratch. Once in the bloodstream, it is very difficult to treat because MRSA/staph is resistant to most antibiotics. In patients with HIV, it quickly spreads from the original site of infection to the lungs where it causes pneumonia, or to the internal organs.

Signs and Symptoms of MRSA include:

  • Swelling, redness and tenderness of the skin around the wound
  • Foul smelly, pus or drainage from wound
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Chills

This has been your Medical Minute.

More Info On The Web

Skin Problems and Treatments: Understanding MRSA - WebMD

MRSA - Mayo Clinic

DISCLAIMER:
Any medical information published on this blog is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with your personal physician or a health care provider.

Edited to correct Dariel's age. Originally posted on April 6, 2011 @ 9:24am

As you know, there was a series of explosions at several nuclear reactors in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami disasters.

One (or more) of the nuclear reactors is badly damaged and deadly radiation has escaped into the atmosphere.

If you're watching the news, then you know the the U.S. government is evacuating U.S. citizens to the United States from Japan. But there is more ominous news coming out of Japan that brings to mind the nuclear disaster that occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear plant inside Russia in 1986.

Technicians inside the plant were conducting tests on reactor #4 when a series of explosions rocked the building, exposing the reactor's core and sending radioactive dust and smoke spewing into the air. The fallout eventually spread all over Russia and Europe.

Neighboring countries had no idea what had occurred until their sensitive instruments began detecting high levels of radiation in the air above their cities. They knew that a nuclear accident had occurred somewhere, but they had no idea where because the Russians weren't talking.

On the other side of the globe, alarmed United States gov. officials asked NASA scientists to point their powerful satellite telescopes at Russia, whereupon they spied the giant plume of radiation smoke and debris rising into the atmosphere from the damaged nuclear reactor inside Russia. Only then did the Russians finally admit there had been an accident.

Thousands of people eventually died from radiation sickness, including 200,000 Russian civilians and soldiers who risked their lives to go into the nuclear plant to plug up the leaking reactor and decontaminate the site.

An entire town near the plant was evacuated and to this day it remains uninhabited. Wild animals and stray dogs and cats near the reactor and in the town were ordered shot and killed to prevent the spread of radiation.

I'm telling you this because there is a giant plume of radiation fallout from Japan drifting toward the west coast of the United States.

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A CBS News LA affiliate is backing away from a previous statement on its website that said CBS2 and KCAL reporter Serene Branson had "no indication of serious medical problems" after she slurred her words live on air.

But Branson apparently suffered a TIA (transient ischemic attack, or mini-stroke) while broadcasting live on air a few hours after the Grammy's ended on Sunday.

KCAL-9 posted the statement on the station's website yesterday, saying Branson was examined on the scene by paramedics and then given a ride home by a colleague.

Viewers -- including a neurosurgeon -- immediately criticized CBS for diminishing what could be a potentially serious, career threatening illness for Branson.

Dr. John Krakauer, associate professor of neurology and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, told CBS News. "Frankly, I would have admitted her."

On Monday night, anchors for KCAL-9 clarified the station's previous statement:

They said Branson had suffered from "health related problems" but that she is feeling better. They also said that Branson "followed up with a visit to the doctor for medical tests" and hopes to be back on the air soon.

Update:

Several online sources reported that KCBS reporter Serene Branson was rushed to a hospital in LA last night where she was diagnosed with a TIA, or what's known in the medical field as a trans ischemic attack (mini stroke).

A statement posted to KCBS' website disputes that:

"Serene Branson was examined by paramedics on scene immediately after her broadcast. Her vital signs were normal. She was not hospitalized. As a precautionary measure, a colleague gave her a ride home and she says that she is feeling fine this morning."

According to the LA Times, Branson told network executives that she is "feeling fine" and that there "was no indication of a serious medical problem."

But it is apparent that Branson suffered a TIA, or mini stroke, during her live broadcast from the Grammy's for KCBS last night.

She stumbled over her words after beginning by saying "Well, a very, very...," before mispronouncing the word ‘heavily’.

By downplaying the situation, KCBS missed a great opportunity to inform their viewers about the warning signs of a TIA.

I wrote a Medical Minute post about TIA's, which you can read here.

A TIA is sometimes referred to as a “warning sign” of an impending stroke. In Branson's case, the signal from her brain to her mouth was interrupted and she had trouble forming her words.

A TIA is categorized as a mini stroke because the symptoms lasts less than 24 hours. Most TIAs last less than 5 minutes. If the symptoms lasts longer than 24 hours it is referred to as a Cardiovascular Accident (CVA) or stroke. Some people experience a TIA and don’t even know it.

In Branson's case, she looked anxiously off camera before trying to continue to get the words out.

Originally posted on Feb. 14 @ 4:19 p.m.

A Florida teenager is in jail charged with burglarizing an air conditioning business.

When two deputies from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office responded to a silent alarm at the Windswept Appliance and Air Conditioning in Marathon, they found an unlocked office with a light inside. There they found 19-year-old Keith White in front of a computer monitor, pulling his pants up.

According to the officers, White, who was in a state of arousal, had been watching porn on an office computer, which was still playing on the monitor. White was charged with burglary, criminal mischief and theft.

Teenagers who can't control their sexual impulses may have a problem with obsessive-compulsive behavior. It can be particularly problematic when teens masturbate in public during the commission of a felony or other risky, illegal behaviors.

It can be a bit hard to determine whether your teen is a sex addict unless they are open about it or caught in the act. There are some things parents can do to help prevent their children from becoming addicted to sex. For one, parents should speak with their children about sex, especially if they have questions about it at a young age. Many parents tend to ignore these questions and will heavily sugarcoat or block it out altogether. Instead, parents should answer these questions during childhood, just as they would other questions children have about life.

If your teen compulsively acts on their sexual desires and continues to do it and won’t stop, there is a high chance that he or she could be addicted to sex. It is important that you seek help for your teenager as soon as possible to prevent him or her from getting worse. Sex addiction is known to cause lots of problems in the lives of sex addicts, including problems with relationships, families and friends. Financial problems and mental or emotional problems can also develop. Get help for your teen today with teen sex addiction treatment. Source

More Info On the Web

Teen Sex Addiction - Sex Addiction Rehab

Advice for Parents of Teen Porn Addicts - Focus On the Family

The appearance of 57-year-old pop star Cyndi Lauper's raw, red skin in paparazzi photos racing around the net today is probably the result of a professional chemical peel.

Chemical peels, also known as skin peel or derma-peel, has been around for ages. Many women get the treatment to soften and improve blemishes, skin spots, scars, wrinkles and the hard lines that appear in their faces as they get older.

Chemical peels have also been applied to treat severe acne in teens and young adults. The process uses a strong acidic (and non-acidic) chemical to strip away the damaged layers of the skin.

Increasingly, African American women are applying chemical skin peels at home to improve Hyperpigmentation, the skin damage caused by the sun.

Many black women complain of facial skin that is several shades darker than their necks and chests. This is caused by years of early exposure to the sun's UV-rays which significantly darkens our skin. This darkening of the skin can also lead to skin cancer among black women.

Chemical peels improves hyperpigmentation in African American women by lifting the layers of dead skin to reveal soft, smooth, lighter skin underneath. Even after successful skin peel treatment, many black women must apply a high SPF lotion or cream to their skin for the rest of their lives to prevent the sun's UV-rays from damaging their skin again.

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German adult film star Carolin Berger was never quite happy with her new breasts, even after undergoing 5 breast enhancement surgeries. So she opted for a sixth surgery hoping that would do the trick. Berger, who worked under the pr0n name Cora, died on Jan. 20 due to complications surrounding her sixth breast enhancement surgery.

She was 23.

This sad case illustrates the importance of educating the public about Body Image Disturbance (BID), or Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).

How many times have you heard a friend say that her nose is too wide or her breasts are too small, when they look perfectly proportioned to you?

Acording to AtHealth.com:

Body image may be seen as "disturbed" when one's self-evaluation of appearance is at such a level that it interferes with social and/or occupational functioning, or causes elevated levels of anxiety and depression in the individual.

J. Kevin Thompson, PhD, co-author of Exacting Beauty: Theory, Assessment, and Treatment of Body Image Disturbance, explains that people who suffer from this disorder tend to focus irrationally on one or more of the following body sites: hair, nose, skin, eyes, thighs, abdomen, breast size or shape, buttocks, lips, chin, scars, height, and teeth.

These women will spend their life savings (or beg, borrow or steal) to surgically "correct" the body part that they believe renders them imperfect.

Assuring the BDD sufferer that she looks great won't do any good because she suffers from a mental disorder that limits her ability to visualize herself realistically.

According to Dr. Thompson, "almost everyone has some body feature that they would like to modify." But in the case of the BDD sufferer, they will "go to great lengths to modify the body site (via surgery, exercise, diet, etc.) or cover the feature (via make-up, clothing)."

There is no known cause of BID or BDD, and no known factors that might predispose a person to BID or BDD.

But most sufferers tend to be attractive people who were frequently told how beautiful they were when they were growing up.

This is why it is SO important to instruct your family and friends not to praise your child or focus on your child's attractiveness because children at that age are unable to process or handle that information the way adults can.

Some adults feel uncomfortable when they receive compliments on their beauty. Imagine how a small child must feel.

This world is full of Halle Berry's and Cora's who are psychologically damaged by adults who were captivated by their beauty as children. Don't let this happen to your child.

This has been your Medical Minute.

PLEASE NOTE:
Any medical information published on this blog is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with your personal physician or a health care provider.

When I saw this pic of 30-year-old singer Beyonce walking beside her husband Jay Z in Australia, my eye was immediately drawn to the faint spider vein on the back of her right leg (behind her knee). It appears that Beyonce is in the early stages of developing varicose veins.

Right away, I saw a teaching opportunity to inform my young readers who may not know that varicose veins can affect women as early as age 30.


The following is from The Mayo Clinic website:

Varicose veins are gnarled, enlarged veins. Any vein may become varicose, but the veins most commonly affected are those in your legs and feet. That's because standing and walking upright increases the pressure in the veins of your lower body.

For many people, varicose veins and spider veins — a common, mild variation of varicose veins — are simply a cosmetic concern. For other people, varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort. Sometimes varicose veins lead to more-serious problems. Varicose veins may also signal a higher risk of other circulatory problems. Treatment may involve self-care measures or procedures by your doctor to close or remove veins.

Signs and symptoms

  • Veins that are dark purple or blue in color
  • Can form anywhere on your leg from your groin to your ankle
  • Veins that appear twisted and bulging; often like cords on your legs
  • An achy or heavy feeling in your legs
  • Burning, throbbing, muscle cramping and swelling in your lower legs
  • Worsened pain after sitting or standing for a long time
  • Itching around one or more of your veins

Treatment

Self-care — such as exercising, losing weight, not wearing tight clothes, elevating your legs, and avoiding long periods of standing or sitting — can ease pain and prevent varicose veins from getting worse. Compression stockings also may help.

Wearing compression stockings is often the first approach to try before moving on to other treatments. Compression stockings are worn all day. They steadily squeeze your legs, helping veins and leg muscles move blood more efficiently. The amount of compression varies by type and brand.

Disclaimer:
Any medical information published on this blog is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with your personal physician or a health care provider.

Image source

Doctors at Cambridge have made a remarkable new discovery that could mean a cure for the common cold virus. The new discovery could also signal the end of AIDS since HIV, which causes AIDS, is also a virus.

Medical students have always been taught that the virus, which causes twice as many deaths as cancer, could not be killed once it enters the body's cells. Therefore, the virus was believed to be immune to the body's own defenses and to our most powerful antibiotics and anti-viral drugs.

But not any more.

A study by a team of researchers from the world-famous Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge has shown that this textbook explanation of the limits of the human immune system is wrong because anti-viral antibodies can in fact enter the cell with the invading virus where they are able to trigger the rapid destruction of the foreign invader.

In a dramatic breakthrough that could affect millions of lives, scientists have been able to show for the first time that the body's immune defences can destroy the common cold virus after it has actually invaded the inner sanctum of a human cell, a feat that was believed until now to be impossible.

The discovery opens the door to the development of a new class of antiviral drugs that work by enhancing this natural virus-killing machinery of the cell. Scientists believe the first clinical trials of new drugs based on the findings could begin within two to five years.