Introduction to men's health. The average life expectancy of a man born in the United States in is 79 years and 8 months. The life expectancy for a man has increased dramatically in the past 50 years. How long we live is important; however, the quality of life is equally important.
The ability to enjoy life to its fullest requires investing time and effort into health maintenance and disease prevention. This investment pays dividends almost immediately and it is never too late to begin. A man who was 65 years old in could expect to live to age 84, and a year-old could expect 11 more years of life.
Our bodies are incredibly complex machines that require fuel components food, water, and air to grow, function, and repair itself.
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Like any machine, the body requires routine maintenance to make it last a long time and to function well throughout a person's life expectancy. Using the body as it was intended and minimizing abuse also increases its ability to perform. When we buy a car, we expect to routinely change the oil, filters, rotate the tires, and avoid driving too aggressively to keep the car running smoothly and last a certain length of time.
As in life, accidents happen and cosmetic injuries occur, but it is the "guts" of a car, the engine, transmission, and brakes that will decide if it will be happily driving down the road or sitting in the junkyard. Our bodies suffer through illnesses and accidents and many are unavoidable. Taking care of your body also includes scheduled maintenance and screening examinations to detect illnesses at an early stage, which increases the potential for cure and a return to health.
Learning to listen to the body's warning s and symptoms is the same as paying attention to the check engine light in your car, neither should be ignored. A healthy lifestyle is not just an absence of disease, but an opportunity to enjoy the years of life available to each person.
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Medical care can help the body maintain its performance as it ages. A longer life expectancy should not be considered a jail sentence to inactivity. As the body ages, there is an expected and normal physiologic change in some of the hormones in the male body. Viewer Question: I've been under a prolonged period of stress, which seems to have diminished my sex drive. I recently read that stress can affect hormone levels. What can I do to counteract stress and improve my sex drive? Doctor's Response: You are not alone in your concern.
A diminished interest in sex is one of many symptoms that can develop as a result of increased psychological stress, and studies show that a decreased sex drive is a common complaint in people who have stressful jobs and work long hours. Fortunately, taking steps to manage your stress can help you regain some of your lost sexual energy. Stress management is a highly individual practice, and each person must choose the stress control techniques that work best for them.
However, stress control methods most often include a combination of exercise, relaxation techniques deep breathing or meditation exercisesadhering to a regular sleep cycle, and proper nutrition. Exercise releases endorphins, which are the body's natural stress-fighting hormones, so Old guys need it too six type of physical exercise is a good stress control measure Prostate problems.
The prostate is a unique male organ. It is located beneath the bladder and connects it to the penis. Its function is to produce part of the seminal fluid that is alkaline, which helps lengthen the life span of semen when it enters the vagina. The prostate also has involuntary muscles that contract to help expel semen during ejaculation.
A common condition in men that is part of the normal aging process is benign prostatic hypertrophy BPH or enlarged prostate. The urethra is a tube that passes through the prostate and drains the bladder. A man with an enlarged prostate BPH often has difficulty emptying the bladder Old guys need it too six the urethra is being compressed by prostatic tissue. This compression of the urethra makes it difficult for the bladder to generate enough pressure to overcome the obstruction enlarged prostate. Over time, the bladder itself begins to weaken making urination even more difficult.
Treatment of BPH which may include medications or surgery depends upon the man, any underlying medical conditions, and the severity of symptoms.
Sexual health and function are important parts of a healthy lifestyle. The ability to participate in sexual intercourse depends upon the brain, hormones, nerves, and blood vessels that supply the penis. A variety of mechanisms and feedback loops need to work for an erection to occur. There are numerous causes of erectile dysfunction EDimpotence including:. Impotence is also a complication of prostate cancer treatment, which can include surgery and radiation.
Smoking is an independent risk factor for developing impotence. Treatment of erectile dysfunction depends upon the cause but may include medications for example, tadalafil [ Cialis ], sildenafil [ Viagra ], and vardenafil [ LevitraStaxyn], testosterone replacement therapy and, for some men, prosthetic devices surgically inserted into the penis. Testosterone levels that are required for pubertymuscle, and bone development in young adulthood gradually decrease over a man's lifetime sometimes referred to as Low T. Testosterone levels need to be at a certain level to maintain body and brain function.
Numerous theories exist about the use of testosterone therapy routinely in older men, but these theories have not been widely accepted. There are however, a few health care practitioners that use testosterone to "prevent aging. Top 10 diseases that kill men.
Most of the common diseases that affect men are potentially preventable, but one needs to know their enemy. Interestingly, the presence of some diseases increases the likelihood that another will occur. Heart diseasestrokeperipheral vascular diseaseand dementia all share the same risk factors:. Heart disease.
Heart disease is the one killer of men in the United States. The heart is like any other muscle, requiring blood to supply oxygen and nutrients for it to function.
The heart's needs are provided by the coronary arteries, which begin at the base of the aorta and spread across the surface of the heart, branching out to all areas of the heart muscle. The coronary arteries are at risk for narrowing as cholesterol deposits, called plaques, build up inside the artery.
If the arteries narrow enough, blood supply to the heart muscle may be compromised slowed downand this slowing of blood flow to the heart causes painor angina. Angina symptoms include:. This heart pain is often referred to as "anginal equivalent. A heart attack myocardial infarction occurs when a plaque ruptures, allowing a blood clot to form, which can be life-threatening.
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The blood clot completely obstructs the artery, stopping blood flow to part of the heart muscle, and that portion of muscle dies. The heart is an electrical pump composed of heart muscle and cells that produce and conduct electrical als.
Heart muscle cells can become irritable because they have lost blood supply and may, in addition, cause electrical abnormalities or short circuits that prevent the heart muscle from pumping which can result in sudden cardiac death. The major risk factors for heart disease and stroke and peripheral vascular disease include smokinghigh blood pressurehigh cholesteroldiabetesand family history. While one cannot control their family history, the other factors can be controlled and the risks minimized. These are life-long obligations to decrease the risk of heart disease.
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Lung cancer is the one killer among cancers in men, and most are preventable. It is harder to stop smoking than it is to stop many other addictions; nicotine in tobacco is a very addictive drug. Tobacco in its various forms including smokeless or chewing tobacco is related to a variety of other cancers including cancer of the mouth, throat, and larynx.
Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, and is a disease of aging and is rarely seen in men younger than 50 years of age. Often prostate cancer causes no symptoms and is diagnosed with routine screening tests including a rectal examination to feel the prostate and a PSA prostate specific antigen blood test.
Currently, prostate cancer screening with a digital rectal exam and PSA testing are only indicated in high-risk patients or those with symptoms.
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Colon and rectal cancers tie with prostate cancer as the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men. There are few symptoms in the early stages of colon and rectal cancers, thus the diagnosis is often made by routinely screening the stool for occult blood blood that is not visible to the naked eye but can be found by testing the stool sample and undergoing a routine screening colonoscopy.
Colon cancer can be nearly completely preventable with timely colonoscopy screenings. Testicular cancer s for 5. Men can help detect this disease by doing a testicular exam routinely and reporting any testicle abnormalities or symptoms lumps, swelling, pain to their health care practitioner.
Living a healthy lifestyle decreases the potential risk of developing cancer. Regular exercisea healthy dietand avoiding toxins in the environment including smoking and secondhand smoke are positive lifestyle changes that the average person can control during their lifetime. I also agree to receive s from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time.
Accidents happen and the key to minimizing the risk of death is to use common sense and avoid potentially dangerous situations.