The biggest health mistakes men make
By Dr. Oz
The biggest health mistake men make is that they hate going to the doctor. It's like asking for directions – it just doesn't seem in their DNA. Whether they're worried it will make them seem less manly, scared what the doctor will say, or just think it's their job to be strong and silent, men are damaging their families and their health by hiding important medical information.
Here are some of their biggest concerns:
Erectile dysfunction (ED)
Nobody wants to talk about it, but almost every man experiences it at some point in his life – the inability to get or maintain an erection. In fact, new research shows that erectile dysfunction affects more than half of men over the age of 60, and nearly 20% of men over the age of 20.
So why aren't they talking about it? Experts say that most men blame themselves, thinking that emotions are at the root of the problem. But most cases of ED result from medical problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and smoking, which is one of the reasons (beyond keeping your sex life healthy) that it's important to address it.
There are several effective treatments for ED, from well-known medications such as Viagra and Cialis (which increase blood flow to the penis) to medication injected in the base of the penis and, even, penile implants.
Sometimes addressing underlying issues such as weight or alcohol consumption can help as well. Learn more about the Beer Gut Diet for a guy-friendly weight-loss plan.
It's a normal part of getting older: as men age, their prostate (the walnut-shaped gland under the bladder that helps produce semen) begins to thicken, compressing the urethra and making it difficult for urine to pass through. So men may go to the bathroom constantly, but take a long time to actually urinate or finish, and feel like they have to go again right away.
Though there is no cure for an enlarged prostate, treatment options include using targeted microwaves or a heat-releasing needle to shrink the prostate, and surgery. For milder cases, lifestyle changes such as spreading your fluid intake throughout the day and relaxing during urination can help
We all begin to forget things here and there as we age, but when men begin to fear they are having memory loss, they are often afraid to speak up. For some, it's a confirmation of ageing; for others, the possible causes are too scary to contemplate.
Because there are so many potential reasons for memory loss – from an old athletic injury to Alzheimer's – it's important to have a doctor's evaluation.
Though depression is most commonly associated with women, many men also suffer from depression. Unlike female depression, however, male depression often goes undiagnosed, for several reasons. Society demands that men appear strong and in control, and for many men, this means it is extremely difficult to admit to having a problem or express feelings. For other men, the stigma of getting treatment may be a roadblock as well. Finally, under-diagnosis may simply be the result of a failure to recognise the symptoms of depression.
Depression often manifests differently in women than in men. While men too experience feelings of sadness and a decrease in pleasure from activities they once enjoyed, other symptoms of depression in men are less recognisable. They include: escapist behaviour; alcohol or substance abuse; controlling, violent, abusive, or risky behaviour; and inappropriate anger.
Finally, there is a strong link between male depression and suicide. Even though women are more likely to attempt suicide, men are more likely to “complete” suicide. This is believed to happen for several reasons: first, men are more likely to use more lethal methods; second, they act more quickly on suicidal thoughts; and third, they show fewer warning signs.
Heart disease is the leading threat to men’s health; one in three adult men have some type of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and heart disease strikes men 10 to 15 years earlier than it does women. In the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD; plaque in artery walls), which can lead to a heart attack.
Making healthier choices regarding your lifestyle can significantly lower your risk for heart disease:
- Stop smoking
- Eat a healthy diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fibre foods and lean proteins
- Limit your saturated fat and sodium intake
- Have a regular exercise routine
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Drink in moderation
- Manage your stress
- If you have heart disease conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, make sure you manage them and stick to your treatment