Men in the United States, on average, live five fewer years than women do. Almost half of men who were surveyed about their health stated that they were encouraged to be silent about symptoms and complaints from the time they were children.
Talking about a health issue is, however, the first step toward having it addressed and possibly resolved. Our experts at Enrich Family Practice in Odessa, Texas, encourage both women and men to talk about men’s health issues, with each other, and with their health practitioners.
Following are some of the most common men’s health issues that you or a man you love may be silently struggling with.
Men have a small gland that’s situated near their bladder called the prostate gland. The prostate is one of the few organs in the human body that continue to grow throughout your lifetime. As men age, their prostate gets larger, which is why most men develop a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
While BPH is, by definition, benign (i.e., not cancerous), that doesn’t mean it’s symptom free. In fact, an enlarged prostate can put pressure on your bladder and cause a range of symptoms that affects how well and comfortably you urinate. Some symptoms of BPH are:
- Nighttime urination
- Inability to hold urine
- Increased urgency
- Dribbling urine
- Leaking urine
- Urine that doesn’t completely void the bladder
- Urine that starts and stops
Lifestyle adjustments and medications may help alleviate your incontinence and other symptoms. However, some symptoms of BPH overlap those of prostate cancer, which is why you should never ignore them.
A simple workup at Enrich Family Practice gives you the answers you need to manage your BPH. Or, if we find cancer, we refer you to an oncologist for treatment. Prostate cancer is slow growing and may be cured when caught early.
When men can’t achieve and hold an erection long enough to complete a sexual act, they may withdraw from their partner and feel shame and embarrassment. Erectile dysfunction (ED) may have many causes. That’s why a thorough examination and evaluation are important. Once the factors in your ED are identified, they can be addressed and resolved.
One of the most common reasons for ED is loss of the hormone testosterone, a condition called low T. We may recommend testosterone replacement therapy to balance your hormones again. Another common cause of ED is BPH, which could be managed with lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery.
Although you may think of depressed people as quiet and withdrawn, when men are depressed they tend to lash out at others in anger. At a time when they most need help, they do everything they can to push that help away.
Depression manifests in other behavioral changes, too. You or a man you love may be depressed if they:
- Have trouble remembering things
- Drop out of activities they once loved
- Eat more or less than usual
- Sleep more or less than usual
- Lose or gain weight
- Have angry outbursts
- Feel grumpy and dissatisfied
- Isolate themselves
Depression is a serious mental illness that increases the risk of self-harm and suicide. If you or someone you love talks about or thinks about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 as soon as possible.
Feeling tired without reason could be a sign of a relatively benign condition, such as BPH or low T levels, or it could be a sign of something serious, including heart disease or cancer. A healthy body is full of energy and vitality.
If your energy flags or you find it hard to get through your day, you deserve to know why. Our experts may evaluate you for common conditions that cause fatigue, including:
- Sleep apnea
- Low T
Ignoring symptoms doesn’t make them go away, and it won’t make the underlying disease go away, either.
Open a dialogue about men’s health with our team by calling 432-200-9087 today. You can easily reach us with our online message form, too.