No amount of money can buy good health. It is important that we know more about common health issues that we are likely to face and how it might be possible to prevent them or possibly mitigate their impact.
Here are a few of the most common health issues that men face and steps you could take to handle them:
1. Cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular issues or heart disease is one of the most common causes of death in the UAE. The Emirates Cardiac Society recently conducted a survey which found that almost nine out of ten people in the UAE are at risk of heart disease. Of these, one of three are unaware of this fact. Over 75 percent of the deaths due to heart disease are of men. One risk factor is obesity as obesity rates in the UAE is double the average rate in the world. Many of the risk factors are related to lifestyle and can be controlled easily with proper diet and exercising for at least half an hour every day. This can reduce the risk by up to 80 per cent
Risk factors include smoking, stress, lack of exercise, diabetes and overeating. Even those with a family history of heart disease can prevent or minimize the impact of heart disease through proper relaxation, exercise and diet. It is also important to take proactive action when you recognize the symptoms of heart disease like chest pain, cold sweat, pain or discomfort in the left arm, shortness of breath and unusual tiredness
2. Colorectal cancer
This is one of the most common types of cancer seen among men in the UAE and accounts for over 10 per cent of all cancer cases. While on a global basis, it is seen in men between the ages of 60 and 70, in the UAE, it is seen in men who are as young as 40. Having a family history of colon cancer or rectal cancer is an important risk factor. Other factors include a low-fiber and high-fat diet, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle.
This is one disease that is easily preventable through early screening and lifestyle changes. It would be wise to have an annual colonoscopy from the age of 40, to exercise regularly and to eat a diet low in processed food and comprising plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Symptoms include unexplained abdominal pain, bloating, blood in stool, a change in bowel habits, sudden decrease in weight, fatigue or vomiting. It would be wise to visit the doctor if you experience any such symptoms.
3. Prostate Enlargement also known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
This is generally seen in men as they become older and the main symptoms are more frequent urination, a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying, dribbling after urination and slowing of the urine stream. One of the main risk factors is being overweight. Though it should not be confused with prostate cancer and is not a very serious condition, it can cause a great deal of inconvenience and embarrassment. When the prostate gland becomes enlarged and inflamed, it is called prostatitis, and this is characterized by difficulty to urinate, frequent urge to urinate, lower abdominal discomfort, pain in the perineal area, and sometimes fever. This too can be forestalled with a combination of a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and frequent exercise.
4. Type 2 diabetes
Another lifestyle disease that is highly common among men is Type 2 diabetes. Globally, 10 per cent of men suffer from this condition. The main risk factors for diabetes are high body weight, lack of exercise and a poor diet. People who have a family history of diabetes need to be extremely vigilant about their fitness and diet. Some of the symptoms they need to watch out for include sudden weight loss, frequent urination, excessive thirst, blurry vision and sometimes a numbness or tingling in the extremities. If diabetes is not detected and treated at an early stage, it can lead to severe complications like kidney failure, blindness and higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Getting an annual checkup to keep tabs on factors like blood pressure, fasting blood pressure and cholesterol is definitely a good idea.
5. Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are essentially hard, stone-like deposits which are formed in the urinary tract and while smaller stones can be easily passed from the body, bigger ones can cause extreme pain and can block the urinary tract. Most of us have a sedentary lifestyle and are tied to our desks. During the day, we fail to drink adequate water and this has an adverse effect on the condition of our kidneys. Dehydration is a major risk factor and so are obesity, a high-protein diet, diabetes and high blood pressure. Two factors cause kidney stones -increase in the amount of stone-forming substances and reduction in urine volume.
In the case of smaller stones, they can be flushed out by drinking about three liters of water on a daily basis. Bigger stones might require surgical intervention.
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