Did you know that men are 80 percent less likely to use a regular source of healthcare, like a primary care physician, than women? In fact, a lot of men go to the doctor only if they’re sick or have a medical emergency.1 Although men’s lifespans are gradually catching up to women’s, not monitoring one’s health is partially to blame for the discrepancy.
The five biggest health risk factors for men are heart disease, stroke, suicide, prostate cancer and lung cancer.2 Prostate cancer is the most common type found in men and the American Cancer Society recommends a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test annually for healthy men starting at age 50 or older.3 Men who eat large quantities of red meat and high-fat dairy products and inadequate amounts of fruits and vegetables have a higher risk for prostate cancer.
Men 50 years and older are also at the highest risk for developing skin cancer, more than twice as likely as women, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. The risk is attributed to more frequent sun exposure and fewer visits to the doctor.4
Although it is not listed on the top five health risk factors, diabetes presents a unique set of complications for men: it increases the risk for lower testosterone levels that can lead to sexual impotence, depression and anxiety.5 Untreated diabetes may lead to a whole range of physical dysfunctions, including kidney damage, heart disease, stroke and vision problems.
Mental well-being is overlooked by many segments of the population, but especially with men. Men experience depression differently than women, in that they report symptoms of fatigue and irritability more often than actual anxiety or depression. They also are less apt to seek help or treatment. Ironically, even though more women attempt suicide, more men actually die by their own doing.6 This is compounded by unintentional deaths resulting from men’s higher rates of smoking and drinking.
If you’re an adult man who hasn’t had a preventative care checkup in more than a year, now is the time to visit your doctor, even if it’s only a phone consultation. Many conditions do not have obvious symptoms and may put you at risk for heart attack or stroke. Some basic tips for men’s health maintenance are to:
- Protect yourself from injury by wearing helmets, safety glasses, seatbelts, sunscreen and insect repellent when needed.
- Wash your hands often.
- Pay attention to prostate health. Kenzen® Mega Daily 4 for men addresses men’s health issues, including prostate health. To lower risk of prostate problems, eat a nutritious, balanced, low-fat diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Manage stress by getting restful sleep. Take time for yourself and use meditation, yoga and other ways to maintain a positive mental attitude.
- Seek help when feeling anxious, unusual fatigue or sadness. Find at least one person you feel comfortable confiding in, even if you don’t speak to a professional therapist.
- Get regular checkups and screenings from a healthcare practitioner.
It’s important to remember that little boys grow up to be men, so teach them good habits early on! Nikken Active Wellness supports both men and women, and now, there’s Kenzen® Total Vegan Drink Mix that helps boys and girls achieve a good dietary regimen as early as two years old!