Health is not a gender-specific issue. While it is important for everyone, regardless of age or gender, to get preventive health checks and make healthy dietary and lifestyle choices, multiple studies have shown that men are more likely to ignore health problems or be hesitant to see a doctor, often hiding problems because they believe they are already-fit and healthy. However, feeling healthy isn't always the same as actually being healthy, and ignoring problems until they worsen can make matters worse. Not only is it a big risk to take, but there are some specific symptoms and warning signs of deteriorating health that men should be aware of. We outline six common men's health issues and how to deal with them in this article.
1. Testosterone deficiency or ‘manopause’
Low testosterone affects millions of men, and the number is growing every year. Testosterone deficiency, also known as andropause or 'manopause', mimics many of the symptoms associated with female menopause. It affects men between the ages of 30 and 90, however, the good thing is not every man will get it, and for a large number of those who are affected, the symptoms are often downplayed or simply attributed to working too hard or having a mid-life crisis.
Common symptoms include tiredness, falling asleep after food, decreased libido, increased body fat/decreased muscle, poor concentration/brain fog, and increased irritability. In the later stages, men may also experience night sweats, changes in cholesterol and blood pressure, increased risk of diabetes, and osteoporosis (bone thinning).
You may check the testosterone score by answering a simple questionnaire or via a blood test to find out the total testosterone and free testosterone level. Fixing the cause with lifestyle changes (e.g. exercise), supplementation or starting testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can be life-changing, lowering the risk of other serious medical problems, improving quality of life, and saving jobs, marriages, and families.
2. Prostate disease
Because women do not have prostate glands, this disease can only affect men. The prostate is a small gland behind the penis. It secretes fluids that are necessary for the release of sperm during sexual intercourse.
The prostate is prone to enlargement in men as they age. Its prevalence is incremental as men get older, with estimates of approximately 50% of men between the ages of 51 and 60, and up to 90% of men older than 80 being affected.
Another prostate-related issue is prostate cancer. It is said that if we live long enough, all men will develop some form of prostate cancer. It is the most common cancer in men, accounting for one-quarter of all cancer cases.
You can slow down prostate enlargement and reduce your risk of prostate cancer by not being overweight, exercising regularly, considering saw palmetto, pumpkin seed oil and lycopene supplementation, and getting regular health checks.
3. Erectile dysfunction (ED)
ED affects roughly half of all men at some point in their lives, but it is still a taboo subject. Men develop ED for a variety of reasons, including neurological or metabolic causes (such as diabetes), anxiety or stress, hormone deficiencies, or a narrowing of the blood supply to the penis. This last cause is so significant that it is widely accepted that if you have ED due to a vascular cause, you have about three years before it affects your heart (resulting in a heart attack). The penis is a health indicator. Phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors pills such as sildenafil, and tadalafil can be effective in treating ED, but only if the underlying cause is identified.
4. Heart-Related Diseases
Heart disease, stroke, and artery diseases are among the top ten men's health issues worldwide. These conditions are referred to as cardiovascular diseases.
Over one-third of adult men are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
To avoid death from cardiovascular disease, you should have a regular medical check-up once every six months or yearly. You should also keep an eye on your blood pressure and adopt healthy habits like having routine exercise and consuming more fruits and vegetables.
5. Lung Cancer and Respiratory Diseases
Lung cancer is a terrible disease because it can spread quickly before you notice any symptoms. Lung cancer can kill within a year of being diagnosed. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer in men. While the number of men who smoke has decreased, it is still a leading cause of death in men.
Unfortunately, there is no early detection test for lung cancer. The best way to avoid the disease is to quit smoking. If you are or have ever been a chronic smoker, see your doctor for a regular medical examination.
Diabetes develops when the level of glucose in your blood rises to dangerously high levels. It occurs when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin or the body fails to respond to it. This results in an excess of glucose in the blood.
The frequent urge to urinate and excessive thirst are two major symptoms of diabetes. Diabetes develops gradually, and most men are unaware of it until they notice the first two major symptoms.
Excess glucose in the bloodstream can lead to a variety of diseases, including strokes, heart attacks, and blindness. Obese and overweight men are more likely to develop diabetes.
To prevent this disease, you should exercise for at least 30 minutes per day and eat a well-balanced diet rich in macronutrients.
Take early action to address the top men's health issues
If you've noticed any of the above-mentioned symptoms, do seek immediate medical attention. It is always better to guard your health, starting from the first sign.