3 Top Health Risks for Men
June is Men’s Health Month, an important time to highlight the health concerns men face and prevention efforts that could mean the difference between life and death.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States, meaning one in four men will die from the disease. Over half who die suddenly from heart disease never experience warning signs like shortness of breath, chest discomfort or an irregular heartbeat.
Though it is possible to develop heart disease without recognizing the symptoms, there are risk factors that can alert individuals to an unhealthy cardiovascular system:
- Diet high in saturated fat
- Excessive drinking
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, excluding skin cancer. It has no specific cause, but aging, obesity, family history and race contribute to a man’s risk for prostate cancer.
Prostate cancers typically grow and spread slowly. Some studies show older men who died of other causes also had prostate cancer that never affected them during their lives, according to the American Cancer Society. For this reason, it is especially important to undergo prostate screenings and diagnose cancer early to administer treatment before it advances. Warning signs to monitor include trouble urinating, discomfort in the pelvic area, bone pain and erectile dysfunction.
A lesser known risk to men’s health is diabetes, now considered the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Gender, family history, alcohol and tobacco use, high blood pressure and cholesterol and lack of sleep can also contribute to the development of the condition.
Diabetes has unique symptoms such as increased thirst, hunger and urination, excessive tiredness, erectile dysfunction, blurry vision, slow healing of wounds and numbness or tingling sensations in the extremities. Once diagnosed with diabetes, the long-term effects of living with the condition can include heart disease, stroke, nerve damage or blindness.
Prevention is key – a healthy diet, active lifestyle and avoiding use of tobacco and alcohol can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and prostate cancer.
Scheduling regular checkups with a primary care physician will help improve overall health and alert an individual to any warning signs of disease.
Dr. Tyler Hamilton is a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician at Paul B. Hall Medical Group and is a member of the medical staff at Paul B. Hall Regional Medical Center. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hamilton, call 606-789-9020 or book your own appointment at PaulBHallAnytime.com.