Men are clearly less likely to visit the doctor than their female counterparts when it comes to visiting the doctor. According to a CDC study that lasted a year, women were 33% more likely to see a doctor in a 1-year period than their male counterparts. The CDC also found that women had a 100 percent higher rate of annual exams and preventive measures visits than men. Why is it that men dislike checking on their health? Likely for a multitude of reasons, but whatever those might be, not going to the doctor helps explain why there is so much conflicting--and often just plain inaccurate--information circulating about men's health. These long-standing myths about men's health are not only for you, but also for the man in your life.
Your Mom's Genes Are The Key To Your Mother's Baldness
It is still a persistent myth that hair loss can be traced back to your mother. Although male pattern baldness can be linked to hereditary factors from the mother's side, it can also be passed on from any side of the family.
However, while the primary gene that causes male baldness is found on the X or female chromosome, the father's side can also affect your chances of losing your hair as you age.
The Most Common Type Of Cancer Among Men Is Prostate Cancer
This common myth, although it is close to true, isn't quite accurate and it changes significantly over time as a male ages. Additionally, instances of prostate cancer are dramatically influenced by ancestry as well. For instance, African American and Caribbean men of African descent are much more likely to have prostate cancer compared to men from other ancestries.
The most common form of cancer in American men is non-melanoma skin cancer. While the numbers are higher in lighter-skinned Americans of European ancestry, it is overall the most common form of cancer for men in the United States.
However, prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths of among American men of all races.
Luckily, overall cancer rates declined between 1999 - 2018 in the United States, from 169.4 to 107.5 per 100,000 people, though in absolute terms, prostate cancer rates rose from 196,833 to 211,893 during that same time according to the CDC.
You'll Gain More Muscle By Eating More Protein
Strength training is the best way to build muscle. Simply eating more protein will not do this alone. WebMD states that adding more protein, but not more calories, to your diet will not help you build muscle mass. However, it could cause other issues if not done properly. In fact, while we support the notion of ketogenic diets for men, you can't just obsess over protein and ignore all other types of nutritious food that your body needs.
To gain muscle mass and improve strength you must have a net positive amount of protein in your body so that it can be synthesized and support muscle growth as part of your strength training regimen. This is why men looking to build muscles should make sure to consider protein powders as well a high protein diet along with their fitness routine.
Just eating lean meats all day won't do it alone!
The Older Men Are Always Less Strong Than The Younger Ones
While it is true that bones and muscles will weaken as we age, you can delay this loss of vitality by being active. Keep up an exercise program and challenge your body no matter what age.
Additionally, there is a phenomenon known as "Old Man Strength" where some older men do seem to retain their strength and be able to apply it more directly in instances of stress and crisis. This is due more to the ability to harness hormones such as adrenaline than it is raw muscle strength.
Blue Balls Are Dangerous For Your Health
Blue balls are not dangerous! In medical terminology, this experience is known as epididymal hypertension or (EH) and while it may be unpleasant it is not serious. Once the erection is over, any discomfort should go away and the blood flow to the genitals will return to normal.
Additionally, some men - and many women who hear the term think that the scrotum will transform from pink to blue but this is also a men's health myth. Although the testicles don't turn blue, they can take on a slightly bluish tint due to an increase of non-oxygenated blood being temporarily trapped there.
You Can Catch Up On Sleep By Sleeping In
After a long work week, you're exhausted and spend most of your time at the office. You then go out partying with friends until the early hours of the morning and only get about five hours sleep each night. You sleep for 10 hours on weekends, hoping it will make up the weekly loss. It's not true. A study in 2016 stated; it takes four days to fully recover from one hour of lost sleep.
People can adapt to this notion of sleep debt where outwardly they appear fine, but the body itself can still suffer if not allowed proper time to restore itself. Unfortunately, that simply can't do that overnight.
Every Man Snores
Snoring is something that most men do, right? Nope, though men are much more likely to be habitual snorers - 40% compared to 24% of American women. Overall, 45% of adults in the United States snore occasionally.
It's normal for men and women to snore at night. This could be due to allergies, sickness, poor sleeping habits, or changes in the weather. However, persistent or problematic snoring could indicate dangerous sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. This increases your risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease.
Men are more likely to snore for a variety of reasons that come together with such as an increased likelihood of using alcohol and sedatives, being overweight, injuries that result in a deviated septum, smoking, and also a different muscle structure in the neck and throat that results in changes to airflow when one sleeps at night.
Only 10% Of Your Brain Is Actually Used
The most popular of all health myths is the belief that your brain only uses 10% of its capacity. The truth is we use our entire brain for various functions that we need to survive. This notion has been around for many years, even among some doctors who repeat it.
This silly myth is not supported by any evidence. We know that the brain uses 20% of our energy, but it is only 3% of our body weight.
However, you will see it used as the plot for movies like Limitless and Lucy where a drug allows Scarlet Johansson to use her entire brain, resulting in new fantastic abilities.
It is thought that the myth began when people repeated a misquotation of psychologist William James who said that the average person "develops only 10 percent of his latent mental ability". This quote was referring to someone's mental ability and not that the brain itself only used 10% of its matter.
While this myth of only using 10% of our brains is easy to dispute, it is true that the brains of women show significantly more activity in more areas than men. This is especially true in the frontal cortex with regards to focus and impulse control as well as the limbic and emotional areas of the brain responsible for mood and anxiety.
There are a lot of misconceptions about man's health and many myths out there that cause us to take various actions that might not always be the best for our lives. We've tried to provide some insight on how to address them as well as debunk their fallacies ourselves.
However, one thing that is true is that men - of all ages, genders, ancestry, and economic levels, need to focus more on our health and identifying changes so that issues can be resolved before becoming problems.