As men, we don’t always have it easy. This holds particularly true when comes to health and wellbeing.
We are taught from a very young age that both our feelings and our problems (mental and physical) should be kept to ourselves. As a result, we rarely discuss our health-related problems, and subsequently, have very little awareness of what is a real health problem, and what isn’t.
Fortunately, Healthversed is here to help.
We have compiled a definitive list of 20 very common health problems that plague males on a regular basis. While this is by no means a guide on self-treatment (disclaimer: DON’T self-treat), it should provide some valuable information on what to look for as a male in regards to health problems.
1. Prostate Cancer
We are going to kick this list off with one of the big ones: prostate cancer.
The amount of young men getting diagnosed with prostate cancer is increasing on a yearly basis, from which it has increased 6 times over within the last 20 years alone. While prostate cancer is more commonly known for affecting men in their 60s and beyond, this increasing rate of diagnosis in men under 55 years old is definitely cause for concern.
Furthermore, prostate cancer is the most commonly occurring form of cancer in males in developed countries worldwide.
So what does this mean for you?
Get yourself checked regularly. Start getting checked for prostate cancer as part of your yearly health check-ups at 30 and DO NOT LOOK BACK. A little discomfort for a lifetime of health should be an easy decision.
2. High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is becoming increasingly common in men as young as 40 years of age, while the lifetime risk of developing high blood pressure at some point in your lifetime is at an absurd 90%. Yep, correct, 9/10 individuals are going to get high blood pressure during their lifetime.
But, there is hope.
High blood pressure can be avoided by regular exercise and limiting your dietary salt intake!
3. Erectile Dysfunction
While not ideal, erectile dysfunction is nothing to get embarrassed about, with approximately 50% of men suspected to have suffered from erectile dysfunction at some point during their lifetime, you are certainly not alone.
Erectile dysfunction has been linked to stress, fatigue and anxiety, so by improving your sleep quality and removing unnecessary stress from your life, you can decrease your chances of experiencing erectile dysfunction.
4. High Blood Cholesterol
Despite the various positives associated with living in this age of technological wonder, there are a few downfalls. Two big ones are limited exercise, and a diet high in processed food, both of which can contribute significantly to high blood cholesterol (a key precursor to heart disease).
We as males should get our blood cholesterol checked on the regular, try and limit our intake of fast food, and exercise often to keep our blood cholesterol at a safe level.
5. Low Testosterone
Testosterone is an incredibly important hormone. Not only does it keep us highly competitive (I kid, I kid… kind of), it also plays a number of important roles in energy production and cardiovascular health.
As such, low testosterone can have nasty health implications.
So, if you experience a reduced sex drive, unexplainable reductions in energy and muscle mass, hair loss, and disturbed sleep, it might be worth getting your T levels checked!
It has been suggested that men are a whopping two times more likely to become an alcoholic than women.
Heavy alcohol abuse can lead to a host of health issues, both physical and mental, while also putting strain on your friends and family (and, of course, yourself). While there is nothing wrong with a social drink, if you feel like your drinking is affecting your health or your relationships, it is time to get help.
7. Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for men in both the United States and Canada.
While high blood pressure AND high blood cholesterol are considered risk factors for heart disease, there is one other key risk factor: smoking.
Simply put, don’t smoke, eat healthy, and exercise regular to keep your heart in good shape, allowing you to stave off cardiovascular disease for good.
Depression affects men of all ages and in a variety of life stages. Unfortunately, this is an issue that we rarely talk about.
Depression can lead to broken relationships, disease and illness, and worst of all, suicide.
If you have unexplained bouts of anxiety, deep feelings of sadness, a severe lack of energy, and a reduced sex drive, talk to someone or seek a medical professional. Remember, it is OK to talk about your problems.
9. High Blood Sugar
Similar to high cholesterol, high blood sugar can occur gradually over time in response to limited physical activity, and the overconsumption of highly processed, sugary foods.
As well as getting your blood sugar levels checked regularly, you should exercise often and limit your intake of candy and soft drinks (whiskey on ice, fellas).
Diabetes is said to affect approximately 8% of the population, making it one of the most commonly occurring diseases in the Western world. It becomes increasingly common in older males, and has been linked to excessive sedentary activity, being overweight or obese, and consuming excessive amounts of sugar.
Pretty simply, don’t eat absolute rubbish, exercise often, and keep your weight in check to avoid developing diabetes. You will thank me later.
11. Unintentional Injuries
Now, don’t get me wrong, I certainly understand that accidents happen. But, accidental injuries happen more than two times often in males than they do in females. The most common of these incidents include drowning, car accidents, and firework related mishaps.
So try be careful out there, gentlemen. Risks are called risks for a reason, so don’t take them unnecessarily.
12. Liver Disease
Our liver is incredibly important. It helps clear toxins from our blood, while also aiding the digestion of food and nutrients.
Unfortunately, it often cops a heck of a beating from our after-work rituals and weekend antics. Over time, this can lead to liver disease, which can negatively affect our immune system.
Excessive alcohol intake, substance abuse, and smoking can all contribute to liver disease. Take care of yourselves, guys!
13. Skin Cancer
Two thirds of melanoma-related deaths in 2013 were from men, making males a massive 60% more likely to develop a fatal skin cancer.
Wear hats, use sunscreen, and get any new skin blemishes checked out by your local GP ASAP. Pretty easy, lads.
14. HIV and AIDs
While not the most common disease on this list, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t worry about it. As of 2010, 76% of those suffering from HIV were men.
Men who have a HIV infection may only present with cold or flu like symptoms in the early stages of its onset, so if you have had a cold you can’t shake, or have participated in some unprotected fun recently, get yourself checked out.
Strokes are nasty.
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain becomes restricted, causing the cells of the brain to die. Symptoms of a stroke include weakness of the facial muscles, numbness of the face, limited vision, inability to speak, a sudden migraine, and a lack of balance.
It has been shown that men are slightly less aware (pretty believable, really) of these symptoms than women are, despite the severity. So if you feel any of these symptoms come on, get help immediately!
Anxiety is one of the most commonly occurring health problems in Western countries, and is an issue that affects men particularly. With the accumulated stress of providing for a family, working a taxing job, among a host of other life stressors, it is no wonder that men suffer anxiety.
If you experience severe anxious feelings for no apparent reason (often long after a stressful event has occurred), it is time to talk to someone.
The amount of men suffering from obesity has doubled in the last 25 years alone!
Obesity has shown an extremely strong relationship with a host of issues such as diabetes, metabolic disease, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, and depression, so much so that it is often considered a disease in its own right.
Even worse is that obesity has been linked to mortality in men at a rate three times higher than that of women, suggesting that it impacts our health to an even greater degree!
Keeping on top of your diet and exercising regularly is the key to maintaining a healthy weight, no matter what age you are.
18. Sexually Transmitted Infections
Now, you know that STIs are diseases transferred during unprotected sex, but did you know that males are almost twice as likely to contract an STI as their female counterparts?
That is seriously worrying.
But fortunately, there is an extremely simple fix: use protection and get yourself checked regularly (it’s not that hard, lads).
19. Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in men between the ages of 20 and 35 years.
Fortunately, in comparison to prostate cancer, you can easily identify testicular cancer yourself. If you feel any abnormal lumps down there, get yourself checked out straight away. A quick trip to the doctor is a much better option than losing a teste (I assume…).
Last on the list, we have hernias.
25 percent of men are likely to experience a hernia in their lifetime (compared to a mere 2 percent of women).
Hernias can cause significant amounts of pain, and develop into long lasting issues if not addressed immediately. If you feel a lump on your abdominal wall, or have unexplainable stomach pain, go see a doctor.
While we have compiled a list of frequent issues that plague men on an extremely regular basis, the onus is on you to take preventative measures and get yourself checked out if required.
Keeping on top of your health takes a little more than a daily multi-vitamin. Eat well, exercise regularly, and talk openly about your problems (both mental and physical).
And if you do have some unexplained issues, go and see a doctor. Simple stuff, seriously.