Men's Health Issues
The following describes a number of health concerns that are typical among men and a brief discussion of suggested remedies.
Men with elevated levels of alcohol and /or tobacco use have a risk of liver diseases. Cirrhosis, alcoholic liver disease, and hepatitis B are typical. Men who engage in risky sexual behaviors, intravenous drug use, and poor personal hygiene are at greater risk of Autoimmune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and Hepatitis B. Regular doctor visits, safe sex practices, along with healthy lifestyles reduce the possibilities of succumbing to these conditions.
According to the American Heart Association, it is estimated that 2.8 million men have some form of cardiovascular disease leading to hypertension, stroke, or heart attack. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is more prevalent among younger men who smoke. Again, regular medical check-ups, proper diet and exercise are the best preventatives to avoid these conditions. If you smoke, QUIT!
Lung cancer, caused by smoking is a leading cause of death among men, according to the American Lung Association. Occupational hazards, such as exposure to asbestos, petrochemicals, and toxic gasses also contribute to this risk.
Alcohol use contributes to more deaths and hospitalizations in men than women, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Drinking too much alcohol brings a greater risk of mouth cancer, throat cancer, liver cancer, colon cancer, or esophageal cancer. Alcohol interferes with sex drive and testicular function in males. Prolonged use results in mental impairments, social dysfunction, and eventual death. Alcohol addiction cannot be cured, but it is manageable through a variety of programs that assist with cessation and recovery.
Depression and Suicide
Men generally experience depression differently from women and are less likely to acknowledge the condition and seek help. Recent efforts to bring awareness to the prevalence of Post- Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) resulting from combat conditions and other hazards are showing increases in reports of male depression. Still, the number of young male suicides is growing at an alarming rate, particularly among veterans, teenagers, and Blacks. While women are more prone to attempt suicide, men are more likely to die of suicide.
Unintentional Injuries and Accidents
Accidents, such as vehicle crashes and job-related injuries are also leading causes of death among men.
Diabetes presents several complications for men, including a greater risk of sexual impotence and lower testosterone levels that can lead to depression and anxiety, according to Clinical Advisor. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to nerve and kidney damage, vision issues, stroke, and heart disease. Regular medical check-ups, along with proper diet and exercise are recommended to prevent these effects. Diabetes is manageable when close attention is given to blood sugar levels, supported by a strong commitment to eating the right kind of foods, avoiding stress and exercising daily.
Men 50 years and older have a risk for developing skin cancer, up to twice as frequently as women, according to The Skin Cancer Foundation. Frequent sun exposure and fewer visits to the doctor are cited as the primary reasons. Men in this category ought to be vigilant about self-examination, avoiding overexposure to sunlight, using an effective sunscreen and getting semi-annual check-ups from a knowledgeable health provider, or dermatologist. Never ignore small changes in skin texture or the appearance of moles and skin tags. Skin cancer is treatable and can be eliminated if discovered in time.
HIV infections are steadily increasing among gays, bisexuals and other men who engage in risky sexual behaviors, in spite of the best efforts of medical science and public health organizations. According to CDC data, the year 2009 marked the beginning of a rise in HIV/AIDS cases among men. Sixty-one percent (61%) of all new HIV infections are attributable to same-sex activities within the age group of 13 to 29 years.
Influenza and pneumonia
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, Aids, and cancer make men more susceptible to influenza and pneumonia, according to Clinical Advisor. Men over the age of 65 should consider getting influenza and pneumonia vaccines.
Prostate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells are found in the tissue of the prostate. According to Baptist Health, it is the most common cancer in men (excluding skin cancers) and the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States.
Undoubtedly, many of these health issues can be avoided or treated with regular medical check-ups. Early detection and treatment, prudent lifestyle choices and close attention to bodily changes can make a difference in the quality and length of a man’s life.
Consider these tips:
- Exercise (Walking or Running).
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (mainly dark green vegetables).
- Less fried foods (eat in moderation).
- Take a multivitamin.
- Practice safe sex (don’t ignore what's below the belt).
- Don’t use tobacco.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Value sleep (take a power nap when you can).
- No cheating (less stress).
- Meditate (take at least 15 minutes or more of quiet time to yourself).
- Regular dental check-ups are important. See your dentist twice a year.
- Take time with nature (Parks, ride a bike).
- Spend time with people that make you laugh.
- Practice breathing exercises.
- Do all this with your significant other (make it fun).
- Avoid toxic and unhappy relationships. Stress can kill you.
- Even if you are healthy now, consider making changes that support your continued good health (Healthy people are not off the hook).