The average Nigerian man is not one to fret over a headache or obsess over a tiny mole on their skin. Chances are they take better care of their car or their favorite gadget than they do their body. The number who do show concern about their health, usually start doing so after age 30, when health issues start creeping up – perhaps an achy knee or back, and they realize they are neither Clark Kent nor Bruce Wayne.
Of course, every human suffers from one ailment or the other and have certain health concerns, but there are certain health issues that are unique to men. Either due to lack of awareness, poor health education, and unhealthy work and personal lifestyles, men tend to actually develop these health issues and die at higher rates (from the health issues) than women. Many of the these health issues that lead to death are preventable, and can be treated, if found early.
Some of the health problems, however are preventable, and can be treated, if found early. Here are 5 health problems most male experience or endure, along with tips for screening and prevention:
Prostate cancer and enlargement (benign prostate hypertrophy)
One out of six men will get prostate cancer during their lifetime, and some will die from it. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men other than skin cancer. Researchers do not know exactly what causes prostate cancer; but they have found some risk factors including diet, obesity, family history, race (blacks/africans are more prone) chemical exposure, STIs, Inflammation of the prostrate and vasectomy.
Usually, urinary symptoms such as a slower stream, incomplete emptying of the bladder, urgency, or urinary frequency, could be indicators that you need to seek evaluation from your physician and screening. Many prostate cancers are slow-growing and unlikely to spread, while others are aggressive. However, the best solution is to see your doctor regularly and talk about your overall risk.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) and testosterone levels
Research shows that two-thirds of men older than 70, and up to 39% of 40-year-old men have problems with erectile dysfunction. It may not be life threatening but it still points to an important health problem, as men with ED are 1.6 times more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.
Testosterone levels are also a huge concern for men. Testosterone levels gradually start to fall around age 30 and continue to drop as you get older. And if it gets too low, it can affect your sex drive and your ability to get an erection. If you suspect ED or are concerned your testosterone levels is not normal, it is important to discuss with your physician before asking for medication or self-medicating.
A number of reports show that erectile dysfunction is an early warning sign for cardiovascular disease and can also lead to depression. Treatments make a fulfilling sex life possible despite these problems, but sadly they do not cure the condition.
To prevent this, you have to exercise, eat healthy meals and quit smoking. Men who smoke are twice as likely to have erection problems as men who don’t. Also, one study shows that men with a waist size over 40 inches are more likely to have erectile dysfunction.
Cardiovascular Disease, otherwise known as atherosclerosis, is the leading men’s health threat. For unclear reasons, men’s arteries develop the disease earlier than women, so men are at higher risk. Basically, cholesterol plaques gradually block the arteries in the heart and brain. And if a plaque becomes unstable, a blood clot forms, blocking the artery and causing a heart attack or stroke. Some possible causes of Cardiovascular disease could include any of the following: physical inactivity, drinking too much alcohol, stress, air pollution, radiation therapy, smoking, lack of sleep, e.t.c. To avoid this disease, it helps to get your cholesterol checked, beginning at age 25 and every five year; increase your physical activity level to 30 minutes per day, most days of the week and eat more fruits and vegetables, less saturated or trans fats.
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