by Dr. J. Andre Garabedian, Hanover Medical Group Cardiology
As men, one of the most common chronic diseases we develop is coronary artery disease. Fortunately, it is also one of the most preventable. A lot of men think the work to prevent a second heart attack occurs after you have the first one, or after you are already diagnosed with coronary artery disease. This is not the case. Preventing coronary heart disease is a lifelong endeavor, which needs to start for all us at a young age.
Prevention means eating a heart healthy diet, avoiding smoking, losing weight if you are obese, and exercising routinely. In addition, making sure you control the things that put you at higher risk for coronary disease - diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol - is very important.
As a man, you have probably heard all of the above. However, what you may not have heard is the importance of stress management and sleep in preventing coronary disease. Many studies have shown that those who are good at managing stress in their daily lives have decreased risk of having a heart attack. In addition, getting enough sleep is important to allow your body to rest and repair itself, and helps decrease your risk of coronary disease.
There are some things in life that cannot be prevented. But heart disease prevention is attainable for all of us. All men - from age 18 to age 118 - can help themselves by preventing heart disease. The best heart attack is the one that never happens!
~J. Andre Garabedian, D.O.
by Brady Slater, Employee Wellness & Medical Fitness Center Coordinator
Do not let time get away from you by not staying active and exercising regularly. Unfortunately, even with a moderate amount of physical activity, the average male cannot ward off or delay the onset of the normal aging process. And yes, by the age of 25, that process starts to begin. By the age of 30, most men have started to notice some physiological and psychological changes that will gradually get more enhanced if some form of prevention, such as regular exercise, is not implemented into their day to day activities. Regular exercise has the capacity to make a huge difference in the progression of these changes. Below are just a few that men typically experience with enhanced age, and how they are impacted by regular exercise:
- Decreased blood pressure
- Bone, tendon and joint health enhanced
- Muscle mass increases
- Metabolism increased
- Blood sugar maintains
- Body fat decreases
- LDL cholesterol decreases & HDL increases
- Sex hormones increase
Exercise is still the best medicine to help delay the normal aging process. And, it is never too late to start.
~Brady Slater, MS, RECEP, ATC, CSCS
by Dr. Edward Leventhal, Hanover Medical Group Urology
Benign prostatic enlargement is one of the most common lifestyle altering diagnoses of men over age 50. In most cases it can be treated with watchful waiting or with medications. It is not specifically related to prostate cancer, and is its own lifestyle limiting issue. Common symptoms of benign prostatic enlargement include urinary frequency, slowing of the urinary stream, hesitancy in getting urinary flow started, sensation of incomplete emptying, and waking often during the night to urinate. Urinary urgency can also be part of the symptom complex.
The most common treatment for benign prostatic enlargement is the use of alpha blocking medications. Contrary to belief, alpha blockers do not decrease the size of the prostate gland. They make urination more effective by causing relaxation of the smooth muscle the prostate and the bladder neck. This allows urination to be an easier process. Most men who have a good experience with alpha blocking medications will tell you they feel that they urinate more freely. They will often have a better flow. An overall the grading of their symptom complex is improved.
The second most common medical treatment for prostatic enlargement and urinary symptoms is the use of medicines that actually do shrink the prostate gland over the course of time.
For men who failed the use of medications, or tire of taking medications, or have trouble affording medications there are multiple procedures available to treat prostatic enlargement symptoms, such as Urolift, performed under mild sedation and local anesthesia. For more information about the various treatments available, please call our office.
At Hanover Hospital we have pioneered the use of Urolift in the state of Pennsylvania. Our facility was the first in the state to perform this procedure and we have the largest experience in the state and certainly the best results available in the state of Pennsylvania. Urolift is an outpatient procedure done under mild sedation and local anesthesia. It is unique in that it is a mechanical procedure which opens the lobes of the prostate without tissue destruction or removal. Because of this, many of the sexual side effects associated with surgical procedures for prostate enlargement are avoided. The procedure does require an initial visit to the urologist for a history and physical. Following this, a series of tests are done in one setting to determine whether or not the prostate and its architecture is appropriate for the procedure. The procedure length is typically less than 10 minutes. Most men have been going home without a catheter. Typical side effects include blood in the urine, and some dysuria for 2-3 days. Once any visible blood in the urine is gone, the patient can go back to all other normal activities. By 2 weeks, most men have significant relief of their urinary symptoms. The procedure is approved by the FDA as well as Medicare and CMS. It stands alone as a minimally invasive procedure to treat male with urinary symptoms from benign enlargement of the prostate.
~Edward Leventhal, M.D.
by Dr. John Schwartz, Hanover Medical Group South Hanover Family Medicine
Studies have shown that masculinity is generally linked to poor health outcomes for men. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, men born in 2009 will live 5 years less than women born the same year.
Men often pretend to be tough guys and don’t seek medical treatment when they should. “Macho” men are less likely to go to the doctor and, often, request male physicians when they do. “Tough guys” tend to downplay their symptoms, especially in front of male doctors for fear of looking “wimpy.” Just encouraging a tough guy to undergo a regular physical or see the doctor when ill, will go a long way in closing the health gap between the sexes.
In my 20+ years of seeing patients, I have observed that male patients who come in to see me with their wives present tend to have a better outcome, overall. This at least partially explains why married men tend to live longer than those who are single. Even as a physician, without some gentle “nudging” by my dear wife, I tend to downplay my own symptoms and opt for the tough guy approach.
~John Schwartz, D.O.