Tag Archive for: men’s natural health

Unmasking the threat: Cardiovascular Disease in Men

by Janelle Bertler, Traditional Naturopathic Practitioner


Despite medical advances and technologies the leading cause of death worldwide for both men and women is cardiovascular disease (CVD). Heart disease claims millions of lives each year! Although CVD affects both men and women, let’s shed some light on the unique aspects of CVD in men.

  • According to the World Health Organization, approximately 17.9 million men die from CVD each year, accounting for more than half of all CVD related deaths globally.
  • Men tend to develop CVD at a younger age compared to women. On average, men experience heart disease about 10 years earlier than women, often during middle age.
  • Globally, heart disease and stroke account for approximately 1 in 4 male deaths, with some regions reporting even higher statistics. 


Let’s look at cardiovascular disease risk factors, symptoms, prevention and management strategies specifically pertaining to men.


Understanding Heart Disease:

Cardiovascular Disease encompasses a broad range of conditions that affect any part of the cardiovascular system: heart, blood vessels (including arteries, veins, and capillaries), or circulation of blood throughout the body. The most common types of CVD are coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, peripheral artery disease, arrhythmias, heart valve disorders and congenital heart defects. 


Risk factors associated with CVD in men include:

  • Age: especially for men 45 years or older
  • High Blood Pressure: In 2019 according to the WHO, around 35% of men age 18 and older have hypertension worldwide. 
  • High Cholesterol: Imbalanced LDL to HDL increases plaques, inflammatory response, and formation of blood clots.
  • Smoking: Damages blood vessels, promotes clots, and reduces healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Obesity and Poor Diet: Leads to elevated blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, and inflammation.
  • Diabetes: Due to its potential to damage blood vessels and nerves
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Family history of CVD, especially if a close male relative ie: a father or a brother experienced heart disease at an early age.
  • Stress: Unmanaged psychological factors can lead to coping mechanisms, such as poor dietary choices and increased alcohol consumption, both of which increase risk of CVD.



Most people are aware of the classic symptoms of heart disease. The typical chest discomfort (pressure, tightness, squeezing or burning) with pain radiating to the arms, shoulders, jaw or back; often triggered by physical activity or emotional stressors. However, the symptoms can vary widely depending upon the specific condition involved. 

Here are some of the more mild and common symptoms connected with CVD:

  • Shortness of breath, especially during physical exertion or laying flat
  • Fatigue, even with minimal physical exertion
  • Weakness, caused by inadequate oxygen supply to the body’s tissues
  • Sweating excessively, unrelated to physical activity or external temperature, especially in conjunction with chest discomfort
  • Nausea or dizziness, sometimes associated by vomiting
  • Rapid or Irregular heartbeat 
  • Edema / Swelling, caused by fluid accumulation


Sometimes CVD symptoms are masked by other underlying medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes or chronic lung conditions. Other times, the symptoms are atypical and attributed to other non-deadly issues such as fatigue or indigestion. In the early stages of cardiovascular disease, there are usually no symptoms! Due to these factors a severe event such as stroke or heart attack may come without warning. The sudden event may be the first sign of disease – which is why heart disease is called a “silent killer.” 

According to the American Medical Association, the average age for men to have their first heart attack is around 65 years of age. Although disease processes could have begun as early as 40 years of age. Cardiovascular disease significantly impacts quality of life! However, many CVD’s are preventable or manageable through lifestyle modifications, regular monitoring and treatment by healthcare practitioners. It’s never too late to create change for improvement to the cardiovascular system. Let’s look at what you can control at home for a healthy heart and circulation system.


Prevention & Management Strategies:

Multiple cardiovascular disease risk factors are interconnected, one often affects the other. Which makes adopting a healthy lifestyle crucial in prevention and management. 

Lifestyle for a healthy cardiovascular system:

  • Engage in Regular Physical Activity: Physical activity maintains healthy blood pressure, cholesterol levels, weight, and overall cardiovascular fitness.
  • Quit Smoking: 88% of smokers worldwide are men
  • Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure
  • Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels
  • Maintain Healthy Weight
  • Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Regulation
  • Manage Stress
  • Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
  • Use medical professionals to monitor necessary blood markers for early detection and timely intervention


If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the symptoms above, it is time to be evaluated by your cardiologist! If you are ready for a protocol to move you towards further health resiliency, reach out to Longevity Health Center. We strive to support men to feel their best so they can show up in society with the strength to function at higher levels. Please share this with all the important men in your life. 


by Janelle Bertler, Traditional Naturopathic Practitioner


Little did I know that finding myself dating again in my 40’s would lead to a new found appreciation for men, yet this story isn’t about my dating experience. It’s about the many MANY amazing human beings that I have met along the dating journey. Couple this appreciation for men with a desire to assist everyone to show up as their best selves, and at that crossroad is where this series of articles was born. Let’s begin.  

It’s a “no-brainer” that men are important to society for their contributions to family, community, leadership, education, innovation and more. Now more than ever before in history, the state of the world is having an effect on everyone, and the stressors continue to compound! For any healthcare practitioner, whose goal is to support the physical health of any human being, they must look at supporting the mind, body and spirit. We know that the body is so intertwined and connected that if you affect one of these systems, it in turn affects the others. 


Here are some statistics in regards to the physical-mental health connection: 

  • Men with depression have a 30% higher risk for developing heart disease.
  • Men with mental health disorders are at a higher risk of developing cancer and are more likely to die from the disease.
  • Men with mental health issues are more likely to struggle with substance abuse. Men with substance abuse are at a higher risk of developing liver disease, heart disease, and cancer.
  • Men with mental health conditions are more likely to experience chronic pain.
  • Men with mental health disorders are more likely to experience sleep problems, which can lead to an increased risk of other chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. 
  • Men with depression have a 60% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared to men without.
  • Men with mental health conditions are more likely to be obese, which can lead to a variety of physical health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. 
  • According to the World Health Organization suicide rates among men are about 3x’s higher than women.


Mental health has a significant impact on men’s physical health. This highlights the importance of addressing mental health concerns as a key part of overall health and well-being. It is true that men may be less likely to seek help for mental health issues. They are more likely to cope with mental health issues on their own, possibly due to social/ cultural norms that stigmatize mental health as a sign of weakness and vulnerability. Let’s dive into what men can do to support a healthy mental wellbeing!

We all know we should eat right, sleep well, exercise, blah, blah, blah. I’d like to share with you the “why” and some other areas that you may want to incorporate into your life. 

  1. Healthy eating reduces inflammation and reduces stress. It supports a healthy gut, deeper healing sleep, improves mood and increases energy.
  2. Prioritizing sleep has all the benefits of eating healthy, as well as assisting cognitive function, reducing irritability and increasing healthy emotional regulation. 
  3. Exercise not only improves mental health, but it also reduces the risk of chronic disease, improves sleep and relieves stress. Don’t forget about weight-lifting exercises. Muscle mass is important for supporting healthy testosterone levels, proper glucose control, bone health and improved self-image. 
  4. Maintain healthy relationships – Find your balance between family connections, friends and social groups. Loneliness and social isolation has been linked to an increased risk in depression, cardiovascular disease and decreased longevity. Males thrive on having friendships with other males, someone to talk to when times feel tough, and I’m not just talking about the superficial “sports” buddy. I’m talking about meaningful deep friendships. Finding friends as an adult might be easier by using a “finding friends” app or by joining groups that fit your favorite activities. A “gym buddy” might be a great way to fill multiple needs. 
  5. Take time for activities that bring joy and relaxation. It is important to find out what you need and enjoy. This will be different for every person and it may take trial and error to discover what works best. Carving out a little time in your life to feel elevated emotions can be very powerful, and we all need to find a little more relaxation to balance out our very busy lives.    
  6. Practice mindfulness in the way that works for you! This can take multiple forms: yoga, meditate, practice breathing exercises and/or try legs up the wall. There are all types of apps that can assist in this category; and remember to fill your spiritual needs as well.
  7. Limit screen time. Not only does blue light suppress melatonin making it harder to fall asleep, but devices keep your brain active and alert. Reducing screen time allows the brain to slow down and focus without distractions. Overtime this increases the ability to regulate emotions. Not to mention that media can have either a beneficial or negative effect depending upon what you choose to consume. 
  8. Serve others! Sometimes it takes getting out of our daily life and personal needs by putting attention on supporting others to get us out of the depths of mental health struggles. Volunteer your time. You might be amazed at how connecting in this way feeds the soul.
  9. Detoxify the body! By reducing the toxin load of the inner terrain, your Naturopath can assist you in feeling your best. 


It is when we feel our best that we have more “bandwidth” to deal with the everyday stressors of life. Put your own oxygen mask on first. Fill your own cup first. Take time for self-care! That way you are able to choose how you interact with those around you each and every day. Imagine a world where everyone has grace for everyone around them and can gently respond with kindness because everyone feels their best. That is the world I want to live in. Please join me in creating this world by caring for yourself and sharing this information with all the men that are important in your life. If you find yourself needing support in feeling your best, we are here to help!