Top Male Health Concerns

To all the fathers, I’d like to wish you a very HAPPY (upcoming) FATHER’S DAY!!!

To my amazing husband, father, and father-in-law, I’d like to wish you a very special Happy Father’s Day!

In honor of Father’s Day, I think it’s suitable to mention that it will culminate National Men’s Health Week.

For that reason, the post today will discuss a few tidbits about Men’s Health.

Studies show that nearly one-third of men report NOT having a primary care physician.

For the men reading this post, I commend you for taking charge of your health by gaining more information. If you haven’t had a chance to see your primary care physician in the past year, there’s no better time than now!

For the women reading this post, I encourage you to make a conscious effort to get your male loved ones out to see their doctor. More than half of premature deaths among men are preventable. By educating yourself about potential male health problems and passing that information on to the men you love, you may be able to save a life.

RECOGNIZING SYMPTOMS:

When a warning light flashes on the car dashboard, most men usually take the car to the shop. But when warning lights flash on their body, most men may not notice or do anything about it. Here are a few flashing lights you should look out for:

Changes in bowel or bladder habits

This can be an indication of colon, prostate or bladder problems.

True, some people don’t even want to look. But they should. The fact is: There shouldn’t be any blood in your urine or stool.

Urine travels from the kidneys to the bladder in special pipes called ureters, and then to the urethra before it leaves the body. Any disruption along the way from cysts, stones, infection or inflammation can introduce blood in the urine. Cancer of the kidneys or bladder can also do the same.

Blood in the stool may be trickier to see. Sometimes blood in the stool can be bright-red, and easier to notice. Sometimes, however, blood in the stool may make your bowel movement look dark and tarry. It’s not safe to assume it’s hemorrhoids. Blood in the stool can also be a sign of colon cancer. It is recommended that everyone over 50 years old should have a colonoscopy (test to find colon cancer or pre-cancer) at least every 10 years. In fact, studies show that African-Americans should start at age 45.

Does he get up three times a night to go to the bathroom? That could be a symptom of an enlarged prostate (also known as “benign prostatic hyperplasia” – BPH), a common condition among men as they get older. It’s not life-threatening, but it can become quite annoying. If identified early, certain medicines and natural treatments can stop its progression. Increased visits to the bathroom may also be a symptom of other conditions, including diabetes or prostate cancer.

Erectile Dysfunction

Most of the time, erectile problems are caused by an underlying health problem, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, low testosterone, or clogged arteries. So if you want to make love and your husband rattles off excuses, pay attention: it might be something far more serious.

Chest Pain

Courtesy of medicscientist.com

Yes, this is the one most of us know quite well. Chest pain is often associated with heart attack, but it could also be a sign of other heart or lung conditions, such as pneumonia (infection in the lung), asthma, pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung), or angina (chest pain that is produced when not enough blood gets to the heart). Chest pain may also be due to acid reflux or a stomach ulcer. All of these need a doctor’s attention.

Shortness of Breath

Especially as we get older, feeling a little short of breath after a race or game of pickup basketball can become more common and expected. But, if you feel short of breath lying in bed at night, after walking a block or two, or after climbing one flight of stairs, you should see your doctor at once. These may be signs that your heart is getting weak—also called congestive heart failure. It can also be an indication of other lung diseases or low blood count (also known as “anemia”).

Excessive thirst

Everyone should drink lots of water to maintain their health. However, excessive thirst can be a clue that you have a health condition. It is a common symptom of high blood sugar and could be a big clue that you might have diabetes.

Weight Loss

Many people are trying to lose weight. But what if you’re losing weight without even trying? If your pants are suddenly too loose, something else may be going on. Sometimes this can be a sign of an overactive thyroid gland, and in some occasions, cancer.

Depression

Because of the well-engrained “machismo”, many men may be reluctant to ask for help and may try to hide their depression. As his loved one, you may recognize the symptoms sooner than he does. These may include having trouble sleeping, complaining of feeling sad or “empty” or helpless, feeling overly tired, having difficulty concentrating, engaging in unusually risky or reckless behavior, or losing interest in hobbies or other pleasurable activities (including sex). If you notice these symptoms in your loved one, it is advisable to have them see a doctor and/or therapist. There are great methods of therapy and medicines out there to help regain happiness.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
Know when to call in the professionals. If you identify a symptom, get your man to the doctor immediately—and don’t take no for an answer.

But even if he looks and feels like the perfect model of health, one of the most important steps you can take is to get your husband (and sons) into the habit of getting regular checkups. Preventive medicine is key! He’ll much prefer the visits to the doctor when they’re full of good, preventative news.

I wish you the very best as you take care of yourselves and those around you!

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