Severe conditions such as heart disease and stroke affect men more than women. Men’s health starts declining around ages 40-50 because men are less likely to eat a healthy diet or seek assistance for treatment. However, many illnesses and conditions are preventable through lifestyle changes, such as diet, exercise, and sleep.
Learn how to identify, prevent, and treat three common men’s health concerns.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Heart Disease
- How to Identify Heart Disease
- Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
- Treatment for Heart Disease
- How to Identify a Stroke
- Reduce Your Risk of a Stroke
- Treatment for a Stroke
3. Type 2 Diabetes
- How to Identify a Stroke
- Reduce Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes
4. Resources for Men’s Health Concerns
- Heart Disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
5. C & A Scientific’s Commitment
How to Identify Heart Disease
Heart disease is any condition that impacts the heart, such as arrhythmias(irregular heartbeats), coronary artery disease, or heart valve disease. Heart disease is known as the “silent killer” because symptoms may not show until it is too late. For example, arrhythmia happens quickly, causing blood to stop pumping to the rest of the body. Death can occur if your heartbeat does not return to normal within minutes.
Heart failure and heart attack are both heart diseases. Heart failure is a chronic condition that gradually occurs. Your heart fails when the heart becomes too weak to pump blood to your body. A heart attack occurs when an artery connected to the heart suddenly cannot provide blood and oxygen. Heart attacks can lead to heart failure.
Symptoms of Heart Attack
- Heart palpitations (racing heart)
- Chest discomfort or pain
- Upper body pain: shoulder, back, jaw, or neck
Symptoms of Heart Failure
- Swelling in the neck, stomach, or legs
- Troubles breathing
Now that we have identified common symptoms of heart disease, what can you do to reduce your risk?
Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
Many lifestyle choices can increase the risk of developing heart disease and conditions. For example, eating unhealthily, drinking heavily, smoking, and not exercising increases your risk. These unhealthy habits lead to high blood pressure, cholesterol, and elevated stress levels.
For more information on high blood pressure and cholesterol, check out our blogs, A Guide to a Healthy Heart: Improve Cholesterol Today and How to Manage and Reduce Your Risk of High Blood Pressure.
Here are three ways from our .
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthier diet is an excellent first step toward improved heart health! There are several ways you can optimize your diet for improved heart health. These methods include but are not limited to adding more vegetables and fruits, reducing sodium, limiting unhealthy fats, and implementing portion control.
Here is a list of foods you should eat on a heart-healthy plan:
- Whole grains: brown rice, oatmeal
- Protein: eggs, tuna, lean meat, kidney beans
- Fruits: prunes, oranges, apples, bananas
- Vegetables: kale, spinach, broccoli
- Oils and fats: Olive oil, almonds, salmon, sunflower seeds, avocados
- Sodium: reduce salt intake
- Added sugars: corn syrup, glucose, fructose
- Saturated fats: fatty meats, whole dairy products, lard
- Alcohol: increases blood pressure
Control portion sizes using a small plate or bowl to help you maintain your portion intake. Heart-healthy diets are essential in improving heart health, as unhealthy diets can be one of the leading causes of heart disease.
Exercise is excellent for the heart because it helps lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and regulate blood sugar. It can also help the heart’s arteries dilate more readily.
Here is a list of exercises to improve your heart health today:
- Stretching: allows your body to do exercises that help your heart, such as aerobics and strength training. Always stretch before any workout.
- Aerobics: lowers heart rate and blood pressure and improves how your heart pumps. Cycle, walk, or swim for at least 30 minutes every day.
- Strength Training: combining strength training with aerobics raises your good cholesterol. Strength work reduces body fat, which contributes to your risk of heart issues.
Exercise also allows the body to go into a state of ischemic preconditioning, which can reduce damage to the heart by 50% in the case of a heart attack later in life.
3. Get Better Sleep
Sleep is critical for improving heart health. Most adults require at least seven hours of sleep each night. Consistently receiving poor sleep can increase the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke. There are several ways to improve the length and quality of your sleep.
Improve your sleep by:
- Sticking to a regular sleep schedule.
- Getting enough physical activity early in the day.
- Avoiding artificial light.
- Not eating or drinking close to bedtime.
- Keeping your room dark and cool.
Continue reading to discover the fourth way to protect your heart health on our blog, American Heart Month!
Check out our “Break Habits-Get Healthy with 3 New Year’s Tips” blog for more exercise, nutrition, and sleep information.
Other conditions such as diabetes and obesity also increase your chance of heart disease. Consult your doctor today to find out if you are at a higher risk of heart disease than others.
Treatment for Heart Disease
Treatments for heart disease vary depending on the case and patient. Here are some solutions and medications that are commonly used to treat heart disease.
Use a pacemaker to regulate your heart rate and rhythm. Pacemakers can help treat heart failure by sending impulses to the heart.
Use a stent, a small tube, to open your arteries and reduce chest pain. Stents are a standard treatment for heart attacks.
This medication treats high blood pressure by slowing your heart rate. It also is a treatment method for congestive heart failure.
Aspirin is not just a pain reliever. Aspirin is also beneficial in managing heart disease.
Find more information on treatments for heart disease here.
Did you know that 80% of strokes are preventable? Learn how to identify a stroke to prevent brain damage, disability, and death.
How to Identify a Stroke
A stroke occurs when the brain does not have access to blood. Without a blood supply, our brains cannot obtain the nutrients and oxygen it needs, and our brain cells will die. If your brain bleeds from a vessel break due to illness or injury, this can also lead to a stroke.
Symptoms of a Stroke
Although stroke symptoms can build up over days, they progress quickly and occur suddenly. Look out for:
- Severe headache
- Numbness in the body, especially on one side
- Dizziness or a lack of balance
- Issues with eyesight
- Troubles talking and understanding speech
- Extreme weakness
How to Check if Someone is Having a Stroke
Use the acronym FAST to remember how to test if someone is having a stroke.
Face: When they smile, does one side of their face sag?
Arms: When they raise their arms, does one pull downward?
Speech: When speaking, is their speech unrecognizable or slurred?
Time: Quickly act if you answer “yes” to any of these questions. Call 9-1-1 immediately. Time is of the essence in the case of a stroke.
Reduce Your Risk of Stroke
Risk factors, including age, ethnicity and race, and genetics, can contribute to your likelihood of stroke. Over 70% of strokes occur in individuals over 65. African American, American Indian, Hispanic, and Alaska Native individuals are more likely to experience a stroke. Your chances increase if someone in your family has a history of strokes. Those with the rare blood type AB are also more inclined to have a stroke.
The following medical conditions can increase your risk of having a stroke. Consult with your doctor to learn ways to manage your condition and reduce your risk of experiencing a stroke.
If you have experienced a stroke to any degree, your risk of having one again increases.
Sugar building up in the blood limits the oxygen and nutrients in the brain. Discuss ways to manage your diabetes with your doctor.
Heart conditions cause blood clots, leading to stroke.
It causes high blood pressure and cholesterol, which leads to strokes.
High Blood Pressure
A stroke is likely to occur when the pressure is high in your vessels and arteries. Check blood pressure frequently to reduce your risk of a stroke.
The number one cause of stroke is high cholesterol. Cholesterol build-up can narrow the arteries, causing a stroke. Get your blood tested today to reduce your risk.
Learn how to manage cholesterol on our blog, A Guide to a Healthy Heart: Improve Cholesterol Today.
Other Lifestyle Factors
- Taking blood thinners
- Developing bad habits: using hard drugs, oversleeping, drinking alcohol, eating unhealthily, and not getting enough exercise.
- Being overweight
- Maintaining high levels of depression, stress, and anxiety
Learn how to develop and maintain good habits and lifestyle choices on our blog, Break Habits- Get Healthy with 3 New Year’s Tips.
Treatment for a Stroke
Types of Strokes
Ischemic Stroke High blood pressure and type 2 diabetes can contribute to your risk of an ischemic stroke.
Ischemic Stroke Treatment
Tissue plasminogen activator, or , is a medicine given within 3-4 hours of symptoms that separates blood clots. Those taken to the hospital in enough time are less likely to develop a disability and recover easier.
A medical procedure, such as a thrombectomy, may be necessary. This procedure clears your blood vessels of any clots or plaque. Then, doctors use angioplasty, a procedure to clear arteries and improve blood flow to the heart, and a stent retriever to allow blood to flow back to your brain.
Hemorrhagic Stroke is High blood pressure, severe head injuries, or tumors can cause a hemorrhagic stroke.
Hemorrhagic Stroke Treatment
Vitamin K assists in stopping bleeding. Surgery helps to remove any arteries that may break open or blood clots to reduce swelling. You may need a blood transfusion or draining to replace or clear blood, depending on your condition.
3. Type 2 Diabetes
Men are more likely to have type 2 diabetes than women because they store higher fat levels in their stomachs. Unlike a heart attack or stroke, type 2 diabetes symptoms progress slowly. You could have diabetes right now and be unaware of it. However, learning how to identify type 2 diabetes can reduce your risk of developing further diseases and illnesses.
How to Identify Type 2 Diabetes
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body can’t regulate and use sugar, or glucose, for energy. When you can’t use glucose, your blood has high sugar levels which can cause a variety of issues for your immune, circulatory, and nervous systems.
How Does Type 2 Diabetes Occur?
Overweight and obese individuals are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Eating foods high in sugar and trans and saturated fats raises visceral fat, increasing blood sugar levels.
Although the initial cause of type 2 diabetes is unknown, two ways explain how it manifests.
- Your cells don’t receive enough sugar because they resist insulin.
- Blood sugar levels are high due to the pancreas struggling to produce insulin.
In turn, glucose remains in your blood, and your body cannot use it for energy.
Now that you know how type 2 diabetes occurs, learn how to identify the symptoms below.
Common Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
- Numb hands or feet
- Extreme thirst and hunger
- Blurry vision
- Unintentional weight loss
- Constant urination
If you experience any of the above symptoms, consult your doctor for more information about diabetes and your next steps.
Reduce Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
After 35, your risk increases due to decreased pancreatic function and becoming resistant to insulin. Although children and adults can have type 2 diabetes, it is more prevalent in older adults. If one of your immediate family members has type 2 diabetes, you are more likely to develop the disease. Certain races are more susceptible to type 2 diabetes, such as Pacific Islanders, African American, Hispanic, and Native American individuals.
Risk Factors: Lifestyle Choices
- Low HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol thatsoaks up cholesterol in the blood and returns it to the liver)
- High blood sugar levels
- Not exercising
Type 2 Diabetes Complications for Men
Type 2 diabetes can cause men to have an overactive bladder, urinary tract infections, erectile dysfunction, and low testosterone levels.
Not controlling your blood sugar levels can also lead to other health issues, such as the following:
- Sleep apnea
- Nerve damage
- Heart disease
- Fungal infections
- Kidney disease
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes
To maintain your blood sugar levels, implement a healthy lifestyle by doing the following:
- Exercise: complete at least two and a half hours of moderate exercise weekly. Not exercising can weaken your muscle cells, making them insensitive to insulin.
- Diet:. Eat foods low in fat and high in fiber. Limit excess sugar and empty calories.
For more information regarding heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes, check out our resources guide below.
Resources for Men’s Health Concerns
For Heart Disease:
- “Men and Heart Disease.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14 Oct. 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/men.htm
- “Warning Signs of a Heart Attack.” Heart.Org, 21 Mar. 2023, https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/warning-signs-of-a-heart-attack
- “Treatment and Care for Heart Disease.” WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/heart-disease-treatment-care
- “Choose Heart-Healthy Foods.” National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, 24 Mar. 2022, https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/heart-healthy-living/healthy-foods
- “What Is a Stroke?” National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, 24 Mar. 2022, https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/stroke
- “Stroke Signs and Symptoms.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4 May 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/signs_symptoms.htm
- “Type 2 Diabetes.” Mayo Clinic, 14 Mar. 2023, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20351193
- “How Type 2 Diabetes Affects Men.” Keck Medicine of USC, 7 June 2022, https://www.keckmedicine.org/blog/how-type-2-diabetes-affects-men/
- “Type 2 Diabetes.” Mayo Clinic, 14 Mar. 2023, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351199
C & A Scientific’s Commitment
At C & A Scientific, we aim to provide medical information to improve the health and minds of people worldwide. For over 30 years, we have worked in developing and manufacturing over 700 medical and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) products for distributors and retailers.
For more information about the products we provide and what we do, visit our About Us section here!