Turns out, what you don’t know can hurt you. In a world where there seems to be new studies—and new health guidelines—coming out every day, it can be hard to keep up. Here are seven things you may not know, but should, about men’s health issues and what you can do.
1. All men must take their heart health seriously.
Men are more likely to die of heart disease than women and half of all men who die suddenly of a coronary heart episode have no previous symptoms. Whether you’re 20 or 70, you can take steps to improve your heart health.
2. Age matters for dads, too.
Research shows that there is a fivefold increase in the time it takes to get your partner pregnant if you are over age 45. What’s more, research also shows that children with fathers age 40 and over are five times as likely to have an autism spectrum disorder as children fathered by men who are 30 or younger. So there you have it—men have a biological clock, too.
3. Prostate cancer screening guidelines have changed—again.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. But while the cancer is common, it’s also generally slow-growing. That’s why, in 2012, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force advised against routine prostate cancer screening for otherwise healthy men. Just this year, however, the task force changed its guidelines and now encourages all men to have a conversation with their doctors about the pros and cons of screening for prostate cancer.
4. Erectile dysfunction isn’t an inevitable part of aging.
But it can be a warning sign of other disorders, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems and hormone imbalances. ED also can be caused by stress, depression, anxiety, smoking or alcohol abuse. It’s always best to have it checked out.
5. Men experience depression differently than women.
While women tend to show signs of sadness and worthlessness, men are more likely to manifest their depression as irritability, anger, sleeplessness and loss of interest in work and hobbies. Men also are less likely than women to take steps to alleviate their depression. Anyone experiencing depression should seek help from a doctor or mental health professional—or emergency medical treatment if they are experiencing suicidal thoughts.
6. Your wife should check you out.
According to a recent study by the American Academy of Dermatology, women are nine times more likely than men to notice melanoma on others. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should skip your regular skin exams by a dermatologist.
7. Low testosterone can get you down.
Two out of 10 men older than 60 have low testosterone, which is diagnosed when levels fall below 300 nanograms per deciliter. Symptoms include fatigue, loss of muscle mass and increased body fat. If you think you’re experiencing low testosterone, discuss the issue with your doctor, who can order a blood test and advise you of the potential risks and benefits of testosterone medication.
Going to the doctor isn’t most people’s idea of a good time. But taking control of your health today is one of the most important things you can do for your future self—and your family. Contact us today to make an appointment with one of our physicians.