National Health Observances

16 Joint-protection Tips

Arthritis aches and pain can affect your daily life. But there are simple ways to protect your joints, reduce strain and improve how you function each day. Here are 16 things you can do that could make a big difference.

 

1.Ditch the high heels.

Unless you’re a fashion model, chances are you can live without high heels. Experts say a 3-inch heel stresses your foot seven times more than a 1-inch heel. In addition, heels put extra stress on your knees and may increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis.

 

  1. Hang out at the bar.

Popular veggies from a salad bar – romaine and Bibb lettuces, broccoli, spinach, kale or parsley – can slow down cartilage destruction and lessen the amount of bone loss that occurs with age, research says, thanks to their high calcium counts. But remember to go easy on the dressing.

 

  1. Move around.

Neither sitting nor standing on your feet all day is good for your joints. When possible, alternate between the two to prevent stiffness and strain. If your job primarily involves sitting, try to take a break and stand up every 30 minutes or so. Whether at home or the office, make time for simple stretches throughout the day.

 

  1. Kick butt.

People who smoke have a greater risk of fracture than nonsmokers. In fact, smoking can reduce bone mass, which can lead to osteoporosis. Kick the habit to keep your body strong and healthy. Plus, just think of all the money you’ll save by going smoke-free.

 

  1. Resolve to reduce.

If you lose weight, you may not only like your “new look,” you’ll feel better, too. Every extra pound you gain puts four times the stress on your knees. The flip side is that even a small amount of weight loss will give your knees relief. Research has shown that losing as little as 11 pounds may improve your joint health and cut your risk of osteoarthritis of the knee by 50 percent.

 

  1. Take the plunge.

From strength training to jogging to aerobic classes (and let’s not forget the plain old swim), aquatic exercises can help maintain flexibility and range of motion, while taking a load off of your joints while you exercise.

 

  1. Warm up.

Don’t think about hitting the gym, the pool or the trails (or any exercise for that matter) before warming up. Warming up your body before exercise is like warming your car up in the winter. To keep it running smoothly and for optimal joint safety, start slowly and get up to speed only after your muscles and joints have at least five minutes prep time.

 

  1. Handle heavy loads.

Use your largest, strongest joints and muscles to take stress off of smaller hand joints and to spread the load over large surface areas. When you lift or carry items, use the palms of both hands or use your arms instead of your hands. Hold items close to your body, which is less stressful for your joints. For joint safety, slide objects whenever possible rather than lifting them.

 

  1. Build strong bones.

Boost your calcium intake, because a diet rich in this important mineral helps to keep your bones sturdy and can lower your risk of osteoporosis (the brittle bone disease). There are plenty of sources besides milk, including yogurt, broccoli, kale, figs, salmon and calcium supplements.

 

  1. Pick, pour or peel.

If you’re looking for a tasty treat, reach for an orange – or a tall glass of orange juice. Why? Research shows that vitamin C may help to slow the progression of osteoarthritis.

 

  1. Cut back on caffeine.

While you may need that extra burst of energy in the morning, try and resist those second and third cups of coffee. Studies show that the extra caffeine can weaken your bones.

 

  1. Take your vitamins.

Supplementing your diet with a multivitamin is a good way to get the nutrients you may lack in your diet. Strong joints (and overall joint health) will benefit from bone-building calcium and vitamin K, tissue-repairing vitamin C, pain-relieving vitamin E, folic acid and more.

 

  1. Choose function over fashion.

Shoes shouldn’t just look good; they should work well, too. Look for flexible, supportive shoes that are squared or rounded at the toe so your toes can move around. A shoe with a rubber sole will give you more cushion. Make sure your shoe is flexible at the ball of your foot, where you push off.

 

  1. Don’t stomp your feet.

Research shows pounding exercises like kickboxing and step aerobics can be tough on joints. Switch to low-impact activities like biking and swimming that offer the same calorie-burning benefits without the painful pounding.

 

  1. Increase your range.

Range-of-motion exercises (such as stretching) are a good way to keep your muscles and ligaments flexible and strong. Add weights to your workout and you’ll tone up, too.

 

  1. Say no.

It may be tough at first, but saying no to others lets you say yes to extra time for yourself. It also frees up time to allow you to say yes to exercise, healthy eating and stress reduction – three power-packed methods of improving your health.

Source https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/managing-pain/joint-protection/16-joint-protection-tips


Does Cord Blood Contain COVID-19?

To the best of our knowledge, the umbilical cord blood will not contain COVID-19, even if the mother is sick at the time of delivery.  It is important to clarify that there is a difference between studies that look for COVID-19 disease transmission between mother and baby, versus studies that test for signs of COVID-19 in the cord blood; these are two separate topics.

When a person is sick with a respiratory virus, it is very rare for the virus to appear in their blood3,10,12. The patient’s blood will show antibodies to the virus, but not the virus itself. For this reason, the FDA does not recommend13 tests to screen asymptomatic blood donors for COVID-19. It is extremely unlikely for COVID-19 to appear in cord blood.

A 2006 study12 sponsored by the American Red Cross is almost prescient in describing the current COVID-19 pandemic. The paper predicts that during a flu pandemic, donated blood will be safe, but there will be a blood shortage due to disruption of blood center operations. That is exactly what is happening now, and in response the FDA has relaxed their restrictions on blood donors14.

Further reassurance that COVID-19 does not appear in the umbilical cord blood or birth tissues comes from a study15 of nine births in Wuhan China. The nine mothers were all suffering from COVID-19 pneumonia, and their babies were delivered via C-section. While the babies were still in the sterile operating room, and before they had contact with their mothers, samples were collected of their amniotic fluid, cord blood, and neonatal throat swabs. Later the mother’s breastmilk was collected. All of these samples tested negative for COVID-19, using both the CDC test and the hospital’s in-house RT-PCR test15.

Hence, if a mom has COVID-19 during her pregnancy or even during birth, she does not need to worry that the virus will be present in the umbilical cord blood or the tissues of the placenta and umbilical cord. To learn more about cord blood banking, visit Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation at https://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/news/coronavirus-during-pregnancy-and-cord-blood-banking

 

Source https://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/news/coronavirus-during-pregnancy-and-cord-blood-banking


Men: Take Charge of Your Health

Men: Take Charge of Your Health

Overview

Most men need to pay more attention to their health. Compared to women, men are more likely to:

  • Smoke
  • Drink too much alcohol
  • Make unhealthy or risky choices
  • Put off regular checkups and medical care

The good news is that you can start taking steps to improve your health today!

How can I take charge of my health?

See a doctor for regular checkups even if you feel healthy. This is important because some diseases and health conditions don’t have symptoms at first. Plus, seeing a doctor will give you a chance to learn more about your health.

Here are some more things you can do to take care of your health:

  • Eat healthy and get active.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Know your family’s health history.
  • Get screening tests to check for health problems before you have symptoms.
  • Make sure you’re up to date on your shots.

Healthy Habits

Use these tips to take charge of your health.

Eat healthy and get active.

Remember, it’s never too late to start healthier habits. A healthy eating pattern and regular physical activity can help control your:

  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar
  • Cholesterol
  • Weight

By keeping these numbers in the normal range, you can lower your risk of serious health problems like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Make eating healthy and being active part of your daily routine.

In addition:

Small Changes

Make small changes every day.

Small changes can add up to big results – like lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes or heart disease. Here are some examples:

  • Take a walk instead of smoking a cigarette.
  • Try a green salad instead of fries.
  • Drink water instead of soda or juice.

Get more ideas for small changes you can make to stay healthy.

Talk about it.

Don’t be embarrassed to talk about your health. Start by talking to family members to find out which diseases run in your family.

Use this family health history tool to keep track of health problems that run in your family. Then share this information with your doctor.

 

Get Preventive Care

Get preventive care to stay healthy.

Many people think of the doctor as someone to see when they’re sick. But doctors also provide services – like screening tests and shots – that help keep you from getting sick in the first place.

Get screening tests to find problems early.

Screenings are medical tests that check for diseases and health conditions before they cause any signs or symptoms. Screenings help find problems early, when they may be easier to treat.

Depending on your age and medical history, you may need to be screened for things like:

  • Certain types of cancer
  • High blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Mental health conditions, like depression

Learn more about getting screened.

Stay up to date on your shots.

Everyone needs shots (vaccines) to stay healthy. Ask your doctor or nurse which shots you need to stay healthy – then make sure you stay up to date. For example, everyone age 6 months and older needs a seasonal flu vaccine every year.

Find out which shots you may need:

Use the myhealthfinder tool to get personalized preventive services recommendations.

 

Cost and Insurance

What about cost?

Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get screenings and shots at no cost to you.

The Affordable Care Act requires most insurance plans to cover many preventive services. This means you may be able to get screenings and shots at no cost to you. Check with your insurance provider to find out what’s included in your plan.

If you don’t have insurance, check out these resources to help you get health care:

Source https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/topics/doctor-visits/regular-checkups/men-take-charge-your-health


Fireworks Eye Safety

What to Do for a Fireworks Eye Injury

Fireworks-related eye injuries can combine blunt force trauma, heat burns and chemical exposure. If an eye injury from fireworks occurs, it should be considered a medical emergency.

  • Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Do not rub your eyes.
  • Do not rinse your eyes.
  • Do not apply pressure.
  • Do not remove any objects that are stuck in the eye.
  • Do not apply ointments or take any blood-thinning pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen unless directed by a doctor.

Fireworks Safety Tips

The best way to avoid a potentially blinding fireworks injury is by attending a professional, public fireworks show rather than purchasing fireworks for home use.

If you attend or live near a professional fireworks show:

  • Respect safety barriers, follow all safety instructions and view fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
  • Do not touch unexploded fireworks; instead, immediately contact local fire or police departments to help.

For those who decide to purchase and use consumer fireworks in states where they are legal (PDF), follow these safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Do not allow young children to play with fireworks. Sparklers, a firework often considered by many to be the ideal “safe” device for the young, burn at very high temperatures and should be not be handled by young children. Children may not understand the danger involved with fireworks and may not act appropriately while using the devices or in case of emergency.
  • Older children should be permitted to use fireworks only under close adult supervision.
  • Do not allow any running or horseplay.
  • Set off fireworks outdoors in a clear area, away from houses, dry leaves, or grass and other flammable materials.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that fail to ignite or explode.
  • Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning or “dud” fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
  • Never light fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
  • Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • Check instructions for special storage directions.
  • Observe local laws.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.

Sourcehttps://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/injuries-fireworks-eye-safety


What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease?

Scientists don’t yet fully understand what causes Alzheimer’s disease in most people. The causes probably include a combination of age-related changes in the brain, along with genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. The importance of any one of these factors in increasing or decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease may differ from person to person.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disease. It is characterized by changes in the brain—including amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary, or tau, tangles—that result in loss of neurons and their connections. These and other changes affect a person’s ability to remember and think and, eventually, to live independently.

 

Aging and Alzheimer’s Risk

Older age does not cause Alzheimer’s, but it is the most important known risk factor for the disease. The number of people with Alzheimer’s disease doubles about every 5 years beyond age 65. About one-third of all people age 85 and older may have Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists are learning how age-related changes in the brain may harm neurons and affect other types of brain cells to contribute to Alzheimer’s damage. These age-related changes include atrophy (shrinking) of certain parts of the brain, inflammation, vascular damage, production of unstable molecules called free radicals, and breakdown of energy production within cells.

However, age is only one risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Many people live into their 90s and beyond without ever developing dementia.

 

Genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease

Many people worry about developing Alzheimer’s disease, especially if a family member has had it. Having a family history of the disease does not mean for sure that you’ll have it, too. But it may mean you are more likely to develop it.

People’s genes, which are inherited from their biological parents, can affect how likely they are to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Genetic risk factors are changes or differences in genes that can influence the chance of getting a disease. These risk factors are the reason some diseases run in families.

There are two types of Alzheimer’s—early-onset and late-onset. Both types have a genetic component.

Some Differences Between Late-Onset and Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
Late-Onset Alzheimer’sEarly-Onset Alzheimer’s
 Signs first appear in a person’s mid-60s Signs first appear between a person’s 30s and mid-60s
 Most common type Very rare
 May involve a gene called APOE ɛ4 Usually caused by gene changes passed down from parent to child

Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

Most people with Alzheimer’s have late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, in which symptoms become apparent in their mid-60s. Researchers have not found a specific gene that directly causes the late-onset form of the disease. However, one genetic risk factor—having one form, or allele, of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene on chromosome 19—does increase a person’s risk. APOE ɛ4 is called a risk-factor gene because it increases a person’s risk of developing the disease. However, inheriting an APOE ɛ4 allele does not mean that a person will definitely develop Alzheimer’s. Some people with an APOE ɛ4 allele never get the disease, and others who develop Alzheimer’s do not have any APOE ɛ4 alleles.

Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease occurs between a person’s 30s to mid-60s and represents less than 10 percent of all people with Alzheimer’s. Some cases are caused by an inherited change in one of three genes. For other cases, research shows that other genetic components are involved. Researchers are working to identify additional genetic risk variants for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Health, Environmental, and Lifestyle Factors that May Contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease

Research suggests that a host of factors beyond genetics may play a role in the development and course of Alzheimer’s disease. There is a great deal of interest, for example, in the relationship between cognitive decline and vascular conditions such as heart diseasestroke, and high blood pressure, as well as metabolic conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Ongoing research will help us understand whether and how reducing risk factors for these conditions may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

A nutritious diet, physical activity, social engagement, sleep, and mentally stimulating pursuits have all been associated with helping people stay healthy as they age. These factors might also help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Clinical trials are testing some of these possibilities.

Early-life factors may also play a role. For example, studies have linked higher levels of education with a decreased risk of dementia. There are also differences in dementia risk among racial groups and sexes—all of which are being studied to better understand the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and to develop effective treatments and preventions for all people.

 

Source https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-causes-alzheimers-disease


10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s or other dementia. Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. There are 10 warning signs and symptoms. If you notice any of them, don’t ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor.
1

Memory loss that disrupts daily life

One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the early stage, is forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events, asking for the same questions over and over, and increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.

What’s a typical age-related change? Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.

 

2

Challenges in planning or solving problems

Some people living with dementia may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.

What’s a typical age-related change? Making occasional errors when managing finances or household bills.

 

3

Difficulty completing familiar tasks

People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes they may have trouble driving to a familiar location, organizing a grocery list or remembering the rules of a favorite game.

What’s a typical age-related change? Occasionally needing help to use microwave settings or to record a TV show.

4

Confusion with time or place

People living with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.

What’s a typical age-related change? Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.

 

5

Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships

For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. This may lead to difficulty with balance or trouble reading. They may also have problems judging distance and determining color or contrast, causing issues with driving.

What’s a typical age-related change? Vision changes related to cataracts.

 

6

New problems with words in speaking or writing

People living with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have trouble naming a familiar object or use the wrong name (e.g., calling a “watch” a “hand-clock”).

What’s a typical age-related change? Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.

 

7

Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps

A person living with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. He or she may accuse others of stealing, especially as the disease progresses.

What’s a typical age-related change? Misplacing things from time to time and retracing steps to find them.

 

8

Decreased or poor judgment

Individuals may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money or pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.

What’s a typical age-related change? Making a bad decision or mistake once in a while, like neglecting to change the oil in the car.

 

9

Withdrawal from work or social activities

A person living with Alzheimer’s disease may experience changes in the ability to hold or follow a conversation. As a result, he or she may withdraw from hobbies, social activities or other engagements. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite team or activity.

What’s a typical age-related change? Sometimes feeling uninterested in family or social obligations.

 

10

Changes in mood and personality

Individuals living with Alzheimer’s may experience mood and personality changes. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, with friends or when out of their comfort zone.

What’s a typical age-related change? Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.

 

Source https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/10_signs


Cataract What You Should Know

What causes cataracts?

The lens lies behind the iris and the pupil. It works much like a camera lens. It focuses light onto the retina at the back of the eye, where an image is recorded. The lens also adjusts the eye’s focus, letting us see things clearly both up close and far away. The lens is made of mostly water and protein. The protein is arranged in a precise way that keeps the lens clear and lets light pass through it.

But as we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. This is a cataract. Over time, the cataract may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see.

Smoking and diabetes contribute to the development of cataract. Or, it may be that the protein in the lens just changes from the wear and tear it takes over the years.

 

How do cataracts affect vision?

Age-related cataracts can affect vision in two ways:

  1. Clumps of protein reduce the sharpness of the image reaching the retina.
  2. The lens consists mostly of water and protein. When the protein clumps up, it clouds the lens and reduces the light that reaches the retina. The clouding may become severe enough to cause blurred vision. Most age-related cataracts develop from protein clumpings. When a cataract is small, the cloudiness affects only a small part of the lens. You may not notice any changes in your vision. Cataracts tend to “grow” slowly, so vision gets worse gradually. Over time, the cloudy area in the lens may get larger, and the cataract may increase in size. Seeing may become more difficult. Your vision may get duller or blurrier.
  3. The clear lens slowly changes to a yellowish/brownish color, adding a brownish tint to vision. As the clear lens slowly colors with age, your vision gradually may acquire a brownish shade. At first, the amount of tinting may be small and may not cause a vision problem. Over time, the cataract usually increases in size. This gradual change in the amount of tinting does not affect the sharpness of the image transmitted to the retina. If you have advanced lens discoloration, you may not be able to identify blues and purples. You may be wearing what you believe to be a pair of black socks, only to find out from friends that you are wearing purple socks.

 

When are you most likely to have a cataract?

The term “age-related” is a little misleading. You don’t have to be a senior citizen to get this type of cataract. In fact, people can have an age-related cataract in their 40s and 50s. But during middle age, most cataracts are small and do not affect vision. It is after age 60 that most cataracts cause problems with a person’s vision.

 

Who is at risk for cataract?

The risk of cataract increases as you get older. Other risk factors for cataract include:

  • Certain diseases (for example, diabetes).
  • Personal behavior (smoking, alcohol use).
  • The environment (prolonged exposure to ultraviolet sunlight).

 

What are the symptoms of a cataract?

The most common symptoms of a cataract are:

  • Cloudy or blurry vision.
  • Colors seem faded.
  • Headlights, lamps, or sunlight may appear too bright. A halo may appear around lights.
  • Poor night vision.
  • Double vision or multiple images in one eye. (This symptom may clear as the cataract gets larger.)
  • Frequent prescription changes in your eyeglasses or contact lenses.

These symptoms also can be a sign of other eye problems. If you have any of these symptoms, check with your eye care professional.

 

Are there different types of cataract?

Yes. Although most cataracts are related to aging, there are other types of cataract:

  • Secondary cataract. Cataracts can form after surgery for other eye problems, such as glaucoma. Cataracts also can develop in people who have other health problems, such as diabetes. Cataracts are sometimes linked to steroid use.
  • Traumatic cataract. Cataracts can develop after an eye injury, sometimes years later. • Congenital cataract. Some babies are born with cataracts or develop them in childhood, often in both eyes. These cataracts may be so small that they do not affect vision. If they do, the lenses may need to be removed.
  • Radiation cataract. Cataracts can develop after exposure to some types of radiation.

 

Source https://www.nei.nih.gov/sites/default/files/health-pdfs/WYSK_Cataract_English_Sept2015_PRINT.pdf


National Men’s Health Week

National Men’s Health Week is observed each year leading up to Father’s Day. This week is a reminder for men to take steps to be healthier, but they don’t have to do it alone! Whether it’s your husband, partner, dad, brother, son, or friend you can help support the health and safety of the men in your life.

Set an Example with Healthy Habits

You can support the men in your life by having healthy habits yourself and by making healthy choices.

  • Eat healthy and include a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables have many vitamins and minerals that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol.
  • Regular physical activity has many benefits. It can help control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, and can improve your mental health and mood. Find fun ways to be active together. Adults need 2½ hours of physical activity each week.
  • Set an example by choosing not to smoke and encourage the men in your life to quit smoking. Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits. You lower your risk for different types of cancer, and don’t expose others to secondhand smoke—which causes health problems. Call your state’s tobacco quitline (for English speakers, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW [1-800-784-8669]; for Spanish speakers, call 1-855-DÉJELO-YA [1-855-335-3569])
  • Help the men in your life recognize and reduce stress. Physical or emotional tension are often signs of stress. They can be reactions to a situation that causes you to feel threatened or anxious. Learn ways to manage stress including finding support, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and avoiding drugs and alcohol.

Remind Men to Get Regular Checkups

Encourage men to see a doctor or health professional for regular checkups and to learn about their family health history.

  • Men can prepare for doctor’s visits. Certain diseases and conditions may not have symptoms, so checkups help identify issues early or before they can become a problem.
  • It’s important for men (and women) to understand their family health history, which is a written or graphic record of the diseases and health conditions present in your family. It is helpful to talk with family members about health history, write this information down, and update it from time to time.

Know the Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a heart attack. Know the signs of a heart attack and if you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack call 911 immediately. Major signs of a heart attack include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
  • Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath

Encourage Men to Seek Help for Depression

Depression is one of the leading causes of disease or injury worldwide for both men and women. Learn to recognize the signs and how to help the men in your life.

  • Signs of depression include persistent sadness, grumpiness, feelings of hopelessness, tiredness and decreased energy, and thoughts of suicide.
  • Those that suffer from depression or anxiety should seek help as early as possible. If you or someone you care about is in crisis, please seek help immediately.
    • Call 911
    • Visit a nearby emergency department or your health care provider’s office
    • Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) to talk to a trained counselor

Source https://www.cdc.gov/features/healthymen/index.html


Mental Health Myths and Facts

Mental Health Myths and Facts

Can you tell the difference between a mental health myth and fact? Learn the truth about the most common mental health myths.

 

Mental Health Problems Affect Everyone

 

Myth: Mental health problems don’t affect me.

Fact: Mental health problems are actually very common. In 2014, about:

  • One in five American adults experienced a mental health issue
  • One in 10 young people experienced a period of major depression
  • One in 25 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It accounts for the loss of more than 41,000 American lives each year, more than double the number of lives lost to homicide. Learn more about mental health problems.

Myth: Children don’t experience mental health problems.

Fact: Even very young children may show early warning signs of mental health concerns. These mental health problems are often clinically diagnosable, and can be a product of the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors.

Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarters of mental health disorders begin before age 24.

Unfortunately, less than 20% of children and adolescents with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need. Early mental health support can help a child before problems interfere with other developmental needs.

Myth: People with mental health problems are violent and unpredictable.

Fact: The vast majority of people with mental health problems are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Most people with mental illness are not violent and only 3%–5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population. You probably know someone with a mental health problem and don’t even realize it, because many people with mental health problems are highly active and productive members of our communities.

Myth: People with mental health needs, even those who are managing their mental illness, cannot tolerate the stress of holding down a job.

Fact: People with mental health problems are just as productive as other employees. Employers who hire people with mental health problems report good attendance and punctuality as well as motivation, good work, and job tenure on par with or greater than other employees.

When employees with mental health problems receive effective treatment, it can result in:

  • Lower total medical costs
  • Increased productivity
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Decreased disability costs

Myth: Personality weakness or character flaws cause mental health problems. People with mental health problems can snap out of it if they try hard enough.

Fact: Mental health problems have nothing to do with being lazy or weak and many people need help to get better. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:

  • Biological factors, such as genes, physical illness, injury, or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely.

 

Helping Individuals with Mental Health Problems

 

Myth: There is no hope for people with mental health problems. Once a friend or family member develops mental health problems, he or she will never recover.

Fact: Studies show that people with mental health problems get better and many recover completely. Recovery refers to the process in which people are able to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities. There are more treatments, services, and community support systems than ever before, and they work.

Myth: Therapy and self-help are a waste of time. Why bother when you can just take a pill?

Fact: Treatment for mental health problems varies depending on the individual and could include medication, therapy, or both. Many individuals work with a support system during the healing and recovery process.

Myth: I can’t do anything for a person with a mental health problem.

Fact: Friends and loved ones can make a big difference. Only 44% of adults with diagnosable mental health problems and less than 20% of children and adolescents receive needed treatment. Friends and family can be important influences to help someone get the treatment and services they need by:

  • Reaching out and letting them know you are available to help
  • Helping them access mental health services
  • Learning and sharing the facts about mental health, especially if you hear something that isn’t true
  • Treating them with respect, just as you would anyone else
  • Refusing to define them by their diagnosis or using labels such as “crazy”

Myth: Prevention doesn’t work. It is impossible to prevent mental illnesses.

Fact: Prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders focuses on addressing known risk factors such as exposure to trauma that can affect the chances that children, youth, and young adults will develop mental health problems. Promoting the social-emotional well-being of children and youth leads to:

  • Higher overall productivity
  • Better educational outcomes
  • Lower crime rates
  • Stronger economies
  • Lower health care costs
  • Improved quality of life
  • Increased lifespan
  • Improved family life

Source https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/mental-health-myths-facts


Health Threats From High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure threatens your health and quality of life

In most cases, the damage done by high blood pressure (HBP, or hypertension) takes place over time. Left undetected (or uncontrolled), high blood pressure can lead to:

  • Heart attack — High blood pressure damages arteries that can become blocked and prevent blood flow to the heart muscle.
  • Stroke — High blood pressure can cause blood vessels in the brain to clog more easily or even burst.
  • Heart failure — The increased workload from high blood pressure can cause the heart to enlarge and fail to supply blood to the body.
  • Kidney disease or failure — High blood pressure can damage the arteries around the kidneys and interfere with their ability to filter blood effectively.
  • Vision loss — High blood pressure can strain or damage blood vessels in the eyes.
  • Sexual dysfunction — High blood pressure can lead to erectile dysfunction in men or lower libido in women.
  • Angina — Over time, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease or microvascular disease (MVD). Angina, or chest pain, is a common symptom.
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD) — Atherosclerosis caused by high blood pressure can cause a narrowing of arteries in the legs, arms, stomach and head, causing pain or fatigue.

Source https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/health-threats-from-high-blood-pressure