Certain health conditions are known to affect men exclusively or are more prevalent among men than women. Some of these conditions occur more commonly among older men, but you should still be aware of all the different health problems that may be seen in men of all ages. No matter how old you are or what your current physical condition may be, you should learn more about these seven men’s health issues.
1. Heart Disease
This disease is usually more prevalent among men than women, and the signs of heart disease aren’t always easy to notice in its early stages. Heart disease is actually an umbrella term for different heart problems that increase the chances of heart attacks and strokes. Some of the most common types of heart disease include coronary artery disease, endocarditis, and heart failure. Chest pain, breathing troubles, and an abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia) are some of the most common symptoms of heart disease, and additional testing can be conducted to diagnose the condition. Heart disease treatment may include medications, lifestyle modifications, and surgery in some cases.
2. Men’s Cancers
Specific types of cancer are also known to affect men exclusively or occur among men in greater numbers. You should be aware of your risk for developing prostate, penile or testicular cancer in your lifetime and talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing any symptoms, such as pain or swelling, in any of these areas. Men are also likelier to be diagnosed with lung, colorectal, and bladder cancer in their lifetime. A doctor will likely recommend surgery to remove the cancer and may also include chemotherapy and radiation therapy in your treatment plan.
3. Prostate Enlargement
Not all cases of prostate enlargement are linked to cancer, and your prostate may start to swell because of other benign factors that could still cause you pain and discomfort. Many men who have enlarged prostates also have trouble urinating. Older men are often more vulnerable to prostate enlargement, but the condition can also occur because of genetics, hormone changes, or an injury to the area. Prostate enlargement is also sometimes the result of an underlying, noncancerous medical problem that could seriously affect your health if it’s left untreated. Prostate enlargement treatment may involve treating any underlying conditions, prescribing medicine to reduce the prostate’s size, or laser or open surgery.
4. Erectile Dysfunction
If you’re having trouble getting or maintaining an erection, you may have erectile dysfunction. You’re likelier to experience erectile dysfunction with age, but low testosterone, lifestyle habits or certain underlying medical conditions can also interfere with your ability to get and maintain an erection. You can visit a men’s health clinic to receive treatment that may resolve your erectile dysfunction and might also help you maintain better erections and increase your libido.
5. Type 2 Diabetes
Excessive blood sugar (glucose) can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. This disease can damage nerves, blood vessels, and vital organs if left untreated. Symptoms to watch out for include excessive thirst, unexplained weight loss, and unusual dark patches on the skin. Lifestyle changes, which can include eating healthier and losing excess weight, can sometimes reverse type 2 diabetes entirely, but medications and insulin therapy may also be prescribed for treatment. Blood sugar monitoring may additionally be part of your treatment plan.
6. Kidney Stones
Men are also likelier than women to form kidney stones, which can cause trouble with urinating, severe pain, and other problems. You may also see blood in your urine if you have kidney stones. These stones form from salt and mineral deposits in the kidneys that don’t get processed by the body properly. Your body may have insufficient levels of certain substances that are needed to prevent these deposits from forming. Kidney stones may eventually pass out of your body through your urine naturally, but you might need surgery or sound wave therapy to rid your body of these stones if they are larger and more difficult to pass.
7. Parkinson’s Disease
This progressive neurological disease affects dopamine production. The interference in dopamine production can inhibit nerve and muscle functioning, which can make muscle control and physical movements much more difficult. Parkinson’s disease often occurs without a known cause, but being a male who’s over the age of 60 can increase your risks. Genetic and environmental factors as well as past serious head injuries may also play a role in the development of Parkinson’s disease. There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but certain medications and brain stimulation surgical procedures can often relieve symptoms.
Taking care of your health is important throughout each stage of your life. If you think that you might have any of these men’s health conditions, you should schedule an appointment with a medical professional who can perform diagnostic testing and offer the right treatment.