Men’s health – The 5 big killers and 5 natural solutions by Dr James G Liddell

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Stress, Heart Attacks, Strokes, Diabetes and Prostate Cancer

Statistics :

  • Chronically high stress levels can lead to heart attacks, heart failure and strokes
  • You have a 50% risk of dying from heart or artery disease
  • Diabetics have an 80% risk for stroke related deaths
  • One in six men die in South Africa of prostate cancer – the number one amoungst men
  • Obesity is the no. 1 cause of diabetes

What do all these diseases have in common?

Stress is a major contributing factor and 80% of the big 5 are preventable.

Your genetics and your lifestyle will determine how healthy you will age. All of us can alter our ageing process by the way we live. Your risk for the big 5: high stress levels, heart attacks, strokes, prostate cancer and diabetes should be annually evaluated. For example, cardiovascular disease starts with elevated blood pressure and erectile dysfunction.

1. Stress

Two kinds of stress

  • Acute stress -Movies, over and under stimulation in the work place, noise, loss in status, electrical shock, disease, operations, loss in self-confidence and traumatic events
  • Chronic stress – Insomnia, daily irritations, too much or too little work and social isolation

So, what is the solution?

  • We all have stress on a daily basis – the difference is how you react to it and what you do.
  • Remember you are the captain of your own ship – so take charge and have a plan of action

Effects of long term stress

  • Emotional effects: depression, anxiety and anger
  • Physical effects: strokes, heart attacks and irregular heartbeat
  • Other: asthma, skin conditions, IBS, allergies and immune system problems

Symptoms of stress

  • Feelings: anxiety, fear, irritation, tired, no enthusiasm, shyness
  • Thoughts: negative, forgetful, cannot make decisions
  • Behaviour: problems with speech, crying, fearful, grinding of teeth, overuse of meds and alcohol and withdrawal from people
  • Physical: perspiration of hands, increased heartbeat, shakiness, dry mouth and throat, get tired easily, urinate frequently, insomnia, IBS, headaches, PMS, pain in neck or lower back, no appetite, excessive appetite, low immune system, nightmares, skin rash, short of breath, dizziness, and weight problems

The solution: stress management

  • Be aware of stress symptoms – and be pro-active
  • Meditation and exercise are best and most affordable remedies for stress management. Meditation on a daily basis will keep you cool in the storm. Peace is happiness. Create the discipline to meditate daily and experience peace at all times. What happens in your daily life is a reflexion of what happens inside you
  • Exercise – frequent exercises will reduce anxiety and mild depression and will boost self-confidence. Exercise will also boost your immune system
  • Medical checks – have a preventative diagnostic schedule in place – we will supply you with one
  • Sufficient sleep – your brain needs to rest and it will help with concentration the next day. If your mind is fresh, you will work more effectively and that will also reduce your stress levels
  • Eat regularly – your brain uses about 30% of your blood glucose – if you don’t eat your blood glucose levels drop – adrenaline levels go up – and your stress levels go up
  • Drink enough water – don’t let your brain become like a raisin
  • Take charge of your own life – establish your strengths and weaknesses – get professional help if needed
  • People with type A personality are more prone to heart disease – the aggressive type that has difficulty relaxing
  • Control stress through relaxation – acquire a pet, go for a massage, listen to relaxing music, write your problems down, laugh often and ask for help if needed
  • Maintain good relations with family and friends. Allocate more time to people that support and love you
  • Be realistic – being unrealistic can increase your stress levels – don’t expect everyone to like or support your opinion, reduce your expectations of yourself and others, don’t expect total harmony in your relationship – it is not possible
  • Improve your communication – don’t be too placid or aggressive
  • Rejuvenate mind, body and soul through music, dance, sport, prayer, painting, hiking, holiday or anything that will boost your being – have balance in your life
  • Do not take on more than you can handle – scale down if needed
  • Evaluation – get regularly evaluated if you are prone to high stress levels – the “Moch stress indicator” is a helpful tool
  • GET HELP IF NEEDED – see a professional person or go to a health spa – stay away from medication if you can. It can be habit forming and only treats the symptoms

2. Heart attacks

Background

You have a 50% risk of dying from heart disease.

Diseases of the arteries

The main cause for disease is the arteries and not the heart. Our arteries harden because of age and atherosclerosis (arterial deposits). Plaque in the arteries, thicker blood and clots can lead to blockages which will stop blood flow. When this happens in the heart the cells will die because of lack of oxygen. If a blockage presents in the brain we call it a stroke and when a blockage occurs in the leg it’s called thrombosis. If an artery ruptures in the brain we call it a cerebral hemorrhage.

Causes for CAD (coronary artery diseases)

  • High blood pressure >120/80 – number one cause
  • Very high cholesterol
  • Elevated homocysteine, Lp(a), fibrinogen and CRP levels – signs of inflamed arteries
  • The oxidized cholesterol theory – lack of antioxidants in diet
  • Microbe theory – certain organisms initiate the process of atherosclerosis
  • The free radical-heavy metal theory (lack of antioxidants and increased levels of micro-minerals like iron)
  • Stress

The cholesterol myth

Cardiovascular disease is not simply a high cholesterol disease but an inflammatory disease. 85% Cholesterol is manufactured in your liver. 15% Cholesterol is from animal protein – that is now the food that you eat. Raised cholesterol levels are a sign of a lifestyle problem and that should be the first priority in reducing cholesterol levels. The causes for high cholesterol are: stress, depression, lack of exercise, lack of nutrients, smoking and genes.

All cells contain cholesterol and all tissues can manufacture and regulate it. Cholesterol levels vary during a day and also during seasons – higher in winter and lower in summer. It is also higher after surgery, infection and stress. Bones are filled with cholesterol and would be hollow without it.

Ideal test scores for cardiovascular health

  High risk Medium risk Healthy
Cholesterol <3.1 &>8.5mmol/l >6.2mmol/l 4.9-5.5mmol/l
Cholesterol/HDL >8:1 >5:1 <3.5 : 1
Blood pressure >140/90 > 130/85 <120/80
Pulse >85 <85 <70
Homocysteine >15 6<H<15 <6
Fibrinogen <3g/l
hsCRP >3 1-3 <1.0mg/l
Apo-lipoprotein B > 0.9G/L
LDLSF (yellow top)
LDL size  is graded into 5 categories ranging from large to small: A1;AI;I;IB;B:   LDL-B is associated with a threefold increase of risk of ischaemic heart disease (small is bad / large less dangerous.

Let us look at the following facts

  • The majority of heart patients don’t have high cholesterol
  • Vitamin E will reduce heart disease with the same percentage as statins at a fraction of the price
  • Only when cholesterol is oxidized it will damage arterial wall – if you have enough antioxidants in your diet, it will prevent oxidation of cholesterol a great deal
  • Real changes in lifestyle, diet, taking vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are the solution to heart disease.
  • From all the studies we now know, 50% of risks are still unexplained
  • Statins cause cancer in animals and does not lower risk in women
  • Statins lower CoQ10 production – patients complain about exhaustion and muscle fatigue
  • Cholesterol reduction did not lower death rates in men and women
  • The effect of cholesterol on heart mortality declines with age
  • Little benefit in lowering cholesterol in patients over 60 years of age
  • Cholesterol is the precursor and building block of steroid hormones like testosterone, progesterone, etc.
  • We know cholesterol increase with age, because hormone levels drop with ageing
  • Low cholesterol patients can often complain about depression, weight gain, impotence, fibromyalgia-like pain and can increase risk for gastric cancer
  • Low Thyroid hormone levels are also associated with raised LDL levels – if you correct TSH – LDL drops
  • Hs C-Reactive protein (inflammatory indicator) – more important than cholesterol in determining heart disease risk (check hs CRP – blood test)
  • Red Yeast Rice does the same than statins with a low side effect profile

Homocysteine – check your levels

If you have had a stroke or heart attack – we now know that there is a 50% chance that you have high homocysteine levels. High homocysteine levels are 40 times more predictive of a heart attack than cholesterol.

3. Strokes

One stroke always follows another stroke but strokes can be prevented.

What happens when you have a stroke?

  • Strokes occur when blood flow is cut off to a certain area in the brain because of ischemia or when hemorrhage takes place and bleeding does damage to the brain
  • The area that is cut off determines which parts of the body will be affected
  • Left sided strokes affect the right side and vice versa
  • Stokes on the right side of the brain can cause lameness of left arm, leg and can affect left side of face

Immediate treatment is necessary

  • The first 3-6 hours are the most important part of treatment

The big five stroke symptoms – watch out for them

  • Sudden tiredness or numb feeling in face, arm or leg on one or both sides of the body
  • Loss of vision or double vision
  • Difficulty in speech or understanding what people say
  • Sudden severe headaches without a particular cause
  • Unexplained dizziness or tendency to fall

Other symptoms

  • Not able to walk
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Loss of control over bladder and intestines
  • Unconsciousness or fainting

Important

The above symptoms can come and go. This can happen because the clot has dissolved and blood supply has been restored to a specific area. In 60% of cases these symptoms are warning signs of a massive stroke that is to follow.

4. Diabetes

  • There are currently 1 billion overweight people globally
  • 33% of men and 50% of women in South Africa are either overweight or obese
  • Obesity is associated with at least 30 medical conditions – let’s name a few: diabetes, cancers, arthritis, hypertension and gallstones
  • A mere loss of 10% of bodyweight will reduce diseases associated with obesity with 50%
  • More people in South Africa will die of diabetes related causes than aids
  • You are classified as overweight when your BMI (Body Mass Index) is between 25 and 29.9 and obese when your BMI is more than 30 and / or your hip stomach ratio is more than one

Symptoms of diabetes

  • Frequent urination
  • Thirst and high intake of fluids
  • Excessive appetite
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Skin infections that heal slowly
  • Vaginal infections
  • Tiredness
  • Burning sensation – hands and feet
  • No symptoms

5. Prostate cancer

Present position in South Africa

One in six men dies in South Africa of prostate cancer – the number one cancer amongst men.

Symptoms of enlarged prostate / prostate cancer

  • Dribbling
  • Decrease in the size of the stream during urination
  • Chronic discomfort in the abdominal area
  • Frequent urination
  • Problems holding back the urine stream
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Pain during ejaculation
  • Pain in the lower back, hip or thigh
  • No symptoms at all
  • Erection problems

What causes prostate enlargement?

  • Obesity

Abdominal fat cells create the aromatase enzyme. Low testosterone allows the formation of abdominal fat, which then causes more aromatase enzyme formation and thus even lower levels of testosterone and higher estrogen by aromatising testosterone into estrogen.

  • Elevated Estrogen levels

An elevated estrogen level causes the prostate to enlarge and is a prostate cancer initiator.

Where does all the estrogen come from?

  • Plastic and pesticides
  • Estrogen in our drinking water. In countries where there is a high in usage of OC – the rate of prostate cancer is high
  • Adipose fat emits estradiol into an aging men’s blood
  • Aging, alcohol, and certain drugs impair liver function, and can be a major cause of hormone imbalance in aging men
  • Heavy alcohol intake increases estrogen in men and women. (Hops, beer and wine contain phytoestrogen and alcohol reduces the livers ability to remove it)
  • High red meat and high animal fat diet (non-organic contains antibiotics and hormones)
  • Animal fat contain estrogens that lower testosterone levels and stimulate cell growth. A high fat diet can increase risk for BPH by 31%. Daily consumption of red meat can increase BPH with 38%
  • High fat intake promotes BPH because too much dietary fat (and obesity – too much body fat) increases the body’s overall inflammatory response and also increases levels of circulating hormones such as estrogens and androgens, both of which affect prostate tissue
  • Lower levels of testosterone
  • High consumption of milk
  • High consumption of refined sugar
  • Low fiber diet that leads to constipation and enlarged prostate
  • Unbalanced prostaglandin production – too much PGE2 and too little PGE1 and PGE3
  • High DHT (dihydrotestosterone) levels – low levels of zinc and selenium
  • High alcohol consumption
  • Aging, alcohol, and certain drugs impair liver function, and can be a major cause of hormone imbalance in aging men. Heavy alcohol intake increases estrogen in men and women
  • DHEA supplementation when BPH is present

Men and estrogen

Men do need estrogen for bone health, cognitive function and also maintenance of the inner lining of the arterial wall.

Prostate drugs can be cancer fertilizers

In a BMJ study 30% of men with BPH (no cancer) taking Finasteride develop prostate tumors.

BPH and prostate cancer

BPH is not cancer. If your enlarged prostate is driven by estrogen we know today that ESTROGEN IS A PROSTATE CANCER INITIATOR – I will then seriously start a preventative programme for prostate cancer.

Natural remedies for enlarged prostate

Tribulus Terrestis, Turmeric, Red Clover, Boswelia, Urtica dioica & Pygeum africanum

A herbal remedy that will raise testosterone levels and reduce the inflammation in the enlarged prostate

Vitamin D

Herrings (22.5mcg), mackerel (17.5mcg), salmon (12.5mcg) oysters (3mcg) cottage cheese (2mcg), eggs (1.75mcg), sunshine

Omega 3

Fatty fish and seeds

 Check your Estradiol levels from 35 years of age

7.34 – 66.45 pmol/L Low estradiol –high risk for osteoporosis
73.42 – 110 pmol/L Normal
>110 pmol/L High – high risk for heart attacks & strokes

Check your PSA annually (from 35 years of age) and DRE from 50 onwards

Suggested age specific reference ranges
Years Ng/ml
40-49 0-2.5
50-59 0-3.5
60-70 0-4.5
70-79 0-6.5

 For mild symptoms of BPH

  • Urinate when you first get the urge. Also, go to the bathroom when you have the chance, even if you don’t feel a need to urinate
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine, especially after dinner
  • Don’t drink a lot of fluid all at once. Spread out fluids throughout the day. Avoid drinking fluids within 2 hours of bedtime
  • Try NOT to take over-the-counter cold and sinus medications that contain decongestants or antihistamines. These medications can increase BPH symptoms
  • Keep warm and exercise regularly. Cold weather and lack of physical activity may worsen symptoms
  • Learn and perform Kegel exercises (pelvic strengthening exercises)
  • Reduce stress. Nervousness and tension can lead to more frequent urination

The Big 5 preventative care plan

Exercise

  • Exercise 4-5X per week for 3 hours minimum and remember that not exercising enough is bad for your health and a risk factor for cancer
  • You have to do aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Aerobic exercises burn fat and anaerobic exercises built muscle. Remember stretching and toning
  • Improves your circulation
  • Can strengthen your heart
  • Stress release
  • Will improve insulin sensitivity
  • Improves your metabolic rate

Meditation

  • Meditate 20-30 minutes a day. Start with 5-10 minutes and built it up
  • Meditate daily at the same time before sunrise and after sunset
  • Open eyes wander – better to close your eyes
  • You can sit in a chair or cross-legged on the floor
  • Sit straight up – head and chin lifted – arms and hands relaxed in your lap
  • Sit still, but if you cannot, walk and meditate. When walking, keep your head up, swing your arms, gaze ahead and synchronise your breathing with your walking

Super-nutrition for chronic disease prevention

  1. Eat your organic seeds and nuts (heaped tablespoon) or 1 tablespoon of cold pressed olive oil / flax oil
  2. Eat 2-3 fresh organic fruits per day
  3. Eat 3-4 servings of organic grains per day: rice, millet, rye, oats or quinoa (as cereal)
  4. Eat 5 servings of organic vegetables per day: watercress, broccoli, spinach, green beans, peas, carrots, sweet potato and peppers
  5. Water: 5 – 2 litres per day – reverse osmosis, filtered, bottled or distilled
  6. Eat at least 50% food raw and eat organic fruit and vegetables
  7. Avoid burnt, fried, browned food as well as excess animal fat
  8. No sugar, white flour, processed food, preservatives and chemical additives
  9. Reduce alcohol consumption if you have BPH and have no alcohol if you have prostate cancer
  10. Eat organic beans and legumes daily (tofu, soya, quinoa & seed vegetables)
  11. Always have proteins with each meal: cheese, yoghurt, eggs, nuts, fish, chicken, red meat.
  12. Eat at least breakfast, lunch and supper – snack if needed in between with fruit and almonds.
  13. Best way to prepare food

Do a 2-minute sauté followed by adding water based sauce and let the food “steam-fries” at lower temperatures. Grilling, steaming, boiling or baking is better cooking methods than any form of frying. Don’t kill your food by cooking it to death – you destroy the live enzymes and nutrients

  1. rBST hormone free dairy products please
  2. Rotate foods – don’t eat the same foods every day
  3. Eat fish 2 to 3 times a week minimum

Low fat fish (0.1-2.9%): angelfish, geelbek, hake, kingklip, kabeljou

Medium-fat fish (3-10.9): pilchards, snoek, tuna, yellowtail

High-fat fish (11-30%): barracuda, salmon, butterfish, herring, mackerel, sardines

  1. Limit exposure to chemicals – herbicides and pesticides present to the body as estrogens
  2. Limit lead, cadmium and mercury exposure
  3. Eliminate all Trans fats from the diet – pastries and biscuits
  4. Re-pack food in plastic containers into glass containers ASAP

Supplementation

  • LifePak Nano
  • Magnesium 300mg daily
  • Probiotics
  • Herbal Prostate Remedy (by Lifestyle Clinic)

Annual check-ups

  • Have an annual health check-up that includes the following:

Health measurement goals

  Your result now Health goal
Body weight
BMI 18.5 – 24.9
Waist <102cm/men   <88cm/women
Body fat % 19-23.9%
BP systolic <120
BP diastolic <80
Glucose <5.5
Cholesterol <5
Exercise goals 5-6 times a week
PSA
Vitamin D 32-80 ng/mL

In conclusion

Chronic disease are lifestyle diseases and are 80% preventable.

So, remember the following 5 pointers

  1. Exercise 4-5 times a week
  2. Meditate daily – and remember to breathe
  3. Diet – go organic
  4. Take LifePak Nano
  5. Annual check-ups. Get the numbers – know your risk and manage your risk

 

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Dr James Liddell is an Integrated Healthcare Specialist (B.Pharm; M.Pharm; PhD; SAPC and PSSA registered) specialising in integrating different disciplines of healthcare to ensure holistic healthcare solutions. With 25 years experience as a Pharmacist, Dr of Nutrition and Complementary & Alternative Medicine Healthcare Practitioner, he believes lifestyle is ultimately the key to optimal health; a good nutritional foundation combined with sound emotional health are the fundamentals to what he calls ‘the optimal health zone’.