It’s often said that men don’t take their health seriously. Their health is not a top priority for many, and they put off going to the doctor for what seems like the “small” stuff. A Cleveland Clinic survey confirms that physician-dodging is common among men who would instead do household chores than see a doctor. The result is often men developing health conditions that are common but preventable if they were proactive about their health.
Get any health concerns addressed at AFC Urgent Care Paramus. Our providers can offer resources and refer patients to specialists who can provide care for more specific concerns. Visit our center for all urgent care needs today.
Medical Concerns that Primarily Affect Men
Heart disease is common and can manifest in different ways, all of which can have serious and fatal health consequences, especially if left undetected. According to the CDC, heart disease is the primary cause of death for men across America, killing 357,761 men in 2019.
You can protect yourself from the risk of heart disease by doing routine health checkups. This way, your doctor can perform a thorough evaluation and calculate your risk for heart disease based on critical risk factors such as family history, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and smoking.
COPD and Other Respiratory Illnesses
Respiratory diseases can sometimes go undetected because a typical “smoker’s cough” may not ring any alarm bells. However, in the long run, that innocent cough could prove to be a symptom of a life-threatening condition, like lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or emphysema.
In the U.S, the COPD mortality rate is higher in men than women, although more women are living with the disease, according to the CDC. Tobacco smoke is a primary factor in its development and progression. Screening for lung cancer if you’ve been a smoker for 30 years or more is often recommended.
Alcohol-related Health Issues
According to the CDC, more men than women are hospitalized and have higher death rates from alcohol-related health problems. Men consume twice as much alcohol as women. Alcohol consumption increases the risk of a range of cancers, including the colon, esophagus, liver, mouth, and throat. It doesn’t stop there as alcohol negatively impacts testicular function and hormone production, leading to impotence and infertility in men.
Prostate cancer is a leading cancer for men and one that affects only them. As men age, the risk of developing prostate problems increases. According to the American Cancer Society, estimates for prostate cancer in the United States for 2021 include roughly 248,530 new cases of prostate cancer and approximately 34,130 deaths from prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer can grow slowly without the threat of spreading or being aggressive. It’s helpful but not always beneficial for men to get screened for prostate cancer by getting a digital rectal exam and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. The detection of non-fatal cancers can sometimes lead to aggressive treatment, which causes problems with impotence and incontinence.
Depression and Suicide
The combination of depression and suicide is a serious health issue for men, affecting their overall health and wellbeing. One of the primary risk factors is communication, where it’s believed that men are less willing to express their problems and seek help and are conditioned to bottle up their emotions. While women are more likely to attempt suicide, men are more likely to complete the act.
According to 2019 data, men died by suicide roughly 3.6 times more often than women, with white males accounting for 69.38% of suicide deaths. Seek help if you are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.
Tips to Staying Healthy
You have to be proactive when it comes to your health and wellbeing. That may require making certain lifestyle changes. Some ways to stay healthy includes:
- Don’t skip routine checkups: Visit your doctor for your annual checkups and share your health concerns.
- Stay on top of your mental health: Be mindful of depression, stress triggers, and suicidal thoughts. Get help if needed from someone you trust.
- Maintain a healthy diet: Eat nutrient-rich foods and keep processed foods, salt, and simple sugars at bay.
- Exercise regularly: Moderate physical activity for 30 minutes a day can help keep your heart, mind, and body healthy.
Don’t be afraid to address your physical or mental health. Avoiding your health issues won’t improve your well-being. You have to be willing to take the initiative for change that can keep you healthy and strong. If you have health concerns, see your primary care physician and seek the medical help you need.