The most common health problems in middle-aged men

The most common health problems in middle-aged men

As you age, your body loses some of its flexibility and strength, even if you remain fairly active. There are other health issues that can also affect you, many of which are related to the lifestyle choices that you make. In general, women are better than men at seeking medical help. They tend to visit their medical practitioner more frequently, whereas men seem to go only as a last resort. This often means that by the time they seek help, they may have developed a serious health problem.Here’s a brief guide to some particular diseases and conditions that can occur as you mature and what you should be looking out for as time passes.

Heart disease

Cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and smoking habits help doctors to assess a man’s risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). There are many different forms of heart disease, and if left undetected, there can be serious or deadly complications. Research by the American Heart Association (AHA) in 2013 reveals that approximately one-third of adult men have some form of CVD, with African American men at more risk of death from CVD than Caucasian men.

In 2017, the AHA revealed that heart disease deaths have been declining steadilyas research has improved survival rates for CVD and stroke. Routine checkups by your healthcare practitioner can help ensure that your heart stays in good shape.A new research project conducted in the UKin 2017 used a smartphone device to track heart rates in 500 people and was able to detect irregular beats when these occurred. This could well be the way forward for early diagnosis in the future.

Diabetes

 As with CVD, there are different types of diabetes, and regular screenings via a blood test for diabetes is an ideal way to stay informed and monitor your health. Diabetes is dangerous if left untreated and can cause damage to kidneys and nerves. It is also a cause of stroke and heart disease as well as being responsible for creating vision problems, including blindness. Men who have diabetes are at risk of sexual impotence and reduced testosterone levels. Blood sugar health is important throughout your lifetime, as are lifestyle factors such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, andtaking plenty of exercise. If you happen to have a family history of diabetes,then regular checkups are essential.

Skin cancer

The skin is your body’s largest organ, and the Skin Cancer Foundation has identified basal cell carcinoma (BCC) as the most common form of skin cancer, with more than four million cases diagnosed in the US every year. In 2013,men accounted for two-thirds of deaths from melanoma, more than twice the rate of women. Caucasian men over 50 years of age accounted for 60 percent of melanoma deaths

Sensible precautions can help protect you against skin cancer – for example, keeping arms and legs covered and wearing a wide-brimmed hat outdoors. Use sunglasses and apply sunscreen when going outdoors and avoid being exposed to UV light sources such as sunlamps and tanning beds.

 Liver disease

 Your liver is a large organ, approximately the size of a football. Its functions are to absorb nutrients and digest food, and to get rid of toxic substances from your body. If you smoke or drink too much alcohol, you are at an increased risk of developing liver disease.There are a number of problems that may develop,including alcoholic liver diseases, autoimmune liver diseases, cirrhosis, bile duct cancer, liver cancer, and viral hepatitis.

Lung cancer

Lung cancer is one of the most terrible cancers, and tobacco smoke causes 90 percent of all lung cancers. A particularly aggressive disease, it spreads early before you even have any symptoms. This means that it is generally pretty advanced when found and therefore difficult to cure. As smoking rates fall,fewer men are dying of lung cancer; however, it remains the leading cancer killer in men.

Researchers all over the world are still working to develop an effective, accurate way of screening for lung cancer. Quitting smoking, no matter what your age is, will reduce your risk of developing lung cancer. Today, there are lots of tools and materials to help you give up smoking, and your healthcare practitioner can also advise you how to proceed.

Prostate cancer

The prostate gland is prone to developing problems as men age, and prostate cancer is very common, almost as common as skin cancer in men. The good news is that though one in six men develop the disease, only one in 35 men are likely to die from it. Normally a slow-growing cancer, occasionally one form will be aggressive. Screening involves a blood test to look for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and a rectal examination; however,screening sometimes finds cancers that are not fatal, and some medical professionals advise simply having regular visits to discuss it with your doctor.

Depression and suicide

 Finally, there’s a growing awareness of depression as a mental health issue that adversely affects your body as well as your mind. An imbalance of stress hormones and certain chemicals in the brain can disturb your sleep patterns, energy levels, and your appetite. Some research has suggested a link between depression and your risk of developing heart disease.

Some men become aggressive or angry rather than lethargic and deeply sad, while others turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism.There is a lot that can be done to help with depression, which sadly often results in suicide among men, particularly young men. Talk to your healthcare practitioner or reach out to someone close to you and ask for help.

Staying well

It’s important to be aware of how your body and your brain are performing as you age. Regular visits to your doctor, expressing any concerns or asking questions, can provide reassurance and help if you are worried about your health. Taking routine tests when due means that you are being monitored on an ongoing basis, and can get early assistance if a problem is discovered.

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