SAMWUMED is encouraging its male members to take ownership of their health by learning more about health issues and illnesses that commonly affect men. They include the following:
- Ischaemic heart disease (IHD) – is a disease that is characterised by a reduced blood supply to the heart. It is also known as coronary artery disease (CAD). The contributing factors include excessive smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes.
- Tuberculosis (TB) – is a potentially serious infectious disease that mainly affects the lungs. The bacteria are spread from one person to another through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes.
- Diabetes – occurs when the body either doesn’t make enough insulin or it can’t use the insulin it produces or a combination of both. Diabetes can damage the kidneys, heart, eyes, or nervous system.
- HIV/AIDS – spreads through certain body fluids and attacks the body’s immune system, destroying cells that are needed to fight off diseases.
- Respiratory diseases – start with an innocent “smoker’s cough.” Over time, the cough can lead to life-threatening conditions, such as lung cancer, emphysema, or COPD. All these conditions interfere with your ability to breathe.
Other illnesses that commonly affect men are depression, alcoholism, and liver diseases.
Taking ownership of your health
Most of the diseases can be avoided by adopting a healthy lifestyle and avoiding poor lifestyle choices such as smoking, the overuse of alcohol, poor diet, lack of physical activity, and inadequate relief of chronic stress.
Adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as routine exams and screenings for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and all cancers, including prostate cancer is helpful. Managing weight, exercising regularly, and managing stress can improve health and the quality of life.
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