Symptoms of heart disease in men

Heart disease is one of the most common health problems that men face. By knowing some of the signs and symptoms of heart disease, they may be able to reduce their risk of developing serious complications, such as a heart attack.

Heart disease is a term referring to a range of heart health issues. These include:

  • coronary artery disease
  • arrhythmias
  • heart failure
  • angina
  • other heart-related irregularities, infections, and birth abnormalities

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), heart disease affects more than 1 in 3 men in the United States.

In some cases, a person may have evident signs of heart disease that are easily recognizable. It is possible, however, to develop heart disease without experiencing any noticeable symptoms.

Are symptoms different in men and women?

Men and women share many of the same symptoms for heart disease and heart attacks.

However, men are more likely to experience the well-known heart attack symptoms such as:

  • crushing chest pain
  • squeezing, discomfort, or fullness in the chest
  • pain in the arm, jaw, or back
  • shortness of breath
  • cold sweat
  • nausea

Women are less likely to experience crushing chest pain. They have a higher chance of having the following symptoms instead:

  • pain in the jaw, neck, or chest
  • feeling faint or lightheaded
  • squeezing on the upper back
  • fullness, pressure, or squeezing in the center of the chest

As a result, women are more likely to ignore their cardiac symptoms as it is less obvious that they relate specifically to the heart.

Signs of heart disease in men

In some cases, a heart attack or another severe heart-related event may be one of the earliest signs of heart disease that a man notices.

However, there are often some earlier symptoms and signs that they can look for, which may help to prevent a heart attack, stroke, or other complications of heart disease.

These include the following:

Symptoms of heart arrhythmias

Heart arrhythmias occur when the heart beats irregularly, or too quickly or slowly. Some symptoms to look for include:

  • fainting or dizziness
  • a sensation of the heart racing, or beating too slowly or irregularly
  • discomfort or pressure in the chest that can last for up to 30 minutes
  • difficulty catching the breath after moderate exercise such as walking up stairs
  • unexplained pain in the jaw, neck, or torso

Symptoms of blood vessel problems

Blood vessels can constrict or narrow over time. When this occurs, it is more difficult for blood to pass through the veins and arteries and this puts greater strain on the heart when it pumps.

Some early symptoms of narrowing blood vessels include:

  • shortness of breath
  • extreme fatigue
  • an irregular heartbeat
  • chest pain or angina
  • a feeling of pain, numbness, swelling, tingling, coldness, or weakness in the outer extremities

Diagnosis

Diagnosing heart disease often begins with a physical examination.

At “Vistasol Medical Group” during the examination, our doctor will discuss any symptoms that a person is experiencing and any risk factors they may have for developing heart disease.

After assessing a patient’s physical health, symptoms, and risk factors, a doctor may run several diagnostic tests to determine if a person has any form of heart disease.

Many doctors will order a stress test that looks at how the person and heart respond to moderate exercise. A doctor will monitor a person as they walk or run on a treadmill to gauge whether or not they are likely to have narrowing of the blood vessels.

A doctor may also use an MRI scan to check for blockages that could be causing a restriction in blood flow.

If they confirm a blockage, the doctor will need to determine its exact location. The method for this is invasive but should not be painful.

A cardiologist will use a long, thin tube to insert a dye into the blood vessels of the heart, in a procedure called cardiac catheterization. A radiologist will then take a series of X-ray images of the heart and arteries, called an angiogram.

9 Home remedies for Shingles

When adults have extremely itchy or painful lesions across their torso or face, the diagnosis may be shingles. It is essential that people with this condition visit a doctor for treatment, but some home remedies can help to relieve symptoms.

In the United States, there are up to one million estimated cases of shingles every year. Shingles refers to the reactivation of the dormant herpes varicella zoster virus after childhood. Aging, trauma, stress, or another illness can all activate the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend seeking medical advice as soon as any symptoms appear.

Natural remedies

Some of these remedies may relieve pain and itchiness and improve healing:

1. Essential oils

People have used essential oils as herbal remedies for many years, often for skin conditions.

Some essential oils have properties that may help with skin irritation and healing These oils include:

Chamomile oil, which has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and can improve ulcers and pressure sores by aiding skin-cell regeneration.

Eucalyptus oil, which has anti-inflammatory properties and can increase the speed at which cancer patients sores heal.

Tea tree oil, which has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and can promote wound healing.

2. Cold compresses

Holding cool cloths or compresses against the rash site may assist in relieving itchiness and reducing inflammation.

People can lightly soak a natural cotton cloth or towel with cool water and wring it out before placing it on sore, itchy areas. They can then repeat this as necessary.

It is also best not to expose the skin to extreme temperatures, so people should avoid using ice baths or very hot water. Hot water will increase blood flow and potentially slow down the healing of sores, whereas ice will increase skin sensitivity.

3. Witch hazel

Researchers believe that witch hazel is more effective than chamomile for reducing inflammation and itchiness in some individuals.

It is possible to purchase witch hazel in a variety of forms, the most common of which are creams or witch hazel water. Many witch hazel creams are available online (visit Vivoderm.com).

People can apply witch hazel topically to areas of irritation and inflammation to achieve relief.

4. Cool baths

Taking cool baths or showers every day, with minimal scrubbing, will help to keep sores and blisters clean and reduce the risk of infection.

Cool water should also relieve sore and itchy spots, helping to prevent scratching, which could cause scarring.

5. Oat baths

Some studies suggest that oat extract may moisten dry skin and soothe sensitive and inflamed skin.

The FDA have approved colloidal oatmeal as a safe and effective treatment. Colloidal oat products usually exclude oat protein to prevent allergic reactions.

The active ingredients that help reduce inflammation include flavonoids and saponins. People can use oat products in a cool bath to help relieve pain and itchiness.

6. Gentiana scabra

Researchers have found that Gentiana scabra, a blue or purple flower occurring throughout North America, has a positive effect on pain relief in shingles and decreases the likelihood of postherpetic neuralgia.

By reducing inflammation in the skin, Gentiana scabra minimizes pain and promotes healing. A reputable Chinese medicine practitioner can prepare the herbal formula by boiling the plant in water. People can then take the remedy orally

7. Diet

A healthful diet is vital for preventing and fighting illness.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating a varied diet comprising many vegetables, fruits, and whole-grains as well as legumes, nuts, and lean meats.

People should aim to include orange, red, and green foods that contain the carotenoids lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and provitamin A in their diet. Carotenoids are very important for immune function, and occur in the following foods:

  • orange foods: carrot, pumpkin, and apricot
  • red foods: watermelon, red pepper, grapefruit, and cherry
  • green foods: kale, parsley, spinach, melon, lettuce, and endive

Limiting trans and saturated fats, and avoiding added sugar and salt where possible can also reduce inflammation and improve immune function.

8. Vitamin supplements

Healthy individuals should not need to take supplements. However, individuals who are immune-compromised and over the age of 50 should consider supplementation to maintain good health and strong immunity.

There is a link between vitamin D and immune function. Many older people are at risk of low vitamin D levels, so they must ensure that they get sufficient sun exposure or take supplements to protect their immunity.

Taking vitamin C, zinc, and selenium supplements can also improve immunity in older adults.

However, taking high doses of vitamins and minerals can do more harm than good. Multivitamins, which contain lower and safer levels of many vitamins and minerals, are usually a better option.

9. Quit smoking

Smoking offers no health benefits and is always harmful. It is vital to quit smoking as it increases the risk of many cancers and diseases.

Smoking lowers immunity against infection, especially in older people, and can delay recovery and healing.

Edwin Smith surgical papyrus

7 things you didn’t know about your brain

The brain — the central “control unit” of our bodies, repository of memories and emotions. Throughout history, philosophers have believed that the brain may even house that intangible essence that makes us human: the soul. What should we know about our brains?

The main organ of the human nervous system, the brain manages most of our bodies activities and processes information received from both outside and inside the body and is the very seat of our emotions and cognitive abilities, including thought, long- and short-term memory, and decision-making.

The first mention of this organ was recorded in an Ancient Egyptian medical treatise known as the “Edwin Smith surgical papyrus,” after the man who discovered this document in the 1800s.

Since then, our understanding of the brain has expanded immeasurably, although still we contend with many mysteries surrounding this key organ.

In this Spotlight, we look at some of the most important facts we have uncovered about the brain — and some aspects that remain to be understood.

1. How big are our brains?

Brain size varies widely, depending largely on age, sex, and overall body mass. However, studies have suggested that the adult male brain weighs, on average, about 1,336 grams, whereas the adult female brain weighs around 1,198 grams.

In terms of dimensions, the human brain isn’t the largest. Of all mammals, the sperm whale — an underwater denizen weighing an impressive 35–45 tons — is known to have the biggest brain. But, of all the animals on Earth, human brains have the largest number of neurons, which are specialized cells that store and transmit information by electrical and chemical signals.Traditionally, it has been said that the human brain contains approximately 100 billion neurons, but recent investigations have questioned the veracity of that number. Instead, Brazilian neuroscientist has discovered that the number is closer to 86 billion neurons.

2. What makes a brain?

The human brain makes up, alongside the spinal chord, the central nervous system. The brain itself has three main parts:

The brain is globular in shape and made of soft tissue.

  • the brainstem, which, like a plant’s shoot, is elongated, and which connects the rest of the brain with the spinal chord
  • the cerebellum, which is located at the back of the brain and which is deeply involved in regulating movement, motor learning, and maintaining equilibrium
  • the cerebrum, which is the largest part of our brains and fills up most of the skull; it houses the cerebral cortex (that has a left and a right hemisphere separated by a long groove) and other, smaller structures, all of which are variously responsible for conscious thought, decision-making, memory and learning processes, communication, and perception of external and internal stimuli

Brains are made of soft tissue, which includes gray and white matter, containing the nerve cells, non-neuronal cells (which help to maintain neurons and brain health), and small blood vessels.

They have a high water content as well as a large amount (nearly 60 percent) of fat.

The brain of the modern-day human — Homo sapiens sapiens — is globular, unlike the brains of other early hominids, which were slightly elongated at the back. This shape, research suggests, may have developed in Homo sapiens about 40,000–50,000 years ago. 

3. How ‘hungry’ are our brains?

Despite the fact that the human brain is not a very large organ, its functioning requires a whole lot of energy.

“Although the [human] brain weighs only 2 percent of the body [mass], it alone uses 25 percent of all the energy that your body requires to run per day,” Herculano-Houzel explained in a presentation.

And why does the brain need so much “fuel?” Based on studies of rat models, some scientists have hypothesized that, while most of this energy is expended on maintaining ongoing thought and bodily processes, some of it is probably invested in the upkeep of brain cells’ health.

But, according to some researchers, at first sight, the brain, seemingly inexplicably, uses up a lot of energy during what is known as the “resting state,” when it is not involved in any specific, targeted activities.

According to James Kozloski, “Inactivity correlated networks appear even under anesthesia, and these areas have very high metabolic rates, tipping the brain’s energy budget toward a large investment in the organism’s doing nothing,” he writes.

But Kozloski’s hypothesis is that no large amount of energy is spent for no reason — so why does the brain seem to do it? In fact, he says, it doesn’t.

Energy spent “doing nothing,” he says, is actually put toward assembling a “map” of accumulating information and experiences that we can fall back on when making decisions in our day-to-day lives.

4. How much of our brains do we use?

One long-circulating myth has it that humans typically use only 10 percent of their brain capacity, suggesting that, if only we knew how to “hack into” the other 90 percent, we might be able to unlock amazing abilities.

The idea that we only use 10 percent of our brains is a myth. Actually, we use most of our brains pretty much all of the time.

While it remains unclear exactly where this myth originated and how it spread so speedily, the idea that we could somehow tap into as yet unclaimed brain power is certainly a very attractive one.

Still, nothing could be farther from the truth than this piece of urban lore. Just consider what we discussed above: even in a resting state, the brain is still active and requires energy.

Brain scans have shown that we use pretty much all of our brains all of the time, even when we’re asleep — though patterns of activity, and the intensity of that activity, might differ depending on what we’re doing and what state of wakefulness or sleep we’re in.

“Even when you’re engaged in a task and some neurons are engaged in that task, the rest of your brain is occupied doing other things, which is why, for example, the solution to a problem can emerge after you haven’t been thinking about it for a while, or after a night’s sleep, and that’s because your brain’s constantly active,” said neurologist Krish Sathian, who works at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

“If it were true that we only use 10 percent of the brain, then we could presumably sustain damage to 90 percent of our brain, with a stroke […] or something like that, and not [experience] any effects, and that’s clearly not true.”

Krish Sathian

5. Right- or left-brained?

Are you right-brained or left-brained? Any number of Internet quizzes will claim to be able to assess whether you predominantly use the right or left hemisphere of your brain.

And this has implications about your personality: allegedly, left-brained people are supposed to be more mathematically inclined and analytical, while right-brained people are more creative.

But how true is this? Once more the answer, I’m afraid, leans toward “not at all.” While it is true that each of our hemispheres has slightly different roles, individuals do not actually have a “dominant” brain side that governs their personality and abilities.

Instead, research has revealed that people use both of the brain hemispheres pretty much in equal measure.

However, what is true is that the left hemisphere of the brain is more concerned with the use of language, while the right hemisphere is applied more to the intricacies of nonverbal communication.

6. How do brains change with age?

As we age, parts of our brain begin to shrink naturally and we begin to gradually lose neurons. The frontal lobe and the hippocampus — two key brain regions in regulating cognitive processes, including memory formation and recall — start shrinking when we hit 60 or 70.

As we age, we begin to lose neurons. But new research suggests that adult brains can also generate new cells.

This means that we could naturally begin to find learning new things, or performing several tasks at the same time, more challenging than before.

There is some good news, as well, however. Till not too long ago, scientists used to believe that once we started to lose neurons, that would be it — we would be unable to create new brain cells and had to resign ourselves to that.

However, it turns out that this isn’t true. Researcher Sandrine Thuret, from King’s College London in the United Kingdom, has explained that the hippocampus is a crucial part in the adult brain in terms of generating new cells.

(And this makes sense if you consider that it plays an important role in processes of learning and memory.)

The process in which new nerve cells are created in the adult brain is called neurogenesis, and, according to Thuret, estimates suggest that an average adult human will produce “700 new neurons per day in the hippocampus.”

This, she suggests, means that when we reach middle age, we will have replaced all the neurons that we had in this brain region in the beginning of our lives with ones that we produced during adulthood.

7. Is perception ‘a controlled hallucination?’

A great mystery of the human brain is linked with consciousness and our perception of reality. The workings of consciousness have fascinated scientists and philosophers alike, and though we are slowly inching closer to an understanding of this phenomenon, much more still remains to be learned.

Anil Seth, a professor of cognitive and computational neuroscience from the University of Sussex in the U.K., who specializes in the study of consciousness, has suggested that this intriguing process is based on a sort of “controlled hallucination,” which our brains generate to make sense of the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=17&v=lyu7v7nWzfo