People of all ages experience all sorts of health problems from time to time. But there are certain disorders, problems and diseases which affect men more commonly than they affect women. There are also some issues which solely affect men. Often, articles on men’s health tend to focus on sexual matters, ignoring other issues which we would benefit from discussing. The truth is, there are a huge number of common ailments which affect men the world over. The plus side, of course, is that there are always positive steps which any man can take to help reduce the likelihood of any of these occurring. While these steps may not be magic, they can significantly aid men to live longer, healthier lives. We must also not forget that, even when men do encounter a problem with their health, there is usually lots that can be done. Let’s look at some of the common health problems which men face. We’ll also look into the associated preventative and curative measures which one can take.
Cardiovascular disease is something which affects people of all ages, the world over. It does, however, occur significantly more commonly in men than in women. One in five men, globally, will die from cardiovascular disease, according to recent research. That means that it is one of the biggest health threats facing men today. Not only is it more common in men, but it also kills men at a younger age than with women. The vast majority of men who contract the disease die before the age of 65. So, one thing is clear: this is a disease which needs to be tackled head-on.
So how do we go about doing that? Fortunately, there are some simple – yet highly effective – ways to combat cardiovascular disease. A lot of these ways are only slight changes in lifestyle. One of the best things you can do is get your cholesterol checked regularly. You should start doing this around the age of 25, and check it every five years thereafter. You can also benefit from watching your blood pressure. Blood pressure, of course, is important for a variety of reasons – so you should be doing that anyway. Finally, if you are a smoker, then make every effort to stop as soon as you feel able.
Urinary incontinence is the unintentional loss of urine. This affliction is more common than you might think, with a large proportion of men experiencing it at some point in their lives. There are many underlying causes of incontinence, so it is a different experience for every man who goes through it. One of the most common reasons is a weak or damaged bladder (which could be the result of something else). Alternatively, it might be the result of an overactive bladder or a pre-existing condition like prostate cancer. As well as there being many possible causes of the illness, there is also huge variety in what kind of triggers set off the incontinence itself. For some men, it’s stress – for others, it’s known as ‘urge’ incontinence. The truth is, these don’t have to be mutually exclusive. You can suffer from both types at once – and many men do.
So what can you do about incontinence? Treating incontinence is a complex subject, due to the complexity of the issue and the fact that there are so many varying potential causes. Your individual treatment will depend on your own underlying causes, as well as what type of incontinence you suffer from. If it is due to a psychosomatic issue, then the answer might be behavioural treatment. For others still, a doctor may well prescribe certain medicine – it all depends on your situation. There are also certain things you can do to help with the social side of things. Incontinence can cause embarrassment for a lot of people, so this is something which needs addressing as well. Incontinence pads for men might be the answer you’re looking for. There is also the possibility that you will need to organise social events around your incontinence somewhat. Remember that there is nothing to be ashamed of about that – it is a very common ailment.
Men’s health is not just about the physical body. Too often, if you go looking for help with your health as a man, it can be hard to find advice on mental health. But the fact is that men everywhere are suffering from a whole host of mental illnesses. The most common among them, by far, is depression.
Depression affects roughly one in four men, making it one of the most common illnesses affecting men today. However, you won’t hear about men being depressed that often – and the reason for that is, largely, social stigma. Men experience considerable difficulty when it comes to mental health problems. Often, patriarchal cultures view men’s mental health issues as a sign of some underlying weakness. For a man suffering from depression, such stigma only worsens his condition. This is a real epidemic which is playing out at the moment. Men everywhere are suffering in silence – and it’s the silence itself which is furthering their suffering. What’s more, with suicide being the single biggest killer of men under the age of fifty, it could be said that it’s a silence which is killing people.
Depression is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, as well as stressors acting as triggers. It is a complex illness, whose entire picture medicine still doesn’t understand. It can strike anyone at any time, and it has nothing to do with how successful or happy a person may appear to be in their everyday life.
On the flipside, it is a treatable disease. There are numerous methods for helping improve the experience of depression. For many men, the main difficulty is in seeking help in the first place. That’s why it’s important to know that, if you are a man suffering from depression, you must not feel that you shouldn’t go to the doctor. You should. Have no fear – the doctor is there to help you. If you don’t seek help, the condition is likely to worsen. However, with the correct treatment, you may well find that your life is returned to you in new and exciting ways. It’s never too late.