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Health may seem like a universal concern.
After all, anyone can get sick… feel depressed… have high blood pressure…
But other conditions might affect men differently or disproportionately.
In support of men’s health month, let’s take a look at some of these most common men’s health issues and the steps you can take to avoid them and improve your health.
For many men, physical health is equivalent to working out at the gym. But while staying fit is a great health booster, in reality, men’s physical health is much more complex than a workout.
If you want to look and feel your best physically, here are some things to try… Along with your gym sessions, of course!
Many men feel bulletproof… until life proves they aren’t with a major health scare.
Here are some of the most common diseases and illnesses that men face.
- Cardiovascular Disease: the number one cause of death for American men
- Cancer: the second leading cause of death among men, with prostate cancer being the most common
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Respiratory Disease
- Liver Disease
These sudden medical issues may seem completely out of the blue when they strike. But often, the first signs of deteriorating health were simply brushed-off.
Regular doctor’s visits can make sure that your physical health is on track and that these seemingly minor symptoms aren’t overlooked.
We all know the importance of sun protection. And you may think you’re on top of it, using sunscreen at the pool or on vacation. But do you apply sun protection when you’re walking the dogs, grilling, and playing your weekly round of golf?
Unfortunately, for many men, the answer is no.
And this results in some eye-opening statistics on melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
While young women are more likely to develop melanoma than young men, men of all ages are much more likely to die from it. And from age 50 and up, men are more likely to develop melanoma.
This is partly due to sun protection usage.
Unfortunately, women have a bit of an advantage here, as many common beauty and makeup products often include a Sun Protection Factor (SPF).
However, men’s skin is different from women’s skin, with less fat and more collagen and elastin. These differences also play a role in men being more likely to develop skin cancer.
Take precautions! If you’re going to spend any time outdoors, make sure you’re using sunscreen and SPF-rated clothing such as long-sleeved shirts. Also, do your best to avoid the sun’s deadliest rays, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Hormones aren’t just for teens!
Your body produces hormones throughout your entire life. From adrenaline (the infamous “fight or flight” hormone) to dopamine (the happiness hormone), these chemicals keep your body in optimal health.
Arguably the most important hormone in men’s health is testosterone, sometimes called the sex hormone.
But testosterone isn’t just about sex. It plays an important role in many of your body’s functions.
Unfortunately, as you age, your body will naturally produce less testosterone, which can lead to the following symptoms.
- Decreased muscles mass and strength
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hair loss
- Loss of bone density
- Lower libido
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble sleeping
- Weight gain
Luckily, a simple blood test can tell whether your testosterone and other hormone levels are lower than they should be. There are even companies like LetsGetChecked that offer tests that can be taken in the privacy of your home and mailed in.
If your hormone levels are lagging, your doctor can work with you to find solutions, such as Testosterone Replacement Therapy, also called TRT. Via a gel, patch, pill, injection, or implant, TRT can boost your hormone levels and your health.
While many people think of illnesses and infections when they think of bacteria, the truth is, bacteria can actually make you healthier—if it’s the right type of bacteria.
In an ideal world, the colonies of beneficial bacteria will outnumber and crowd out the pathogenic bacteria.
However, for most people the opposite is true. Colonies of bad bacteria flourish, expelling the colonies of good bacteria—a condition known as dysbiosis.
Dysbiosis can cause a number of men’s health conditions:
- Digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, and IBS
- Food allergies
- Skin issues including eczema and acne
- Reduced immune response
- Higher risk of anxiety, depression, and other mental issues
To restore the proper balance to your gut microbiome, you can take probiotics, which contain live beneficial bacteria similar or identical to those already living in your gut.
When the probiotic bacteria reach your gut, they join forces with the good bacteria, building them up in quality and quantity and restoring your physical, emotional, and mental health.
But to make sure you’re getting enough of these health-boosting probiotics, we recommend Just Thrive Probiotic. With its thick outer endospore shell, it’s guaranteed to get through the acids, bile, and enzymes of your stomach that stop other probiotics in their tracks and “arrive alive” to your gut, ready to do its job.
Managing your emotions is essential to your overall well-being. Here are some ways to boost your happiness.
Finding the proper work-life balance isn’t easy for anyone. But this is especially true for men, who often take on the traditional role of “provider” in the family.
The pressure—often self-induced—on men to have a solid, well-established, lucrative career can lead to an incredible amount of stress. In fact, research shows that work is the number one cause of stress in America.
Of course, quitting your job probably isn’t in the cards. But there are other things you can do to help with your work-life balance.
- Disconnect when you’re not working. Try to spend as little time as possible on your phone or computer during your time off. Depending on your schedule, you could even try a temporary digital detox to reset and recharge.
- Set clear boundaries. Unless it’s an emergency, leave work emails for when you’re working.
- Don’t take on extra projects unless they’re manageable, time-wise.
- If you work from home, move your work items out of sight during your time off.
As we mentioned, career stress is especially big for men.
But regardless of why you may be feeling stressed, its symptoms can manifest in all areas of your life.
Physically, stress can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more. It also weakens your immune system, making it more difficult for you to fight off illnesses or infections.
Mentally, stress is associated with anxiety and depression. It can also make existing mental health issues more difficult to manage.
There’s no doubt that managing stress should be at the top of your priorities!
Here are some ways to help you calm down, lower your stress levels, and regain inner peace.
- Eat a healthy diet, reducing sugar, processed foods, and alcohol.
- Make sure you get enough sleep, generally around 8 hours for adults.
- Move your body. Try to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise, 5 times per week.
- Meditate. Meditation practices have been proven to reduce stress and alleviate stress-related symptoms.
- Spend time outdoors.
- Journal or keep a gratitude journal.
- Spend time in nature.
- Take a supplement such as Just Calm, with B vitamins and psychobiotics that support your emotional health.
Having a strong circle of support can also have an amazingly positive effect on your emotional health.
If you have a strong group of friends or family, schedule time to spend with them. Whether it’s a golf outing (with extra health benefits from being outside and getting exercise!), watching the game at your favorite sports bar, or just meeting up for dinner, those connections greatly boost your mental health.
If you don’t have loved ones nearby, make an effort to get to know more people. Join clubs or sports leagues, follow your passions, and explore your hobbies. Along the way, you’ll meet people who share your most significant interests.
The data here is shocking. Men are four times more likely than women to die by suicide.
Clearly, men’s mental health needs to be addressed.
Substance Abuse Disorder
Substance abuse disorder is the most common mental health disorder among men.
Data shows that men, especially young men, are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than women. Men are also more likely to visit an emergency room or die from an overdose.
Many times, substance abuse disorder is rooted in past trauma, including child abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. Other causes can include depression, anxiety, peer pressure, and genetic predisposition.
If you’re having a hard time staying away from drugs or alcohol, a medical professional can help you address the core issues and heal from substance abuse disorder.
The relationship between men and depression can be puzzling.
On the one hand, more women than men are diagnosed with depression. But that number might not represent the true number of men who suffer from depression.
Here are some reasons why men might not be diagnosed with depression as often as women are.
- Men are less likely to talk about mental health changes.
- Men are less likely to seek help when they are experiencing mental health issues.
- Men are more likely to think they can resolve their depression on their own.
- Depression in men often comes out as anger, aggression, irritability, or fatigue instead of sadness, so many men don’t recognize their symptoms as depression.
If you notice any changes in your emotions, moods, or overall mental health, speak to a mental health specialist immediately.
Once you start exploring the world of health and wellbeing, the number of alternative health solutions may surprise you.
While not as common in the Western world, many of these have been used successfully in Eastern medicine.
Depending on which of these you practice, they can benefit you physically, emotionally, mentally, or, in some cases, all three.
- Tai chi and other forms of martial arts
- Functional medicine or functional psychiatry
If you are new to these, seek out a licensed, experienced practitioner to guide you.
Men’s Health Resources
If you’re ready to get your health back on track, there are plenty of resources to help you achieve your goal.
- National Institute of Mental Health: for information on depression, including diagnosis and treatment
- Men’s Health Network: a non-profit dedicated to disease prevention for men
- Men’s Health Center: the Mayo Clinic’s resource center for men’s health issues
In addition, June is men’s health month. Be on the lookout for men’s health events online or in your local area.
Men’s health goes far beyond the traditional workout mentality. There are a number of issues that specifically affect men’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
Take some time to assess your overall health, and visit your doctor with any concerns or questions.
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