Causes of Peyronie's Disease - Genetics Vs. Autoimmune




Is Peyronie's an Autoimmune Disease?
Recently I was asked about some information in my e-book regarding Peyronie's as an autoimmune disease.  This really got me thinking, and I had to do some research to try and arrive at a better understanding. There may be an autoimmune component to Peyronie's, but I don't find evidence in studies to support this as the initial cause of disease.  Autoimmune may not even be the proper term to use.  Some men have been thought to be  pre-disposed genetically to getting Peyronie's. 

Statistically, it was reported that more men of Northern European descent develop PD than any other race. There is also the possibility that Peyronie's is studied more, and not diagnosed or is reported less in some populations.  Many have heard the old stories of the Norsemen suffering from Dupuyentren's Contracture and  Peyronie's Disease. I had a doctor refer to Peyronie's as Viking's disease,
which would lend credence to Genetic pre-disposition.

Still the jury is out on this idea for now. Recent genetic testing has not revealed a predisposed population. More testing will have to be done to determine if some nationalities are predisposed.

Generally the overwhelming majority of men with Peyronie's have some kind of sexual trauma. The injury can be catastrophic in nature (Penile fracture) or it can be in the form of micro-injuries that are cumulative in nature and go unnoticed until the pain and scarring become apparent. 

Repeated tunical stress and micro vascular trauma are the most common and likely causes. Excessive bending during erections or blunt trauma can cause bleeding or delamination in the Tunica. Under normal healing processes injury results in bleeding, with clot formation occurring. Clotting is the bodies' response to stop the bleeding and fluid buildup. The clotting (thrombus) formation leads to the deposit of fibrin. The fibrin develops a mesh-work of fibers that attach at the injury site. These processes initiate a healing response that sends inflammatory cells to the injury site. Collagen and connective tissue begin to repair the damage, which is basically the same thing as scar tissue, after a cut heals. 

From injury to healing response there is something that can kick in; transforming growth factor. This growth factor sets off a continued growth of connective tissue, which results in the plaque/scar. Every body reacts differently to injury, that is evident in external scars as well as internal.  You see some people that have heavy keloid scars after surgery, where another person will have only mild scarring. Not all penile injury results in Peyronie's. It is related more to abnormal scar development in susceptible men. This is far more common than previously thought. Postmortem examinations found plaque in 23 out of 100 men examined. It is thought that 3-7% of men have plaques that cause curvature.

Another factor we should all think about with treatment of  Peyronie's, is dehydration. Drinking adequate water to hydrate your body, will also help to thin your blood, (reduce viscosity) and increase circulation. Dehydration causes your body to rob water from your blood. This will decrease the quantity and quality of blood that flows around the Tunica Albugenia, which is needed for healing and flushing of the plaque. The area where the plaque forms is referred to as hypovascular, which means there is low blood flow around the exterior of the tunica. Staying hydrated will help increase the circulation and aid in healing.

If you are using my 3 step battle plan to treat your Peyronie's, make sure and drink plenty of water, or you may not reap all of the benefits or optimum performance that the products provide.

Many men are not accustomed to drinking water regularly. It takes a dedicated effort, awareness, and vigilance to stay hydrated. I have to really stop and think about drinking water, it is a good habit, but for me it takes a conscious effort. 

Getting back to Genetics Vs. Autoimmune, it seems to me that Peyronie's is not like any other Autoimmune disease, where inflammation goes crazy and the body reacts by going into overdrive. It has similarities to Sclerderma, but on a microscopic scale in comparison. The idea of men of Northern European descent being more susceptible or prone to Peyronie's is probably due to the large scale and long term studies that have been done on mainly Caucasian populations.

In my own case, I was over supplementing with Glucosamine/Chondroitin, which was very popular at the time.  I also had cumulative sexual injuries. My genetics are a large part Northern European (35% Norwegian), so it seemed at the time to be a perfect storm in developing Peyronie's. Men from Northern European descent are not the only ones that get Peyronie's, this disease is no respecter of race or nationality . Penis injury is not relegated to one genetic group. Peyronie's disease has been found to be widely distributed throughout the world.

There are many other probable causes of Peyronie's, you can read about them on this older post: 
http://www.sexuallyhealthyman.com/2010/09/peyronies-disease-causes.html




It's that Time of Life - Inventory Time



It's that Time of Life Inventory Time

       I woke up this morning at 6:00 and turned on the coffee maker. As the kitchen filled with the wonderful aroma of brewing coffee, I was moved almost to tears.  Life is so good and so wonderful. I am so grateful to be alive. Since my stay in the hospital, and that wonderful experience of feeling God's presence, the smallest things resonate with me. I don't know what is happening exactly but I feel tears of joy welling up multiple times every day. I believe my mind is sending out healing messages to every part of my body. I raise my hands daily in surrender and feel so grateful for another day. Pain is part of the experience, muscle spasms are part of the experience, but so is my wife's loving affection, so is the delicious taste of coffee and fresh sweet fruit in the morning. Gratitude and joy are a vital part of my inventory, but there is also a down side to doing inventory and that is what I want to explore today with you.

       Today I was thinking about how a business tracks inventory. This is a vital part of any business.  They need to know when to order more materials. If they run out of inventory, they won't be able to sell their products. Without inventory a store is empty, why would you shop there, if they don't have anything to offer? That is why it is so vital for all of us to take a personal inventory. Let's ask ourselves some vital questions. 

      Why am I here? What is my purpose in life? What is the meaning of life? Whoa, Whoa, Whoa!! Slow down. I'm not a guru or spiritual master, Grasshopper. Let's ask some different vital questions. Questions closer to home, practical things we actually can do something about!! 

       Am I a grouch? Am I miserable to be around?  Ouch! that is painful if you come up with the wrong answer. Let's be honest, do we come home and complain? Are we short tempered and do we cut people off? These are things in our inventory that we can change. Self control is wonderful.  If you are in short supply of that, just stop when you feel something hurtful getting ready to come out of your mouth. Think about it and take a deep breath. It is probably better if those words are not spoken. 


       Inventory consists of listing items, then deciding what to do about them. In my work life, out in the field, there was this constant battle, to balance getting the job done, making the client happy, vs. getting taken advantage of. Sometimes harsh words were necessary, it was part of the job. I earned respect from my co-workers, my company and their clients, by standing up doing the right thing and being strong. 
Bringing that home is almost always counterproductive. A soft answer turns away anger. I have to pause and think before I talk a lot more these days. There is a balance to maintain, I had to learn to take off my work hat, when I came home.

       Impatience, sarcasm, procrastination, apathy, and many more are negative items that we can do something about.  Take inventory of the negative as well as the positive attributes in your life. Think of creative ways to improve and reduce your negative reactions, impulses and habits. Think also about your positive attributes and how you can increase and implement these characteristics to bring joy to those around you, as well as to yourself.


      

After the Warranty Expires - What's Next?



After the warranty expires - what's next!


           Wow, looks like the warranty on my body expired not too long after my 60th birthday. This is the first time in my life that I couldn't just go out and do whatever I wanted. Having Peyronie's was tough, but I could still lift heavy things. I was not stopped from working physically hard, whenever I needed to. In the past, if my back bothered me, it recovered quickly. I felt pretty much immortal most of the time. "Time Outs" were short, but this has been three months on time out, with no end in sight. 
 
Picture by Valeria-Zoncoll-Unsplash.com
      We all need to realize that we weren't born wearing underwear over our tights, and a cape. You and I are not really Super Heroes after all. If you don't keep your chin up, you will always be looking at the ground.  

So, maybe by now you realize there is no warranty in life

Making the best of every day will increase the quality and fullness of your life. 
       There is a time when we all need to look inward and examine what is important in life. Looking inward allows a guy to see his flaws and reflect on them. Looking inward helps a guy make a plan to change the things we are able to change. The best part of being human is our ability to change. We are not that primate swinging in the trees, who is unable to reason and do the things that make life truly excellent and worthwhile. We are much more than that, despite what your science teacher may have taught you in school.

       We need to do more than look inward. We need to look outward.  Look at your self in the mirror. You are responsible for your thoughts and actions. That guy you see in the mirror is the one that ultimately must take responsibility for how you will live. We all have to make those hard, gritty decisions in the tough times.  

       Will I curl up in a ball and give up? No!! I am going to get through this. I will fight my way forward, no matter what.

        Will I get another blood clot and die? I don't know or have any control over that. The best thing to do is spend every day like it may be my last, but also spend every day like I will live to be 120. That's when I plan to hop on the back of a Buffalo and ride off over the horizon. I might even do it naked!

       Today is my birthday (61 years young). My gorgeous wife bought me a pair of really nice Italian hiking boots. They are absolutely beautiful and they even have red laces, awesome!  I didn't open them and say, "Why did you get me these, I can barely walk right now!"  No, it's exciting to put them on and walk around the house. Soon, I will be wearing them and hiking in the Rocky Mountains.  Always have a goal and press toward that higher calling.


Taking a Spiritual Journey



Taking a Spiritual Journey
          The pain was almost unbearable, there was no way to get comfortable laying in that hospital bed.  I had to be careful not to pull out the IV line, and every four hours, somebody was poking me with a needle or checking my breathing.  It was a noisy place, and even in the middle of the night, there were lights and conversations going on.

                   

          The pain in my back was excruciating, so I decided to sit on the edge of the bed, and grab the over-bed table to lay my head on. Stupid me, I had refused the morphine drip, so the nurse gave me Percocet instead. Percocet was ineffective and constipating, it made me feel nauseas, so I asked for Tylenol.  Here I was in agony and unable to sleep or lie down.  I was overheating and on the edge of panic. What could I do?


          My sister had told me about deep breathing to calm down.  So I took deep breaths through my nose, counted to 10, then exhaled through my mouth.  After 10 or 15 breaths, the feeling of panic diminished.  I laid my head on the over-bed table and lifted my arms and opened my hands and began to pray, I asked God to touch me. My body was still wracked with pain but something supernatural was happening. I truly believe God in his mercy and grace sent his presence into that room. The feeling of being held and loved were undeniable. Despite the pain, my spirit was filled with Joy. This Joy could not have come naturally at a time like this. I began to weep. The tears poured over my cheeks in surrender to this love. A Love that I could not begin to earn or deserve. Here in this hospital room, the Creator of the Universe took time out of his busy schedule to commune with me. 

         The alarm on my bed went off about this time. It appeared to the nursing staff that I had left the bed. Faye the nurse came in.  She looked at me and saw the tears and asked if I was OK. She asked me if I was going to hurt myself. I told her I hurt enough already, and I didn't want to hurt myself and cause more pain. I explained the tears were from the gratitude and joy that filled my heart. Faye did not understand and shook her head and left me where I was.  She turned off the bed alarm, so that I would not set it off anymore.


          The next day a hospital case worker came in and asked me a lot of questions. She wanted to know if  I had self destructive feelings or wanted to hurt myself. She continued asking about any abusive relationships and asked some questions about suicide. Mental illness was next, did it run in my family or had I ever been diagnosed with a mental illness. 


          The answer to all of her questions was no, but then added that I was crazy in a good way, and explained to her about the thankfulness and joy I experienced. She laughed and said some kinds of crazy are good.


          Sometimes our circumstances are dire and overwhelming.  We find ourselves in situations that we cannot control, and we don't know what the final outcome will be. Change is hard and difficult to accept, but change is inevitable.  When I faced the darkness before me, there was not enough strength in myself. That night in the hospital, I reached out and was touched by eternity.


          This experience was not like the miracle when Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house." Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.


          I did not physically get up out of my hospital bed and leap about.  The miracle happened in my spirit.  My heart was leaping about and was full of joy. That experience in the hospital was the start of my new journey. This is a new journey to wholeness, wellness, discovery, and a new start.