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Common Diseases That Affect Men
By Joshua Levine
 
Although an incredible number of different diseases can strike men, the main ones are repeat offenders. Here are few common diseases:
High blood pressure
What Is It? With our rushed, high-stress way of life that at times seems like an unbreakable cycle, bad habits in eating and exercise can have negative consequences. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is serious business. As your heart beats, blood is pumped through your arteries and carried throughout your body. Having high blood pressure translates into stress on your arteries as blood flows through it.
 
Who is at risk?
Heart disease, for which high blood pressure is a leading risk factor, is the number one killer in the United States, as 25% of Americans have this condition. In their early 30s and around middle age, men are more likely to suffer from problems of blood pressure than woman. Even more specifically, African-American men tend to develop an earlier and more severe form of hypertension than Caucasian men.
 
Symptoms
If you don't exercise regularly, smoke, are overweight, or have a history of stroke or heart failure in your family, you are also at risk for stroke. The worst part is that hypertension is known as a silent killer; releasing no obvious signs that your arteries are in trouble until it is too late.
 
Solution
Here's what to do: Treat your body like you treat your dream Mustang in the garage -- with care. Needing no other reason than to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you should be hitting the gym, slamming back brewskies in moderation and cutting back on all things fried and high in sodium (salt).
There are so many alternatives in food and exercise that everyone can find a niche that suits them. You don't have to become a Richard Simmons-watching health freak, just health-conscious. Regular checkups with your doctor will also help keep your blood pressure rate in check
The key is in preparing before the fact, but if you still have shortness of breath, pain or tingling in the extremities and left arm, heart problems may still surface. It is then that you must take the extra step of ingesting prescription medicine and changing your diet. High "primary" hypertension, like the one inherited from your parents, has no cure but can be adjusted to a normal level.
 
Diabetes
What is it?
Diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin (Type 1) or the body is unable to properly use insulin (Type 2). Insulin, a hormone, is necessary for converting sugar, starches and other food into energy. It is the fifth-deadliest disease in the United States and thus far has no cure.
 
Who is at risk?
7.8 million men (8.3%) have diabetes, and the majority are aged 40 and up. Those with a family history of diabetes, as well as individuals who are overweight or do not exercise regularly, may very well be set up for a scare. Certain racial backgrounds, especially Hispanics and African-Americans, are believed to be at higher risk of acquiring the disease.
 
Symptoms
Unfortunately, symptoms that are associated with diabetes are often confused with general feelings of old age. If you feel run-down, are often thirsty, urinate frequently, suddenly lose weight, have blurred vision, and notice it takes longer for small cuts to heal, take the signs seriously and seek help. Oftentimes, impotence is also a symptom of diabetes.
 
Solution
Although not all people with diabetes need medication, those with Type 1 diabetes may regulate their blood-sugar level with insulin injections. Those with Type 2 should take a medication called an "oral hypoglycemic agent," but all individuals with diabetes must make healthy changes to halt the onset of blindness, stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure. In most cases, weight loss plans are often implemented in addition to exercise programs, which improve important blood-glucose measures. Diabetes is known as a "self-help" disease because the improvement of the individual usually depends on his ability to make significant alterations in lifestyle.
 
Colorectal cancer
What is it?
In four different parts, the colon makes up most of the large intestine. Combined with the rectum, the system rids the body of unwanted materials. The majority of cases start with the development of benign polyps (finger-like growths) that grow in the intestinal cavity. If these benign polyps begin to invade the colon, as well as other parts of the body, they may become cancerous and lead to blockages in the intestine.
 
Who is at risk?
The second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. is colorectal cancer. The exact reasons for its appearance are not fully known, but it is more likely to appear in men over 50 and those with a family history of colorectal cancer. As well, diets high in fat and low in fiber, obesity, alcohol consumption, and tobacco use contribute to the problem. In a study done by the Center for Disease Control, it was observed that from 1990 to 1999, African-American men had the highest rate of colorectal cancer death, followed by Caucasian, Asian/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics.
 
Symptoms
For a full recovery (which is becoming more and more common), it is essential that tumors or polyps are detected early. Here are some symptoms you should be attuned to: constant abdominal pain, constant fatigue, blood in stool, change in bowel habits, diarrhea, and unintended weight loss.
 
Solution
Colorectal cancer is dangerous and becoming increasingly widespread so it is important that you take it seriously and get a colonoscopy at regular intervals with the onset of early-middle age. The procedure may be uncomfortable, but it has irreplaceably positive results, reducing deaths up to 18% in certain parts of Europe. You can also control your fate by not smoking, increasing physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. In cases where all of the above have failed to help, consult a genetic counselor in addition to the regular (and successful) treatments. And remember that keeping a positive outlook and healthy mental state is as important as maintaining physical fitness.
 
Prostate cancer
What is it?
The prostate is a very important secretory gland that surrounds the base of the bladder and the urethra in males; it is about the size of a walnut and weighs about 20 grams. Its embryologic origins are endodermal and mesenchymal, which means it is both glandular and muscular, and has secretory ducts that open into the urethra, leading to the outside.A mature prostate has three lobes, and fortunately for us, most cancers occur in the middle portion, the part that is most easily digitally examined (more on that later). A prostate goes through two growth phases, one at the start of puberty, and again around age 45-55. It is the later growth phase that causes the problems that lead to BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy) and possibly carcinoma (cancer). Upon ejaculation, the prostate's smooth muscular portions rhythmically contract and empty its slightly alkaline contents into the urethra. This prostatic fluid helps nourish the sperm and provides the majority of the ejaculate volumeIf your prostate becomes inflamed through infection or disease, or enlarged (amid middle age), it may eventually constrict and impede the normal flow of urine, which can possibly lead to obstruction. Obviously, anything that may obstruct the outflow of urine or become cancerous is very significant. There seem to be multiple factors at play in the development of prostate cancer. Genetic history appears to be important, and lifestyle choices also play a role. Age is definitely a factor, and of course, hormones have a great influence. There may even be a viral trigger in the environment that precipitates this unwanted transformation. There is no doubt that the prostate is heavily influenced by dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that firmly binds to prostatic tissue. Testosterone and estrogen (to a lesser extent) have been the major endocrine hormones that invasive as well as non-invasive therapies have targeted for modification.
 
Who is at risk?
The majority of those stricken are men 65 years of age and older, but the approach to proper care is similar to what has been mentioned. About one in 30 men will die of prostate cancer, so catching it in its early stages is essential. African-American men have the highest rates of cancer mortality, but it can strike all nationalities with 189,000 new cases this year (according to the American Cancer Society).
 
Symptoms
Unfortunately, most men with prostate cancer show no symptoms until the disease is in an advanced stage. At this point, prominent signs include pain or blood during urination and frequent stiffness in the lower back could be warning signs of something significant. Other telltale signs are a decrease in libido, reduced ability to get an erection and waking frequently to urinate.
 
Solution
Get regular screenings. Although prevention is at times difficult, blood tests, ultrasounds and cystoscopies (an examination of the bladder and urethra) can help to spot the condition early enough. Doctors will perform examinations such as a Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) or a Transrectal Ultrasound. Have keen senses; even if you're not in the target older age group, you should still make inquiries if something in that nether region seems off. You have nothing to gain by ignoring potential symptoms.
 

STDs

 
.What is it? Rounding out what seems to be a huge three-headed monster bent on making men sick are sexually transmitted diseases. If you're a bit reckless in the sack, dirty names like "herpes" and "chlamydia" could be getting comfortable with your body. Herpes affects 30 million Americans; that's equivalent to the entire population of Canada. Herpes Simplex 1 consists of cold sores around the mouth and possibly the genitalia, but most people with genital herpes have Herpes Simplex 2. And once you have it, it's yours for life. Chlamydia is the most common of all STDs. It is a bacterial infection affecting the genitals, reproductive organs, urinary tract, and eyes. While disturbing to talk about, it is fairly common and curable with antibacterial drugs
 
Who is at risk?
Any sexually active man with new or multiple partners is at risk for all STDs. Sex without condoms also puts you out in the open. But even condoms may not be able to protect you from herpes or genital warts (HPV).
 
Symptoms
If you have an unusual discharge coming out of your urethra, are experiencing a burning sensation when you urinate, or have swollen and tender testicles, you may have chlamydia. Many people stricken with the STD do not pay attention to the symptoms because they're so mild, but taking the necessary antibiotics to eliminate the disease early are important. Left untreated, you may become sterile as the disease can spread from the urethra to the testicles. It's important that you consult a primary car physician on a regular basis, especially if you are intimate with multiple partners. With herpes, developing a fever, experiencing pain in the joints and having symptoms of the flu (swollen glands) may be linked with the first episode of blisters in the genital area. Although the sores generally heal without scarring after one to two weeks, they can recur.
 
Solution
As aforementioned, seeing your primary care physician on a regular basis is important because he can help you deal with the problem. The list of STDs is long and disturbing so following the safe steps and purchasing good condoms, spermicides and other tools of the trade are essential if you want to enjoy sex without worrying about risking your life.
 
Neck And Back Pain
Besides causing a lot of pain and suffering, the human back has been the subject of countless fascinating studies. And for some strange reason, men seem to suffer from this affliction more than women.
One possible theory for this enigma could be explained by the fact that men tend to either be extremely physically active or extremely lazy. Yes, sitting too much can also cause neck and back pain.
Many people think that sitting is easier on their backs than standing or lifting. Not true. People whose jobs require them to sit for long periods of time suffer as much from back pain as people who lift all day long.
Many world class researchers believe that the huge increase in back pain over the past couple of decades has a lot to do with the fact that more and more of us are spending our work days in chairs.
 
some possible solutions
Many people have the notion that if their back pain becomes very severe, they can always resort to surgery. Nothing could be further from the truth. The amount of pain someone suffers from has very little to do with whether or not he or she could benefit from surgery. One British researcher has estimated that for every 10,000 people who experience about of back pain, only four need surgery. And yet, one of the most frequently asked questions that back pain sufferers ask is: "Who's the best specialist in town?" Waste of time. Waste of energy. Waste of money! Physicians today recommend physical activity and the use of posture support vests such as the DeWall Vest to promote exercise while supporting back muscles.
 
what about bed rest?
Not many years ago, back pain patients were routinely put to bed, sometimes for weeks or months. This therapy is no longer necessary. Two or three days of bed rest is now the norm. After that, people are advised to return to their normal activities, gradually if necessary. The reason for this 180° shift is interesting. Physically speaking, if you stay in bed, your muscle strength can decline by as much as three percent per day. At that rate, you will end up with no more energy or stamina left to carry out normal daily routines.
 
can depression cause it?
A lot of attention has recently been paid to possible links between depression and chronic back pain. It is not uncommon, for instance, for antidepressant medication to be prescribed to patients who suffer from back pain. But there are some interesting questions for which we have no answers. For example, when depressed patients take antidepressants, it takes about three weeks for their blood levels to get high enough for their depressed state to be affected. When back pain sufferers take the same medication, their pain levels often decrease in about a week. There are several theories as to why, and research is still being carried out.
 
Physical Therapy
As soon as the problem is identified, therapy and treatment is always available -- there is hope. There are five main causes of pain and their cures:
The aim of physical therapists is to help you improve your function as well as reduce your pain. They use a variety of techniques. First and foremost, they design programs that include strengthening and flexibility exercises as well as aerobics. Sometimes, they also use mobilization (a gentle form of joint manipulation). Physical therapists also use posture and education to help back pain sufferers avoid recurrences as much as possible.
 
 
Men's Health

Avoiding common men's diseases may not always be possible, but with regular exercise and healthy eating habits, you are putting yourself in a greater position.

Common diseaes that affect men:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • STDs
  • Neck and Back Pain

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