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WHY ONE TESTICLE MAY BE BIGGER THAN THE OTHER.

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It is entirely normal for one testicle to be bigger than the other. Many people find that the right testicle is slightly larger and the left hangs lower.

A difference in size is usually nothing to worry about, though it can occasionally indicate a problem. If a testicle is painful or changes shape, a person should see their doctor as soon as possible.

In this article, we look at reasons why one testicle may be bigger than the other. We discuss complications, treatments, and explain how to perform a testicular exam at home.

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Causes

There are several reasons why one testicle may be bigger. These include:

Epididymitis

The epididymis is a duct behind the testes. Epididymitis occurs when this duct becomes inflamed, usually as a result of infection. This condition can be a sign of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) chlamydia.

See a doctor if the following symptoms are present:

  • pain when urinating

  • discharge from the penis

  • inflammation in the testicle

Orchitis

Orchitis happens when an infection causes inflammation in the testicle. It may occur after a person catches the mumps virus.

If an individual experiences testicular pain and suspects that orchitis is the cause, they should see a doctor. This condition can damage the testicles.

Epididymal cyst

A cyst is a thin sac filled with fluid. Epididymal cysts may occur when there is excess fluid in the duct. They may also form while the epididymis is developing.

These cysts are harmless and usually painless. No treatment is necessary, and they will often go away on their own. If epididymal cysts cause discomfort, however, they can be surgically removed.

A hydrocele

A hydrocele refers to a sac that forms around the testicles and fills with fluid.

While it usually does not require treatment, a hydrocele can indicate inflammation, in which case a person should see a doctor.

A varicocele

When the veins within the scrotum become enlarged, this is called a varicocele.

It usually does not require treatment if there are no additional symptoms, but a varicocele can cause a low sperm count.

Testicular torsion

Testicular torsion occurs when the testicle rotates and the spermatic cord is twisted.

This can cause testicular pain that is severe and lasting. If this pain follows an injury, it may subside then suddenly return.

Testicular torsion is severe and should be treated as an emergency. The twisting of the cord can reduce or block blood flow to the testicle, and without treatment the testicle may need to be removed.

Testicular cancer

Cancerous cells can appear and multiply in the testicle. A doctor should investigate lumps or new growths in the area as soon as possible.

According to the American Cancer Society, testicular cancer is uncommon, developing in about 1 in 250 males. It is most prevalent in young and middle-aged men and can usually be treated successfully.

Several signs and symptoms can indicate a problem with testicular health.

If any of the following symptoms occur with an enlarged testicle, seek medical attention as soon as possible:

  • a sharp pain or ache in or around the testicles

  • swelling of the testicles

  • redness

  • discharge from the penis

  • trouble passing urine

  • pain in the back or lower abdomen

  • swelling or tenderness in the breast tissue

A doctor will help to identify the underlying cause by examining the scrotum and testicles for lumps or abnormalities. If they suspect testicular cancer, they will take a blood test and ask about family history.

Other tests a doctor may recommend include:

  • a urine test to check for infections and kidney problems

  • an ultrasound to look for growths and check blood flow

  • a CT scan to look for testicular abnormalities

If an underlying condition is diagnosed, a doctor may prescribe medication or other treatment.

Treatment

Treatment for differently sized testicles depends on the cause. Below are common underlying conditions and their treatments.

Epididymitis. If chlamydia is the cause of epididymitis, a doctor will usually prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat the infection, and may recommend elevating the scrotum to reduce swelling.

Orchitis. If an STI is causing orchitis, a doctor will usually prescribe medication to fight the infection. Common medications include ceftriaxone (Rocephin) or azithromycin (Zithromax). Painkillers and an ice pack may help to relieve discomfort.

Testicular torsion. Testicular torsion requires treatment as soon as possible. A doctor may be able to untwist the testicle, in a procedure called manual detorsion, but surgery is often necessary to prevent reoccurrence. A delay in treatment increases the likelihood that the twisted testicle will need to be removed.

Testicular cancer. A doctor may recommend removing the testicle where the cancer is present. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination may help to reduce or destroy cancer cells. If the cancer has spread, or if it originated in another part of the body, additional treatments and surgeries may be necessary.

It is very important to monitor the size and shape of testicles so that any change can be detected.

Perform a self-examination once a month. Be on the lookout for lumps, growths, pain, swelling, and other abnormalities.

A healthy testicle is smooth, and closer to egg-shaped than round. Lumps or abnormal protrusions should be investigated by a doctor right away.

To perform a testicular self-exam:

  • Ensure that the scrotum is loose before beginning.

  • Carefully and slowly roll the testicle between the fingers and thumb.

  • Thoroughly check the surface of each testicle, looking for lumps, areas that feel tender or sore, protrusions, swelling, or changes in size.

  • Feel along the bottom of the scrotum, reaching the epididymis, which should feel like several grouped tubes.

Check both testicles at least once a month.

Having differently sized testicles is common.

If one testicle becomes noticeably bigger, most underlying causes are easily treated. The sooner a person consults a doctor, the better the outlook is likely to be.

If other symptoms are present, such as pain, lumps, or swelling, seek medical attention right away.

While a diagnosis of cancer is concerning, the outlook for testicular cancer is good. Treatment and support can help a person and their family to deal with this condition.

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Health & Lifestyle

Effects of Hot baths on inflammation, glucose metabolism

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According to new research, a hot bath could have effects that extend way beyond mental relaxation. According to the authors, regular hot baths might reduce inflammation and improve metabolism.

Over recent years, hot baths, saunas, and other so-called passive heating therapies have received growing attention from scientists.

Scientists now believe they offer some potential benefits, including improved vascular function and sleep.

Because hot baths are low cost and unlikely to cause significant side effects, understanding any benefits that a hot bath might have could be a quick win for medical science.



Recently, researchers set out to understand whether hot bath immersion could have an impact on metabolic disorders, such as diabetes.

 Almost 20 years ago, a paper concluded that hot water immersion of individuals with type 2 diabetes enhanced insulin sensitivity. However, it is still unclear how this might occur.

In the most recent study, the researchers dug a little deeper into the mechanisms at work. They theorized that the influence of a hot bath over glucose metabolism might revolve around the inflammatory response.

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Inflammation and insulin resistance

There is some evidence that chronic, low-level inflammation increases insulin resistance. In other words, inflammation reduces a cell’s ability to respond to insulin, potentially contributing to the development of diabetes.

Conversely, exercise has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity — meaning that the body has better control over glucose levels.

Although doctors often recommend exercise to reduce the risk of developing metabolic disorders, not everyone can exercise — perhaps due to health conditions or physical capacity. It is, therefore, essential to find alternative ways to improve insulin sensitivity for these people.

Exercise, as with other physical stressors, sparks a brief inflammatory response, followed by a more extended anti-inflammatory response. The researchers wanted to see if a different type of physical stressor — a hot bath — might have a similar effect on the immune system.

For this study, the researchers investigated the impact of a hot bath on overweight, mostly sedentary men. The findings were published recently in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

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Hot bath intervention

Each participant immersed themselves in a water bath set at 102°F (39°C) for 1 hour. Scientists took blood just before and after the bath, and then 2 hours later.

Also, the researchers charted the participants’ blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate every 15 minutes.

 Over the following 2 weeks, the participants had a further 10 hot water immersions.

The researchers found that a single hot water immersion caused a spike of interleukin — a marker of inflammation. Similarly, there was an increase in nitric oxide (NO) production.

The spike in NO is important because it causes blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure. NO also improves glucose intake into tissues, and scientists think it has anti-inflammatory properties.



As expected, the 2-week intervention saw a reduction in fasting blood sugar and inflammation. In the same way that exercise influences inflammation, the researchers saw an initial increase followed by a long-term decrease in inflammation.

The researchers also write that it “might have implications for improving metabolic health in populations unable to meet the current physical activity recommendations.”

It is important to note that the people who took part in the study did report some discomfort. This was either due to the length of time that they were required to stay in the bath or the high temperature. Future research might investigate whether shorter periods or lower temperatures might have similar benefits.

Of course, hot baths alone cannot treat metabolic disorders, but they may be a simple, cost-effective intervention that can run alongside other treatments.

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Health & Lifestyle

Experts recommend natural remedies to Diabetes.

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Medical practitioners have recommended some natural remedies that could curb the increasing rate of diabetes in the country.

The practitioners offered the remedies in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

They spoke against the backdrop of this year’s World Diabetes Day, which is celebrated globally on November 14.



The practitioners said the awareness had become imperative because diabetes is a condition that impairs the body’s ability to process blood glucose.

“Diabetes usually is prevalent in middle aged and older adults but now becoming common in children. Adults are still at the highest risk than children,’’ Dr. Iorwuese Charles told NAN on phone.

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He said that diabetes has to do with an increase sugar level in the blood caused by an absolute deficiency of insulin that affects one out of three adults.

Charles, a medical practitioner at Police Hospital Ado, Ekiti State, said that diabetes is a group of diseases that usually ends up in too much amount of sugar in the blood.

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He advised families to always maintain good lifestyle habits to curb diabetes in their homes.

Charles said the symptoms in diabetes include increased frequency of urination, increase thirst, dry mouth, increase in eating with weight loss.

Other signs, he said, are: “Blurring of vision, tiredness, fatigue, mood swings, irritability, frequent urination at night and headaches.”

According to him, the symptoms of diabetes are endless with no permanent cure but with proper maintenance one could live a healthy life.

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