Many men do not look after their own health very well. They tend to avoid or delay regular health checks and their health is often poorer than that of women the same age. Men can often improve their health with changes to diet, exercise and other lifestyle habits.
Some health issues
Bowel cancer – more common in men than women. Risk increases over the age of 50 years.
Depression – depression affects men a lot and they are more likely to suicide than women. Men often do not recognise the symptoms of depression and so do not seek help.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) – ED, or impotence, means being unable to get and/or keep an erection that allows sexual intercourse. ED is common, but most men do not like to talk about it with their doctor. Some medical conditions can lead to ED (e.g. diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, Parkinson’s disease). Drinking too much alcohol, smoking, stress and some medicines can also cause ED. If you would like to talk to someone in Zimbabwe about this we suggest the Men’s Health Clinic.
Heart disease – men are more likely to die from heart disease than women. Risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and overweight, which are more common in men.
Low testosterone – testosterone is a male sex hormone. A low testosterone level can be caused by disorders of the testes or pituitary gland, or other health problems (e.g. obesity).
Testosterone levels also fall as men age. Symptoms of low testosterone include being tired, feeling irritable and less sex drive.
Male pattern hair loss (baldness) – causes some men great distress.
Prostate disease – more common in older men. The three main prostate problems are:
- benign prostatic hyperplasia/ hypertrophy (BPH) – the prostate gland gets bigger and affects urine flow
- prostate cancer
- prostatitis – prostate becomes sore and swollen, usually due to infection.
Testicular cancer – more common in younger men, but can occur at any age. May cause a hard lump, swelling or pain in a testicle.
Some lifestyle issues
Alcohol – more men than women drink harmful amounts of alcohol, which increases the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, sexual problems, depression, accidents and violence.
Being overweight –increases their risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, osteoarthritis and some cancers.
Smoking – more men than women smoke and die from smoking-related illnesses (e.g. cancer, heart disease, airways disease).
Physical activity – many men do not get enough exercise. Regular exercise helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and control weight. It can also help relieve stress, improve sleep and improve feelings of wellbeing.
A number of health issues are more common in men than women. This may be due to the way men deal with health and lifestyle issues. Of course some health issues only affect men.
Have health checks and tests – ask a doctor.
Seek medical advice and a full health check, if you:
- are over 40 years of age
- are overweight
- notice changes in bowel habit or urine flow
- notice a lump or change in either testicle
- are experiencing ED
- feel stressed
- plan to start exercising.
Your Self Care Pharmacy:
Utano Pharmacies Shop 3 & 4, Hughes House 22 Park Street HARARE ZIMBABWE