Men’s health is significantly affected by acute and chronic diseases. An acute situation, such as an accident, occurs without warning and can be life-threatening. It’s rarely under your control. Chronic conditions develop slowly. They aren’t always life-threatening, but each can destroy your quality of life.
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Poor diet
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Using recreational drugs
All of these are lifestyle habits that impair your immune system and leave you vulnerable to disease.
It Can Be A Vicious Cycle
Study after study shows that having one chronic disease often leads to developing others. All decrease your ability to ward off further ill health.
You may have noticed that your sex drive has gone into neutral, you’re losing strength and energy, and you don’t think as well as you used to. The culprit: low testosterone. Your testosterone levels naturally decrease as you age, but having a chronic disease can lower the levels prematurely. Research now connects low levels of testosterone with developing additional chronic diseases.
Prostates Present Problems
Your prostate gland is part of your reproductive system. It’s about the size of a walnut. It encircles your urethra and difficulty urinating is usually your first symptom of a problem. Common prostate problems are:
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is an enlarged prostate
- Prostate cancer
- Prostatitis, which is an inflammation
Treatment depends on the disease, your age, and your preferences.
Any difficulty in urinating needs to be discussed with your doctor. Urine can accumulate in your bladder if not wholly excreted. If it continues, it can “stretch” your bladder so that it never fully empties. Bacteria love “stale” urine, and before you know it, you have an urinary tract infection (UTI). Contrary to popular belief, men are subject to UTIs, although less frequently than women are. An untreated UTI can infect your kidneys and then you’re in real trouble. Treatment involves eliminating the underlying cause.
Your Ticker Doesn’t Tick As Well As Hers
Heart attacks are more common in men than they are in women. According to research, one of the reasons is because men and women process stress differently. When men are stressed, their arteries constrict and raise their blood pressure. Stress doesn’t have that effect on women. Women also have the advantage of estrogen protecting their hearts.
You Are What You Consume
Obesity plays a prominent role in men’s health issues. Your physician may put you on a strict diet that’s hard to follow. Ask for a referral to a dietitian or nutritionist. He or she will help you devise a diet plan that includes as many of your favorite foods as possible. They will also teach you new recipes that will make dieting easier.
Exercise is an essential part of men’s health. Asking your doctor for a referral to a physical or occupational therapist can help you get moving. A therapist will customize a program to improve your strength, flexibility, and balance. Spending time in nature works wonders for your disposition and your immune system. If all you can manage is a stroll around the block, do it. Even if you must use a mobility device, you can still get out and breathe fresh air.
Damage From Smoking Isn’t Always Permanent
If you’re a smoker, you have probably been told more times than you can count to quit. Smoking has a truly deleterious effect on men’s health. But if you quit, your body can recover from most of the damage.
You don’t need this article to tell you that drinking or drugging is not in your best interest. Help is available if you’re willing to put effort into quitting.
June is Men’s Health Month, a reminder to males to pay attention to their lifestyle habits. Improving your choices can help you prevent some health issues and potentially reduce the symptoms of chronic illnesses.