4 common health problems in men and how to fight them
Adobe Stock / Zdenka Darula
According to Delaware doctors, strengthening health behaviors can help men avoid these four common health problems.
Risky behaviors that are more common among men – riding motorcycles, becoming Alaskan king crab fishermen, avoiding doctors – could explain why men typically die sooner than women.
But another more prevalent common denominator is that men “tend to be more indifferent to their health in general,” says Heather Barton, MD, gastroenterologist at Beebe Healthcare in Lewes. “If you look at anything in medicine, men are generally more at risk than women.”
Most men can do more to be proactive about their mental and physical well-being. Here, Delaware experts take a look at some of the most important health risks men face, and how to avoid them.
Heart attacks are twice as common in men as in women. While coronary heart disease remains the leading cause of death for both sexes in the industrialized world, it kills more men, thanks to a combination of biological, behavioral and psychosocial factors.
Men tend to engage in coronary risk factors more often, such as binge drinking and smoking. According to Journal of American Academic Health, men may also be less adaptive in dealing with stress.
âTo start reducing vascular problems early on, focus on healthy fats,â says primary care physician Daniel Burke. High blood pressure and diabetes can be helped by the Mediterranean diet, which targets vascular problems and fatty liver disease with lots of vegetables, legumes, nuts and seafood. Some poultry and eggs are okay, but avoid sweets, red meats and processed foods, Burke warns.
“This type of diet, combined with regular physical activity – about 150 minutes per week, including two muscle building sessions – can help fight inflammation in our arteries.”
Men are twice as likely to die from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis as women.
“I’m a little biased because I’m a woman,” Barton jokes.
But the facts don’t lie: Men are more likely to suffer or die from cirrhosis of the liver. Alcohol plays a role, but the biggest culprits are fatty and salty diets.
Our livers lack sore fibers (unlike that choppy gallbladder), so it often takes a long time to notice when something isn’t working properly. Our liver makes protein to build muscle, remove toxins from our blood, and perform many other vital tasks.
Good news for the casual drunkard? âAlcohol, in moderation, is not the enemy,â Barton says. In men, the liver can tolerate up to two drinks a day and rebound well.
In general, avoid bad habits, like smoking, and stick to a diet rich in fiber and nutrients. Our livers are tough, but not invincible. Fatty liver disease can be reversed, but once enough damage is done and the battle scars turn into cirrhosis, things get risky. Like, risky liver transplant.
Mental illness and addiction
About 11.5% of men over 12 have a substance use disorder, compared to 6.4% of women, and they are less likely to seek help for mental support than men. women.
âMen are supposed to have this machismo, which we can’t show weakness or vulnerability,â says Jolomi Ikomi, medical director of Project Recovery, a subset of ChristianaCare’s behavioral health services and addiction psychiatrist.
Instead of seeking treatment for mental health problems, men often turn to drug addiction. âMental illness and addiction are extremely linked,â says Ikomi. More than half of people with a mental illness will develop a substance use disorder, and vice versa.
Addiction and mental illness arise from a deep and complex set of biological, psychological and sociological factors. Men who suffer from depression, bipolar affective disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder are more likely to have a substance use disorder, as are those with chronic pain.
Genetics also play a role. The transmission of these genetic traits from father to son is particularly widespread.
But Ikomi sees progress for the men, citing professional athletes like Dak Prescott of the NFL and Kevin Love of the NBA, who have spoken publicly about their mental health issues. At ChristianaCare, primary care physicians are trained to incorporate some preliminary mental health checks into patient visits. The growth of male focus groups (some dissected based on age or other factors to help with comfort) is constant, and Ikomi says younger generations increasingly have positive attitudes towards sex. Mental Health.
Between focus groups and greater visibility, men “see other men with similar issues, other men on different paths of their recovery, other men also being vulnerable and telling them it’s normal.” to be vulnerable, âsays Ikomi.
Getting men over the hump can be difficult, “but if you really empathize with them and make them realize they’re in a safe place, then you’re more likely to be. [men] open up, âsays Ikomi. âProcessing doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. “Abstinence or bust” does not have to be the motto in all cases. We are working towards goals.
About 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
Imagine a beautiful ripe orange. Now imagine a plastic straw going through it.
There you go: a rudimentary mental diagram of your prostate (the orange) and your urethra (the straw).
Time and testosterone are generally not good for the orange, leading to the threat of enlargement, inflammation, infection, and cancer development. As it grows, the prostate (which produces seminal fluid) can compress the urethra and disrupt urine flow or bladder function.
And, just like our livers, men don’t think about their prostate too often – until something goes wrong with our, hum, more recognizable body parts.
Fortunately, says Delbert Kwan, MD, urologist at Beebe Medical Group, there are many medical and surgical treatments available today for the problems that orange and straw face, which can include problems with urination and sexual dysfunction.
However, “when things are not going well from a urologist’s point of view, there could be a bigger problem, like diabetes or heart disease.”
Want to take care of your prostate? Take care of the rest of your body. Regular exercise has been shown to decrease urination symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate, Kwan says. Food irritants such as caffeine, carbonated drinks, alcohol, and nicotine can affect the bladder and prostate and cause urinary frequency, urgency, and even urine leakage.