The heart sustains the whole body and does its job unnoticed day by day. Unfortunately, only when people experience heart problems do they get a wake-up call to check if their lifestyles are beneficial for their hearts.
Although men and women can both experience heart diseases, some ailments are more common in men. In observance of Men’s Health Month, we'll look at the seven most common heart diseases happening to men. We'll also provide tips on keeping your heart healthy to prevent any heart problems.
Common Heart Health Problems in Men
Coronary Artery Disease
A man over 45 years old has a higher risk of developing coronary artery disease, also known as ischemic heart disease. This condition is characterized by the buildup of plaque or fatty substances around the heart’s arteries, affecting the delivery of oxygenated blood to the different parts of the body. Individuals with this condition experience the following symptoms:
- Chest pains
- Aches in the left part of the body, particularly the arms, neck, and jaw
When the heart beats faster or slower or skips beats, you might have a condition called arrhythmia. In particular, men who smoke, drink alcohol, have diabetes, and are obese have a higher risk of developing this ailment.
Arrhythmia can also be a result of other heart diseases. When the abnormal beating of the heart causes chest discomfort, dizziness, and difficulty breathing, you should get checked up. Doctors are likely to prescribe anticoagulants and anti-arrhythmic drugs.
Often, heart failure results from other heart ailments. It occurs when the heart fails to deliver oxygenated blood to the different parts of the body. Although it will affect all organs, it will do the most harm to the lungs because of fluid buildup. With that, difficulty in breathing, swelling of the extremities, and chest pain leading to a heart attack may occur.
Heart Valve Disease
Heart valve disease affects both men and women. Age, genetics, and previous heart infection are some causes of the condition.
When you have this ailment, any of the heart's four valves do not open or close properly, disrupting the flow of oxygenated blood in the body. You may experience abdominal swelling, heart murmur, swelling of the extremities, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
The type of cardiomyopathy that commonly affects men is dilated cardiomyopathy. In this condition, the left ventricle cannot pump oxygenated blood properly.
Early detection of the problem can inhibit the development of other heart complications. Have a heart checkup as soon as you can if you are a middle-aged man experiencing the following symptoms:
- Bloated abdomen
- Difficulty in breathing, especially when laying flat
- Rapid heartbeats
- Swelling of the extremities
- Chest pain and pressure
Pericardial disease is the inflammation of the pericardium, a thin sac that separates the heart from the other organs in the chest. Men aged 16 to 65 are prone to having pericardial disease, although the condition can affect anyone.
If you experience chest pain, fever, and a high heart rate, get checked up for pericarditis. Doctors are likely to prescribe steroids, antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, or colchicine to address the heart problem.
When men reach the age of 65, they are at a higher risk of having an aortic aneurysm. This condition happens when the aorta bulges like a balloon. This bulge might rupture, and when it does, it will bleed inside the body and cause death.
Regular heart checkups can prevent or detect the bulging and rupturing of the aorta and gives you a chance to address it early through medication and lifestyle changes.
Preventing Heart Diseases in Men
Men can take some steps to reduce their risk of developing heart disease. Although medication is always an option, you can make gradual and natural changes that your heart will thank you for.
Know your heart disease risk factors.
The first step to change is always awareness. Men should know which heart diseases they are more at risk of developing. Some affect young men, while others are more likely to occur at an old age. This knowledge will hopefully push them to act.
When you exercise and choose an active lifestyle, you work out the toughest muscle in the body—the heart. Regular exercise ensures that the heart continues to do its function of supplying oxygenated blood to the body. The arteries and veins also get stronger with every exertion. So sweat the cholesterol out to ensure it will not clog the heart.
Decrease smoking and alcohol.
Smoking, whether firsthand or secondhand, is not good for the heart. Thus, it is best to let go of the habit totally.
Meanwhile, some studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial for the heart, so you can still drink—but not too much. It is best to switch to non-alcoholic beverages or mocktails.
Treat erectile and testosterone issues.
Men with erectile problems are more likely to develop heart diseases when they get older. Meanwhile, men with low testosterone develop metabolic issues first, which cause obesity, diabetes, and, eventually, heart diseases. Thus, men should address their erectile problems and normalize their testosterone levels to avoid heart problems later.
Sleep and relax.
Sleep is essential in keeping your heart healthy. When you sleep, you give your organs time to repair after a long day’s work. Rest also provides the brain with a break from thinking, which causes stress, high blood pressure, and heart diseases.
Check your sugar level.
Having diabetes increases the risk of having heart problems. Thus, aside from looking after your heart, check your sugar levels too. Maintain an active lifestyle and healthy weight to avoid obesity, one of the leading causes of diabetes and heart disease.
Switch to healthy food.
Food choice plays a huge role in keeping the heart healthy, so choose wisely and eat foods that are good for the heart. Skip foods high in processed carbs and cholesterol and go for organic and plant-based ones. This diet promotes a healthy weight and keeps you far from obesity.
Bonus Recipe for the Heart: Lemon Poppy Seed Baked Oatmeal with Karviva Joy-D
Did you know that frequent consumption of oats lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and decreases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity?
Here’s an easy oatmeal recipe that benefits the heart. It also uses Karviva Joy-D, which boosts the immune system and keeps you away from infections and diseases.
Reap all the heart goodness while enjoying this tasty treat! Here are the steps to make the lemon poppy seed baked oatmeal with Karviva Joy-D. Don’t worry—it’s super easy!
- ½ cup Karviva Joy-D
- ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp monk fruit
- A pinch of sea salt
- 1 tbsp honey for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).
- Mix all the ingredients, except the honey, in a petite cocotte.
- Bake for 18–20 minutes or until golden brown. Top with honey and serve warm.
Note: For a plant-based substitute for honey, use agave syrup or maple syrup.
A cardiovascular disease knows no gender, but studies have shown some heart problems occur more commonly in men. Fortunately, these conditions are highly preventable by living a healthy lifestyle.
We hope you’ve found this post helpful. It can be daunting to think about all the different ways to keep our hearts healthy, but knowledge is power, and arming yourself with information is a great start.
If you want to infuse your meals with Karviva health drinks, check out our Amazon store. You'll find a variety of flavors, all high in antioxidants to promote heart health. Also, be sure to check out our recipes for more heart-healthy meal ideas!