Men’s Top 5 Health Concerns
Most people know about the major health concerns that women face, but what they don’t know is that men face equally dangerous health problems as well. Due to the differences in the physical makeup of men and women, there are differences in the health concerns that face each gender.
Unless you do some research on your own or speak with your regular health care professional, you may never know what those health issues may be. For men, it is especially important to know what you may be at risk for and how to keep yourself healthy and avoid some of these major health problems.
Lack of Medical Care
One of the largest causes of death in men has nothing to do with any disease, which may come as a shock to people. The culprit is a lack of routine medical care. Most women see their medical doctor on a routine basis and keep their doctor informed of any changes that they may be seeing in their bodies and their overall health.
While men may occasionally go to the doctor at the urging of their wives, girlfriends, or life partners, they do not typically receive the medical care that women do on a regular basis. For this reason, many men are in danger of an early death caused by something that could have been prevented if they had seen a doctor for a yearly check-up.
One of the top diseases that kill the most men is also a top killer of women: heart disease. Research done by the CDC shows that one in four men have symptoms of heart disease, and they also are at risk for a heart attack up to ten years earlier than women. Some of the contributing factors of heart disease in men are obesity, smoking, diabetes, advanced age, and family history.
For example, if your father had heart disease, you would be at an increased risk of getting the disease yourself. While age and family history cannot be changed, you can change your habits in other areas to help bring down the risk of heart disease. Changing your eating habits, whether on your own or with the help of your doctor, can greatly reduce not only your weight but also your chance of having heart disease.
Making sure to quit smoking and keeping diabetes in check through medicines and a healthy diet will also help you.
Unless a close family member passed because of a stroke, you may not think that it could affect you. But there is a reason that stroke is listed right below heart disease on every list of health concerns for men. Heart disease is directly related to stroke cases in men. Just like with heart disease, your main risk factors for a stroke are advanced age, family history, and diabetes.
But unlike heart disease, other factors come into play with strokes, some of which may not have occurred to you until now. Men have a higher risk of stroke than women do, with almost a 15% greater chance of experiencing a stroke in their lifetimes. Smoking can contribute to your risk of having a stroke, even if you do not smoke yourself. Secondhand smoke can be just a deadly.
Alcohol and substance abuse can also increase your risk for a stroke. While you will see strokes more often in men over 60, family history can increase your chances of having a stroke at a younger age. If your father, mother, or siblings have had strokes, you are more likely to have a stroke than someone who has no history of stroke in their family. Doing everything you can to reduce your risks due to your health, diet, and habits is very important.
This could help you counteract your chances of having a stroke.
Another top health concern for men is depression, which can lead to suicide. Men are more prone to depression and suicide than women are. The reason for this is that most men are less likely to recognize sign and symptoms of depression in themselves than women are.
They may often notice that they feel unlike themselves, but do not attribute it to something serious. A lack of recognition of depression in men is also due to the fact that it does not present itself in men the same way it does in women.
For men, it may be a midlife crisis, becoming angrier than usual, excessive alcohol consumption, or something as simple as being over stressed at work. Depression is directly linked to suicide in men for the sole reason of their depression being unchecked. Most men do not see their depression growing and therefore do not seek medical treatment before it is too late.
By now you’re probably thinking that there cannot possibly be anything higher on the list than these four, right? But there is.
Cancer is the leading killer of all men and women. Lung cancer is the cancer that kills the most men, followed by prostate cancer. Lung cancer is caused, most commonly, by smoking. However, you can also develop lung cancer from second-hand smoke, exposure to asbestos, living in a highly polluted area for a long period of time, or a family history of the disease.
Meaning if dad and grandpa had lung cancer, you are at a greater risk for it too. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer seen in men and is right behind lung cancer for being the deadliest to men. In most cases, signs or symptoms of prostate cancer do not present themselves until it has spread to other parts of your body. This why having a regular prostate exam is vital. When your doctor says it’s time, you need to bite the bullet. If you catch it early, it is a very treatable disease.
Keeping in contact with your regular medical professional and seeing them at least once every year can help you to prevent these deadly diseases. Maintaining your overall health by eating right, exercising, and quitting smoking can also greatly improve your chances of remaining healthy for the rest of your life.