HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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Depression includes disturbances in mood, focus, energy and sleep and thoughts of suicide. American men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women, says the CDC. Men and women can experience depression in different ways. “We have known about sex differences for years when it comes to depression, and they are absolutely essential to understanding the illness,” said Jill Goldstein, director of research at the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Men generally are less in tune with their emotions and may not recognize their symptoms as depression. They often deny or hide their unhappiness until it becomes more severe and tend to abuse alcohol or other substances prior to the onset of depression (women tend to abuse substances after the onset of depression). Men mask their sadness with other outlets – TV, sports, working excessively, engaging in risky behaviors, gambling, unsafe sex or reckless driving. They express their sadness as anger and irritability, says Goldstein. Additionally, men and women can respond differently to antidepressants.


Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

One of the most common sexual problems for men, ED can be organic (vascular, neurogenic, hormonal, anatomic, drug-induced), psychological or a combination of both. “Greater than 50 percent of males between age 40 and 70 has some form of erectile dysfunction,” said Dr. Roy Buchinsky, master clinician at University Hospitals in Ohio and clinical assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Many of the risk factors for heart disease – high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking – are also risk factors for ED. Keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding smoking and excess alcohol can help counteract ED. Smokers have a disproportionately increased risk for ED, and men who drink more than two servings of alcohol at a time may have increased sexual desire but decreased performance. Additionally, depression can play a role in ED.


Varicocele

An enlargement of the veins in the scrotum, varicocele is the most common cause of male infertility. Varicoceles are found in up to 40 percent of patients with male infertility. These occur primarily on the left side and are diagnosed by physical exam or ultrasound. They can usually be repaired.  

MEN’S MAIN HEALTH ISSUES

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer usually begins in either the colon or the rectum with the formation of a polyp, a growth that starts in the inner lining of the colon and/or rectum and expands toward the center. Most polyps are not cancerous. Removing them when they are small can help prevent the development of colorectal cancer. Men are more likely to develop this cancer if they have a family history of the disease, Crohn’s disease or type 2 diabetes.


Alcohol

Approximately 63 percent of adult men reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days. Men were two times more likely than women to engage in binge drinking during the same time period, says the CDC. The CDC also reports men have much higher rates of death and hospitalization due to alcohol compared to women. Excessive drinking poses several risks for men, including stroke, cirrhosis of the liver and cancers of the mouth, esophagus, throat and liver.


Depression

More than 6 million American men experience at least one major depressive episode each year, says the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Here are some main health concerns for men, as well as some that are easily overlooked:


Prostate Cancer

This is the most common cancer among American men, except for non-melanoma skin cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This type of cancer, which affects the prostate gland located below the bladder, usually grows slowly. Symptoms of prostate cancer include frequent urination, a weak urine stream or blood in the urine or semen.


Heart Disease and Diabetes

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, but it is the No. 1 cause of death for American men, says the CDC. Compared to 12.6 million women, 13 million men have diabetes in this country.


Testicular Cancer

This cancer can develop in one or both testicles. Men should regularly self-examine their testicles by holding a testicle between the thumbs and fingers of both hands and checking for abnormal bumps or changes in size or shape. Testicular cancer has been increasing over the past four decades and is the most common malignancy in young men.