8 Men’s Health Issues To Prevent Right Now
Numerous men’s health issues can affect us guys everywhere. Some problems can be prevented, and others can be treated successfully when diagnosed early. Caring for our health should be a top priority. We have wives, partners, parents, and children who depend on us. Even single men with no dependents need to take responsibility for their health. As adults, we shouldn’t rely on anyone else to take care of us.
As we age gracefully into our 30s and 40s, it becomes more important to be aware of the most common health conditions in men. We must get real and stop with the “I don’t need to see a doctor; I’m fine” attitude. That was our fathers’ way of thinking, but it doesn’t have to be not ours. Taking care of our health is the most masculine thing we can do.
What Are the Biggest Health Issues for Men?
Although we may feel invincible, the sad truth is that we aren’t. Even the toughest men can be vulnerable to many male-specific diseases and conditions. Paying attention to what our bodies tell us instead of pretending it’ll go away isn’t the right route.
We tend to beat on our chests like Tarzan, act the hero, and work way too much. However, with early prevention and regular checkups, most men can combat or prevent the health problems we can succumb to.
Here’s a list of the most common men’s health issues, how to keep them in check, and available treatment options.
1. Cardiovascular Disease
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention informs that some type of heart disease causes a staggering one out of every four male deaths. With the risk of heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular issues being so high for men, taking care of your cardiovascular health is crucial.
Many forms of heart disease are preventable. High blood pressure is very common in men under the age of 45. It’s important to know if yours is high, and if so, talk to your doctor about treatment options. Other contributing factors of cardiovascular disease include:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- High cholesterol levels
- Unhealthy diet
- Inability to handle stress
2. Prostate Cancer
The American Cancer Society found prostate cancer to be the most frequent form of cancer in men. Contrary to what you may think, prostate cancer isn’t just an older adult’s disease. Although it’s more likely to develop later in life, it has been diagnosed in younger men, becoming one of the most concerning health problems at 30 in men. Fortunately, when caught early, prostate cancer is highly treatable.
Regular screenings for prostate cancer are key for early detection. And don’t worry; initial screenings don’t involve that procedure that most men fear and avoid. Instead, your doctor will order a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test to check PSA levels. High levels are an indication of a prostate issue.
Those most at risk for prostate cancer are:
- Older men
- African Americans
- Men with a family history of the disease
Although more men are aware of the dangers of diabetes, it’s still a leading men’s health issue. Left untreated, this manageable disease can contribute to heart disease, kidney damage, vision problems, and low testosterone levels.
Poor diet, lack of exercise, and having a family history of the disease are all common causes of diabetes. No matter your age, it’s key to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly to lower your risk of developing diabetes. It’s recommended to be screened for diabetes once every three years or more often if you’re over 45 or have a family history. Overall, when it comes to men’s health issues over 40, diabetes should be on your health priority list.
Symptoms of diabetes can include:
- Frequent urination
- Unexplained thirst
- Sudden weight loss
- Blurred vision
4. Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction, or ED, can affect men of any age. However, this condition, which can cause shame, anxiety, and stress in many men, is highly treatable. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 30 million men in the United States have ED.
Men who start showing erectile dysfunction symptoms need not be quiet about it. Talk to your healthcare professional about the many available treatment options available. If you have erectile dysfunction, it doesn’t mean that your sex life is over.
Common ED medications include:
- Vardenalfil (Levitra)
- Sildenafil (Viagra)
- Tadalafil (Cialis)
- Avanafil (Stendra)
Vitamins and supplements can potentially help men keep erectile dysfunction in check by improving blood flow, reducing inflammation, and boosting testosterone levels. However, it is vital to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new ED supplements to ensure safety and effectiveness.
5. Skin Cancer
Men over 50 are more than twice as likely to develop skin cancer than women. White men over 50 accounts for sixty percent of melanoma deaths in the United States. Skin cancer is a common men’s health issue that can be prevented by following a few easy-to-implement guidelines.
When exposed to the sun for long hours, wear long sleeves and a wide-brimmed hat to limit the sun’s harmful rays. Even a baseball cap is helpful when outdoors in bright sunlight. When sunning yourself on the beach or in the park or shirtless while exercising outdoors, apply a strong sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30.
Men are more probable to develop skin cancer due to two factors:
- Not applying sunscreen
- Infrequent doctor’s visits
Regarding men’s health topics for discussion, skin cancer should be a top concern. Unfortunately, men are more likely to develop skin cancer than women. Still, prevention measures such as wearing sunscreen and protective clothing daily – even in urban settings – can greatly reduce the risk.
Men must care for their skin and incorporate sunscreen into their daily grooming routines to protect against harmful UV rays and prevent skin cancer. Regular skin checks and early detection are crucial in managing this potentially deadly disease.
6. Low Testosterone
As men age, their testosterone levels drop. However, there are plenty of much younger men who have low levels of testosterone. Many guys in their 30s don’t even realize that their levels of this male hormone are lower than they should be. Low testosterone is more common now than in your father’s day.
Men of all ages should consider getting their testosterone levels checked with an at-home test kit to monitor their hormonal health. Low testosterone levels can cause various issues, including decreased libido, fatigue, depression, and weight gain.
By catching these problems early, men can take steps to manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. Additionally, monitoring testosterone levels can help identify potential health issues such as prostate cancer, metabolic syndrome, etc. An at-home test kit offers a convenient and affordable way to monitor testosterone levels and proactively address concerns.
Hypogonadism, or low testosterone, influences things like sex drive and sperm count but can also affect other health conditions. For example, energy levels, strength, and cognitive skills can suffer if testosterone levels are too low. If you think you have “low T,” consult your doctor or healthcare professional.
Testosterone replacement therapy methods include:
- Gel – Testosterone can be absorbed into the body by using prescribed gels. Popular bands are Fortesta and AndroGel.
- Injections – The patient can inject testosterone into the muscle or under the skin. The prescribing doctor will provide instructions for the best way to do this.
- Patch – Applying a new patch daily that contains testosterone is another popular method of testosterone replacement therapy.
- Nasal – Natstro can be pumped into each nostril three times a day.
7. Mental Health Issues
Perhaps due to our tendency towards stubbornness and pride, many men deny having any emotional or mental health issues. Fortunately, the topic of overall emotional well-being isn’t quite as taboo as it was at one time. But unfortunately, some men still struggle to admit they need help.
Being unable to handle stress healthily can lead to many mental health issues. For example, sometimes guys try to take on the world and be the provider for the family without taking care of themselves. Anxiety and depression can be a direct result of ignoring your own needs.
If you’re one of the many men suffering in silence, feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, or completely stressed out, there’s no shame in asking for help. Speak to a healthcare professional about what treatment option can help you move closer to a healthier attitude.
You can do many things to relieve some mental health issues. Some helpful suggestions include the following:
- Exercise – Vigorous exercise can do wonders for your mental health. Lifting weights, jogging, or even incorporating long daily walks around the neighborhood can help.
- Journaling – Get yourself a notebook and begin to write down your thoughts. Introspection can help you to discover the root of your emotional issues.
- Meditation – When overwhelmed with negative thoughts, a few minutes of quiet meditation can help to slow down an overactive mind. With practice, it’ll become easier to give your mind a break.
- Make time for you – It’s easy to get caught up in the responsibilities of life. But you know the saying, all work and no play make Jack a dull boy. So do something nice for yourself, especially when working far too much or too hard.
8. Liver Disease
Your liver is the body’s powerful processing plant. It has numerous functions, but in a nutshell, it assists your body in digestion, absorbing nutrients, and removing harmful toxins. Unfortunately, men are at a higher risk than women for developing liver disease.
Diseases of the liver aren’t always obvious, and men can have issues with this vital organ for years before developing any symptoms. This is why regular overall health checkups and seeing your doctor annually are important. Symptoms of liver disease include:
- Yellowish skin and eyes
- Pale stool
- Dark urine
- Swollen legs
- Itchy skin
Alcohol abuse, smoking, and obesity can all be traced to liver diseases such as liver cancer and cirrhosis.
How Should Men Prevent the Biggest Health Issues?
As you’ve learned, many health issues can affect men. However, many of them are preventable. With the knowledge of your health issue risks, you can begin to take steps to remain healthy.
Being proactive is the best way to take care of yourself. It’s far better to put in some effort now than to battle a disease or condition later. After all, to enjoy your life to its fullest, you’ll want to be as healthy inside and out as possible.
Here are some friendly suggestions to help you be your best.
Regular Doctor Visits
It cannot be stressed enough that regular doctor visits are the best way to keep your health in check and prevent diseases and unpleasant health conditions. In addition, early detection of diseases is the best way to ensure that they’re easily treatable.
It’s time to stop thinking that the only time you need to see a doctor is just after a catastrophic injury. Regular checkups are not a sign of weakness. Instead, they’re a sign of responsibility to yourself and your loved ones.
If you’re still a smoker, it’s time to quit. It’s universal knowledge that tobacco doesn’t benefit your body in any way and is the cause of more than a handful of deadly diseases. If you need help quitting, consult with your doctor. Some medications can help ease the need for nicotine.
Limit Alcohol Intake
Alcohol is another substance that can do more harm than good. A glass of wine when out to dinner or a beer while watching the game is fine, but anything over a couple of alcoholic beverages a week might be too much.
Alcohol can cause liver damage and high blood pressure, leading to adverse health conditions. Also, it’s a depressant and certainly won’t help if you’re depressed.
Embrace a Healthy Diet
Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for men’s health. Eliminating or limiting processed foods is a good start to eating healthier. Ensure you eat enough fruits and vegetables and do not subsist on pizza and fast food.
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to so many men’s health problems that it’s difficult to list them all. Movement is life, so make sure that you’re getting enough exercise. This can be difficult for office workers or those who are stationary all day while on the job. Consider incorporating a regular exercise routine to keep your body healthy. This doesn’t mean you must become a buffed-out gym rat but do some basic weekly exercise.
Most Men’s Health Issues Are Preventable
The best thing to do to preserve your health is to see your doctor for regular checkups. For specific conditions relating to men, you can check your testosterone levels or speak to your healthcare professional about issues you may be having in the bedroom.
Lifestyle changes such as limiting alcohol intake, eating healthier, and exercising are easy. However, being proactive about some of the most common men’s health issues and taking responsibility for your health is more manly than you think.