Men generally tend to avoid going to the doctor unless they’re in severe pain. But the most common disease to strike men (namely hypertension, high cholesterol and heart disease) are slow and silent killers that can go undetected for years until that proverbial ‘sudden’ heart attack. Be forewarned, and forearmed.
Heart disease is an end result of uncontrolled hypertension. The heart and brain arteries can get narrowed by cholesterol deposits, which slow down the flow of life-giving blood and cause symptoms of chest pain or numbness or weakness on one side of the body. What usually affects the 30-40 age group is diastolic hypertension. It means the diastolic blood pressure is abnormally high, and usually associated with middle-aged weight gain. More often than not, these patients are overweight or obese.
Aside from heredity, other risk factors that contribute to high blood pressure are such as smoking, sedentary lifestyle, high stress levels, and family history. High blood pressure, if left untreated, can damage vital organ systems and lead to strokes, heart attack, and kidney failure.
The formation and buildup of plaque on the artery walls causes the arteries to narrow and harden so that the heart must work harder to pump blood through the arteries. This, in turn, causes high blood pressure. Over time, plaque buildup can cause angina (chest pain) or a blood clot that can trigger a heart attack.
Lowering cholesterol begins with lifestyle changes such as losing weight and changing your diet (yes to veggies and fish, no to pork chop and marbled steak).