Men’s Health Month – Cardiovascular Disease

Men’s Health Month – Cardiovascular Disease

June is Men’s Health Month, so check here throughout the month for our blogs that will keep you informed about the most common health issues facing men. In our first blog, we’ll help you understand more about preventing and detecting cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease describes numerous types of problems affecting the heart and blood vessels, including coronary heart disease, congenital heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, arrhythmia, and stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States.

RISK FACTORS

Some risk factors for cardiovascular disease cannot be changed, such as age (45 and older) and family history. But you can make a difference in reducing other factors such as:

  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein - LDL)
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity and unhealthy diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Recreational drug use
  • Excessive intake of alcohol, salt, and caffeine

PREVENTION

Making these diet changes could have a significant impact in reducing your risk factors for cardiovascular disease:

  • Control your portion sizes
  • Reduce saturated fats and avoid trans fats
  • Switch from refined white foods to whole grains
  • Add more fruits and vegetables to each meal
  • Choose low-sodium foods and do not add salt to your meals
  • Limit sweets and alcohol
  • Prepare skinless poultry and fish rather than red meat
  • Select fat-free or low-fat dairy products

Also, follow these heart-healthy lifestyle tips:

  • Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke
  • Do not take recreational drugs
  • Reduce your stress and/or reduce the negative impact stress has on you
  • Try to achieve 30 minutes of moderate exercise 3 times per week, at a minimum

Before you start an exercise program, check with your physician to be sure the activities are appropriate for you.

SYMPTOMS

The various types of heart conditions may have different warning signs, but the following symptoms are the most common:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid, skipping, or irregular heartbeats
  • Pain, discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pounding in the chest
  • Pain or discomfort in the arm, back, jaw, or throat
  • Dizziness, fainting, fatigue, or weakness
  • Nausea, or symptoms resembling indigestion
  • Sweating
  • Swelling in ankles, legs, and abdomen

Note that this list is not exhaustive. Also, it is possible to have a heart condition without experiencing any of the above symptoms. But if you feel like you are experiencing any type of problem with your heart, contact 911 – many conditions require immediate treatment to prevent damage to the heart!

If you’d like to learn more about your risk factors for cardiovascular disease or to get a full physical, please contact us today to make an appointment. We can help you take charge of your own heart health!

Check out our other Men's Health blog about men’s prostate health!

The content provided in our website blogs is offered for informational purposes only, and it should not be considered as the practice of medicine or medical advice regarding the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition or disease. You should consult with a medical professional if you have any questions regarding a condition or disease in relation to your specific healthcare needs. If you feel that you are experiencing a medical emergency, please contact 911 immediately.