If you want to live a long and healthy life, you need to be like other modern men of today and pay close attention to your physical and mental health. To do so, you must be aware of the many health risks men face, particularly as they age. Rather than ignore signs that something may be amiss or fail to catch something serious in its early stages, here are six top health risks you should keep in mind.
Should you have a family history of heart disease or be experiencing problems yourself with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you need to take heart disease very seriously, even if you are in excellent health otherwise. According to the American Heart Association, 3 million men have strokes yearly, and 33% of all adult men experience some form of cardiovascular disease at some point in their lives. Complications can result when heart disease goes undetected, serious, if not fatal.
Though ED itself is not life-threatening, erectile dysfunction is often a sign that something else is wrong with your physical or mental health. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that ED and heart disease are linked together in many cases. Often caused by atherosclerosis, which can cause strokes and heart attacks, having ED means your body’s blood vessels are not functioning properly. Fortunately, as doctors have learned more about ED over the years, there are now numerous specialized treatments for men that you may want to discuss with your physician.
When most men like yourself think of major health risks, you turn your attention almost exclusively to physical problems. However, depression affects more men than you probably realize; if left untreated, it can sometimes result in suicide. Even today, depression often goes undiagnosed because men tend not to discuss this issue with their doctors.
You may likely chalk up your depression to simply being angry or irritable. However, since mental health is now a top priority in today’s society, don’t sweep your feelings under the rug and assume things will improve. Instead, talk to your doctor.
If you are an active guy who spends lots of time outside in the sunshine, you need to remember that skin cancer is a health risk you should take very seriously. As recently as 2013, the Skin Cancer Foundation reported that over 60% of all melanoma deaths were Caucasian men age 50 or older. Also, keep in mind that men have a death rate from skin cancer that is more than twice as high as women. To reduce your chances of experiencing skin cancer, you can wear sunscreen when outside, wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat and make sure you don’t use sunlamps or tanning beds.
Too Much Alcohol
You don’t have to be an alcoholic for alcohol to be a health risk in your life. The CDC reports that men tend to engage in binge drinking twice as much as women, have higher rates of alcohol-related hospitalizations, and have higher rates of alcohol-related suicides than women.
While it’s fine to have an occasional alcoholic drink now and then, remember that a high rate of regular alcohol consumption increases your chances of developing throat, liver, colon, and esophageal cancer. It can also interfere with your body’s hormone production and testicular function, meaning you may begin to experience problems with low testosterone or erectile dysfunction.
If you have been a guy who eats a poor diet and rarely gets any meaningful exercise, you are setting the stage for diabetes. Should you become diabetic and it is left untreated, you can expect damage to your kidneys, heart, and eyes, which could result in you having a stroke, going blind, or needing a kidney transplant. Diabetes can also lead to low T and sexual impotence, so work closely with your doctor if this condition develops.
The Bottom Line
Despite what you may think, you are not invincible. By realizing the potential health risks you face as a man, you can schedule regular visits with your doctor and ensure any problems you have are dealt with as quickly as possible.