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5 Common Mens Health Threats

Cowboys don’t cry. Man up. Don’t be a wuss. Don’t be such a girl about it. Walk it off. Here, have a nice cup of the cement and harden up, why don’t you?

Most men grow up with these macho messaging coming at them from all angles – peers, mentors, teachers, parents. One of the results of this type of gender-based stereotyping is that men tend to ignore the niggling, everyday symptoms of diseases that can make them seriously ill and cause irreparable harm to their bodies when left untreated.

Five common Mens Health Threats that goes ignored

Here are five common health threats that tend to go ignored, and should actually be attended to as soon as any symptoms crop up:

Cancer

Prostate and testicular cancer are some of the most prevalent killers of men the world over, and the reason that it often progresses to the point where treatment is no longer feasible is because many men don’t want to go through the seemingly embarrassing or uncomfortable process of visiting the proctologist for regular check-ups.  

If these cancers are found early enough, it can be treated very effectively. As such, it is recommended that men stick to a predetermined check-up schedule and perform regular self-exams for testicular cancer. Here’s how.

A diet rich in foods like tomatoes, broccoli, green tea, legumes, fatty fish and pomegranate juice can also lay the groundwork for preventing these diseases.

Depression

Depression and suicide are a very real threat to men, mainly because they are taught from a young age to bottle up their feelings and tend to shy away from admitting any weakness. Furthermore, they are also less likely to notice the symptoms of depression and anxiety or to seek treatment for it.

When feelings of depression, angst or anxiety crop up, it’s always best to seek the advice of your primary physician or a psychologist who will be able to make a recommendation about lifestyle changes or medication that could help. Don’t suffer in silence by leaving it untreated.

Cardiovascular disease

Strokes and heart attacks are very common among men. In fact, 1 in every 3 men has some form of cardiovascular disease. Physicians believe that these rates are so high among the male population because they are generally less concerned about diet, and also lack awareness about their family history in many cases.

The best way to prevent heart disease is to enjoy a healthy, balanced diet rich in whole foods like fresh fruit and vegetables, as well dietary fibre. This, in combination with at least 30 minutes of daily exercise (even just a walk around the block will do it), stress management, and regular check-ups to determine cholesterol and blood pressure numbers, is a sure-fire way to prolong longevity.

Respiratory disease

Chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma often go undiagnosed among men who smoke because they get so used to having reduced lung capacity due to the habit. The symptoms include shortness of breath, dizziness and general feelings of lethargy.

It is important to take heed of these symptoms because the effects of chronic lower respiratory disease are irreversible. The best way to prevent it is to avoid smoking, enjoy a balanced diet and do regular exercise.

Diabetes

Approximately 14.6% of men around the world suffer from diabetes, either due to a genetic propensity, or due to lifestyle choices.

This chronic metabolic disorder disrupts the body’s ability to produce insulin and turn glucose into fuel. If left untreated it can lead to a variety of very serious complications. This includes nerve damage, blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and tissue damage in the extremities that can lead to amputations.

Type I Diabetes is genetic, so it’s harder to keep in check than Type II Diabetes, which is a lifestyle disease. The best course of action is to follow a healthy diet, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and going for regular blood sugar tests if there is a family history of the disease.

Now you know. Keep an eye out for the symptoms for these threats to men’s health in yourself, if you’re a man, and report it to your primary physician as soon as possible. If you’re a woman, keep an eye on the men in your life and encourage them to have recurring symptoms checked out as soon as possible. Let’s keep each other safe and healthy.

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