U The Caribbean Health Digest - Issue 37

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APR JUN 2017


TT$35.00 US$5.99

















9 772218 501006



Sherine Mungal Stuart Fraser


Eidetic Publishing

Editorial Director

Sherine Mungal

Managing Editor

Roslyn Carrington


Our Intention candles are hand-poured purposefully crafted to inspire your senses. We use blends of only one hundred percent pure therapeutic essential oils in combinations that have been researched and proven to soothe, calm and relax. Assembled using all natural soy wax which are free for all toxins and wicks constructed from natural, cotton threads and contains no lead, zinc or other metals.

Healing Blend Lavender • Eucalyptus • Sage Purify your mind and body with the healing candle. The essential oils of lavender and refreshing eucalyptus soothe the body while reducing physical and mental fatigue. Combined with sage, the “sacred herb,” anxiety can be relieved and euphoria can ensue. Detoxify, energize and release what doesn’t serve you any longer.

Prosperity Blend Cinnamon • Bergamot • Petitgrain The prosperity candle will release negativity to create and receive abundance with the aromatic blend of cinnamon, bergamot and petitgrain essential oils. This spicy blend is grounding and powerful to welcome success and a sense of stability.

Inspiration Blend Lavender • Spearmint • White Spruce Restore yourself to a place of restoration and calmness with the cooling floral blend found in the inspiration candle. Combined with the essential oil of spearmint, this candle will revatilize your mind and body while increasing your energy and mental clarity. Let your creativity flow and be inspired.

p: 1 (868) 464 2134

Gratitude Blend White Spruce • Rosewood A comforting blend of white spruce and rosewood essentials oils. The gratitude candle is a great gesture of giving thanks to someone special or to light when one wants to honor their blessings in their own life. Take a few moments every day to feel what you are most grateful for and it will shift your energy immediately to a place of peace and joy.

Creative Director Design Project Coordinator Traffic Photography

Medical Advisory

Candida Khan Maia Hibben Carol Quash Tian Watson Nathaniel Lincoln Michelle Ash Dr. Claudette Mitchell Stuart Fraser Eidetic Cindy Singh Lorraine Biran Shutterstock iStockPhoto Bigstock AdobeStock Dr. Neil Singh


Healthy Blend Eucalyptus • Basil • Lemongrass These inviting smells of basil and refreshing orange will delight your sense of health and well-being. Feel confident in your healthy decisions in life to stay energized and focused with this invigorating blend of neroli, basil and lemongrass essential oils.

Clarity Blend Litsea Cubeba • Peppermint The cleansing fragrance of this clarity candle will clear your mind while stimulating and energizing your mood. The essential oil of litsea cubeba, combined with refreshing peppermint oil will increase your concentration and help uncover solutions in times of fatigue or stress.

e: info@tortugahills.com

w: tortugahills.com

This information is of a general nature only and is not intended as a substitute for professional health advice and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided and at all times should obtain s p e c i f i c a d v i c e f ro m a h e a l t h professional. Eidetic Publishing has made reasonable efforts to ensure that the health information contained herein is accurate and up to date. To the extent permitted by law, Eidetic Publishing, their employees, agents and advertisers accept no liability

(even if negligent) for any injury, loss or damage caused by reliance on any part of this information. U also contains information supplied by third parties. This information is identified with the name of the source and has been chosen for publication because we believe it to be reliable. To the extent permitted by law, Eidetic Publishing, their employees, agents and advertisers accept no liability (even if negligent) for any injury, loss or damage caused by reliance on any part of this information.

U The Caribbean Health Digest is published 4 times a year by Eidetic Publishing, Gaston Court, Gaston Street, Lange Park, Chaguanas, Trinidad & Tobago. Distribution is handled by Eidetic Limited.

Entire contents are copyright. Reproduction in part or whole is prohibited. Eidetic Publishing is in no way affiliated with companies or products covered in U. Produced and printed in Trinidad & Tobago.


CANCER CARE Led by renowned cancer surgeon and researcher Michael J. Zinner, M.D., Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida brings world-class cancer care to the region. The Institute’s new leading-edge facility combines the most advanced technology with world-renowned cancer experts, surrounding patients and their loved ones with a team dedicated to their physical and emotional well-being. The Institute is home to one of the world’s most comprehensive and advanced radiation oncology programs, including South Florida’s first proton therapy center, opening later this summer. As Florida’s only member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, Miami Cancer Institute brings unparalleled discoveries and cutting-edge research to South Florida. With its doors now open, the Institute provides hope and healing to patients and their families.

For more information call 786-596-2373, contact us at International@BaptistHealth.net or visit MiamiCancerInstitute.com

12 Stress If anyone says they have never been affected by stress or even been “stressed out”, that would be a first. This article highlights some key points of how one can overcome this common factor, which has the potential to play a really harmful role in our health and wellbeing.

16 Erectile Dysfunction Erectile Dysfunction or ED affects many men worldwide, especially men with diabetes. In this article, we look at the possible causes, but, more importantly, share some insight on new technology now available in Trinidad that may be a treatment option for many.

20 Recipe – Abi & U Here’s a healthy twist on the traditional brownie, except this one’s all raw. They’re made with some great ingredients. You’ve simply got to try it for yourself.

22 MRI There’s no doubt that MRIs are being used more and more in the medical field; some of us may have had cause to have one or more, but do we know exactly what it is? Carol Quash gives you a detailed breakdown on what MRI is, who may need one, and how it is actually conducted.

24 Of Core Importance Tian Watson gets straight to the “core” and shares ways to strengthen your own. He discusses the importance of improving and maintaining your core through many different exercises and activities and even shares places in Trinidad and in Tobago that you can visit to do some fun core building activities.

28 Cucumber vs. Zucchini As happens in most families, these two relatives may look alike and can sometimes be mistaken for each other, but these cool guys have quite different taste profiles and even differ in the health benefits they bring to your table.

30 Healthy Start – Advantage for the Future The sturdiest and most durable structures are built upon solid foundations, and the same can be said for your child’s health. Good nutrition starts from birth, and as parents, it’s important that we understand our children’s needs, and how they change as the children grow. Claudette Mitchell puts this question into a Caribbean context for us.

34 Vitamins and Men There are many different opinions on vitamins, but here’s ours. In this article by Nathaniel Lincoln, (his first piece in the pages of U), we look at the history of vitamins, and their value to men.

36 Do It in The Suit Each one of us have “held it” for a while, but emptying your bladder frequently is extremely important to one’s health. All we can say is, if you have the urge, go ahead and take that pee!

38 Top Seven Threats to Men's Health There are way too many health conditions that affect Caribbean men, but we wanted to share the top seven that you should be on the lookout for, and ways that you can control them. Michelle Ash tells more.

This note, like the last 36 we’ve written, comes straight from the heart, ours and the hearts our remarkable writers, editors and design team, uncompromised in quality and content for your reading and learning fulfilment. The articles in this issue, like all issues, are original stories by writers who have engaged themselves in the cause, freely sharing their viewpoint and passion. We are constantly seeking to increase our database of writers, and if you feel you have a story to tell and the knack for communicating with written words, then there may be some pages in our next issue for you! As for what’s in store in this issue, our feature story addresses a real concern globally; Erectile Dysfunction or ED and we have some insight on new technology that is now available in Trinidad, which men may want to consider as a treatment option. Stress and the effects that it can have on your body is something we can all surely relate to, a must read especially if you want to learn how to control your own stress levels. And to complement our feature piece, our article on men and the benefits of multivitamins, along with tips on seven health threats to men, really make this issue male-centric. So don’t just flip through the pages, really get in to the content, learn something and then share that something, and together we can all contribute to healthier living. Have a good one ‘till next time!







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Today, we’re talking about stress and the effects of stress on the body. Hopefully it does not stress you out more! Even thinking about stress can be stressful, because it calls to mind the stresses in your environment and everyday life.




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WHAT IS STRESS? According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS), “the term ‘stress’, as it is currently used, was coined by Hans Selye in 1936, who defined it as ‘the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change’.” He defined stress as “The rate of wear and tear on the body.” This is observed from different types of stressors, both physical and emotional.

WHY IS STRESS BAD? There were two different types of stress, one “good” and the other “bad”. Good stress includes stimuli that urges you into action, laughter, excitement, even falling in love. But when your body becomes overloaded with stimuli, it can turn into bad stress and affect your mental and physical health. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), stress can affect different areas of the body. MUSCLES When the body is stressed, muscles get tense as a way to protect the body from injury or pain. Muscles relax when the stress is gone. Chronic stress can cause headaches due to tense muscles over a long period of time. This can trigger tension headaches and migraines, as well as tension in shoulders, neck and head.

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RESPIRATORY SYSTEM When you feel pressured and your body becomes stressed, you may breathe harder, and this can bring on a panic attack.

HEART The heart and blood vessels function to provide nourishment and oxygen to organs. The functioning of the heart can be affected negatively due to stress. Blood vessels, the amount of blood being pumped around the body, the speed of contraction of the heart muscles, are all affected. LIVER In the body, cortisol and epinephrine are released due to stress, which causes the liver to produce more glucose/sugar, which helps in a fight or flight situation. People with liver conditions, including hepatitis, experience greater inflammation. REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM When stress hormones are released in high amounts or over a long period of time, female and male reproductive systems can be affected. Testosterone production, and sperm production and maturation can be changed due to stress. In women, stress may affect menstruation and can cause absent or irregular menstrual cycles, more painful periods and changes in the length of cycles.


AVOID PEOPLE WHO CAUSE YOU TO FEEL STRESSED. Your environment has a lot to do with the stress levels in your body. If you feel pressured in work, at home, in relationships, this can cause stress levels to increase, which leads to more cortisol in the body. If stressors are not removed from your life, this can lead to chronic stress and affect your mental, physical and emotional health.


EXERCISE. Daily activity helps to release happy chemicals called endorphins in your body, which helps you to reduce stress. Try partaking in activities such as jogging, swimming, walking, basketball or yoga. SLEEP WELL. According to the APA, “Sleep is a necessary human function — it allows our brains to recharge and our bodies to rest.” If you lack sleep, your body will not be getting the full benefit of sleep, such as repairing of muscles. Sleep is also important for memory, making the right judgements, and enjoying a positive mood. Lacking sleep can lead to obesity and high blood pressure and increase your risks when driving. Lacking sleep? Sleep more. LAUGH MORE. When you laugh, your body releases endorphins, which may reduce stress. This can lift your mood and can improve your overall health. Laugh more. EAT HEALTHY. Having balanced, nutritious meals can help to manage stress by boosting positive energy. When you skip meals, this can put unwanted and unnecessary stress on the body. Eat healthy meals, meaning those that provide a good source of high dietary fibre, carbohydrates, legumes, lean portions of foods from animals, and vegetables. A good example would be a plate of rice, dhal, curry chicken and lettuce. Ensure that you drink enough water and eat enough fruits and vegetables daily. Stress can come from so many different avenues in so many different intensities. The main types of stress are acute stress and chronic/constant stress.



ACUTE STRESS This type of stress is normally short lived. Examples of acute stress include meeting deadlines, being stuck in traffic, trying to avoid an accident, preparing for exams and having arguments. When under this type of pressure, the heart rate increases, there are stronger muscle contractions, and hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are released. Blood pressure may increase to assist in a fight or flight response. The body can return to its normal state after the episode has passed.

CHRONIC STRESS/ CONSTANT STRESS This type of stress is experienced over a long period of time, and can lead to long-term heart problems. It results in an elevated heart rate as well as stress hormones and an increase in blood pressure or inflammation. This can lead to a risk for heart attack or stroke. Cholesterol levels can also rise.

OUTCOME/ RECOMMENDATION The overall aim is to try to find ways that help you to reduce or manage stress in your life. Each individual may be affected by differently stress, and therefore would have different ways to deal with it. Stress can reduce your overall quality of life because of the negative effects on the body. Find things you like to do that make you feel happy and stick to them. Have regular activities that boost your mood. The most important note is that managing stress and de-stressing is vital and should be done daily.

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What is erectile dysfunction, and who is affected? Erectile dysfunction (ED), otherwise known as impotence, is a term that will make most men cringe with fear, but it is in fact, an incredibly common condition that affects around 150 million men globally. It is particularly prevalent in older men and some research suggests that all men between the ages of 40 and 70 will have it to some degree or at some point.

What are the symptoms? Erectile dysfunction is defined as not being able to achieve or maintain an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. Not being able to maintain an erection can affect men fairly frequently and be caused by a number of different things, but when it happens more than half the time, it is considered erectile dysfunction.

What are the causes?

• Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) • Cushing’s syndrome

Other physical causes, such as • Surgery • Injury to the penis or surrounding area, but head and brain injuries can also lead to erectile dysfunction • Certain medications, ranging from diuretics to antipsychotic medications, to antihistamines and chemotherapy drugs

Erectile dysfunction is also often associated with excessive drinking, illegal drug use and tiredness. It can also be caused by a drop in libido, which is often a result of psychological complaints such as • • • •

Depression Anxiety Relationship problems Stress

When a man becomes sexually aroused, his brain sends signals to the nerves in his penis; the nerves in turn increase the blood flow to the penis and this causes the tissue to harden. Any condition or situation that impacts on the nervous system or the blood supply could lead to erectile dysfunction. This means ED can be caused by any number of different things. They can be simply split into two categories – physical causes and psychological causes.

Diagnosing erectile dysfunction

Physical causes can include:

be experiencing. They would also enquire about your

Vasculogenic conditions which affect the flow of blood to the penis, such as • High blood pressure (hypertension) • Cardiovascular disease – there is a strong link between cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction • Diabetes • High cholesterol

Neurogenic conditions, which affect the nervous system, such as • • • •

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Hormonal conditions which affect the body’s chemical balance, such as

Spinal injuries Strokes Multiple sclerosis Parkinson’s disease

Erectile dysfunction can generally be diagnosed by a GP. They would ask about your physical and mental health, medication you might be taking, alcohol and drug use, and explore any other symptoms you might sexual history and ask specific questions related to when, where and how the erectile dysfunction occurs. Because erectile dysfunction is so closely linked to cardiovascular disease, a GP would routinely check your heart rate, blood pressure, or request a blood test to check sugar levels. They would enquire as to your diet, exercise and lifestyle habits. There may also be a physical exam depending on the symptoms you have and they may test your blood to rule out any hormonal imbalances. In some situations, your GP may refer you to a specialist for further testing.


What treatments are available? If the cause of the erectile dysfunction is due to an underlying condition such as diabetes or heart disease, then these conditions would need to be treated first. Your GP might also, after assessment, suggest certain lifestyle changes that might improve your overall health, such as exercising more regularly, improving your diet, or stopping smoking. A doctor may also prescribe medication. We are probably familiar with some, such as Viagra and Cialis. These drugs increase the blood flow to the penis and work for varying amounts of time on an “on demand” basis. A vacuum pump is also an alternative that can be used, particularly if medication is not an appropriate option. The penis is placed into the tube and the air pumped out to create a vacuum. This allows blood to flow to the penis. A band is then placed around the base of the penis and the erection can be maintained for about 30 minutes. Alprostadil is a synthetic or man-made hormone that causes increased blood flow to the penis. It can be administered via injection or via pellets in the urethra. If the cause of your erectile dysfunction is hormonal, you may be sent to an endocrinologist (a specialist in hormonal problems) for further treatment. If the GP believes that there is a psychological element to the erectile dysfunction, then they may suggest options such as seeing a counsellor or sex therapist, sometimes with your partner. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used as well as many other techniques depending on your particular situation. If the cause of the ED is anatomical, or if the person suffered trauma to the pelvic area, then surgery might be the correct treatment option. However, this is often seen as a last resort and will only be done if a number of other treatment options have failed to help.



A new treatment option – Dornier Aries More recently the development of a non-invasive non-medicated option for men suffering from vasculogenic (disturbance of blood flow to the penis) erectile dysfunction has been gaining momentum and is now available in Trinidad and Tobago through collaboration with Dr Lall Ramnath Sawh, CMT., MB., FRCS. This treatment is known as Dornier Aries.

How does it work? Aries treatment works by initiating the growth of blood vessels to the penis and pelvic tissue, which results in improved blood flow, helping to attain and maintain an erection. It is a simple, safe, non-invasive procedure which can be carried out at a qualified doctor’s office. They use a machine called a SmartFocus applicator, which delivers targeted energy waves (acoustic wave therapy) to the penis shaft and the muscular area of the pelvis. The energy waves cause stimulation of the tissue and encourage growth of blood vessels. Treatment will usually consist of a session of approximately 15 to 20 minutes once a week for 6 weeks.

What are the benefits and side effects? • Current research suggests that the Aries treatment increases spontaneous erections by 75%. It also increases the quality of an erection and improves the spontaneity of sex within a relationship. • It is a comfortable and pain-free therapy which can be done in the privacy of a doctor’s office. • Clinical studies and real-life cases report improvements after only a few weeks of treatment • There are little to no side effects Dornier Aries seems to be an excellent development in treatment for men suffering from erectile dysfunction. Pain free, simple, quick and with no reliance on medication or invasive procedures. It could in fact be an effective and life-changing option for many men who are struggling to deal with erectile dysfunction and have had little success with currently available treatments.

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RAW BROWNIES Ingredients



Pecans Almonds Pitted dates Cocoa Cococnut Oil Honey Vanilla Sea Salt

60 g 60 g 140 g 5 Tbsp 2 Tbsp 3 Tbsp 1 Tsp Pinch

Line a 27 x 20 cm brownie tin with parchment paper. In a food processor blend the nuts until small crumbs. Add the dates and process until the mixture starts to stick together. Add the remaining ingredients and process on a high speed until it turns into a gooey chocolate brown colour. Press into the lined tin and chill in the fridge to firm up for at least 2 hours. When it is chilled, cut into squares and sprinkle with a little cocoa powder or brown sugar.



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Website: http://www.gvmctt.net




Changes in healthcare… one scan at a time Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the body is a non-invasive test that uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses, and a computer to get detailed pictures of the organs, bones, soft tissue and other internal structures of body, such as: • chest and abdominal organs, including the liver, spleen, pancreas, bowel, biliary tract and adrenal glands • pelvic organs, including the bladder, uterus and ovaries in females and the prostate gland in males • blood vessels, and • lymph nodes Since the 1980s, the MRI has been used for scanning patients to help with diagnoses of many conditions and to help monitor the treatment of these conditions. These include:

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• chest, abdominal or pelvic tumours • liver diseases and abnormalities of the bile ducts and pancreas



• inflammatory bowel diseases • heart problems • malformations and inflammation of the blood vessels, and • a foetus in the womb According to sciencedaily.com, a 2016 study by the University of Nottingham has found “a new way of using MRI scanners to look for evidence of multiple sclerosis has been successfully tested by researchers. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is notoriously difficult to diagnose as it has many symptoms, but not all sufferers experience all of them and the disease can progress at different rates. MRI scans have been used as a diagnostic tool to detect white matter lesions in the brain but these are not always an indicator of the disease.” When doing an MRI, the patient is placed in a movable bed that is inserted into a scanner tube. The tube is surrounded by a huge circular magnet, air-conditioned and well-lit. Some units are designed to prevent the


patient from being completely surrounded by the magnet. More modern machines are designed with more room or that are open at the sides (open MRI) for larger-sized or claustrophobic patients. However, there are limitations to open MRI because it cannot be used to perform certain types of exams. The computerised processing of the imaging information is done in a separate room. Traditional x-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans use ionizing radiation. An MRI does not. It uses radio frequency pulses to produce signals used by a computer to create images of the scanned area from various angles. The images are interpreted by a radiologist. During the procedure, the patient will be left alone in the exam room, while the technologist will be looking at, listening to and communicating with them throughout the exam from an adjoining room using a two-way intercom. The patient is required to stay perfectly still while the images are taken, and may be strapped in to maintain the correct positioning. Depending on the purpose of the scan, contrast material may be used and will be inserted into a vein via an intravenous catheter (IV) prior to the exam. MRI exams are, for the most part, painless. Patients who find it difficult to stay still or suffer from claustrophobia may have the option of mild sedation. Young children and babies may require sedation or anaesthesia depending on their age, intellectual development, and the type of exam. During the exam, it is not uncommon for the scanned area to feel a bit warm. With less advanced machines, the patient may also hear loud tapping sounds caused by the activation of the radio frequency pulses. The use of earplugs or headphones during the exam is optional. An exam usually takes between half hour and fifty minutes.



• Manufacturers of intravenous contrast indicate mothers should not breastfeed their babies for 24 – 48 hours after contrast medium is given. However, both the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the European Society of Urogenital Radiology note that the available data suggest that it is safe to continue breastfeeding after receiving intravenous contrast. Women are advised to inform their doctors of the possibility of pregnancy before the procedure. Additionally, there are some medical devices/metal implants that cannot be scanned as they may interfere with the exam. And, depending on the potency of the MRI magnets, these devices may be potentially dangerous to the patient. Among the implants that cannot be scanned are: • • • •

cochlear (ear) implants some brain aneurysm clips some types of metal coils placed within blood vessels most cardiac defibrillators and pacemakers

Some devices require a waiting period after implantation, usually about six weeks, before an MRI examination can be deemed safe. Among them are: • • • • •

artificial heart valves implanted drug infusion ports artificial limbs or metallic joint prostheses implanted nerve stimulators, and metal pins, plates; screws, stents or surgical staples

Metal items and electronics are not allowed into the examination room because they can impede the MRI unit's magnetic field. Jewellery and other accessories can become projectiles or distort the imagery if worn inside the scanner. Braces and tooth fillings are not affected by the magnetic field, but if the scan is done on the facial area or brain they may distort the images. Among the items that are not allowed in the MRI unit are:

The MRI procedure is safe once appropriate guidelines are followed. But according to radiologyinfo.org, there are some risks. These include: • “Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is currently a recognised, but rare, complication of MRI believed to be caused by the injection of high doses of gadolinium-based contrast material in patients with very poor kidney function. Careful assessment of kidney function before considering a contrast injection minimises the risk of this very rare complication. • There is a very slight risk of an allergic reaction if contrast material is injected. Such reactions are usually mild and easily controlled by medication.

• • • • •

jewellery, including rings and studs for body piercings watches, credit cards and hearing aids pins, hairpins, metal zippers dentures pens, pocket knives and eyeglasses

Prior to an MRI examination, guidelines regarding eating and drinking will be provided by your doctor. Tell your doctor about allergies to any medicines, existing health conditions, or if you have tattoos or wear a medicine patch, and discuss any concerns you may have regarding the procedure. 23 | u



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One killer exercise that's really great is pull-ups with your legs out level. That's my favourite. It's such functional core strength, and that's why I can climb up trees and down vines. Bear Grylls – Adventurer

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What are core exercises? In short, any exercise that involves engaging your abdominal and back muscles in a coordinated manner would fall under the category of a core exercise. These exercises train the pelvic, hip, lower back and abdominal muscles to all synchronize. Most of you on the “fitness train” would have been told at some point to strengthen your core. Even if you haven’t, here’s some insight into why core exercises are important for any fitness routine as well as for your overall health, fitness and quality of life.

Time and commitment issues Firstly, from a practical perspective, core exercises don't require specialized equipment or visits to a gym. If you are consumed by life’s daily commitments, putting aside fifteen minutes for some core work can help maintain your fitness foundation. Here are two quick and easy examples:

The plank There are many varieties of this exercise, some more elaborate than others. Most can, however, be done without weights, at your bedside or in your living room. For the standard plank, lie face down with legs extended and elbows bent directly under your shoulders; then clasp your hands. Feet should be hip-width apart, and elbows should be shoulder-width apart.

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Following this, contract your abs, then tuck your toes to lift your body with your forearms remaining on the ground. Keep a straight line from head to heels. You can start holding for as little as 10 seconds at a time. You should build on this over time as your core strength improves. You can also eventually introduce more elaborate versions. These can include: straight arm plank; plank with alternate arm and leg lift; side plank; plank jacks; dolphin plank; plank with pelvis tuck, and the list goes on….

muscles, then raise your hips off the floor until they are aligned with your knees and shoulders. Hold the position for as long as you can without breaking your form. Set your time higher as your core strength improves.

Balance and stability Core exercises improve overall balance and stability. The stronger one’s core, the more stable one’s body will be. Being more stable allows you to move more easily in any direction; even in undulating, bumpy terrain. It even makes it easier to stand in one spot without losing your balance. These factors reduce the overall risk of falling.

Good posture Weak core muscles are a major contributing factor to slouching. Good posture enhances your physical image and profile while portraying confidence. From a health perspective, good posture lessens wear and tear on the spine and fosters a more efficient breathing pattern. Good posture and holding your form also helps you gain maximum benefits from your exercise routines.

Improved performance and functionality It would be safe to say that efficiency and good performance in any physical activity which you participate are highly dependent on having strong core muscles. It even has a positive impact on daily activities such as walking; reaching for something from a high shelf, looking behind you, sitting at your desk for hours, tying your shoelaces, or even just standing still. Household chores such as mopping and vacuuming; DIY activities such as hammering and lifting; gardening, and even sex, all incorporate actions which stem from the core. On the other end of the spectrum, weak core muscles leave you susceptible to lower back pain and muscle injuries.

Tone and define those abs

The bridge

If your objective is to have more defined abdominal muscles, then again core exercises are key.

For this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent. Keep your back in neutral position, i.e., neither arched nor pressed into the floor; avoid tilting your hips. Subsequent to this, tighten your abdominal

It is true that aerobic activity burns abdominal fat. You will, however, need to incorporate core exercises to strengthen and tone the underlying abdominal muscle.




Reach those fitness goals Gym work/muscular fitness and aerobic workouts are part of any fitness program. However, it is critical to include core exercises to have a well-rounded holistic approach to meet these goals. This will go a long way toward your achieving optimal results.

Improve your core through sports and other enjoyable activities For some of us, time may be in our favour, but the monotony of home-based or gym-based exercise routines begins to step in. The good news is you can engage in other activities that could alleviate this situation, yet still keep you focused on building your core strength. Performance in any sport benefits from a strong core, but not all sports have a direct focus on core strength enhancement. Certain sports can directly build abdominal strength by incorporating moves from your everyday workouts. Why not consider these options to lift your spirits, inject some fun in your routine and work on your mid-section — all at the same time!

In Trinidad, this activity can be sourced through Mr. Courtenay Rooks of Paria Springs Tours, which can be found on Facebook, via telephone number (868) 620-8240, or on email at courtenaybushman@gmail.com. In Tobago, this activity could be sourced through Mr Duane Kenny of Stand Up Paddle Tobago, telephone number (868) 681-4741; email: duanekenny@hotmail.com; standuppaddletobago.com; physical address: Radical Sports, Pigeon Point. SUP boards are also available to rent or as an amenity for guests at The Blue Waters Inn, Speyside Tobago: telephone (868) 660-4341; bluewatersinn.com.

Kayaking Kayaking enhances core strength. This activity is readily offered by various establishments throughout Trinidad and Tobago and is yet another fun way to work on your core strength while enjoying our country’s natural environment.

Other sports Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) Stand up paddle boarding is an offshoot of surfing that originated in Hawaii. “SUPing” requires participants to stand on their boards and use a paddle to propel themselves through the water. This activity directly impacts the core while having fun, adventure and enjoying the outdoors.

Golf, tennis and other racquet sports have a similar effect on the core and can easily be implemented into our fitness routines to break the monotony of mundane workout schedules. Swimming and beach volleyball can be added to this list.

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A Healthy Family Affair Cucumbers and zucchinis have a lot in common. They have a similar look and are both as delicious as they are nutritious. Cucumbers have a mild taste and cool crunch and most people eat them raw. Although it is widely considered a vegetable because it is used with other veggies in salads, a cucumber is technically a fruit, as in the botanical world, the part of a plant that develops from the flower and bears the plant's seeds are fruit. Zucchini has a subtle taste and from a culinary standpoint it is also considered a vegetable, as it is usually cooked as a savoury dish. But, like cucumbers, botanically, zucchinis are fruits that develop from the zucchini flower. They both belong to the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family.


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According to the Journal of Young Pharmacists, “Traditionally, cucumber is used for headaches; the seeds are cooling and diuretic, the fruit juice is used as a nutritive and as a demulcent in anti-acne lotions.” Because it is made up of 95% water, cucumbers are a great form of hydration. The cucumber skin is made up of insoluble fibre, which, combined with the water, allows for faster and easier movement of food through the digestive tract, preventing constipation. The fibre and the low-calorie content of cucumbers can also help to maintain a healthy weight. Bacteria in the mouth is usually the cause of bad breath. The fibre and water found in cucumbers can help increase the amount of saliva produced, washing away the odour-causing bacteria.



Because they are a rich source of potassium, cucumbers help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. Cucumbers also contain fisetin, an anti-inflammatory substance that researchers have found helps reduce the effects of age-related neurological diseases and helps maintain cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients. Polyphens called lignans and nutrients called cucurbitacins, both found in cucumbers, have properties that can help to reduce the risk of some types of cancers. The anti-inflammatory flavonoids and tannins, also found in the fruit, both reduce body pains as they help limit the release of free radicals. Cucumber are also a rich source of vitamin K, which is essential for healthy bones. Vitamin K helps improve the absorption of calcium into the bones, reducing the risk of bone fracture. For many years, cucumbers have been used in skin care products as an anti-wrinkle agent, to soothe sunburn, and to decrease swelling and eye-puffiness, irritation, and inflammation. Of course, they make for good eating! Cucumbers can be enjoyed in a number of ways as it is a versatile fruit. They can be used in salads, sandwiches, mother-in-law (condiment), or chow. Enjoy them pickled, with hummus, or Greek-styled by mixing sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta cheese. They can be used to jazz up plain water, or even juiced.






Zucchini is sometimes referred to as “Italian squash” and can be eaten raw or cooked. Like cucumbers, zucchini is low in calories and has a high fibre and water content. It is also a rich source of manganese, vitamins A, C, B1, B6 and B2, magnesium, folate, potassium, copper, calcium and phosphorus. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, protein and niacin. Additionally, zucchini contains nutrients such as natural sugar, carbohydrates, soluble and insoluble fibre, minerals, sodium and amino acids.

DIRECTIONS Grate 2 small zucchini into a colander in the sink; toss with 2 teaspoons salt and let sit 10 minutes. Squeeze out liquid. Mix with 4 blades minced chives, 1/4 cup each chopped parsley and rosemary, 1 beaten egg, 3/4 cup grated parmesan and 1/4 cup flour. Pan-fry spoonfuls of the mixture in olive oil, flattening with a spatula, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.

Researchers have found that extracts from this squash contain properties that can effectively treat symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), an ailment that causes the prostate gland to become enlarged, hampering sexual and urinary function. Foods rich in fibre, such as zucchini, are reputed to help in the prevention of diabetes and colon cancer by cleaning the colon of cancer-causing cells. The high content of vitamin C, folate and beta-carotene (in the skin) found in zucchini also form a protective barrier between the cells and harmful chemicals that can lead to cancer of the colon, and helps to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. The anti-inflammatory properties found in beta-carotene, copper and vitamin C also help alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. The vitamin C and manganese in zucchini helps keep the heart healthy and strong. The magnesium content assists in reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks, while the potassium and magnesium combination help with the reduction of high blood pressure. The folate is especially good for pregnant women, as it helps with the development of the unborn baby’s brain. Zucchini is also reputed to help promote eye health. Like cucumbers, zucchini is a versatile food and can be prepared in many ways – raw, baked, fried, grilled, curried, used in bread recipes and salads. It can even be used as a substitute for pasta. Because it is 95 percent water, it will ooze when cooked so it is recommended that you salt it first and allow the excess water to drain before preparing it.

CUCUMBER FINGER SANDWICHES INGREDIENTS 8 slices white bread 2 Tablespoons butter, softened 1/2 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1 Tablespoon finely chopped chives 1 teaspoon yellow mustard Salt and black pepper DIRECTIONS Spread one side of each slice of bread with a thin layer of butter. Arrange a single layer of cucumber slices on 4 of the bread slices. Stir together the mayonnaise, chives, mustard and some salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spread a thin layer of the mayonnaise mixture over the cucumbers. Top with the remaining slices of buttered bread. Cut off the crusts and cut each sandwich into three fingers.

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GOOD NUTRITION IS KEY… For young children and teens, the goal is to maintain growth for age and gender. Therefore, by providing sufficient calories and nutrients, the outcome should be good growth. Taking into consideration that as children are growing and developing bones, teeth, muscles and blood, they need more nutritious foods in proportion to their size compared to adults (Mahan and Escott-Stump, 2008). Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months of life; thereafter, as the infant gets older, nutritional needs increase and exceed what is provided through breast milk, and complementary foods become necessary. The mother can continue breastfeeding up to two years, and add nutritious foods to the child’s diet. Just a few helpful tips for complementary feeding to keep in mind: • Introduce one food at a time. • Practice good hygiene and proper food handling. • Start complementary feeding at 6 months of age with small amounts of foods, and increase the amount gradually as the child gets older e.g. 2 – 3 meals for infants 6 – 8 months old, and for those 9 – 23 months of age, 3 – 4 meals, with at least 1 or 2 between -meal snacks. • Gradually increase food consistency and variety. • Cook food until tender with as little water as possible; avoid overcooking and destroying nutrients. • Do not add salt or sugar, and do not add honey to the food for infants less than 1 year of age. • Serve pureed foods, e.g. pureed meats, mashed potato or mashed breadfruit, green banana porridge, pureed fruits, pureed vegetables. (World Health Organization, 2016 & Mahan and Escott-Stump, 2008).

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For the healthy school-aged children, their energy needs are usually determined by looking at several factors, such as basal metabolism, rate of growth, and energy expenditure. Adequate energy should be provided so that protein can be spared and used for the required functions,, and not for energy. gy

The child’s diet should be well balanced, consisting of good sources of carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. You should note that each nutrient is essential for growth, development, and maintaining nutritional status. Parents, caregivers and meal managers should utilize the food groups in meal planning and the selection of snacks. Research indicates that children may more than likely consume insufficient amounts of minerals and vitamins, which include calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin E and vitamin A (Roberts and Heyman, 2000; Suitor and Gleason 2002; Moshfegh et al., 2005). In addition, for the adolescent, energy requirements will vary between males and females due to variations in growth rate, body composition, and physical activity level. This group also needs to have balanced meals and nutritious snacks from the food groups to support growth and development, as well as to prevent and/or lower potential risk for the chronic diseases (Mahan and Escott-Stump, 2008).

ESSENTIAL POINTS… Usually, over a period time, infants, children and adolescents can be at risk for malnutrition, if they have a poor appetite, consume few foods, or their diets are significantly depleted, with foods lacking adequate nutrients to promote health. Also in some cases, nutritional requirements may vary depending on different conditions, such as infants with special healthcare needs, such as preterm infants, those with genetic disorders, and/or infants with birth defects and chronic illnesses; therefore, nutritional adequacy should be closely reviewed as there may be some adjustments. Calorie needs and nutrient requirements might be higher or lower, and specific nutrients, which include protein, fats, sodium, and vitamins and minerals, can be required in higher or lower amounts (Brown, 2011). Take-home message: nutrition education should be provided to families and community residents, to help them choose nutritious foods and plan well-balanced meals, especially for the young.




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In 1749, Dr. James Lind, a Scottish physician and pioneer of naval hygiene in the Royal Navy, revealed to the world that citrus fruits prevented scurvy, a condition that caused gum bleeding, poor healing of wounds, severe pain… and sometimes death. But what was so unique about citrus fruits? Dr. Lind found out that they contained one of the most important nutrients now known to man, vitamin C!

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Since then, doctors and scientific researchers have discovered a myriad of other important vitamins that have proven to be beneficial and essential to the health of humans. The vitamin C found in citrus fruits saved the lives of countless men who sailed the seas from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, and, along with other essential vitamins, continues to play a vital role in the health of men up to this day.




WHY MEN NEED VITAMINS Whether we want to believe it or not, a man needs vitamins as much as his female counterpart! But though he needs these important nutrients that the human body cannot produce, the way a man’s body utilizes vitamins is, in many instances, as different as the way he handles social and emotional issues compared to a woman. All bodies need the right mix of the 13 essential vitamins, but some are more important to men than they are to women. These include vitamins D, C, K, B-12 and vitamin A. Most men can get their daily requirements of vitamins from the foods they eat. For example, red grapefruits, olives, oysters, eggs, avocados, cauliflower, milk and fortified milks, citrus fruits, fish, dark leafy vegetables, etc. But unfortunately, studies have shown that men are less likely to consume dark green leafy vegetables than women. But there’s something that may encourage all you men out there to consume more dark green, leafy vegetables. The Big Book of Sex, a popular guide to human sexuality, noted that these vegetables are great for men because of the high levels of folate they contain. A Harvard University study found that men who consume the most folate daily were 30% less likely to develop peripheral arterial disease, a condition that inhibits proper blood flow throughout the body. It’s an undisputable fact that proper blood flow to all extremities promotes longer and firmer erections.

VITAMINS AND THE MALE PRODUCTIVE ORGANS A man’s productive organs are the most important symbols of his manhood. The testicles produce sperm, and the penis allows for urination and sexual intercourse. But like any other part of the human body, these organs are susceptible to health challenges. Epididymitis (inflamed testicles), testicular cancer and infertility are among these health issues. Incidentally, infertility affects one in every six couples, according to an internationally recognized research body. A nutritious, balanced diet may help prevent or manage these conditions, along with a man’s overall health.

NOW LET’S TALK SUPPLEMENTS FOR MEN Most men can obtain their daily recommended intake (DRIs) of vitamins from the foods they eat, and may not need dietary supplements. Certain men, however, may require specific vitamins due to factors like body chemistry, illness, age, or other pre-existing conditions.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that consuming vitamin D can help men lose abdominal fat and prevent weight gain. Currently, there are over 46 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease worldwide, and the number is expected to grow to 131 million by 2050. Men’s Fitness magazine claims that vitamin D can significantly improve brain function in men. So if you want to remember where you put those car keys, it’s advisable that you get your vitamin Ds. A good place to start may be milk, orange juice and some brands of yogurt. (Read the label of contents before you buy that yogurt, though!)

VEGETARIAN MEN AND VITAMINS These days, a great number of men are adopting the vegetarian lifestyle. In fact, according to the Meat Atlas of the Friends of the Earth and the Heinrich Boll Foundation, there are over 375 million vegetarians worldwide. That is larger than the entire population of the USA, and more than 300 times the population of Trinidad and Tobago. But even though the vegetarian male may be attempting to avoid meat products to promote good health, the body demands certain vitamins to function at its maximum. The daily stresses of work, taking care of a family and today’s hectic lifestyle make it imperative that the body obtain these essential vitamins. The vegetarian male must ensure that his body gets enough vitamin B-12 and vitamin D. Fortified cereals and grain products contain B-12, but they may still need a supplement to guarantee that they are getting enough of these nutrients. The vegetarian male is also at risk of iron and zinc deficiencies, which are not easily absorbed from plant materials. It’s strongly advised, therefore, that men who follow a strict vegetarian diet include plenty of dark-coloured fruits and vegetables, or, better yet, visit their friendly neighbourhood pharmacy and get advice on the most suitable supplement. So men, don’t believe the hype that vitamins are a woman thing. Good health and long life is a human thing, and vitamins play a vital role in ensuring that you enjoy the best that life has to offer… good health!

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Do o itin it in Suit S u the Su WRITTEN BY


During the first USA manned space flight in 1961, astronaut Alan Shepard told mission control that he wanted to urinate. Mission control’s immediate response was, “Do it in the suit”. Alan Shepard did as he was told, and became the first astronaut to reach the stars in a soggy suit. That incident demonstrated the importance the people at mission control placed on the astronaut emptying his bladder when nature called. (Yes readers, nature calls even without the pull of gravity). Emptying your bladder is known by many names: urinating, wee-weeing, passing water, peeing… and by the guy in the bar who had too much to drink, “pissing”!

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The experts, however, describe it in more subtle terms. We’re sure most of you would not be familiar with such terms as “micturition”, “uresis” or “voiding”. (Can you imagine getting up from the boy’s lime to tell your partners you’re going to void?) Well, neither can we! So, for the guys in the bar, we’ll stick to peeing in this article.


Most people don’t give much thought to it when they feel the urge to pee. We just do what comes naturally. But have you ever wondered about the importance of making that bathroom trip? Your body constantly strives to maintain homeostasis, or balance. You don’t know it, but even while you sleep, your brain and organs work tirelessly to regulate your body temperature, blood acidity, oxygen availability and other variables.

A LIVING ORGANISM The human body is a living organism, and like all living organisms, it must take in nutrients to live. But after it uses these nutrients, the process of elimination begins. Elimination is as important a homeostatic function as the intake of nutrients, because the body can only use what it needs. It must, therefore, get rid of the excess, to avoid poisoning the system and damaging vital organs. (Did you know that the process of elimination is so crucial that an unborn baby pees in the womb?)

PUTTING LESS STRESS ON VITAL ORGANS Your body works on its own to ensure that the process of elimination is ongoing. But also we have an important role to play. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, we can assist the body and put less stress on the organs, most importantly the kidneys, which is one of the main organs in our urinary system. The urinary system, like most complex mechanisms in the body, is an example of nature’s marvellous ingenuity. It surpasses any filtering and elimination system ever designed by man, and is extremely efficient at doing what it was designed to do… eliminate waste. But our lifestyles can have a positive or negative impact on the urinary system. One of the ways you can help to maintain a healthy urinary system is by drinking plenty of liquids, which helps to keep your urine from getting too concentrated. Regular exercise can also be of great benefit to your urinary tract. A daily jog, skipping rope, regular visits to the gym, and even yoga can do wonders for maintaining a healthy urinary system.



SMOKING, EXCESS WEIGHT AND A HEALTHY BLADDER As we stated earlier, your kidneys are two of the most important organs in facilitating the process of elimination. These organs need a proper supply of blood to function effectively. Smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys, which can trigger kidney disease, or make pre-existing conditions worse. It also decreases the effectiveness of medication for high blood pressure, which damages the kidneys over a prolonged period. Excess body weight can lead to diabetes, which can eventually affect the kidneys. So it’s advisable to throw away that cigarette and attempt to lose weight, as ways to maintain proper kidney function and a healthy urinary system.

THE URGE TO PEE AFTER SEX Have you ever felt the urge to pee after having sex? Well, the experts say that’s a good thing. Peeing after sex helps to flush out bacteria that might have found its way into the urethra, before it travels to the bladder. These bacteria can cause a urinary tract infection (UTI), which is a leading cause of hospital visits by women. The woman is more susceptible to UTIs because a woman’s urethra is shorter than that of a man, which allows bacteria to reach the woman’s bladder faster. The experts also recommend that when you feel the urge to go to the bathroom, you try to do so as soon as possible. They also recommend that you let everything out, because old urine in the bladder can cause an accumulation of bacteria.

EATING YOUR WAY TO A HEALTHY BLADDER Your bladder is located close to your colon, so a constipated colon can put excess strain on the bladder. It’s therefore advisable that you seek to prevent constipation by eating foods containing fibre. These include whole grain bread and cereals, barley, brown rice, carrots, cabbage, apples and the like. Urinary tract problems should be addressed immediately, but maintaining a healthy urinary system is always the best option. So eat healthily, exercise, drink plenty of liquids, and when you feel the urge to go, don’t hesitate. Because if you wait too long and can’t reach that bathroom in time, like astronaut Alan Shepard, you might have to do it in the suit! 37 | u

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ASH, MPH, RD, Dip, PG Cert


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Alcohol Abuse

Cardiovascular disease

If you do choose to drink alcohol, the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends limiting it to no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.

Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in Trinidad and Tobago. In cardiovascular disease, cholesterol plaques gradually block the arteries in the heart and brain. If a plaque becomes unstable, a blood clot forms, blocking the artery and causing a heart attack or stroke. To reduce your risk for heart disease: • Get your blood lipid profile done every 5 years, beginning from age 25. • Keep your cholesterol profile in balance by eating fish regularly, having a high fibre diet, eating less saturated fat from red meats and less trans fats from processed foods. • Control your blood pressure by eating more fruits and vegetables and getting omega-3 rich foods (e.g. fish) in your diet • Stop smoking, or seek professional help to quit.

Among the drinking population in T&T, as of 2011, men average seven drinks per occasion, whereas women average four drinks. This level of drinking can be termed binge drinking. A standard drink is regarded as any of the following: • A 12 oz. bottle of beer • 4 oz. of wine • 1.5 oz. of brandy or hard liquor (80 proof spirits) Consuming any amount of alcohol increases the risk for cancer. Chronic overuse of alcohol leads to health complications such as liver cirrhosis, mouth/throat/ stomach cancers, pancreatitis, breast cancer, heart disease, and, yes, erectile dysfunction.

Prostate Cancer Prostate cancer is among the top five cancers killing men worldwide. If identified early enough, it is highly treatable, with great potential for cure. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, the following are major risk factors for prostate cancer: • Age: The older you are, the greater your risk; 97% of prostate cancers occur in men 50 and older. • Ethnicity: Males of African heritage have the highest prostate cancer incidence rates. • Family history: Five to ten percent of prostate cancers are the result of a strong genetic predisposition. • Obesity: Being overweight or obese increases a man's risk for advanced prostate cancer.


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Lung cancer is the leading type of cancer killing men worldwide, and smoking is the main culprit. In T&T, about 34% of males smoke, compared to about 9% of females. Smoking is also associated with poorer cardiovascular health as it constricts the blood vessels and causes the increase in plaque buildup within the arteries. Quitting smoking at any age reduces the risk for lung cancer. There are resources available in Trinidad through the public health system known as smoking cessation clinics, for persons wanting to quit once and for all.

Earlier detection, combined with effective treatment, has made prostate cancer more survivable. The Jamaica Cancer Society and the Jamaica Urological Society encourage men 40 years and older to have an annual Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) and the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test. Many Caribbean men resist having the DRE possibly due to its cultural unacceptability and existing taboos regarding anal penetration, due to the perceived association with homosexuality.


It is important to know your risks and practice regular screening and other prevention methods.

Mental health and stress management Men don’t talk! Among Caribbean males, and more so those of African descent, it’s a huge problem. It stems from an upbringing where men don’t discuss feelings, especially not in public. However, talking and sharing how you feel can be a key step to recovery from mental illness. Instead of showing sadness or crying, men often get angry or aggressive. One common mental illness affecting men is depression, a prolonged emotional disturbance that affects your whole body and overall health. When the mind is in a depressive state, numerous brain chemicals and stress hormones become out of balance. Sleep, appetite, and energy levels are disturbed. Research suggests men with depression are more likely to develop heart disease. Many males do not come forward about their mental health struggles for fear of rejection or discrimination. Many fear that the people in power may not care or don’t understand. Rather than seek help, men turn to abusing alcohol, which in turn exposes them to further health complications. The more people speak openly about mental health issues within their families, communities, and workplaces, the sooner the stigma and discrimination around seeking professional help for mental health can be reduced.

Diabetes: The silent health threat for men Early signs of diabetes are easy to miss, mistake for another issue or ignore. Having diabetes means that one’s blood sugar is too high — and this can be due to several factors. For those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the problem is usually that the cells have become insensitive to the effects of insulin, a hormone that normally moves glucose (or sugar) from the blood into the cells. In other words, while some insulin is produced, body cells do not respond and remain closed, so no sugar is accepted into cells to be used for energy. Therefore, glucose stays out of the cells of the body and remains in the bloodstream.



Chronically high blood sugar damages blood vessels and nerves, which can lead to blindness, hearing loss, loss of limbs and loss of sexual function in men. It forces the kidneys to work harder and can lead to kidney failure. High blood sugar increases the risk of heart disease. If you are diabetic, getting and keeping your blood sugar under control can help prevent or minimize complications. Unfortunately, damage to the nerves, kidneys, or other tissues may not be reversible. Early detection of diabetes is key to preventing complications. Exercise, combined with a healthy diet, can prevent and treat type 2 diabetes. Moderate weight loss, for those who are overweight, and 30 minutes a day of physical activity can reduce the risk of getting diabetes. Persons with type 2 diabetes are often treated with medications or non-pharmaceutical methods.

Erectile dysfunction Erectile dysfunction (or impotence) is a sexual disorder characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. According to the Trinidadian urologist Dr. Lall Ramnath Sawh, “erectile dysfunction is a signal or warning of future cardiac events. Atherosclerosis — or the build-up of plaque in the arteries — causes arteries to narrow and harden, and limits blood flow. Because the arteries supplying blood to the penis are smaller than those supplying the heart, symptoms of atherosclerosis may first show up as erectile dysfunction. Two-thirds of men older than 70 and up to 39% of 40-year-old men have problems with erectile dysfunction. Men with ED report less enjoyment in life and are more likely to be depressed.” Main causes of erectile dysfunction are diabetes, treatment for high blood pressure, heavy alcohol use, drug abuse, injury, prostate cancer and lack of restful sleep. If you have erectile dysfunction, see your doctor, and ask if more than your sex life is at risk. Men are urged to seek professional help rather than opting to use home remedies, purchase untested and unapproved herbal treatments, or-over-the counter drugs for erectile problems.

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THE NEXT U July to September


Diabetes and It’s Link to Cardiovascular Disease In the Caribbean, large numbers of us suffer from the double whammy of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But why? And how do we prevent it? Waterborne Diseases Clean water is one of the top public health concerns globally, and taking a strong stance on water purity is essential to eliminating the threat of these diseases. Are Any Foods Safe To Eat Anymore? From poor hygiene and inept food preparation to the proliferation of mass-produced “frankenfoods”, some of us are growing more and more concerned about what we put into our mouths. The 20 Healthiest Fruits On The Planet with over 11 grown right here in the Caribbean! Fruit! Fruit! Fruit! We love them, and they’re good for us. Here’s a list of the healthiest… and the yummiest. Article submission guidelines U strives to provide informative, educational articles emphasizing health and lifestyle in the Caribbean. We select articles that will appeal to our Caribbean audience that are uplifting, informative and pertinent to health and wellness. Policies You must submit only original and unpublished work. By submitting to us, you are giving U permission to publish your work both in a single issue and in any future publications that feature items from U. This may include compilation works, web page summaries of the magazine, etc. Although we are retaining the right to use your work, we do not take complete ownership of it. This means that if we publish your work in U, you retain the right to submit the work to other publications. All articles are accepted on speculation. Publication of any article cannot be guaranteed. U reserves the right to edit all copy.

Specifics All accepted articles will be accompanied by the byline and monetary compensation as set out in our writers’ contract. Letters to the editor We encourage Letters to the Editor commenting on recent articles published in our magazine. They are not peer reviewed as such, but are assessed in-house to make sure they are factual and non-inflammatory, etc. Submit all comments, letters and/or subscription requests to: U The Caribbean Health Digest, Gaston Court, Gaston Street, Lange Park, Chaguanas, Trinidad & Tobago or email us at info@uhealthdigest.com www.uhealthdigest.com Advertising. P: 868-665-6712 + 5994 + 4428 F: 868-672-9228

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