Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare African American Men's Health

Health

Taking On Erectile Dysfunction

erectiledysfunctionhelpErectile dysfunction is not an easy issue to discuss. For some men, it is totally off limits. Embarrassment, fear and all of the things that men try to avoid feeling come into play when the subject of erectile dysfunction is on the table.

But who will you resolve your ED issues if you can’t find the willingness to discuss it? And, if the issue is a lack of knowledge about what erectile dysfunction is, then how will you find out what you need to know to better deal with your situation if you block the flow of information regarding this condition you can certainly overcome?

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Most Destructive Myths About Ebola Virus, Debunked

mythsaboutebolaMyths and rumors about the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa are hindering health workers from doing their jobs abroad and causing unnecessary panic and paranoia in the United States. 

Here's the truth about some of the most common misconceptions about Ebola virus:

Myth: Ebola virus is airborne, waterborne or spreads through casual contact.
Truth: Ebola virus spreads when the bodily fluids of an infected person come into contact with the mucous membranes of a non-infected person. That means Ebola virus in fluids like blood, sweat or urine has to come in contact with your eyes, mouth, nostrils, ears, genital area or an open wound in order to infect you.

In other words, it takes a lot of contact -- not just casual contact -- to become infected with the virus, which is why many of the victims of the disease in West Africa are health care workers or family members caring for a sick relative. In Western hospitals, transmission is easily prevented with precautionary measures like face masks, gloves, protective gowns and isolation units.

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Health Benefits of Aloe Vera

 aloeverabenefitsWhen you burned yourself as a kid, a parent may have come running with aloe vera juice to apply to your wound. Sometimes it would be squeezed directly from the plant, and other times the juice would come from a bottle. Either way, it would soothe your burn quickly. That’s probably the last time you thought about aloe vera. But today, this ancient substance mentioned as far back as in the Bible is being plugged as a key ingredient in health food stores and even in energy drinks at the corner store. Its popularity is at an all-time high as consumers are beginning to understand its health benefits.

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High Blood Pressure in African-Americans

highbloodpressurecountriesHigh blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects African-Americans in unique ways:

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Make Sure to Give Your Health a Tune-Up!

healthscreeningscheckupGo to any car show and you’ll see how those highly-waxed cars gleam in the sun and the engine blocks are so clean you could eat off of them. [But you wouldn’t!]. Just as much care goes into what goes on under the hood.

Any automaker will tell you the importance of keeping your pride and joy on a regular maintenance schedule – use the right gas, check the oil, make sure your tires are inflated to the proper level, rotate the tires on a cyclical basis, keep the springs in check, watch your gauges for any sign of trouble, check out any sounds or movements that aren’t “right.”

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I Agree, Getting Fresh Air is Good

gettingfreshairI was sitting in my backyard smelling the flowers and the fried fish and chicken wafting from my neighbor’s kitchen when I came across this story in the Huffington Post. Funny how things work out. I never sit in my backyard; I usually sit on the front porch and watch the cars and bikes go by. But today I felt the need to get closer to nature, and to get some fresher air, so I pulled out the yard furniture, wiped down the table and plopped down with my laptop and began to work on the September edition of Brain Brawn & Body.

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Walk for Exercise: A Better Way to Burn Calories

familywalkingexerciseAccording to research, walking is the most adhered form of exercise and the leading form of exercise for weight loss. As you get started on your walking program, focus on the following five points of posture. They will help reinforce your posture and improve your alignment. The old song, "Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes" should be your mantra while walking--and throw in belly since it's there!

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Don't Let Allergies Spoil Your Summer

allergiesendofsummerWith Summer’s end quickly approaching, (seems unfair) concern about Summer allergies may seem out of place. But there are more than a few lingering “bugs” that can make you feel just lousy even though Summer, as we know it, is fading.

With a little help from our friends at WebMD, we tell you how to avoid some of those things in the air and on the ground.

Say "summer" and most people think beach vacations and ice pops -- not sneezing and itching. But allergy triggers don't take the summer off.

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HIV/AIDS

hivaidsmanAlso called: Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, AIDS, HIV, Human immunodeficiency virus

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It kills or damages the body's immune system cells. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is the most advanced stage of infection with HIV.

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12 Heart Symptoms Never to Ignore

12symptomsHeart disease is the No. 1 killer of U.S. men and women, accounting for 40% of all U.S. deaths. That's more than all forms of cancer combined.

Why is heart disease so deadly? One reason is that many people are slow to seek help when symptoms arise. Yes, someone gripped by sudden chest pain probably knows to call 911. But heart symptoms aren't always intense or obvious, and they vary from person to person and according to gender.

Because it can be hard to make sense of heart symptoms, doctors warn against ignoring possible warning signs, waiting to see if they go away, or being quick to blame them on heartburn, muscle soreness, or other less serious, noncardiac causes. That's especially true for people over 65, as well as for people with heart risk factors, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, diabetes, or a family history of heart disease.

"The more risk factors you have, the higher the likelihood that a symptom means something is going on with your heart," says David Frid, MD, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic. "People often don't want to admit that they're old enough or sick enough to have heart trouble. Putting off treatment for other medical problems might not be so bad, but a serious heart problem can mean sudden death."

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The ABCs of High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

hypertensionHigh Blood Pressure Treatment

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is dangerous because it can lead to strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, or kidney disease. The goal of hypertension treatment is to lower high blood pressure and protect important organs, like the brain, heart, and kidneys from damage. Treatment for hypertension has been associated with reductions in stroke (reduced an average of 35%-40%), heart attack (20%-25%), and heart failure (more than 50%), according to research.

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Will I Have Chest Pain If I Have a Heart Attack?

heartattackNot always, our expert says. And that's why you should know all the potential symptoms of a heart attack.

Q: I'll know I'm having a heart attack because my chest and arm will hurt, right?

A: Not necessarily. While some heart attacks do feature classic symptoms like chest and arm pain, the idea that they all do is FALSE.

About 25% of men and 40% of women don't have chest pain during heart attacks, says Harmony Reynolds, MD, associate director of the Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center.

With or without chest and arm pain, women may have "shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, sweating, palpitations, dizziness, loss of appetite, or pain in other areas such as the jaw, throat, neck, shoulders, or upper or middle back," Reynolds says.

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Understanding Blood Pressure Readings

Blood pressure is typically recorded as two numbers, written as a ratio like this:
 

bloodpressureabSystolic

The top number, which is also the higher of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle contracts).
 
Diastolic

The bottom number, which is also the lower of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood).

 

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The Warning Signs of Stroke

strokewarningsignsA stroke occurs about every 40 seconds. Each year, about 795,000 Americans have a stroke. Do you know the warning signs?

Sometimes symptoms of stroke develop gradually. But if you are having a stroke, you are more likely to have one or more sudden warning signs like these.

  • Numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side
  • Confusion or trouble understanding other people
  • Trouble speaking
  • Trouble seeing with one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking or staying balanced or coordinated
  • Dizziness
  • Severe headache that comes on for no known reason

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Heart Attack Symptoms

heartattacksymptomsSymptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest, arm or below the breastbone
  • Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat, or arm
  • Fullness, indigestion, or choking feeling (may feel like heartburn)
  • Sweating, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness
  • Extreme weakness, anxiety, or shortness of breath
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats

 

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