The average man pays less attention to his health than the average woman. Compared to women, men are more likely to
- drink alcohol and use tobacco
- make risky choices
- not see a doctor for regular checkups
Men are assailed by the diseases that can affect anyone—heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, depression… But they also have unique issues such as prostate cancer and benign prostate enlargement.
Many of the major health risks that men face can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle: regular exercise, a healthy diet, not smoking, stress reduction, and alcohol consumption in the moderate range (no more than two drinks a day) if at all. Regular checkups and screening tests can spot disease early, when it is easiest to treat.
So don't be an average man — get on board with protecting your health today.
Men's Health Articles
Updated guidelines for PSA testing suggest it offers only a small potential benefit for reducing the chance of dying of prostate cancer for men ages 55 to 69, and is not recommended for men age 70 and older. The guidelines may help protect men from unnecessary biopsies, radiation treatment, and even surgery. While the decision to have regular screening is never simple, it is a personal choice that depends on many factors, like a man’s age, level of risk, and family history.
Coping with prostate disease is never easy. You may find that established treatments are not always particularly effective and you may want to try other more natural methods for prostate cancer, such as herbs and supplements. But you should use them with caution, and always check with your doctor before taking any new type of medication.
An estimated one-third of American men with prostate cancer use at least one form of complementary medicine therapy, including herbs and supplements. Some studies have suggested herbs and supplements might help with prostate cancer treatment and support. But the main concern is that some herbs and supplements can interact with each other, or with your prescribed medications. For example, they may enhance the effects of some medications or negate any benefit.
One reason erectile dysfunction (ED) becomes more common with age is that older men are more likely to be on medication, and ED is often a side effect of many common drugs. In fact, it's been estimated that 25% of all ED is caused by medication.
Several drugs can produce erectile difficulties, but blood pressure drugs are near the top. ED is an occasional side effect of BP drugs like thiazide diuretics, loop diuretics, and beta-blockers, all of which can decrease blood flow to the penis and make it difficult to get an erection. However, other BP drugs, such as alpha-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and angioten-sin-receptor blockers, rarely cause ED.
If erectile dysfunction has you down, and you don't want to rely on drugs, these five natural solutions, as found in the Harvard Special Health Report Erectile Dysfunction: How medication, lifestyle changes, and other therapies can help you conquer this vexing problem, may reverse your ED and improve your sex life. They are easy to adopt and enrich your health in other ways, too.
1. Begin walking. Just 30 minutes of walking a day was linked with a 41% drop in risk for ED, according to one Harvard study, while a separate trial reported that moderate exercise can help restore sexual performance in obese, middle-aged men with ED.
Prescription drug advertising is a multibillion-dollar industry and a main reason health care costs continue to rise. While the ad’s job is to sell the product, not to help the consumer, men can still use the information as a starting point to talk with their doctor about their health.
Research has found that only one in five seniors uses some sort of digital health technology, especially medical and health care websites. Even though access to more medical information can help seniors become more active in maintaining their health and well-being, the barrier of poor website design keeps many from getting what they need.
Quinine, the best-established therapy for leg cramps, is associated with serious side effects. There is some evidence that vitamin B–complex capsules and diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor XR) may be effective, but insufficient evidence to recommend leg stretches.
Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles have long been seen as just for women, but they may be a way for many older men to address some common unpleasant issues, such as urinary leakage, bowel trouble, and even erection problems. A physical therapist can evaluate a man’s needs, design an individual program, and show him how to do the exercises correctly so he can then perform them at home.
Research indicates that optimism is associated with a lower risk of death from several chronic conditions. Keeping a journal and practicing mindfulness and self-compassion may help people become more optimistic.
Shoulder pain appears to be associated with risk factors for heart disease. Researchers found that people with the most heart disease risk factors, like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes, were almost five times more likely to also have shoulder trouble.