Men are taught and pressured to provide for their loved ones financially, physically, or mentally, therefore men hold back themselves seeking help or expressing their feelings and emotions.
When it comes to their health they tend to ignore that by doing this men are at greater risk of developing various health problems.
Well let’s blame it on toxic masculinity which is true to some extent but the problem lies even deeper.
Right from their birth they are taught to be men and behave like one. That includes not seeking outside help if they are in trouble or have some kind of problem, doing so is portrayed as weakness.
According to a study conducted by the American Journal of Men’s Health states that from an early age, men are taught how to think, behave, and feel.
Reluctant to visiting a doctor is something that men encourage other men to do directly, besides indirectly showing how tough they are.
Here are the Top 5 Health Issues Among Men
1. Heart disease
Heart health issues come in many forms and it is one of the major causes of death in men and women.
All these forms can lead to some serious complications, if not diagnosed in the early stage.
According to the American Heart Association, more than one in three men are prone to some form of cardiovascular disease.
High blood pressure and stroke can be commonly seen in men under the age of 45.
However, lifestyle alterations and regular checkups can help you avoid any heart-related risks, as your doctor can diagnose your risk of heart health problems based on various factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, and other habits.
- Chest pain
- Upper back or neck pain
- Shortness of breath
- Pounding heart
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blood tests
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Exercise stress- tests are among some of the diagnoses done for detecting heart health conditions.
Treatment options vary depending on the type of heart condition. Here are some of the treatments that are provided based on your heart disease that include:
In this type of treatment procedure, doctors prescribe different medications based on your heart condition.
Some of the medications that are used to treat heart diseases are:
- Anticoagulants: Also called blood thinners, help prevent blood clots.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors: This helps control blood pressure.
- Cholesterol-lowering medications: Helps decrease the levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the body.
- Digitalis: Preparations like digoxin increases the strength of heart-pumping action and also treat heart failure and arrhythmia.
- Vasodilators: These medications help blood vessels to relax and help lower blood pressure.
However, the doctor will work with individuals to find better treatment options based on the heart condition and its severity.
Sometimes there can be side effects, in such cases, you need to consider changing the treatment regimen.
Surgeries are done when medications are not effective.
Some of the heart surgeries include:
- Coronary artery bypass surgery
- Valve replacement or repair
- Device implantation
- Laser treatment
- Coronary angiography
- Repair surgery
- Maze surgery
Diabetes is a persistent health concern that affects the way your body converts food into energy.
It doesn’t show any symptoms, but constant urination and extremely thirsty are considered to be the common symptoms of diabetes.
If you have diabetes your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t use as much as it should be.
Insulin deficiency can lead to serious health problems such as vision loss, heart disease, and kidney disease.
There is yet no complete cure for diabetes, moreover, healthy lifestyles can help manage diabetes. For example, eating healthy, losing weight, and being active can help you manage disease in a better way. The most common types of diabetes are as follows:
Type 1 diabetes
This type of diabetes is caused due to an autoimmune reaction where the immune system attacks your body.
This reaction restricts your body from producing insulin. It is generally found in children, teens, and young adults.
If you are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes you may have to take insulin on a regular basis. As of now, there is no permanent cure for this condition.
Type 2 diabetes
With type 2 diabetes your body doesn’t use insulin properly which leads to variations in the blood sugar.
It develops over the years and is generally observed in adults. About 90-95 percent of people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, it doesn’t show any signs, and it is very important that you get a blood test done so that you can avoid any risk.
Gestational diabetes is generally diagnosed in pregnant women with no history of diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes then your baby may be at higher risk of contracting it.
This diabetes naturally goes away after the baby is born. But it may increase your risk of getting type 2 diabetes later.
In pre-diabetes blood sugar levels are higher than normal, thus may lead to type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart diseases. But you can prevent it by CDC-recognized lifestyle change programs which can help you to reverse it.
Cancer is the second major disease-causing death besides cardiovascular diseases. Some of the common types of cancers found in men are skin cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer.
- Abnormal lump
- Discoloration in skin
- Changes in your testicles
- Constant fatigue
- Persistent pain
- Sudden weight loss
- CT scan
- Blood chemistry test
Cancer treatment is done based on the type of cancer and its severity.
- Radiotherapy or radiation therapy and
Other treatments include:
- Laser treatment
- Hormonal therapy
4. Mental health and depression
Mental health is an important yet overlooked health condition. Both men and women or people in general face mental health challenges at some point in their life.
Mental health issues in men often arise from societal expectations and traditional gender roles. This makes men think that they are the bread earners in the family, be independent and not depend on others or seek any help, and not express their feelings and emotions openly.
Therefore, society has always discouraged men from expressing their feelings and seeking help from others by quoting them as “tough.”
This kind of attitude towards men has led men suffering from mental health to refrain from seeking help from their loved ones and even from healthcare professionals in order to present themselves as “strong.”
The refusal to seek help for mental health among men has resulted in higher chances of suicidal ideation in them. Given the stigma attached to mental health, especially in men, it is very important to break the taboo and make therapy available for people in need.
Some of the common symptoms of mental health problems
- Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
- Overuse of alcohol and/or drugs
- Noticeable changes in mood, energy level
- Sadness or hopelessness
- Suicidal thoughts
Treatment is based on different forms of mental health
- Psychotherapy or counseling
- Community therapy
- Prescribed medication
- ECT or other brain stimulation therapy ECT or other brain stimulation therapy
- Hospital or residential treatment program
5. Erectile dysfunction
Having erectile dysfunction means that blood vessels are not in a good state. It is caused due to atherosclerosis which is also responsible for stroke and heart attack.
Erectile dysfunction is considered as one of the early symptoms of cardiovascular diseases. Although erectile dysfunction is not a major problem but can lead to some serious health problems.
- Trouble getting an erection and keeping it
- Reduced sexual desires
- Physical examination
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Psychological exam
Seeking medical help or support from a doctor or loved ones is not a crime and it does not make you any less of a man.
You are as vulnerable as anybody and you need to acknowledge it and ask for help and medical intervention in case of any health issues or problems.
Taking help is only going to help you live a better life than ignoring and denying it. So it’s ok to visit a doctor if you are not well and take support from your loved ones.
1. What are the main health issues for men?
Ans: The common health problems in men are Diabetes, Stroke, Cancer, Erectile dysfunction, and mental health problems.
2. What is a healthy lifestyle for men?
Ans: Regular exercise, eating healthy, managing stress, and getting enough sleep can help men to improve their health and avoid serious health issues.
3. Why is men's mental health important?
Ans: Mental health among men is often ignored due to societal standards although it can take a significant toll on life. If not identified and treated on time these mental health issues can lead men to involve in uncommon activities that can be life-threatening including suicide.