The prostate gland is a unique walnut-sized organ. Its main function is to produce the milky fluid component of semen, providing a slippery medium for sperm...
There are many health problems that men may be prone to throughout their lives, but some are more common than others. These are the Top 10 men’s health problems.
There is no doubt that we all experience stress, and men can feel it in different circumstances and with different symptoms. From an early age, boys and young adult men may have learned to hold in their emotions and not express or acknowledge their feelings, which can lead to a build-up of sorts, and show itself physically and mentally – chronic aches, sometimes irrational thoughts, or limiting beliefs about their situation. As men get older, it’s natural to feel more fragile and vulnerable, but it often goes unacknowledged. It is useful for men to be able to ask for help to cope with their symptoms and feelings, and to learn to become aware of their stressors, how they tend to react to them, and how they can better deal with it all. Unaddressed stress is connected to many health problems: high blood pressure, low energy, heart disease, depression, etc.
This is enemy number one for men. It can be a silent problem, though some experience chest pain and significant fatigue that may be due to a heart attack or angina. It is important as men get older to regularly get checked – a physical examination, blood and urine testing. In some cases it may be prudent to do a newer test called a ‘calcium scan’ or what is known as an ultrafast CT scan. It is a method to detect early plaque buildup in the coronary arteries, since calcium buildup can occur there and may indicated increased risk for heart attacks.
It is common for the prostate to get larger with aging. It may show itself with having difficulty passing urine, or having a weak stream, or tending to wake up in the night multiple times to urinate. Kegel exercises may help to strengthen the muscles that help develop more bladder control; drinking less before bed can also help, although medications or herbal extracts may be necessary to improve these troublesome urinary symptoms.
Testosterone levels in men start declining by age 40. This can lead to changes in mood, energy, and sexual function. If these are symptoms you are experiencing, you may have a deficiency or low level of circulating testosterone, and it would be useful to do a blood test to find out. Exercising more, ridding excess abdominal fat can help, and some may benefit from testosterone replacement therapy.
Most men who develop erectile dysfunction are over 70 years of age, however, it can affect men in a wide age range. Suffering from poor sexual performance can obviously bruise one’s ego, but it also can have a deep effect on a man’s self esteem and their relationships.
Many men suffer from joint pain. It may show up on the job, or after doing simple projects around the house, or during exercise, or simply from climbing stairs. A common cause is simply weak leg muscles, so getting into better shape makes a difference – it may mean getting more help from a personal trainer, or visiting a physical or athletic therapist for more specific guidelines. The other common cause is the slow degenerative process that leads to the most common form of arthritis called osteoarthritis. Shifting nutrition to more vegetables and fruits, exercising, and taking cartilage-regenerating supplements can help.
Accidents are a leading cause of death and dysfunction. It is useful to have a more prevention-minded approach to life. Some simple changes can be making a point to stay within the speed limit while driving, keeping a better distance from vehicles, ensuring someone is there to spot you while exercising, or someone to help lift heavy objects at home or work. Asking for help may be a difficulty for many men, and as men get older, it is particularly important to know your limits and to ask for help.
The top three cancers men face are lung, prostate and colorectal. Prevention means removing risk factors, and strengthening your immune system. In addition to quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption, ensure you have a healthy diet, and consider preventive supplements to support your immune system – this can include including mushroom extracts. For example, recent research from the University of Hong Kong found that giving mushroom extracts from Turkey Tail mushroom (Coriolus versicolor) to mice prevented the development of prostate tumors.
Many men have the tendency to overeat. This can lead to many signs of indigestion such as bloating, passing excess gas, having constipation, and even hemorrhoids. As a naturopathic doctor, supporting digestive health is fundamental for all-round good health – and can improve those with maldigestion, and also many types of chronic symptoms/illnesses such as joint pain, low energy, headaches, etc.
Known as the silent killer, men are prone to high blood pressure. It is important to know your numbers, and to get yourself checked at least twice a year. Simple ways to prevent high blood pressure, and to help reduce mild-moderate elevated blood pressure is to eat a diet higher in potassium, and lower in sodium – this means eating more vegetables and fruit portions, and lessening meats and starchy carbohydrates with all the seasonings and ‘fixins.
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