Self Health Care

Articles about alternative ways of treatment and self health care

How to treat men diagnosed with cardiovascular disease?

Because diagnosis and treatments have been improving steadily over the last decades, more men than ever before are now living longer with cardiovascular disease. In the last century, heart attacks were the most common cause of death by a significant margin. Now with better drugs and lifestyle changes, deaths from cardiovascular disease have been falling. But this does not mean that these men have a satisfactory quality of life. The majority of men are now older, overweight, living in deprived areas and depressed. Many also find themselves affected by Type 2 Diabetes as the weight increases. It’s difficult to prevent this development because, with limited budgets, most men cannot afford healthy food options. Cheap processed food has a high fat content and excess salt. General risks are increased significantly if the men also smoke and neglect to take any physical exercise.

As a routine, men should be encouraged to monitor their waist measurements as a simple means of judging when the risks are rising. Anything over 37 inches for men (and 31.5 inches for women) is in the danger zone and suggests the need to check blood pressure. Once a person is at risk, there should be positive intervention to counsel lifestyle changes, starting with quitting smoking and eating a more healthy diet to reduce the cholesterol levels. However, there is a significant link between cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction (ED). It may be a side-effect of the drugs to control the cardiovascular problems, damage to the arterial system or nerve endings, or it may be linked to the depression many experience. The interaction between these factors can produce a vicious cycle. As the ED worsens, depression deepens justifying more powerful drugs that further affect sexual performance.

All men at risk should be asked a direct question, “Are you suffering from ED?” If the answer is, “Yes.” this should trigger a review of the drugs being taken, and the prescription of viagra to begin restoring sexual activity. However, to be effective, men must be convinced that ED is a symptom of cardiovascular disease and be prepared to answer the question honestly. Too many consider such a question to invade their privacy, and either lie or refuse to answer. In its own right, this process is difficult because those who live in poverty and in deprived areas are often not contacted as easily and are reluctant to come into clinics for any type of treatment. It may be necessary for local health providers to physically go into the community to provide health screening and health assessments. This is preventative medicine as it should be practised. The earlier ED is identified as a predictive symptom of cardiovascular disease, the more men may be saved the trauma of a stroke or heart attack. This will require a diversion of funding to community-based medicine and to state funding of medications such as viagra to help treat the ED. But it should save money in the long term.

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