Men's health

Ignoring health issues won’t make them go away

Stress can be the cause of many different health conditions. Throw in smoking and drinking, and you have a recipe for disease.

Also, there are health conditions that only affect men, like prostate cancer and low testosterone.

The two top causes of death for men in the US, colon cancer or heart disease, can both be treated if they’re caught early on. Better yet, they can be prevented all together.

That’s why it’s important to get regular checkups that can alert you to these risk factors.  

Top 10 diseases that affect men

  1. Heart disease
  2. Colon cancer
  3. Injuries and accidents
  4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
  5. Stroke
  6. Diabetes
  7. Suicide
  8. Flu and pneumonia
  9. Kidney disease
  10. Alzheimer's disease

Screening for diseases

Testing for most of these diseases is pretty simple and doesn’t take long. Taking the time to check yourself, especially if a condition runs in your family, can mean the difference between living a long healthy life or early death.

Obesity plays a huge role in many of these deadly diseases. A poor diet (high in fats, sugar and starches) and lack of physical activity can cause high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease. It can also lead to depression. By switching to healthier foods (lean meats, fruits and vegetables) and starting an exercise plan, you’ll lower the risks of these diseases.

Want to know if you’re obese? Check your Body Mass Index (BMI).

Coronary heart disease is the most common heart disease. It is caused by too much cholesterol in your arteries. Take a few minutes to answer this heart disease risk questionnaire.

Cholesterol screening – Too much Cholesterol can clog your arteries and lead to heart disease and stroke. There are no symptoms for high cholesterol but it can be checked with a simple blood test.

Blood pressure High blood pressure can lead to heart or kidney disease and strokes.

Colon cancer has no symptoms. That is why it’s important to start screening for it at age 50. There are several different tests. Ask your doctor which test is best for you.

A test called Spirometry is used to spot COPD before symptoms get worse. It is a breathing test that measures how much and how fast you can blow air out of your lungs.

A stroke is a brain attack that happens when the brain doesn’t get enough blood. It can be caused by high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity. Screening for these conditions can help prevent against a stroke. Strokes are also caused by drinking, smoking and doing drugs, lack of exercise, poor diet, too much salt, among other things. If you have a family history of stroke, you are also at high risk.

What are the signs of a stroke?

Diabetes- A simple blood test will show if you have diabetes or are at risk of having it.

Kidney disease – You may not have any symptoms of kidney disease at first. But if you already have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or someone in your family suffers from kidney failure, you should see your doctor. A simple blood or urine test will tell you if you have this disease.

Alzheimer’s is not that easy to detect since there are other conditions that can cause problems with memory and thinking. Also, someone with Alzheimer’s may not be able to realize they have it. So they may not know they need help. If you believe someone you know has Alzheimer’s, take them to the doctor. There are a number of ways to find the real cause of their problem.

Depression – It doesn’t mean you’re weak or too emotional. In fact, sometimes trying to do too much can make you depressed. There are more than 6 million men who suffer from depression in the US alone. Some are rich, some poor. Some are out of work, others are in charge of huge companies. Some have great families, others are alone. Depression is not picky.

  • Medical history
  • Mental status test to see if person knows they have symptoms. It will test their ability to remember, solve simple problems and follow instructions.  
  • A physical and neurological exam to find out if the person has other problems like tumors or Parkinson’s disease. 
  • Blood tests and brain imaging are used to rule out other problems like strokes or fluid in the brain

Depression can be caused by:

  • Too much stress
  • Sickness
  • The loss of a loved one, a home, a job
  • Family history

Depression is like a big, dark cloud that follows you everywhere. If you don’t do anything about it, it’s not going to go away. It’s only going to get worse and affect everything you do. It will keep you from doing the things you enjoy, and will affect everyone in your family.  

If you have depression, see your doctor. There are many ways to cure depression. Medications, counseling, exercise and other activities have been shown to be very effective in treating this disease.

If smoking is affecting your health, talk to your doctor about quitting. Read about what you can do to quit, visit http://www.smokefree.gov/ or call the National Quitline at 1-800-QUITNOW (784-8669).