While everyone needs to take their health seriously, men are often not vigilant regarding their physical or mental well-being. This is more than just something to put off until the future, quite literally ... the future is now!
According to the Director of Loyola Medicine Men’s Health Center, Dr. Kevin McVary, men are less likely to see their healthcare providers and seek medical aid earlier than women. Various studies have also shown that most cases caused by the 15 leading death causes except Alzheimer’s disease are men-related. However, you can change the status quo and increase your longevity by paying attention to your overall health. Here are the top health concerns that affect men and the steps you can take to avoid them.
Heart disease is one of the significant health issues men face and one you should check regularly. The American Heart Association (AHA) study indicates that more than one in three men experience various cardiovascular conditions, with high blood pressure targeting men under 45. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also revealed that heart disease accounts for the deaths of 357,761 men, making it the leading cause of men's demise in America. Besides, it's entirely possible to have a heart condition without knowing due to lack of symptoms or ignoring them altogether. For these reasons, you should prioritize your cardiovascular health and take extra precautions to prevent complications.
You can prevent heart issues by visiting your healthcare providers immediately you detect early symptoms such as severe fatigue, shortness of breath, and erectile dysfunction. You may also avoid high cholesterol foods and focus on healthy meals such as leafy greens, berries, avocados, and whole grains. They’re rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals needed for a strong heart. It will also help to participate in heart-strengthening sports activities such as pickleball but be sure to get a durable pickleball paddle to get the most out of your game. You may also include workouts such as walking, swimming, and weight training to keep your heart in top shape.
Like cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer is another primary health condition that plagues the male population and can be fatal if not appropriately addressed. According to the American Cancer Society 2020 report, approximately 116,300 men are likely to develop lung cancer, and 72,500 are projected to die. These disturbing statistics are further accentuated because lung cancer can spread without symptoms and is often advanced and difficult to manage when it’s finally detected. What's more, family history, heavy smoking of tobacco, and inhaling harmful carcinogens such as chromium, asbestos, nickel arsenic, and radon gas can increase your likelihood of having the disease.
Fortunately, you can exempt yourself from being part of the statistics by taking specific preventive measures. You may want to avoid smoking tobacco and quit smoking if you’ve already started. It will be best to seek professional help if you find it difficult to stop on your own. It’s also best to opt for a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and avoid taking vitamin pills in large doses, as they can increase your chances of getting lung cancer. Additionally, it will help to exercise regularly and test your home for radon gas and other carcinogens.
Depression And Suicide
Depression negatively affects how you feel, think, or act, and while it affects both men and women, they experience different symptoms, which affect how early it’s detected. For instance, men who are battling depression can exhibit aggression and anger, which are not commonly associated with depression. Besides, men are less likely to open up about how they feel and delay seeking treatment for depression, which can quickly degenerate into suicide. Various studies conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that there are 130 suicides daily, and men are three times more likely to die of suicide than women. In addition, depression has been linked to other health conditions such as heart diseases and reduced sex drive.
While depression might be on the rise, you can take steps to overcome it. You can start by exercising regularly as it triggers the release of endorphins that boost your mood and keeps you happy. You may also take a vacation with friends to take your mind off stressful routines and avoid comparing yourself to others. It will also help if you get 8 hours of undisturbed sleep and maintain a healthy weight, as they help you feel good about yourself. Should you feel suicidal at any point, you don’t have to go through it alone; feel free to call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 to contact a trained counselor.
The prostate is the reproductive organ responsible for feeding and protecting your sperm cells and is prone to health conditions if not properly taken care of. Diseases such as Prostatitis (prostate inflammation), Benign Prostatic Hypoplasia (BPH, prostate enlargement), and prostate cancer can affect your reproductive health or ultimately reduce your lifespan. The American Cancer Society estimates 248,530 new prostate cancer cases and 34,130 deaths in 2021, making it one of the common cancers in American males. While prostate diseases can be successfully treated when detected early, late detection can cause cancer to spread to other organs and cause more health complications such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
While there’s no established prevention strategy, you can take the necessary steps to reduce your risk of contracting prostate cancer. As stated earlier, there’s a high chance of successful treatment if detected early, which is why you should go for regular prostate screening to determine the health of your prostate. You may also choose a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and limit fat intake. You also want to avoid dairy foods as studies have linked such foods to higher risks of prostate cancer. It will also help if you maintain a healthy weight by exercising regularly and speaking to your healthcare providers if you have high prostate cancer risks.
Diabetes is a medical condition characterized by your body’s inability to produce or use insulin to break down blood sugar. It results in excess blood sugar, which can cause massive health complications if not controlled. Research by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that diabetes was responsible for 27.3% of male deaths in the U.S, making it a health concern that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Besides, it causes retrograde ejaculation, urinary tract infections (UTIs), erectile dysfunction, and other sexual disorders. Diabetes risk factors include smoking and high blood cholesterol, among others.
Fortunately, you can avoid contracting diabetes by taking preventive measures to that effect. You can limit your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates and embrace a keto diet. You may also consume more water than sweetened beverages and maintain your weight by exercising regularly. If you’re already experiencing diabetes-related problems, it will be prudent to see your doctor determine the proper treatment for you.
While it might be expected for men to have a higher risk of health conditions, you can live your life without dealing with issues concerning your well-being. However, to assure yourself of maximum wellness, you need to pay attention to your mind and body and see your doctor immediately when you sense an odd feeling in your body. It’s also advisable to go for regular check-ups to detect the onset of any disease and address them immediately. While the list of conditions is not exhaustive, they’re the leading causes of male deaths, and knowing how to avoid them can increase your longevity.