Common men’s health issues that we deal with are athletes foot, jock itch, sexually transmitted diseases, erectile dysfunction, male pattern baldness, fatigue and low libido due to testosterone deficiency. Due to lack of regular health screening and lifestyle men are at higher risk of heart disease, hypertension, cancer, diabetes, melanoma, lung disease and alcohol-related illness.
Men consult health care providers less than women. Studies show any individual who has not been in regular contact with a family physician to screen for major health problems is at greater risk of disease and death.
The biggest problem that men have is not so much a specific disease but diseases that are the result of lack of health care monitoring earlier in life. the progression of heart disease as an example, If you don’t get your cholesterol checked when it’s starting high when you’re 20, and don’t get your blood pressure checked when it’s going high when you’re 30, miss that your blood sugar’s getting a little high when you’re 40, then you are facing significant risks of heart disease by late 40’s and 50’s. This could have been prevented with early identification and treatment.
They are more likely to make unhealthy lifestyle choices such as alcohol, smoking, recreational drugs and diet.
Alcohol-related disease, deaths and hospitalisation are higher in men. Drinking excess alcohol increases risk of hypertension, heart disease, gastritis/stomach ulcers and neurological problems. It also increases the risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, liver and colon cancers. It interferes with testicular function and hormone function. It can cause anxiety, depression and sleep disorders.
Intra Abdominal Fat
Men are more likely to have increased intra abdominal fat (beer belly) due to alcohol, poor diet and lack of exercise. This dangerous type of fat causes insulin resistance which can lead to type 2 diabetes and fatty liver (precursor of cirrhosis) and increased risk of heart disease. Diabetes causes a unique set of complications for men including impotence and lower testosterone levels leading to depression and anxiety.
Smoking Related Diseases
Smoking rates are higher in men leading to increased risk of smoking-related health issues such as heart disease and lung cancer.
Men Have twice the risk of melanoma and this is attributed to less regular skin checks and being less likely to wear sunscreen.
Hormone dysfunction can also affect men and hormone levels drop with age. Low testosterone can affect mood, confidence, libido and erections. Treating low testosterone can be done in a variety of ways and research shows that testosterone replacement therapy is safe.
Rates of suicide deaths are higher in men and they are less likely to acknowledge the condition and seek help for stress and depression. Men experience depression differently than women, reporting symptoms of fatigue and irritability more often.
Attention deficit disorder is more common in males and they are often undiagnosed leading to comorbid issues like marital difficulties and risk taking behaviour.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
This is the ability to keep an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse, it is sometimes referred to as impotence
Occasional ED is not uncommon. Many men experience it during times of stress. However, frequent ED can be a sign of health problems that need treatment. It can also be a sign of emotional or relationship difficulties that may need to be addressed by a professional.
Although ED’s frequency does increase with age, it’s treatable regardless of age and isn’t as inevitable as men might think.
Common causes include:
- Alcohol and smoking
- Prescription medications
- Anxiety and depression
- Testosterone deficiency
Any one of the following medical conditions can disrupt the delicate sequence of physiological changes that produces an erection:
- Heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), or high cholesterol
- Low testosterone
- Enlarged prostate
- Sleep disorders (such as sleep apnea)
Identification and treatment of the above can lead to a restoration of the ability to get and maintain an erection.