Men are 25% less likely to have visited a healthcare provider in the last year than women, despite the many men’s health issues that require monitoring. This puts men at risk of serious health problems that can impact their quality of life and longevity.
Here are some of the most common men’s health issues and what you need to know about managing them.
Hypertension refers to blood pressure higher than the normal range (120/80 for men).
High blood pressure can put men at risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as stroke. It occurs when the force of the blood pushing against the arterial walls is consistently too high, leading to the deterioration of the artery.
It’s normal for blood pressure to fluctuate during the day, often increasing when you exercise or experience a stressful event. However, it should return to a normal rate when you rest.
One of the most dangerous aspects of hypertension is that it doesn’t cause symptoms until the problem is severe, at which point you can experience headaches and nosebleeds. This is why doctors call it a “silent killer.”
The treatment of hypertension can involve a combination of medications and lifestyle changes like losing weight, avoiding foods with a high salt content, exercising, and limiting alcohol. The only way to know it’s time to make a particular change is to get regular checkups.
Approximately 37.3 million Americans have diabetes, with men making up the majority of Type 2 diabetes diagnoses.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks itself and prevents the production of insulin. With Type 2 diabetes, the body fails to use insulin correctly, which doesn’t allow sugar levels to stabilize.
Both conditions cause blood sugar levels to be too high because the sugar remains in the blood and doesn’t reach the body’s cells. This can lead to issues like:
The treatment for diabetes depends on the type you have.
For Type 1 diabetes, you’ll need daily insulin shots. For men with Type 2 diabetes, lifestyle changes that include diet modifications and exercise can help. Certain medications can also play a part in managing the condition.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men in the United States, being responsible for almost one in every four male deaths each year.
Men tend to develop heart disease about 10 years earlier than women, with one common issue presenting as the first symptom: erectile dysfunction.
There are different types of heart disease, including:
The most prevalent type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which can cause symptoms like exhaustion, dizziness, and shortness of breath. It develops when plaque builds up in the arteries of the heart, narrows them, and restricts blood flow.
To manage heart disease, men can turn to medications that help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Lifestyle changes can also be helpful, including forming healthier eating habits and becoming more active.
The prostate is a small gland shaped like a walnut that produces seminal fluid, which nourishes and transports sperm. Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men and one of the most common men’s health issues in general.
There are a few types of prostate cancers, with the most prevalent being adenocarcinoma, which begins in the cells of the glands that secrete fluid.
Active surveillance, or a “watch-and-see” approach, can be a good option for many men, though those with more advanced cancers can opt for surgery and radiation therapy.
Another of the most pervasive men’s health issues is erectile dysfunction, a condition in which men have difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection for long enough to have sex.
The causes of erectile dysfunction vary and can include neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis and psychological ones like high stress levels.
For many men, treatment can be as simple as taking specialized medications or getting penile injections. In more severe cases, a penile implant can be the solution.
Our clinical research center is dedicated to advancing treatments for these men’s health issues, and more. We run clinical trials that are always in need of volunteers, so contact us today to learn more about our studies and how you can participate.