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Doctor advises dads, young men to take care of heart to avoid top disease |

Health And Family

Doctor advises dads, young men to take care of heart to avoid top disease

Dolly Dy-Zulueta -
Doctor advises dads, young men to take care of heart to avoid top disease
Fatherhood makes a man feel that he should be in the best health to see his children grow up.
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MANILA, Philippines — There are a number of men who are said to tend to be callous about their health care. Many who are young and robust feel invincible and often have the bad habit of relegating doctor’s appointments to the backburner.

“Many robust young men put off going to the doctor until it’s too late. Unlike women who have regular gynecologist visits, men simply aren’t encouraged to see a doctor regularly. But refusing to recognize your current health challenges and your vulnerability to certain conditions can cause bigger health problems that can alter your life,” said Joel A. de la Rosa, MD, from the Section of Cardiology of Makati Medical Center (MakatiMed).

But when those young and robust men become dads, things make a 360-degree turn. The moment they hold their baby in their arms for the first time or run after their toddler in the playground for the nth time, fatherhood creates a seismic shift in their life and motivates them to become a better man and a healthier one, too.

They would want to be someone who would be strong and healthy to be able to provide for that little one and someone who would be there to guide and protect that little bundle of joy. Fatherhood can make them recalibrate their life choices, and as a provider and protector of the family, they now feel vulnerable. Thus, they are more willing to subject themselves to health checks.

MakatiMed underscores a common health problem that young men should watch out for: ischemic heart disease, or when the heart does not get enough blood and oxygen because of the narrowing or hardening of the arteries.

“It is the top killer disease in the Philippines. The risk for this disease begins developing when you’re in your 20s or 30s, when most people are also exposed to chronic stress, which can lead to persistent elevation in blood pressure, commonly known as hypertension. Thus, damaging arteries and building plaques,” explained Dr. de la Rosa.

Young dads should likewise be vigilant against cancers affecting the lungs, liver, colon/rectum, prostate, stomach and leukemia, as these have emerged as the most prevalent types of diagnosis for Filipino men.

“Many of these cancers develop over time because of unhealthy habits like smoking, eating too much processed and fatty foods, and a lack of physical activity,” the doctor noted. 

Type 2 diabetes is another consequence of poor lifestyle choices. “Beware of symptoms like constant thirst, constant urination, fatigue, dizziness, weight loss and slow-healing wounds, especially for those who eat a lot of refined carbs, sugars and saturated fat,” he cautioned.

Heart disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes are serious health conditions that greatly affect one’s quality of life. “These diseases eat up not only your health but also precious time with your family and your resources, too. Fortunately, it’s never too late. You can always start investing in your health today,” said Dr. de la Rosa.

Managing stress, pursuing a healthy life by eating more fruits and vegetables, spending more time working out, as well as taking relevant routine and diagnostic tests, and even spending quality time with the family are some concrete steps young dads can take to improve their wellness.

“Dads, your kids are counting on you, from diaper changes to school runs to solving math to navigating life. Now, maintaining health is a hallmark of a great, responsible father. So, prioritize your well-being and see a doctor regularly. You owe it to that little baby who made you a better man,” emphasized Dr. de la Rosa.

RELATED: ‘Heart disease still leading cause of death in Philippines’

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