A Brief about Strokes in Men

To understand what a stroke is, you need to understand that the brain cells require a steady supply of oxygen to continue functioning. When this supply is restricted in any form it can result in the death of brain cells, a condition referred to as a stroke. The consequences of a stroke can vary, and while some people do mange to survive their strokes with little or no after effects, for some the effects can be devastating and long lasting; and strokes can even lead to loss of life.

 

In the U.S, strokes account for the third largest cause of deaths, with close to 150,000 people dying due to strokes each year. In addition, strokes are also the biggest factor that leads to cases of long term disability. Close to 800,000 people suffer from a stroke every year in the U.S alone, and almost a quarter of them comprise of recurring attacks.

 

Types of Strokes:

Strokes can be classified under two primary categories, and these include ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic stroke.

Ischemic strokes: This is when an internal blood clot forms within the blood vessels inside the brain, or a blood clot has travelled to the brain from elsewhere in the body. An ischemic stroke occurs when this clot results in the blockage of blood flow. Know that more than 80% of all strokes fall under this category.

Hemorrhagic strokes: This is when there is a rupture or a break in the brain’s blood vessels, and this can lead to the leakage of blood into the brain’s tissue causing it damage. Brain aneurysms (thinning or weakening of the blood vessel walls) and high blood pressure are amongst the most common causes that lead to hemorrhagic strokes.

 

Stroke Symptoms:

The symptoms of strokes can vary from person to person, and here are some of the most common symptoms.

  • Losing or dimming of vision in either eye
  • Difficulty in talking, slurred speech, or complete loss of speech
  • One side of the face/arms/legs going numb
  • Not being able to understand what’s being said
  • Feeling unsteady while standing or walking
  • Sudden onset of an unexplained severe headache

 

What can Cause Strokes?

The causes for strokes are varied. Age is looked upon as a crucial factor, with almost 75% of all strokes occurring in those over 65. The risk is said to start increasing considerably after you cross the 55 year mark. It is also believed that almost half of all strokes can be prevented. There are various risk factors associated with strokes, and here’s a list of the most common.

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Unchecked diabetes
  • Excessive intake of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Obesity

 

In addition, the existence of medical conditions like coronary artery disease and carotid can also increase the risk. Gender also plays a role, wherein while men have a higher number of strokes, strokes in women are often more dangerous. Race and family history can also be factors that increase one’s risk of suffering from a stroke.

 

The Treatment:

Treatment would depend on the kind of stroke. For ischemic strokes, the primary aim is to restore the flow of blood by removing the blockage. Tissue plasminogen activators, in such scenarios, can help restore the flow of blood by breaking up the clots if used within a given time frame. Antiplatelet agents like aspirin are known to help minimize the risk of recurring strokes. Treatment for hemorrhagic strokes generally involves surgery.

 

So, ensure that you lead a healthy lifestyle, and that in itself should help minimize the risk of your suffering from a stroke. And in the event that you feel you or someone else is suffering from a stroke, make sure that you call for medical help immediately. Realize that immediate help in such scenarios can help save lives.

 

 

Depression

Depression

A Brief about Mental Health

Mental health is wide-ranging and incorporates aspects like our thoughts, their converting into actions, and how we go about our everyday lives. As a result, our mental health plays a key role in how we deal with other people, how we deal with stress, and how we go about in making choices. Ignoring mental health problems can lead to conditions like chronic depression and even require institutionalization.

Experts in the field of mental health are of the opinion that mental illnesses/disorders can occur to anybody, irrespective of factors like age, sex, ethnicity, etc. In the United Kingdom, more than 250,000 people are institutionalized every year, and in excess of 4,000 people commit suicide. In the United States, more than 55 million people suffer from mental conditions every year, and this is more than one fourth of their entire adult population. In most parts of the ‘developed’ world, mental conditions make for the leading cause of adult disability (in between the age of 15 and 44). All these people come from diverse backgrounds.

Common Mental Health Issues:

A majority of the mental conditions can be classified under anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and schizophrenia disorders.

  • Anxiety Related: They account for the most commonly occurring mental health problems, and this is where one suffers from severe anxiety or fears linked to particular situations and/or objects. Examples include all phobias, post traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and panic disorder.
  • Mood Related: People who suffer mood related problems generally complain of depression and/or unexplained elation. Examples include mild chronic depression, major depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder.
  • Schizophrenia Related: Although schizophrenia was first looked upon as a single condition, it is now being studied as a group of illnesses which are related. The onset of schizophrenia symptoms generally occur in between in ages of 15 and 25, and the sufferer can have problems in processing information coupled with fragmented and/or distorted thinking.

What Causes Mental Health Disorders?

In looking at the causes of mental health disorders, the primary factors comprise of psychological, environmental, and biological aspects. These can include a persons’ genetic disposition, the presence of other diseases/ailments, individualistic traits, the neighbourhood one lives in, lifestyle, relationships, going through a life altering situation, etc. Drug and alcohol abuse can also be a factor.

Symptoms to Look For:

Symptoms for mental health problems can be as diverse as the problems themselves. Also, detecting these symptoms in the early stages can be a challenge, especially if they’re not pronounced. Feeling lonely, withdrawing from society, and not wanting to spend time doing activities that were interesting in the past, can indicate an assortment of problems. A rising temper and irritability can also be indications of a problem. When it comes to particular problems, symptoms can be quite specific, although it is not necessary for all patients of one condition to display the same symptoms.

The Treatment:

Treating mental health disorders can involve the use of medication, psychotherapy as well as alternative therapies. Antidepressants are commonly used to treat depression, and the treatment of schizophrenia disorders generally requires the use of antipsychotics. Psychotherapy can involve the implementation of various therapies such as family therapy, systematic therapy, or cognitive behavioural therapy. Alternative therapies like meditation, music therapy, animal therapy, etc. can also help.

Understand that staying physically fit and ignoring your mental health can lead to considerable problems in your life. For your overall wellbeing, it is important that you stay refreshed and energized at all times, not just physically, but mentally as well. Also, ensure that you do not hesitate to seek professional help at the very onset of a problem, and this is simply because addressing mental health problems is much simpler in the early stages.

Oral Health and Why it is Important

Not many of us pay too much attention to oral health, and there are scores of people out there who continue postponing their visits to the dentists even when they know they have a problem. The result, conditions are diagnosed rather late, and lead to a variety of complications. For example, a simple cavity, if left untreated, could result in your losing the tooth in question over a period of time, and you’d either ending up requiring a root canal treatment or an implant. That’s not all, as bad oral hygiene can even lead to oral cancer.

 

Consider this. 23% American adults in between the ages of 20 and 64 years live with untreated cavities. More than 60% of all adults visit the dentist at least once each year. Almost 25% of the adult population over the age of 60 don’t have any natural teeth left. 90% adults over 40 suffer from tooth decay. More than 15% adults are affected with some form of gum disease. These figures simply go to show that oral health is not something that you should be taking lightly.

 

Common Oral Health Problems:

There are a number of oral problems that you can be affected by, and these include problems that affect your teeth, jawbone, gums, as well as all supporting tissues. Some common oral health problems include:

  • Cavities (dental caries)
  • Periodontal (gum) diseases
  • Cleft lip
  • Taste disorders
  • Sjögren’s Syndrome (mainly occurs in women)
  • Oral Cancer
  • Burning Mouth Syndrome (common in postmenopausal women)
  • Fluoride deficiency

 

The Link between Oral Health and Other Problems:

It is often said that one’s oral health can be a good indication of other problems that a person is suffering from. Know that there is more to oral health than cavities and extractions. Various medical conditions like AIDS, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. are linked to problems surrounding oral health.

 

People suffering from AIDS have a weak immune system and this can make eating a challenge especially if there is any kind of infection in the mouth. Different types of cancer can lead to the formation of sores in the mouth which can be quite irritating. In case you suffer from a heart disease, there’s a good chance that’d you’d be prescribed a course of antibiotics before particular kinds of dental treatment are undertaken. Diabetes is believed to increase the risk of contracting gum diseases, and can also cause ulcers, soreness, infections, dryness in the mouth, etc.

 

Treating Dental Problems:

A dentist would chart out a treatment plan for you only after having diagnosed your condition first. In the case of a cavity, a simple filling will do the trick. When an infection gets to the root of the tooth, a root canal treatment is suggested. If a tooth cannot be saved, getting an implant is an option. For periodontal problems, you might be required to take antibiotics, and could also require some kind of maintenance therapy. Cleaning and whitening your teeth can involve bleaching as well as non-bleaching procedures. And not to forget, dental treatment also involves a variety of surgeries and grafts.

 

Practising Good Oral Hygiene:

Know that most dental problems can be avoided if you take effective preventive measures, and this is where oral health education comes into the picture. Equipped with the knowledge of what can help, you can definitely save on a lot of strife as well as money. Simple things like brushing your teeth a couple of time each day and flossing regularly; using fluoride based dental products; eating healthy; etc. can do wonders for your oral health.

 

And if you do feel that there’s a dental problem that’s starting to niggle you, make sure you get to the dentist straightway. After all, there’s little chance of the problem going away on its own, and a pretty good chance of it getting much worse.

 

 

Accidental Injuries – An Overview

In case of accidental injuries, although there is no telling what to expect and when, taking specific preventive measures go a long way. For instance, if you’re driving on the highway, not over speeding is the simplest preventive measure you can take. If you intend to spend a night in the forest, knowing a thing or two about how to deal with stings and bites will certainly help. Know that while an accidental injury might leave you with a simple concussion or a couple of stitches; it can also leave you severely impaired or dead.

 

The Numbers:

Accidental injuries account for the largest factor that leads to deaths in between the ages of 1 to 21. Overall, it is the fifth leading cause of death in humans. The leading causes of loss of life include road accidents, burns, poisoning, falls, and drowning. In terms of accidental injuries reported to ERs, the leading causes include road accidents, acts of violence, and falls. In the U.S, more than 26 million people head to the ER every year owing to accidental injuries, and they result in over 100,000 deaths annually.

 

Better Safe than Sorry:

When it comes to accidental injuries, like we said before, there are things you can do to help minimize the risk factor. Whilst driving, you should ensure that you do not drive under the influence of alcohol or any other drug; you should always stay within the required speed limit; you should always wear your seatbelt; you should never take or make phone calls; etc. If you’re working around electricity, and if you cannot switch off the mains, you should be particularly careful. If you are working at a height, the use of a safety harness is called for. Construction workers, in particular, need to abide by strict safety norms.

 

First Aid:

The administration of effective first aid is crucial in any serious accidental injury. Basic first aid knowledge can help immensely in such situations, and can even help you save a life. Basic first aid in terms of accidental injuries would involve your knowing what to in cases involving trauma, bleeding, fractures, head injuries, stings & bites, burns, etc. This information will help you understand, not only what you can do, but also what you shouldn’t. For instance, in case of an embedded object in the body, it is best not to try and dislodge it on your own as this can lead to more complications, and this is best left to trained doctors and surgeons.

 

Treating Accidental Injuries:

Given the wide diversity of possible injuries, the treatments are equally diverse. Burn victims are often kept in special burn wards with regulated temperatures, and this helps speed up the recovery process. Stomach washes are required in most cases of poisoning.  How a facture is treated depends on how badly the bone is affected; wherein a simple cast generally works for hairline fractures, and major ones can require surgery. Head injuries are often the toughest to deal with.

 

As you can see, there is a wide spectrum of accidental injuries, and this makes it all the more important for you to exercise some caution in the way you go about your day to day life. Prevention, after all, is definitely better than cure, and can also spare you a whole lot of pain, discomfort, and expenditure.

Asthma

Asthma

Mesothelioma / Asbestosis

Mesothelioma / Asbestosis

A Brief about Respiratory Problems in Men

Our hectic lifestyles combined with growing levels of pollution do put quite a strain on our bodies, and makes our respiratory system susceptible to a range of problems. Men, in today’s, world, complain of a variety of respiratory diseases, and these include simple common colds and more complex conditions like COPD or lung cancer. Know that although a simple infection can be treated easily, more serious conditions can lead to considerable breathing problems, irreversible lung damage, and even death.

 

What are Respiratory Diseases?

Simply put, any condition that affects the respiratory system falls under this category. The respiratory system is made up of the lungs, the airway, and the respiratory muscles. Diseases that affect the respiratory system range from being self limiting and mild (like common colds) to ones that can lead to significant complications (like lung cancer and bacterial pneumonia).

 

Some Statistics:

In the United States, millions suffer from respiratory diseases, and if all the deaths owing to respiratory diseases are put together, they become the third largest cause of deaths in the country. In one year alone, close to ten million Americans are diagnosed with chronic bronchitis, and more than hundred thousand people lose their lives to other lower respiratory disorders.

 

Some Common Respiratory Diseases:

While most respiratory problems are linked with the lungs, some problems can also occur due to other reasons like heart problems. Here’s a list of some common respiratory diseases and other problems which can cause respiratory problems.

Lung Related-

  • COPD
  • Asthma
  • Lung Cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Tuberculosis
  • Hyperventilation

Heart Related-

  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Pericarditis
  • Cardiomyopathy

 

The Symptoms:

Although the symptoms for these conditions do vary, there are some signs which you should watch out for in any case. These include experiencing shortness of breath, suffering from a prolonged cough, as well as gasping for air. If you find yourself coughing blood, seeking medical attention immediately should become your top priority. Chest pain and the skin turning bluish also require immediate medical attention. You should also get yourself checked if you’ve been coughing up too much phlegm.

 

Causes:

As with the symptoms, the causes would also differ from condition to condition, although there are some causes that are common for various respiratory problems. Smoking, for example, can lead to various respiratory problems. Smoking, amongst other things, increases your chances of suffering from COPD considerably, with as much as 90% of all COPD cases in Australia being attributed to smoking. Viral and bacterial infections can also cause respiratory problems, and so can allergies. In addition, the use of particular drugs like ACE inhibitors can also be a cause.

 

Other medical problems can also lead to respiratory problems. Examples include:

  • Panic attacks
  • Obesity
  • Anaemia
  • Epiglottitis
  • Anxiety
  • Fractured ribs
  • Pregnancy

 

The Treatment:

The treatment would essentially depend on the diagnoses of the condition. Treating a common cold can be done quite easily using home remedies, with no need to go to a doctor. The treatment of asthma might require you to use a ‘metered dose’ inhaler. Treatment for COPD can involve the use of bronchodilators and/or steroids, and in extreme cases, lung transplants can be suggested. Treating lung cancer would depend on the stage of the condition and can involve surgical resection, thoracotomy, sternotomy, etc.

 

So, in case you experience any problems in breathing or experience any other symptoms associated with respiratory diseases, it is important you consult a doctor without any delay. Bear in mind that if you suffer from a serious problem, identifying it in the early stages will help immensely. And if you find out nothing’s wrong, you can at least breathe easy.

 

 

Diabetes

Diabetes

A Brief about Heart Diseases in Men

Heart diseases are the leading cause of death in men, with more than a million men experiencing a heart attack each year. Our changing lifestyles which incorporate a whole lot of unhealthy food and little in the form of exercise are crucial factors that lead to heart conditions, and by simply making something positive lifestyle changes, you can certainly reduce your risk of contracting various heart diseases.

 

Before moving on, consider the following statistics. Heart diseases kill around 2,500 people in the U.S every day; and this puts a heart disease related death occurring every 34 seconds. Heart attacks kill more than 250,000 people every year even before they can make it to a hospital. In Australia, in excess of 3 million people are affected by heart diseases, and claim one life almost every 15 minutes. Also, men tend to have heart attacks at a younger age as compared to women.

 

Heart diseases cover a range of problems related to the heart, and are also commonly referred to as cardiovascular diseases. Some of these include:

  • Coronary artery disorder
  • Heart failure
  • Congenital heart disorder
  • Ischemich heart disease
  • Vascular disease
  • Heart valve disorder
  • Pericardial disease
  • Arrythmias
  • Marfan syndrome

 

Heart Disease Symptoms to Watch Out For:

Although there are different symptoms that are associated with different cardiovascular problems, there are some signs that are common. Following are symptoms which can indicate some kind of a heart related problem.

  • Pain: If you experience pain in your chest, you should definitely not ignore it. The same also applies to pain in your neck, upper back, and upper abdominal region.
  • Breathing Problems: If you experience any problems in breathing or feel short of breath when you think you shouldn’t, it should be a sign of concern.
  • Discomfort in the Chest: Discomfort in the chest can indicate heart related problems, and this discomfort can vary in duration.
  • Other Signs: Other signs include breaking into cold sweats, feeling light-headed and even persistent nausea.

 

Causes/Risk Factors:

Various factors can be at play when it comes to cardiovascular problems. Following are factors which can increase one’s probability of contracting a heart disease.

  • Smoking is looked upon as a significant contributing factor in people suffering from heart diseases.
  • Age is also a factor, and while heart diseases in one’s 30s or 40s weren’t very common not so long ago, men as young as 25 now suffer from them.
  • If family members in the past have suffered from heart disease, you might be more susceptible to contracting coronary artery disease.
  • High cholesterol levels in the blood can be a cause.
  • Unchecked high blood pressure can cause the arteries to thicken and harden; thereby increasing ones chances of contracting heart diseases.
  • Diabetes is known to increase the possibility of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle and eating unhealthily can cause heart diseases.
  • High levels of stress can also be a factor.

 

What about Help?

Treatment for heart diseases depends on the disease in question and can include any of the following.

  • The use of implantable medical contraptions
  • The use of ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers) and ACE inhibitors
  • The use of blood thinners
  • The use of ventricular assistance devices
  • Surgery
  • Relevant medication

 

Understand that there are things you can do which can minimize the risk of your suffering from heart disease. Simple things like exercising regularly, eating healthy, quitting smoking, and controlling your cholesterol and blood pressure can work rather well. And if you think you might have a problem, head to the doctor as soon as possible.