Maintaining a Healthy Prostate

By Jason Pawloski, RDN | Registered Dietitian

June is Men’s Health Month, so we’re taking a moment to highlight the importance of screenings and eating healthful to prevent some of the common health concerns men experience.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the prostate gland, which is a small walnut-shaped gland found in men. Prostate cancer occurs when the cells in the prostate gland start to grow uncontrollably. These abnormal cells can form a tumor and, if left untreated, may spread to other parts of the body. Although prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men, it often grows slowly and may not cause significant symptoms in the early stages.

Prostate cancer that’s more advanced may exhibit signs and symptoms such as:

  • Trouble urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Bone pain
  • Erectile dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction

Unfortunately, estimates suggest that about 40% of men will experience some degree of erectile dysfunction (ED) by the age of 40, and up to 70% of men will likely experience this problem by the age of 70 years old. Frequent erectile dysfunction, however, can be a sign of health problems that need treatment.

Prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction might not always be preventable, but there are some things you can do to reduce your risk.

Reduce Your Risk

Start by eating a heart healthy diet! In many cases, ED results from vascular disease. So, in other words, what foods are good for heart health are also great for proper blood flow and sexual health.

By eating a high fiber diet, low in saturated fats, and including various sources of heart healthy fats, this may help to protect against prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.

  • For a heart healthy diet:
    • Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day (more is better!)
    • Choose more whole grains – brown rice, whole wheat, oats, quinoa, etc.
    • Eat essential fats daily – fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil
    • Limit intake of refined grains and added sugars
    • Limit intake of processed meats, red meats, and high fat dairy

In general, a healthful diet can be helpful for preventing so many different chronic conditions, not just for preventing cancer and erectile dysfunction. Schedule an appointment with a NOAH Registered Dietitian for expert guidance and support in navigating men’s health and nutrition-related matters.

A Titan Among Leaders: Celebrating Wendy Armendariz

Congratulations to our CEO, Wendy Armendariz, for being selected as part of the Titan 100!

The Titan 100 is a national program that recognizes a premier group of 100 CEOs or C-level executives in a region. These Titans of Industry demonstrate exceptional leadership, vision, passion, and influence in their field.

“These leaders have built a distinguished reputation that is unrivaled and preeminent in their field… their achievements create a profound impact that makes an extraordinary difference for their clients and employees”.

Jaime Zawmon, President of Titan CEO

Wendy, along with her fellow Titans, will be recognized at an awards event on August 24 and will be given the opportunity to connect with the Titans multiple times throughout the year.  The complete list of Titan designees for 2023 is featured on the Titan 100 website and individual profiles will be highlighted on LinkedIn, one per day for 100 days following the recognition event.

This well-deserved recognition highlights Wendy’s outstanding leadership, unwavering commitment, and remarkable achievements in the business realm. Join us in celebrating Wendy’s extraordinary accomplishment and her invaluable contributions toward achieving NOAH’s mission to provide compassionate quality healthcare for all.

Meet our NOAH Desert Animals!

You might have seen our new desert friends popping up as stick puppets at NOAH health centers over the past year as a tool to entertain and engage children visiting NOAH; either for their own care or the care of a loved one. NOAH’s Desert Friends quickly gained popularity among patients of all ages inspiring an additional character, naming opportunity, photo backdrop, and more.

Kicking off at NOAHfest in January, event participants were invited to submit name suggestions for each animal. The naming campaign continued throughout the month at NOAH health centers throughout the Valley. From over 100 names submitted by NOAH patients and friends, the top five names for each animal were chosen with final names determined by popular vote among NOAH team members. NOAH is proud to introduce NOAH’s Desert Friends!

Meet the Characters

Niko the coyote is friendly, smart, and helpful but gets worried easily.

Maya the hummingbird is very active, opinionated, and full of advice.

Javi the javelina is somber but pleasant. You can find him always eating his vegetables.

Sheldon the tortoise is shy, unsure, and easily embarrassed.

What’s Next?

This year is turning out to be very busy for our new buddies. In partnership with the Arizona Lottery, NOAH has created an original children’s book which tells the story of our four friends helping one another overcome obstacles while learning important life lessons. Books will be distributed in English and Spanish to patients 6-12 years old participating in NOAH’s wellness exam and sports physical Back-to-School events. Grow With Me kits and coloring books, also funded through the Arizona Lottery Gives Back program, will be offered to patients ages 0-12 during the Back-to-School events scheduled for July 29 (at Palomino Health Center) and August 5 (at Cholla Health Center) while supplies last. More information about our Back-to-School events will be coming soon.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for our new companions, and check back often to learn about the exciting future activities our pals have planned!

Hypertension Awareness Month

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a leading cause and controllable risk factor for stroke and heart disease. The good news – hypertension is controllable, and with proper management, you can lower your risks.

What is high blood pressure (hypertension)?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when your blood pressure, the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high. The higher your blood pressure levels, the more risk you have for other health problems, such as heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

What is the cause of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is caused by a variety of circumstances, and usually develops over time. High blood pressure can happen because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as not getting enough regular physical activity. Age, family history, genetics, race, ethnicity, and sex are all risk factors that cannot be changed.

What are the signs and symptoms of high blood pressure?

Most often, high blood pressure has no symptoms or warning indications, and many people are unaware they have it. The only method to determine whether you have high blood pressure is to measure it.

What do blood pressure numbers mean?

Blood pressure is measured using two numbers:

The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. Typically, more attention is given to systolic blood pressure (the first number) as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50.

The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.

According to the CDC, a normal blood pressure level is less than 120/80 mmHg. Knowing your blood pressure numbers is the first step to maintaining the health of your heart.

Source: American Heart Association

What can I do to prevent or manage high blood pressure?

Making lifestyle modifications can help many people with high blood pressure bring their levels into a healthy range or maintain them there.

  • Get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week (about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week)
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat a healthy diet, including limiting sodium (salt) and alcohol
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Manage stress

Schedule an appointment with your NOAH care team right away if you think you have high blood pressure or if you’ve been told you have high blood pressure but do not have it under control.

What to Know About Depression in Women and How to Get Help

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, but that’s not all, it’s also the month that we celebrate Mother’s Day. Women of the world that care for children get one day to celebrate their efforts in raising the next generation but in all honesty, women deserve so much more. To care for others, you must care for yourself. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) notes that depression is more common among women than men. This may be due to biological and hormonal factors that are different in women.

Sadness is a normal reaction when life gets tough. Usually, these feelings go away. Depression, however, is real and considered a medical condition. So, what are the symptoms?

What to look for?

  • Persistent sadness.
  • Anxiety that won’t go away.
  • Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, and hopelessness.
  • Appetite changes such as weight loss/weight gain.
  • Fatigue.
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts.
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making sound decisions.
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, chronic aches/pain, or digestive issues.

This Mother’s Day is a perfect time to highlight the importance of proper mental health in women. Let’s start by getting help. There are a few ways to ease the symptoms of depression on your own. Changing your lifestyle can have a positive impact on your mood. This isn’t easy and quite frankly, it’s not something that can be done for two or three weeks until you feel better and then go back to old habits. So how can you change your lifestyle for good?

Tips to Aid in Depression Treatment at Home

  • Exercise – this may improve your mood and reduce aches/pain.
  • Sleep – go to bed and get up at the same time each day.
  • Diet – cut out junk like sugar, fat, and processed foods and focus on the basics like whole grains, lean meats/fish, and fruits and vegetables.
  • Sunlight – spend some time outdoors.
  • Time Out – yes that’s right! This is not just for kiddos; adults need time away from everything too. Even as little as 15 minutes per day can be helpful. Use this time to mindfully breathe, meditate, or stretch.

How to Get Help

These are just a few tips to help combat depression in women. If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call/text the National Suicide & Crisis hotline at 988. Treatment for mental illness starts with your primary care provider. Our Behavioral Health Counselors are available to talk in-person or via video call. The first step is to schedule an appointment to discuss your concerns and ask for help. Let’s celebrate Mother’s Day all year long by creating a healthy lifestyle and sticking to it each day. Don’t let depression get you down, ask for help!