Healthy Aging Just for Men
If you're like most men, you probably don't spend a lot of time thinking about aging or the common health issues caused by aging. It is also likely that you are not thinking about preventable health issues and how to grow old and be as healthy as possible. Most men dislike going to the doctor, but regular checkups are essential to keep track of health and overall well being. In comparison to women men have a shorter life expectancy, maybe if men were more proactive about their health they could begin to close the gap. We are going to look at the specific health issues aging men face, male menopause and how to age and remain as healthy as possible.
Common Health Concerns for Aging Men
If you're like most men you avoid going to the doctor unless you really have to. This actually increases the chances of finding out you have a serious health condition when you finally do go to the doctor. Understanding the possible health risks and working to avoid them when possible can increase your health and your happiness.
- Cardiovascular Disease
The leading cause of death in men around the world is heart disease and stroke. Cardiovascular disease is caused by the hardening of fat in the arteries where the plaque actually blocks the flow of blood in the brain and heart. Blood clots may also form due to this plaque, which can lead to stroke or a heart attack. There is lots of evidence which indicates that men are more susceptible to this than women and develop atherosclerosis much sooner than most women.
Thankfully, there are many natural ways that you can prevent this from occurring by making a number of lifestyle changes. This includes eating a healthier diet with more fruits and vegetables and cutting down on foods that are high in fat such as fried foods, cheese and pizza. If you smoke, quit! You should also try to exercise for at least half an hour every day. A great way to prevent health problems associated with cardiovascular disease is to regularly check your blood pressure and cholesterol. Remember to keep track of your progress.
Your doctor may prescribe certain medications to help control your cardiovascular disease. These medications come with a long list of side effects ranging from diarrhea to muscle pain, nausea, fatigue and even erection problems. If the medication is not enough to control your condition, you might look for some natural remedies to add to your treatment plan or to use as an alternative. Controlling your cardiovascular health concerns may help you avoid surgery.
Another common health issue that many aging men face is diabetes. You may experience no symptoms, but your blood sugar levels may be increasing every year. Once your blood sugar levels have increased to the point they cause diabetes, then the symptoms show up. Common symptoms are frequent urination and high thirst levels. At this point, most men seek help from a doctor and are diagnosed.
Having diabetes isn’t just about blood sugar it can cause a multitude of other health problems such as kidney failure, blindness, stroke, heart attack, amputations and much more. If you are obese it increases the likelihood that you'll develop diabetes. In order to reduce your risk of developing this disease you can change your lifestyle by exercising frequently to lose excess weight, watching your diet and eating more protein, healthy fats and carbs and bypassing or reducing sweets. You can actually reduce your risk of developing diabetes by 50% by simply exercising 30 minutes every day and losing excess weight.
The traditional treatment for people who have diabetes includes medications such as metformin, Meglitinides, Sulfonylureas, SGLT2 inhibitors, GLP-1 receptor agonists, DPP-4 inhibitors, insulin etc. Unfortunately, these drugs have side effects. For example, you may experience low blood sugar or even an increase in weight while taking Meglitinides. Sulfonylureas may also cause the same issues as well as itching and upset stomach. Using Thiazolidinediones may cause swelling in your ankles, increased risk of developing liver disease, increased risk of developing anemia etc.
To supplement traditional medications for diabetes many people rely on a wide variety of supplements and natural products like cinnamon, magnesium and vitamin B1. If you add a supplement or natural healthcare product to your treatment plan be sure to keep your doctor informed.
- Mental Health Issues
Men definitely don’t like to talk about this but it is common for aging males to suffer from depression, mood disorders and other mental health problems. It is important to understand that depression is so much more than just feeling down or sad, it is a serious change in the brain where your brain chemicals and hormones become unbalanced. This can lead to a wide variety of problems such as lower energy levels, reduced appetite, lack of interest in daily activities etc. Depression and other mental health problems are more likely to go unchecked in men due to societal stigma and the fact that men typically suppress their emotions. Due to this suppression, many men act out in aggressive ways and some may even become suicidal.
There are many ways that depression and mental health problems can be addressed and the most important is to seek the help of a psychiatrist or counselor. They will be able to diagnose the particular mental health issue and provide therapy and medication in order to help address it. Depression is usually treated with antidepressants such as Adaptin, Cymbalta, Latuda, Paxil, Zoloft etc. However, it should be noted that these antidepressants can cause undesirable and unacceptable side effects such as weight gain, constipation, nausea, lack of sexual desire, blurred vision and more. It is these very side effects that cause a huge number of people to stop using these drugs
- Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the leading type of cancer that men suffer from. This is truly a terrible disease and it spreads very quickly. By the time you become aware that you have it, it is likely in an advanced stage. So, if you're a smoker, it is essential that you stop smoking since smoking is the cause of 90% of lung cancer cases. Currently, there are no screening tests available for this type of cancer. So, quitting smoking is the very best way to avoid getting it.
- Prostate Cancer
Next, we have prostate cancer, another common health problem that only men face. Sadly, as men get older the prostate is prone to developing problems and 1 in 6 men will develop prostate cancer. The good news is that only 1 in 35 men will actually die from this type of cancer. As a result, it is important to regularly screen for it via a digital rectal exam and a blood test. If you do develop prostate cancer there are many treatments available such as surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, cryotherapy etc. Of course, the type of treatment will depend on the particular case.
- Erectile & Sexual Dysfunction
Many aging men experience erectile dysfunction (ED). Even though this may not threaten your life it is certainly a very serious issue that will have a negative impact on your personal life and can contribute to depression. Erectile dysfunction is certainly not something to ignore since it shows that your blood vessels are not in good health and this may be a sign that you are developing cardiovascular disease.
The typical treatments for erectile dysfunction include testosterone therapy, oral drugs such as Viagra and Cialis, vacuum erection devices, injections, intraurethral medication etc. The side effects of these treatments include congestion, dizziness, headaches, issues with digestion and general aches and pains. There are lots of natural options for ED and these include L-arginine, yohimbe, acupuncture, DHEA, panax ginseng, homeopathic remedies and herbal tonics.
Male Menopause & Male Aging Syndrome
Even though menopause is a term that is usually associated with aging females, males also suffer from it. Male menopause occurs in older men and it is due to lower testosterone levels and is also known as andropause. It should be noted that not every male will experience this. Some of the symptoms of male aging syndrome include depression, loss of muscle and hair, problems sleeping, reduced sex drive, fatigue, erectile dysfunction and even hot flashes. Identifying male menopause is quite challenging, but the symptoms are relatively easy to address.
The main difference between male menopause and female menopause is that the male menopause is more gradual and subtle. This is because testosterone slowly reduces every year whereas in females, the menopause is a sudden event where ovarian hormone creation is stopped.
Male menopause is a very serious issue that will negatively impact any man's quality of life. The typical medical treatment of this issue is testosterone replacement therapy if the testosterone levels are too low. Some of the potential side effects include pain, swelling, headaches, swelling in the breast, numbness, increase in body hair etc.
Some natural solutions include making lifestyle changes such as reducing stress, getting more exercise, eating better, having sex more regularly etc. It is also possible to boost testosterone production naturally by taking zinc, vitamin D, bulbine natalenis, DHEA etc. Reducing alcohol intake will also help significantly.
Hints for Healthy Aging
There are numerous health conditions and diseases that men can easily develop with age. It is of paramount importance that you do everything in your power to have a healthier lifestyle and take the necessary steps to ward off these diseases.
You should have annual physicals and openly discuss your health with your doctor. It is essential that you are forthcoming with the truth so that your doctor can quickly diagnose or help you prevent any serious health conditions. After all, the sooner an issue is diagnosed, the sooner it can be controlled or eliminated.
Although we didn’t discuss it before lots of older men have health concerns or injuries because they think they are still young men. As you age it is important to pay attention to preventing falls and injuries, especially while working out. Falls and injuries can be quite debilitating and lead to even more health issues. So, even though it is highly recommended that you exercise regularly, you also need to be as safe as possible while working out. You can do this by working with a personal trainer that specializes in older clients and who is extremely aware of the need to prevent injuries. If you're working out alone, then you should be careful to learn and execute proper form while exercising and you should not handle weights that are too heavy. If you intend on lifting heavy, then you should definitely have assistance.
You need to pay attention to maintaining excellent dental and oral health. Many men focus on eating well and working out but completely forget about their dental health. As you get older, you will become more prone to gum disease, bone loss, and cavities. You should brush and floss your teeth at least twice per day and visit the dentist at least once every 6 months. This will go a long way in preserving your oral health and ensuring your teeth are always in great condition.
Good health is not only about taking care of yourself but also maintaining a good connection with your friends, family and your community as a whole. You should definitely take time to socialize with your loved ones on a regular basis as well as have an active role in your community. This will not only make you feel more fulfilled but also more connected to your loved ones. It will also go a long way in reducing your stress and improving your mental health.
Older men can experience an extremely high quality of life by taking care of themselves and preventing diseases. Men typically ignore their personal health for long periods of time; this needs to stop if they want to enjoy life well into their senior years. Being aware of their health and monitoring areas of concern, combined with changing lifestyle habits can help ensure a long and enjoyable life.