Finn/Charlie Brown is wearing blue, and so should you!
Hey everybody! Thanks so much for checking back with us throughout the week. I know that I’ve been posting quite a few awareness blog entries this week, and I just want to reassure you that it won’t be this busy every week. We have a few awareness observances this week that we thought should all get some attention, so we kicked it up a notch, in order to be comprehensive. One of the most important health observances of this week is the subject for this post, actually. Today is part two of the Men’s Health Week awareness blog post. We couldn’t fit all the information into one, so we’ve broken it up into two. This post will pick up where we left off earlier in the week where we were discussing the top ten biggest killers of men. It’s important for both men and women to be informed about the risks men face so that we can all make an effort to prevent them from taking someone we love.
Today is Wear Blue Day, which is observed on the Friday of every Men’s Health Week. The purpose of Wear Blue Day is to encourage men to seek regular check ups and screening in order to prevent illness. It is also a day used to raise awareness for men’s health issues and raise money to fund research and treatment. The point of men’s health week is to help men live longer, healthier lives. I just want to reiterate a point I made in the first post, because it’s an important issue regarding Men’s Health. There is a tendency for men in this country to not be completely honest or upfront with their doctors about things that are bothering them because they are trying to appear tough. This is so incredibly dangerous! Doctors do not care whatsoever if you are tough, but they do care about whether or not anything may be wrong with your health. If you downplay symptoms or concerns then you are increasing the likelihood that it will continue to get worse and cause more serious problems long term. Early detection is the key to a long life of health. If you don’t treat things early on, like high blood pressure for example, then you will be putting yourself at risk for very serious consequences. The time to treat your health concerns is not after something has already happened, but instead to treat it before so that something bad never happens.
Okay, done. Let’s get to the good stuff, yes? Picking up where we left off…
The number six cause of death is Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia is the umbrella term for a number of conditions relating to the decrease in cognitive function, one of which is Alzheimer’s. Dementia develops as the result of damaged neuropathways. Damaged nerve cells within the brain no longer function as they used to, and begin to die. The death of these damaged nerve cells causes cognition to decrease, as the function of the brain decreases. This may cause a decline in memory, a change in behavior and sometimes even a change in personality, and it inhibits the ability to think clearly. You may notice unusual confusion, or abrupt loss of train of thought. You may also notice that the person becomes more easily flustered, frustrated, or agitated by things that would not have caused a problem before. Typically, short-term memory loss is the first indication of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. With Alzheimer’s, the death of neurons will continue until it eventually prevents the brain from carrying out life-sustaining functions, such as breathing. In end stages, patients will require round-the-clock medical attention as they become bed-bound and dependent on life-sustaining machines. Alzheimer’s is ultimately a terminal disease. There are roughly 5.4 million people in America with Alzheimer’s, 200,000 of which were diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s (before the age of 65). Alzheimer’s disease cannot be cured or prevented entirely. Reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease can greatly improve your risk for developing Alzheimer’s, as can staying mentally fit with activities such as reading, exercise, learning, playing an instrument, and games like crossword puzzles or scrabble.
The seventh leading cause of death is Diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s ability to control blood sugar and maintain normal levels. This causes hyperglycemia, or high levels of glucose in the blood, which damages the body over time. Consistent hyperglycemia leads to tissue damage in the nerves, blood vessels, eyes, and other tissues in the body. When we eat, our bodies turn a large percentage of our food into glucose. Glucose is a vital source of energy that is required by the body to function. All of our cells and organs need glucose to be healthy. When someone has diabetes, there is a build up of glucose in the blood because either the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin, or the body can not use the insulin produced by the pancreas as well as it should be able to. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that helps glucose enter our cells. The inability to get the glucose into the cells effectively causes the buildup of glucose in the blood, which causes high blood sugar. Results of diabetes include blindness, poor circulation (sometimes leading to amputation), kidney failure, heart disease, and nerve damage. About 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases are Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is adult onset diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or significantly delayed by maintaining a healthy body weight, regular exercise, and eating a healthy diet.
The eighth cause of death is the flu and pneumonia. For most people, the flu is just an uncomfortable inconvenience that they have to face when the weather gets cold. We do our best to avoid it, but chances are that we will be exposed to the seasonal flu every year. Influenza (the flu) is an extremely contagious viral infection, which is often transmitted through a cough or sneeze, or direct contact. Chances are, you’ve had the flu more than once. The reason we suffer from the flu annually, instead of having it once and developing immunity against it in the future, is because there are many different kinds of the flu. There are three families of the flu: A, B, and C. There are many strains of each type, and the virus evolves continually, making our immunity to a previous flu irrelevant. Most healthy people recover from the flu in a few days to weeks, but babies, seniors, and those with a suppressed immune system are at high risk for complications from the flu. One of the most common complications from the flu is pneumonia. Pneumonia can become very serious, and even deadly. Wit pneumonia, the lungs fill with fluid, and prevent oxygen from reaching the bloodstream. Without adequate oxygen circulation, cells cannot function and may die, causing organ failure and death. You can significantly increase your chances of not getting the flu by getting a flu shot every year, maintaining good hygiene, and avoiding people or places that have been exposed to the virus.
The ninth cause of death is kidney disease. Kidney disease is comprised of nephrotic syndrome, nephritis and nephrosis. Chronic kidney disease damages the kidneys and prevents them from filtering blood as well as healthy kidneys. When the kidneys cannot filter the blood well, waste and toxins in the blood stream build up and begin to damage the body. While kidney disease is common, awareness for kidney disease is dangerously low. Because awareness is so low, many people have kidney disease without realizing it. Roughly 26 million people in America have kidney disease, and less than half of the people with the most severe stage of kidney disease even know that their kidneys are damaged. Lack of awareness is likely a large component of why it is so deadly, since people cannot treat and manage what they do not know they have. Chronic kidney disease risk increases with age, particularly after the age of 50, with most patients over the age of 70. To reduce your risk of kidney disease, always follow instructions for medications, including over the counter medicines, do not consume excessive amounts of alcohol, get regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight, don’t smoke, and treat other medical conditions.
The tenth leading cause of death is suicide. Suicide is major issue in the United States. Risk factors for suicide vary by demographic, but common risk factors include: Depression, mental illness, substance abuse or addiction, family history of suicide, victims of physical violence, victims of sexual assault or sexual abuse, owning firearms, prior incarceration, exposure to suicide by peers or family members, and prior suicide attempts. Having these risk factors does not necessarily mean that someone is suicidal. Some people have many of these risk factors but are not suicidal, and some people have none of these risk factors but are suicidal. Things to look for in assessing whether someone may be suicidal include: talking about wanting to die or commit suicide, researching how to commit suicide, discussing feelings of hopelessness or apathy, feelings of worthlessness, feeling trapped, feeling like you cannot bear the pain any longer, feeling like a burden, feeling you have nothing to live for, behaving recklessly, engaging in high risk behaviors, increased substance use or abuse, not getting enough sleep or sleeping too much, isolation, withdrawal from normal activities and relationships, and extreme mood swings. If you think someone you know may be showing signs that they are planning to commit suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255; it’s free and it’s confidential. They also have an online chat on their website if talking over the phone isn’t your thing.
Thank you for reading! I know this post is a little heavy, but the only way to prevent these things from happening is to be aware of them. The next post will be a little lighter, I promise. See you next time!
If you are new to our blog, let me welcome you to the Personalized Cause awareness blog. Personalized Cause is an awareness accessory company that offers one of a kind custom awareness ribbons, as well as a range of other awareness ribbons and wristbands. Our custom awareness ribbons can be personalized with any name, date, message, or phrase you choose, and there’s no minimum amount for orders. Custom awareness ribbons are a unique way to convey love and support to someone who is struggling, when you may not know just what to say. Custom awareness ribbons are also a powerful tool for raising awareness and advocating for your cause. This awareness blog is dedicated to raising awareness for as many causes as possible. We strive to educate our readers about different causes and illnesses in order to encourage prevention or early detection. I hope you’ll join us again next time for another awareness blog post.
Light blue awareness ribbons are used to raise awareness for Men’s Health. To order a custom light blue awareness ribbon, visit:
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