Most diseases affect both men and women, yet there are certain health conditions that are unique to each gender. If to believe statistics, women outlive men on average by five years. Scientists say that the difference in the lifespan is explained partly by biological causes, and partly by men’s approach to their health issues. Usually, men see their doctors less than women, and tend to ignore risks to their health. Although most males have no grounds to worry about their health state until they are fifty, it is essential to know the most common men’s health risks, their causes, and ways to prevent them. In this article we are going to list and describe the most common men’s diseases.
Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)
Impotence (inability to attain and maintain erection) is a very common condition affecting men’s health.Although it may not be a life-threatening health condition, it can be a sign of a serious illness. It is important to differentiate ED and occasional sexual disorders: impotence is diagnosed in case a man fails to achieve erection more than 50% of the time. It is estimated that about two-thirds of males over the age of seventy and almost 40% of forty-year-old men experience this kind of sexual disorder. ED is a health condition that should be taken seriously, since it affects not only physical, but also emotional aspects of mens health.
All ED causes are divided into two main groups: psychological and physiological. The former include: problems in relationship, depression, nervousness and anxiety (especially about performing), as well as other mental disorders. The most common physiological causes are: cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, obesity, overall fatigue, side effects of certain drugs, injuries, etc. Erectile dysfunction often comes in combination with other men s health issues, such as male infertility, and premature ejaculation.
Identifying causes of erectile dysfunction can be a very complicated task, and it may take months to pinpoint the true underlying problem. That is why it is highly recommended to get professional’s advice in order to find the most effective treatment plan. When it comes to impotence treatment approaches, modern medicine offers the following options:
- psychotherapy (applied to either one or both partners);
- ED treatment drugs;
- holistic approach (lifestyle changes: healthy diet, exercising, meditation, etc.).
In addition to these methods, there is a plethora of other non-medical treatments, such as herbal supplements, penis enlargement vacuum pumps, and other devices. However, most of these treatments haven’t been approved officially and may have many contraindications and side effects. It is important to get professional’s consultation prior to using any of these devices. Some of them are known to cause priapism (a painful enlargement of penis size/erection that lasts for more than four hours).
Inflammation of the prostate gland is one of the most common urological conditions affecting men s health. The prostate gland is responsible for semen production, and is an important element of the reproductive system. Scientists are not sure about the major cause for this condition, because typically, there are many underlying triggers for this condition. These are bacterial infections (both acute and chronic), trauma, stress, anxiety, weak immune system, and many more. The symptoms of this disease include, but are not limited to:
- burning feeling and pain when urinating;
- urinating difficulties;
- urgent night urination;
- abdomen, perineum, and genitals ache;
- painful ejaculation (rarely).
This urological condition is treated with antibiotics, alpha-blockers, painkillers and prostate massage. Men suffering from this condition in its chronic form are advised to make some lifestyle changes. These imply sticking to healthy diet (as well as avoiding bladder irritating foods: drinks containing caffeine, citrus, and spicy products), going in for sports, and reducing overall stress (through meditation and other anti-stress activities).
This disease is a very serious health condition, and is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in males. For this reasons doctors recommend that all males over fifty be tested for prostate cancer every year. Prostate cancer starts with growth of malignant cells within the prostate gland. Because the gland is small (walnut-sized), the tumor may not cause any symptoms in the early stages. But when the malignant growth spreads outside the gland, it turns into a life-threatening condition.
This type of cancer is typically diagnosed through regular physical examinations. It is detected by screening, and PSA blood test (Prostate Specific Antigen). To confirm the condition, ultrasound exam and/or biopsy are used. Depending on the severity of the case, individual’s medical history, age and other important factors, oncologists discuss one of the following treatment approaches with their patients:
- External beam radiation therapy (destroying cancerous cells with powerful X-ray beams).
- Radioactive seed implantation (placing small radioactive particles directly into the tumor or near it).
- Hormonal therapy (blocking the testosterone supply; the tumor needs this hormone to grow).
- High intensity ultrasound waves and microwaves.
The most common signs of prostate cancer are incontinence and erectile dysfunction. The good news is that this type of cancer is easily treated in its early stages.
It is sad to admit, but many men put their health last, and often ignore apparent symptoms. However, whether a male feels absolutely healthy or not, it is advisable to undergo routine medical checks once a year. It is only experienced healthcare professionals who can diagnose a disease and appoint an appropriate treatment course. Self-diagnosing and self-treatment not only can exacerbate the problem and postpone recovery, but lead to irrevocable changes in men’s health.