What’s Killing You? Top 5 Men’s Health Diseases
Scheduling a doctor’s appointment for a man is as hard as giving a cat a bath! Men will only visit a doctor when they’re plagued with a serious condition. This reactive approach to health care can be dire and it can put your health at risk.
For most men, health is usually on the back burner until it’s too late. The top five men’s diseases that today are the same as in yesteryears. Many of these diseases are causes poor lifestyle habits — the “live hard, work hard mentality”.
Good news! These diseases are preventible. By implementing healthy lifestyle choices will minimize your risks of developing: cardiovascular disease, cancer of the lung, colon and prostate and diabetes.
1 in 5 people will die of cardiovascular disease and men have a greater change of dying from this disease. Men are also more susceptible to developing atheroiclerosis — hardening of the arteries due to cholesterol build up.
When cholesterol plaque builds up, it forces your heart to work harder to pump blood and oxygen to your extremities. With severe build up, it can cause blood clots to form. The clots, block the arteries and can cause heart attacks and strokes.
How to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease?
Diet plays an important role. Eat more fruit and vegetables and increase good cholesterol (HDL). That doesn’t mean you can’t go to a Super Bowl party again. It just means that you need you need to make every meal count!
Try to incorporate at least one cup of vegetables per meal. Visualize your plate into thirds. Try to fill one third (1/3) with just vegetables.
Substitute your bad oils with good ones. Change out your salad dressings and cooking oils with
healthy oils high in omega 3.
Good sources of omega 3s come from oily fishes such as: mackerel, sardines, herring, rainbow trout and salmon. You can also get it from flaxseed oil, walnuts and pecans. In addition to omega 3, Garlic has been proven to keep your heart healthy. Don’t be shy to add in an extra clove!
Daily exercise is important. It’s recommended that you get 30 minutes of physical activity a day. It can be as simple as getting off your bus route a few stops earlier (which will get you moving). Being sedentary isn’t just bad for your posture but it’s bad for your heart. Your heart is a muscle and it needs to be exercised.
Controlling your blood pressure and stress levels is vital. When you have hypertension you put more stress on your heart — your left heart becomes enlarged (left ventricular hypertrophy). It causes your left ventricle to thicken or stiffen which makes it harder for it to pump blood to the rest of your body.
Life isn’t going to stop for you. If anything, it’ll keep throwing curve balls at you. It is important to make time for yourself. Find techniques to help you manage tension. This can be through mediation, exercise, aromatherapy and supplements to support your adrenals.
Regular Check Ups
After the age of 20 you should have your a cholesterol check up every 4 to 6 years (that’s if you’re in the low risk group). However if you have diabetes you should have that checked every year.
Cancer of the Lung, Colon and Prostate
How to Prevent Lung Cancer
Out of all the cancers, lung cancer is still the number one cause of deaths worldwide. It can be attributed to smoking cigarettes either directly or passively (second hand smoke). As well through exposure to asbestos, radon gases, air pollution (vehicles and industry) and chemicals in skincare and haircare products.
To prevent lung cancer, limit your exposure to cigarettes (including eCigarettes). Look at your surroundings. If you’re constantly being exposure to toxins, you’re risks of developing lung cancer goes up. This includes exposure to chemicals such as SLS, propylene, lauramide DEA found in products you put on your skin.
Since your skin is your largest organ and absorbs 60% of everything you put on it, your shampoos, aftershaves and deodorants can be the culprits. Look for natural skincare and groom products.
Colon Cancer and How to Prevent It
Colon cancer affects your large intestine. Colon cancer is more prevalent in western cultures. In most causes it is caused by poor lifestyle choices. Diets high in: meat, fats (LDL) and processes foods are contributors to colon cancer. As well as smoking, heavy alcohol consumption and a sedentary lifestyle.
It is recommended that men between the ages of 50 - 75 get regular screenings which includes a colonoscopy, fecal and blood tests.
Adding good bacteria to your gut will also help with your intestinal health. Fermented foods such as yogurt and kefir, pickles, tempeh and nato beans will increase the good bacteria in your body. You can also get probiotics through natural supplements.
Early Detection of Prostate Cancer
The prostate is located behind the bladder and works with your testiticles by adding nutrients and fluid to sperm. For healthy reproductive function it is important that you get your prostate checked.
As a preventative measure, men over the age of 40 should have their prostate examined annually. This includes a blood test and a digital prostate exam. Men are most at risk of prostate cancer between the ages of 50 - 65. However, it is preventable through diet and exercise.
For nutrition, the traditional Japanese diet and southern Mediterranean are good examples of how you should be eating. These cultures consume less red meat and dairy compared to a North American diet.
Foods high in antioxidants that promote good prostate health include: green tea, grape seed extract, selenium and pumpkin seeds.
For more information about prostate health, refer to Beyond the Moustache article.
Based on American Diabetes Association as of 2012, 9.3% of the American population has diabetes. Risks for diabetes increases if you’re overweight, consume a diet high in refined carbohydrates, a diet low in fibre and live an inactive lifestyle.
Your risks of getting type 2 diabetes increase as you age (45+). These risks are manageable and all within your control — maintain a healthy body weight (BMI) and a well balanced diet. Aim to eat foods that don’t spike up your insulin. Each meal should be well balanced with good fats, protein, carbohydrates and fibre. Fats will slow down your sugar highs and lows.
Diabetes can also have a big impact to your sex life. Diabetes can cause erectile dysfunction or impotence. This can be due to damage to the nerves carrying blood to the penis. 35-70% of men will experience some sort of erectile dysfunction with diabetes. However, there are many things you can do to overcome this side effect. You can try natural supplements to increase your libido and external devices like vacuum restriction to get blood flowing to your penis.
These top five men’s diseases can be prevented through proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, once you develop one of these diseases, it can lead to obtaining another one. Working on a preventative, health care approach is the best thing you can do for yourself. It will enable you to have a more fulfilling and healthy life, instead of one bounded by illnesses.