Monday, June 9, 2014

Man-Up! Top Men's Health Issues & Foods/Supplements that can Help


 Men have a shorter life expectancy than women. Are you going to let the ladies have all the fun? Come on men - it's time to learn some new tricks about eating and living healthier.


It’s a Guy Thing

Many men avoid a doctor when sick, and skip regular check ups. Surveys show such men blame time or money restrictions. Yet, there is more to it – it’s a boy thing. From a young age, boys are taught to ‘tough-it-out’ from father-figures, coaches and sports heroes. When it comes to not feeling well, males tend to avoid the doctor, even when they are in their ‘wise-old age’. Wise-up, and be proud of your body – it’s time to take your health seriously.

Top 5 Men’s Health Issues:

  • Obesity
  • Prostate/Penile Health
  • Heart Disease
  • Hair Loss
  • Mental Health
 ...as well as concerns with weight management, heart burn, acne, digestive troubles and a lack of energy.

The Beer Belly

Shirt a little snug?  Obesity is a big problem in men. According to a 2009 Statistics Canada report on body composition, 37% of adults are overweight; of which, more men than women are tipping the scale. Obesity is linked to many diseases. Small dietary and lifestyle changes can make a difference. Your local health food store has a plethora of whole food items, healthy snack options and supplements to help. Sporting a healthy waistline is a great way to wear your health proud.

Psst… It’s Called a Penis

The guys love to crack jokes that involve male genitalia, but its no laughing matter when penile tissue doesn’t work. Luckily, there are scientifically proven medicinal and herbal options to help improve the ability of erectile tissue to maintain an erection, including Horny Goat Weed.

Men might not have to deal with a uterus that cramps, but they do have to deal with a prostate. Enlarged prostates are common among older men, but it is not unheard of in younger men as well. Located in a sensitive area of the body, even small prostate flare-ups can lead to problems with urination and sexual function. Saw palmetto is well known for its ability to support prostate health. Anti-inflammatory nutrients such as fish oil and probiotics may also help with an inflamed prostate.

Don’t hide under the sheets if you are having problems in the bedroom – your health may be at risk. Clinical and epidemiological studies show a link between sexual dysfunction and physical and psychological health.  Listen up, boys - all men have a prostate and a penis. You won’t be the first patient to ask a doctor about his ‘boy-parts’.  So, Man-Up! And, go talk to your health care provider about your prostate or penis-related concerns. 

Huddle Up

Fact: Men have a lower life expectancy. So, what’s our game plan? Men aren’t dying due to their ‘need for speed’ or other masculine impulses. Men have a higher death rate from coronary heart disease than women.  Researchers have found that cardiovascular disease appears about 10 years earlier in men than in women. And, clinical studies show that cardiovascular disease is largely preventable through lifestyle modification.  The game plan is simple: more exercise, vegetables, fish oil and fibre.  And, our ‘special teams’ will feature a few heart-health promoting supplements like hawthorne, plant sterols or CoQ10. 

Lowering Stress

While some people may appear to thrive on it, stress is a risk factor in many diseases, including heart disease, mental illness and some intestinal conditions. Stress can also affect your immune system leaving you weak.  Need some help chillin’ out, boys? Try yoga, tai-chi, or herbal medicines including California poppy, kava, or ginseng. 

The Better Gender?

Men can tolerate more pain than women (really, it’s a proven fact). But, that doesn’t mean they should ignore the signals their body is giving them. Be a man about it, and talk straight with your doctor about your health concerns. Wear your health with pride – it looks good on you. 

References:

Health Canada

Kaufman JS, Cheek DJ. Men's cardiovascular and pulmonary health. Nurs Clin North Am. 2004 Jun;39(2):283-300.

Moyad MA. The optimal male health diet and dietary supplement program. Urol Clin North Am. 2012 Feb;39(1):89-107.

Pinkhasov RM, Shteynshlyuger A, Hakimian P, Lindsay GK, Samadi DB, Shabsigh R. Are men shortchanged on health? Perspective on life expectancy, morbidity, and mortality in men and women in the United States. Int J Clin Pract. 2010 Mar;64(4):465-74.

Statistics Canada

Tan HM et al. Men's health: sexual dysfunction, physical, and psychological health--is there a link? J Sex Med. 2012 Mar;9(3):663-71.

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