When was the last time you considered your health? In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it can be tough to find the time to look after your physical and mental wellbeing. A recent study by the Men’s Health Network found that one of the biggest challenges facing men is a lack of awareness of health and an unhealthy personal and work lifestyle balance.
Men have a habit of putting their health behind everything else while also being more likely to smoke and drink more. There are many health risks facing men, but some small changes to your lifestyle could help to transform your physical health and keep you fitter and stronger.
However, what are some of the biggest threats to men’s health in today’s society? We thought we would take a closer look at the most common ones.
One of the biggest threats facing men is heart disease, and the condition comes in many different forms. Heart disease is incredibly dangerous, and if left untreated, it can be fatal, with one in three men expected to have some form of cardiovascular disease in their lifetime.
Some of the most common heart conditions are stroke and high blood pressure, with both conditions impacting adult men of all ages. Having a regular examination by a doctor can help to keep your heart healthy and ensure that any conditions are able to be spotted before they become major issues.
A routine check-up will allow the doctor to check for a range of risk factors, including blood pressure, cholesterol, and lifestyle habits.
Another major men’s health threat is respiratory disease. This can be a very hard condition to spot, typically starting with a simple cough. However, while this might seem like a minor inconvenience, coughing could be a sign of a more serious threat such as lung cancer, COPD, or emphysema. If left untreated, all of these conditions could be life threatening.
Lung cancer cases are on the rise, and while occupational hazards such as exposure to asbestos are a major threat, smoking remains one of the biggest causes. As with heart disease, ensuring that you are getting yourself checked by a doctor regularly can help to identify any issues before they become major concerns. This is particularly important for heavy smokers, who should consider getting themselves checked out more frequently.
Men are also far more likely to suffer from alcohol-related diseases compared to women. They are frequently likely to binge drink twice as much as women, which can significantly increase the risk of developing cancer, particularly in the mouth, liver, esophagus, and colon.
Excessive drinking can also result in lower hormone production alongside poorer testicular function, which could result in impotence and infertility.
One of the fastest-growing men’s health threats is depression, with anxiety and further mental health issues are also on the rise. While these conditions in themselves are not harmful to health, they are one of the largest contributors to suicide.
While the stigma around mental health is decreasing, it can still be very tough for men to open up and admit that they are struggling. If you are struggling with your mental health, then communicating with friends, family, or a professional can help to ease the burden. Exercise is also another great tool in helping to reduce feelings of depression. This does not always mean having to go to the gym; a simple walk outside in the fresh air can be very beneficial.
Prostate cancer is a major men’s health threat, and it can become a significant issue as we age. The prostate is a gland behind the penis that plays an important role in secreting fluids during ejaculation. Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in men, with only skin cancer being higher.
Checking for prostate cancer is very easy to diagnose, and the slow-growing tumor is also less aggressive in comparison, meaning it is less likely to spread. If left untreated, it is able to spread throughout the body, affecting other vital organs. Regularly seeing your doctor and having an examination will help to identify the first signs of prostate cancer, allowing it to be treated more quickly.
Often referred to as the silent killer, diabetes is one of the most common men’s health threats. The condition usually begins symptomless, with the first indications being a need to urinate more frequently and being thirstier.
Excess glucose caused by diabetes damages your blood vessels and can result in heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and even amputations. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by undertaking regular exercise and eating a healthy diet.
The liver plays a vital role in the running of our bodies, helping us to digest the food and drinks that we consume and removing toxins. However, being overweight, heavy drinking and smoking can be incredibly damaging to the liver, which can lead to a range of diseases. These include cancer, viral hepatitis, and cirrhosis.
Reducing your weight, alcohol and tobacco use can lower your risk of developing these conditions. Regularly speaking with your doctor and being aware of the symptoms can help to ensure that you are able to identify these conditions before they become more serious.
Pneumonia and influenza
Pneumonia and influenza are amongst the most common men’s health threats, particularly those who have a compromised immune system due to diabetes, COPD, sickle cell anemia, AIDS, or cancer. Men are 25% more likely to contract these conditions compared to women, and if left untreated, they can be very serious conditions.
However, while serious, they are treatable, and getting vaccinated each year can prevent the conditions from developing.
Tips to improve your health
While these conditions are very serious, focusing on transforming your lifestyle can help to significantly improve your health. Three top tips include:
- Quitting smoking
One of the most effective changes you can make is to quit smoking. This will help to protect your lungs and reduce your risk of developing cancer.
- Eat healthily
Ensuring that you are getting enough fruit and vegetables in your diet is a great way to boost your health. Cutting back on those foods that are high in trans and saturated fats will also help you to lose weight.
Getting active and undertaking regular exercise is also a great way to improve your health. It will help to keep you in shape, reducing the risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
Conclusion of the Biggest Threats to Men’s Health
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