While family history and age cannot be changed, there are everyday steps men can follow to take charge of their health, including prostate health, and maybe even prevent problems down the road. Consider these tips to help lead a healthier lifestyle.
Men’s Health Matters
5 tips to maintain overall wellbeing
(Family Features) While family history and age cannot be changed, there are everyday steps men can follow to take charge of their health, including prostate health, and maybe even prevent problems down the road.
Consider these tips to help lead a healthier lifestyle.
Get checked out regularly. Just because you’re healthy doesn’t mean you should eschew routine checkups, and that includes self-examinations. While regular visits to your health care provider can keep you up-to-date on preventative screenings and immunizations, getting to know your own body can have similar benefits.
Care for your prostate. If you’re experiencing frequent urination, a weak or slow urine stream, incomplete bladder emptying, difficulty or delay in starting urination or a urine stream that stops and starts, these may be signs you may be suffering from Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), otherwise known as enlarged prostate.1 Enlarged prostate, which is non-cancerous and affects more than 40 million American men, can also cause loss of productivity and sleep, according to research published in the “Journal of Urology.”2,3 Medication is often the first line of treatment, but some patients may suffer uncomfortable side effects including dizziness, headaches and sexual dysfunction, which can prompt them to quit using their medications.4
“Many men living with BPH symptoms take prescription medications after they have been diagnosed, but relief can be inadequate and temporary,” said Dr. Peter Walter, M.D., urologist and paid consultant for Teleflex Incorporated, the manufacturer of the UroLift® System.
As one alternative to medication, an option like the UroLift System treatment is a minimally invasive procedure that doesn’t require any cutting, heating or removal of prostate tissue.5 A urologist places small implants to lift and move enlarged prostate tissue so it no longer blocks the urethra and can allow for normal urine flow. Most common side effects are mild to moderate, and patients generally can return to their normal routines with minimal downtime. For more information about treatment options, or to find a urologist near you who treats BPH, visit UroLift.com.
Focus on a more nutritious diet. Aim for a pattern of healthier eating that includes more fruits, vegetables and leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, kale and broccoli, which can help keep you – and your prostate – healthy.6 Also try to cut back on consumption of red meat – specifically processed meat – as well as salt and sweets.
Know your numbers. Be sure to discuss your family history and lifestyle with your doctor as he or she may recommend screenings for diseases and common ailments. Be sure to keep up with these screenings and check in with your doctor to make sure you’re accounting for milestone ages and common ailments associated with aging.
Make exercise a priority. Exercise is a key to maintaining quality of life. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity for adults.7 Even shorter increments of physical activity multiple times a day such as a walking meeting, opting for the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther from your destination can provide health and stress-relieving benefits.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images
1. Speakman et al. 2014 BJUI International
The New Keto-Friendly South Beach Diet: Rev Your Metabolism and Improve Your Health with the Latest Science of Weight Loss
If your weight loss goals keep falling flat despite your best intentions, it may be due to an addiction you don’t even know you have. An addiction to sugar doesn’t mean that you can’t resist a slice of chocolate cake; it’s a true physiological addiction. Consider these insights to help a achieve a healthier lifestyle by blending the keto and low-carb approaches into one eating plan.
Beat Sugar Addiction for Better Weight Loss Results
(Family Features) If your weight loss goals keep falling flat despite your best intentions, it may be due to an addiction you don’t even know you have. An addiction to sugar doesn’t mean that you can’t resist a slice of chocolate cake; it’s a true physiological addiction.
World-renowned cardiologist and creator of the original South Beach Diet, Dr. Arthur Agatston, believes the secret is cutting out sugar and embracing a keto-friendly lifestyle.
“Sugar addiction, resulting in insulin resistance, is a big contributor to obesity, diabetes and heart disease,” Agatston said. “‘The New Keto-Friendly South Beach Diet’ follows the proven principles of the low-carb South Beach Diet, includes the keto diet’s higher fat and increases lean protein to combat sugar addiction and improve health.”
Agatston’s book is unique in that it follows the proven principles of a low-carb, good-carb, good-fat, healthy-protein approach, layers in science-backed elements of a higher fat diet and modifies it to increase protein.
Consider these insights from Agatson to help a achieve a healthier lifestyle by blending the keto and low-carb approaches into one eating plan:
More carbs and protein than keto: A keto-friendly, low-carb diet does not require a person to be in strict ketosis to put his or her body into fat burning mode, lose weight and reap the health benefits. The heart-healthy eating plan is both low carb and high fat but allows for higher levels of carbohydrates and provide more protein than strict keto.
A different approach to burning fat: A keto and low-carb eating plan switches your body from “fat storage” to “fat burning” by decreasing blood insulin levels without going into ketosis, achieving essentially the same results with a more flexible diet that is low in carbs and high in fat and protein.
Clarity on good vs. bad fats: Research shows saturated fats are generally healthy, and the relationship between omega-6 vegetable oils and omega-3 fish oils has been better characterized. Omega-6 vegetable oils are now classified as bad fats while there is more evidence omega-3 fats are good for you.
Increased metabolism: Metabolism has been shown to increase with lower insulin levels.
Conscious timing of meals: Someone who adopts a keto or low-carb diet may also find benefits from intermittent fasting, or extending the time between meals, as an effective strategy to jumpstart weight loss or to get back on track after a plateau. The notion is not that one must fast, but that longer stretches between eating, specifically eating low carb, helps with insulin reduction. An example of this would be to eat breakfast as added food for lunch or eat breakfast for lunch and have lunch as a midday snack.
For more advice to help attain your weight loss goals, visit SouthBeachDiet.com.SOURCE:
South Beach Diet
Surgery for seniors is considered serious business by medical experts. Older surgical patients can react differently to anesthesia and the stress of undergoing surgery far differently than younger healthy adults do. Some seniors take more time to recover, are more vulnerable to infection and might experience post-surgical cognitive decline. It is essential that seniors and/or their family members discuss surgical risks and alternative options with their doctors beforehand.
As individuals age, their body systems can slow down significantly. Some seniors develop circulation problems, heart disease, endocrine disorders, bone density, and muscle mass losses or issues with mobility. All these circumstances and a number of others may make an older surgical patient recover slower than their younger counterparts. Some studies show that surgical patients over the age of sixty can take up to three to six months to regain their presurgical functioning status.
More Vulnerable to Infection
Seniors who have developed one of many autoimmune disorders are more vulnerable to getting an infection following surgery. Surgical equipment must be properly sterilized in an autoclave before each case before introducing them to the sterile surgical field. Introducing contaminants into the surgical site can lead to severe infections that may require further surgery to address. Hospitals are notorious for harboring many different types of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, and strict compliance with OSHA and other governmental regulation entities is required for all types of health care facilities. The surgical operating suites must be thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated in between cases to meet even stricter cleaning guidelines. Any opening into the body, including urinary catheters, feeding tubes, IV lines and the surgical incisions themselves, put all surgical patients at a higher risk for postoperative infections with seniors facing the greatest challenges. Proper assessment for higher infection risks, appropriate use of intraoperative antibiotics and close postoperative supervision by trained medical personnel for a longer time can all decrease some of these surgical risks for seniors.
Postoperative delirium has long been known to exist in older patient populations undergoing surgical procedures. This condition typically only lasts from a few hours to a few days following surgery. However, many health care experts caution that seniors pose a higher risk of longer-lasting cognitive decline than the average healthy and younger surgical patient population groups. This cognitive decline in elderly patients can last from a week to three months during postoperative recovery, and this cognitive loss can impact memory and the function of many body systems, including the ability to eat, move, speak clearly and ambulate, among others. Usually, POCD (postoperative cognitive dysfunction) is transient in nature and will resolve with a higher level of postoperative care. However, some medical specialists believe that permanent cognitive decline can occur, especially in seniors.
Seniors and their caregivers should discuss these possible postoperative complications with their family doctor, surgeon, and other specialists prior to having surgery. These risks can often be decreased with some preventative precautions and preparations.
If you or an elderly relative is going to have surgery soon, take a look at these tips on how to prepare.
One in four people die from heart disease each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and millions more have it or are at risk of developing the disease. Here are three tried-and-true ways you and your friends and family can help each other give your hearts a boost.
3 Ways to Make Your Heart Healthier
(Family Features) Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States? One in four people die from it each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and millions more have it or are at risk of developing the disease. Smoking, being overweight or having diabetes, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure or a family history of heart disease all increase your chances of getting the disease.
The good news is that you can do something about it.
“It’s never too late – or too early – to lower your risk for heart disease,” said Josephine Boyington, Ph.D., a nurse, licensed nutritionist and program director in the Division of Cardiovascular Health at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
“Heart disease is a general term for a variety of conditions, such as clogged arteries, that make it difficult for your heart to pump blood properly,” she said. “Adopting small changes, like moving more and following a heart-healthy eating plan, can make a big difference. Research has shown that making healthy lifestyle changes that last can be a lot easier when you have friends or family doing it with you.”
To mark American Heart Month, the NHLBI – the nation’s leader in research on the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders – is encouraging that kind of group support. It is celebrating “Our Hearts,” a national effort to motivate Americans to join each other in adopting heart-healthy behaviors throughout the year and beyond.
Ready to start? Here are three tried-and-true ways you and your friends and family can help each other give your hearts a boost.
1. Adopt a healthy eating plan. Try NHLBI’s Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan. It’s free and, when compared to a typical American diet, has been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure and improve blood cholesterol levels. The DASH eating plan features fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, beans, nuts and lean meats, and it limits foods that are high in saturated fats, sugars and sodium. Have fun with menus by inviting friends to join you for a heart-healthy dinner party or start a lunch club at work and trade creative recipe ideas with your colleagues.
2. Move more and #MoveWithHeart. One of the major risk factors for heart disease is inactivity. Getting up and moving helps lower that risk – and you don’t need to put in hours at a time to see results. Breaking up your daily activity into small chunks, such as 10-minute increments three times a day for five days a week, can begin to make a difference. To stay motivated, find a walking buddy or make a standing date to walk with a friend or neighbor, dance at home with your kids or play a pickup soccer or basketball game with colleagues. The bottom line: just move.
3. Quit smoking. It can be hard to stop, but the benefits to your lungs and heart are huge. For inspiration and to keep you motivated, consider a support group. You can find resources and connect with a trained counselor by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visiting smokefree.gov.
For more information about heart health, and to discover what activities are going on in your community, visit nhlbi.nih.gov/ourhearts. Use #OurHearts on social media to share how you and your friends and family are keeping your hearts healthy.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Most of us know lifestyle changes can improve our overall health. Exercising more, eating more vegetables and not smoking all have an effect on blood flow in the body, which can affect our overall health. These can impact the health of your eyes as well.
(BPT) - Most of us know lifestyle changes can improve our overall health. Exercising more, eating more vegetables and not smoking all have an effect on blood flow in the body, which can affect our overall health.
What many don’t realize is that when blood flow is blocked or slows down, the health of our eyes can also be affected. That means that wearing neckties too tight or doing certain yoga poses, such as the downward dog, can increase pressure in the eyes, which can lead to an eye disease called glaucoma. Glaucoma has few warning signs, and is the leading cause of blindness for people over the age of 60. Being overweight or having high blood pressure can increase a person’s risk for another common eye disease called age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older.
Vision loss — or even worse, blindness — can negatively impact the quality of life, independence and the ability to do daily things such as driving, reading or seeing grandchildren.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that individuals 65 and older get an annual medical eye exam with an ophthalmologist, which is a medical doctor who specializes in medical and surgical eye care. Through comprehensive eye exams, ophthalmologists can check a person’s eyes for hidden signs of eye disease, which may have no noticeable symptoms in the early stages. Once diagnosed, ophthalmologists can provide treatments to help prevent vision loss.
For those concerned about the cost of an exam, the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeCare America program may be able to help. More than 5,500 dedicated volunteer ophthalmologists provide eye exams and care, often at no out-of-pocket cost to eligible patients. Since 1985, the program has helped nearly 2 million people in need.
EyeCare America serves U.S. citizens or legal residents who do not belong to an HMO.
To be eligible for the EyeCare America seniors program, an individual:
* Must be age 65 or older, and
* Have not had an eye exam by an ophthalmologist in three or more years.
To be eligible for the EyeCare America glaucoma program, an individual:
* Must not have had an eye exam within the last year, and must be at an increased glaucoma risk due to age, race and/or family history.
Many sight-stealing conditions can be prevented or slowed down with proper care and making simple lifestyle adjustments such as:
1. Avoid inverted postures in yoga. Studies show head-down positions can increase eye pressure and are not recommended for glaucoma patients. There are plenty of yoga exercises that don’t have this effect.
2. Avoid tight neckties. Researchers say that a too-tight necktie may increase the risk of glaucoma by increasing blood pressure inside the eyes.
3. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially green, leafy ones. One study showed that people who ate more leafy vegetables have a 20 to 30 percent lower risk of developing glaucoma. Why? Nitrates in green vegetables can be converted to nitric oxide, which can improve blood flow and help regulate pressure inside the eye.
4. Exercise regularly. According to the National Eye Institute, eating a healthy diet and getting exercise have been shown in earlier studies to protect against AMD. A recent study showed that people who engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity appear to have a 73 percent lower risk of developing glaucoma. This is because blood flow and pressure inside the eye may change with exercise.
For more information about EyeCare America or to see if you or others are eligible to be matched with one of its volunteer ophthalmologists, visit www.aao.org/eyecareamerica.
EyeCare America is cosponsored by the Knights Templar Eye Foundation Inc., with additional support from Alcon and Regeneron.
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