Men's health is a topic that deserves attention and awareness. It's important to understand the common challenges that men face in terms of their well-being. Heart disease, for instance, tends to affect men at a younger age compared to women. Prostate cancer is another significant concern that requires early detection for better treatment outcomes. Certain symptoms should not be ignored, such as blood in urine or stool, feelings of depression or anxiety, unexplained weight loss, and sexual problems. Maintaining optimal testosterone levels through a healthy lifestyle and exploring natural remedies like Ashwagandha may have potential benefits. Additionally, engaging in resistance training can help improve insulin sensitivity, metabolism, and heart health.
Guys are notorious for not discussing their health problems, especially their sexual or mental health. Men rarely visit their doctors and often ignore their symptoms for as long as possible.
Statistically speaking, men are likely to develop heart disease or another chronic condition about ten years earlier than most women. Furthermore, most males die almost six years earlier than females.
If you don't want to be part of these frightening statistics, then it is time to take some general precautions, such as living a healthier lifestyle, avoiding harmful habits, and undergoing regular checkups and health screenings. Early diagnosis of problems allows for timely treatment and more treatment options than waiting until things get serious.
But if you want to take your health to the next level, there are ways to boost your well-being and vitality, specifically targeting men's health.
Keep reading to discover men's most common health issues and three secret ways to care for your well-being, reproductive health, and quality of life.
Do you know the top men's health threats?
Undoubtedly, heart disease is the leading health threat for men. It is the number 1 cause of death for both men and women worldwide, but men usually develop heart problems much earlier in life, which is why awareness of risk factors is vital.
The CDC estimates that as many as 1 out of 4 men in the US die from cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, heart insufficiency, and stroke .
Moreover, half of the men who died suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms, so booking a yearly appointment is essential to ensure you catch any underlying issues.
Another common health concern among men, which is also male-specific, is prostate cancer. According to the CDC, it is the most common type of cancer among men and the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths .
Prostate cancer often lacks symptoms, but even if there are any, men often feel embarrassed to talk about it or to undergo a prostate exam. Yet, with early diagnoses, doctors can treat prostate cancer more successfully and with fewer side effects.
Diabetes is also a significant cause of concern for men's health as it is a chronic debilitating condition that can reduce the quality of your life. Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes often remains untreated and progresses into kidney failure, nerve damage, erectile dysfunction, and cardiovascular problems.
Which symptoms should not be ignored?
As mentioned, one of the biggest challenges related to men's health is the tendency to ignore symptoms instead of making an appointment with a doctor.
Yet, there are many symptoms that you should not simply brush off as a temporary inconvenience because they may indicate a serious health issue.
Some of the most concerning symptoms, which you should never ignore, include:
- Blood in urine, semen, or stool
- Frequent or difficult urination
- Feelings of depression or anxiety
- Unexplained weight loss
- Severe unexplained fatigue or weakness
- Excessive night sweats
- Chest pain or shortness of breath
- Sexual problems
If you have any of these symptoms, make sure to consult a doctor to receive timely treatment options. Remember that these symptoms do not always indicate a severe health problem, but the only way to find out the exact cause is by seeing a healthcare provider.
How do you feel healthy again?
1. Maintain optimal testosterone levels!
Testosterone is the symbol of masculinity. It has unprecedented importance for a man's mood and physical and sexual health.
You may not know that testosterone is also crucial for heart health. Doctors and scientists warn that lower testosterone levels are a significant risk factor for heart problems.
According to the researchers, lower testosterone is associated with more atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, and even heart attacks .
Atherosclerosis is the so-called thickening or hardening of the arteries due to the deposition of cholesterol, immune cells, and other substances. It has been linked directly to heart attacks and strokes.
Having less testosterone can also increase your risk of building fat around your waist and internal organs, negatively impacting your metabolic and cardiovascular health.
This type of fat is called visceral; having too much of it is associated with high blood pressure, insulin resistance, hypercholesterolemia, and heart disease. The increased insulin resistance can progress to type 2 diabetes in genetically predisposed individuals.
A healthy lifestyle is essential to maintain good testosterone levels as you age. Make sure to eat a balanced diet, stay active and avoid being overweight or obese.
If you are healthy but struggling with age-related testosterone decline, natural options such as testosterone-boosting herbs may be worth a try.
For example, Ashwagandha is a popular herb with unique benefits for men's health and testosterone production. Although most studies are in infertile men, supplementing with the herb has been shown to increase testosterone levels by 17% on average in sterile males .
Moreover, the root extract of Ashwagandha led to a 59% increase in semen volume, a 57% increase in sperm motility, and a whopping 167% increase in sperm concentration in males with reproductive problems.
2. Take care of your muscles!
Exercise and staying physically active are one of the most popular recommendations for a healthy lifestyle. But you may not be aware of the additional benefits of certain types of sports and exercises, especially for men.
In particular, muscle-building movements appear to have much more benefits for men than other types of physical activity. That's because building muscle can improve insulin sensitivity, faster metabolism, stronger bones, and even better heart health , , .
Resistance training is your best bet to build muscle mass. This includes lifting weights at a gym, using your body weight, or strength training .
To build muscle, it's also essential that you apply progressive overload, which can be achieved in various ways, gradually increasing the weights you use. That's a potent way to induce muscle growth because there's a close relationship between strength and muscle .
3. Avoid nutrient deficiencies!
While being physically active is healthy, it's important to note that exercising and sports increase your body's need for nutrients and may even elevate your risk of deficiencies.
Indeed, scientific studies show that active men do not meet the dietary recommendations for 17 essential vitamins and minerals you should take daily .
Some of the most common deficiencies were those in vitamin A, vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, and iodine. Scientists also report that vitamin D deficiency is the most common worldwide among men and women .
That's mainly due to the lack of many good dietary sources of vitamin D and the lack of direct exposure to sunlight due to the modern lifestyle, staying indoors, using sunscreen, etc.
The deficiency is so common that medical doctors and experts all over the globe recommend taking a dietary vitamin D supplement regularly.
Low Vitamin D levels can impair normal testosterone production. In such cases, supplementation has been shown to help increase testosterone .
Another common deficiency to avoid is magnesium, which can negatively affect testosterone levels and cardiovascular health. Studies report that low magnesium is a risk factor for spasms of the coronary arteries, which increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes .
The deficiency is common amongst men because modern processing methods have deprived most foods of their magnesium content. Therefore, supplementation is once again the most affordable and convenient option.
Considering the detrimental effects of most deficiencies on men's health, taking a multivitamin designed according to your needs may be a great idea.
Why is men's health so important?
Modern medicine has helped increase the quality of life and life expectancy in both men and women. Yet, men are much less likely to pay attention or talk about their health, making preventing diseases almost impossible.
We all know that "prevention is always better than cure," yet most men continue to ignore their health problems and "man up" or "tough it out." Even those who visit their doctors are often hesitant to share their complaints and worries.
A 2019 survey amongst 1174 adult men, which is part of the worldwide campaign "MENtion it," reported that about 20% of men who visit their doctors are not honest during the exam. Some of the most common causes for lying included embarrassment and fear of getting a scary diagnosis.
Men are also more likely to use harmful coping mechanisms such as abusing alcohol or drugs and succumbing to self-destructive behavior.
Therefore, raising awareness of men's health is essential by providing understandable health information, easing access to health clinic consultations and disease screening, and fighting the stigma that men should act tough.
Note: This article is for informational purposes only and not intended for use as medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any dietary supplement.