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Patient Question

I am a 57-year old man beginning to feel the signs of aging. My joints hurt when I get up in the morning. I've gained weight. My blood pressure is rising and I'm frequently tired. To make matters worse, I have a family history of diabetes, prostate cancer and heart disease. What should I be doing to get better?

Raja Jaber, MD

Assoiciate Professor, Family Medicine
Stony Brook University Hospital
Expert Answer

There are universal principles of maximum health and there are specific recommendations for you given your symptoms and family history. Good nutrition, exercise, rest, adequate social support and emotional balance are the pillars of health.

At Stony Brook University Hospital, we recommend a healthy diet that can help prevent a range of diseases including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It includes:

  • Seven servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit
  • High fiber (35 grams or more) from fruits/vegetables, beans/lentils, buck wheat or kasha, high fiber grains/cereals, nuts and seeds
  • No more than 2500mg of salt
  • Whole grains (brown rice/whole wheat)
  • Moderate intake of healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocado, extra virgin olive oil and fatty fish
  • High calcium intake from green leafy vegetables, fish, yogurt (plain) and/or milk
  • Eat several meatless meals each week
  • An occasional glass of red wine (do not drink to excess)
  • Dark bittersweet chocolate is a good dessert choice
  • Avoid sweet drinks, trans fats/partially hydrogenated oils and processed foods

Exercise is crucial to physical well-being; it lowers blood pressure, raises good cholesterol (HDL) and decreases cardiac risk. Exercise improves cognitive skills, delays the onset of dementia, combats mild depression, improves sleep and diminishes fatigue. An ideal routine should include stretching, strengthening and aerobic exercises. Strengthening quadriceps (thigh muscles) is crucial along with weight loss to treat your knee pain. Strength exercises should be done with lower weights and slow repetitions to avoid injury. Pilates is a great body conditioning technique to improve core muscle strength. Please be sure to consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program.

For Additional Information Contact (631) 444-4000

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The Stony Brook Medicine University Physicians website is primarily an informational and educational resource. It should not be used in place of medical advice and recommendations you receive from your health care provider. If you have, or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please seek the advice of your health care provider.

Stony Brook Medicine University Physicians provides marketing advice and consultation to the clinical Faculty associated with the University Faculty Practice Corporations (UFPCs). It does not provide medical care directly or indirectly nor does it oversee, direct, manage or supervise the medical care provided by any of the individual Practices. The individual Practices are responsible for the medical care each Practice provides to its patients. Please note that the Practices listed below are separate University Faculty Practice Corporations (UFPCs).