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Common Health Threats for Men

Men tend not visit doctors much and tend to not get preventative health services until it is too late.  Women generally have to force men to go in to see the doctor.  Here are a few common issues that men face and what can be done about them. 

Cardiovascular Disease

Men tend to develop cardiovascular disease sooner than women and this is the leading cause of death for men.  Men tend to run lower levels of good cholesterol so tend to develop plaque in their arteries earlier.  Some heart attacks can result in sudden death where the heart stops beating and needs to be shocked to be restarted. 

Checking cholesterol regularly helps to see who might be at risk for heart disease.  There are more advanced tests like Lipoprotein (a), small dense LDL (sdLDL) and homocysteine that should be checked but not enough people look at this number.   Taking a baby aspirin starting at the age of 55 has been shown to help prevent heart disease. 

Besides cholesterol, inflammation in the arteries cause the plaque to rupture and cause a heart attack.  There are different blood tests that can be done to monitor the level of inflammation.  Antioxidants in fresh fruits and vegetables help to lower inflammation. 

There is a genetic test called the ApoE gene that can be checked to see who is at higher risk for heart disease.  Those who have the bad genes need to be more vigilant about lowering their cholesterol.   Genes only control 20% of outcome in life but if one knows that they are at higher risk, it tends to give incentive to be especially disciplined to help control diet and exercise since lifestyle controls 80% of the outcome in life. 

Obesity

Men tend to have poor dietary habits and tend to get belly fat inside the abdominal cavity called visceral fat and this increases the risk of heart disease.  Excessive intake of sugar and carbohydrates leads to metabolic syndrome that eventually leads to diabetes.  Losing weight can often lower cholesterol and help get diabetes under control. 

There are numerous medications that can be used to help with losing weight including Phentermine, Qsymia, Contrave and Belviq.  When we try to help people with losing weight we also work on making sure that people are sleeping well, have sleep apnea controlled and all of their hormone levels are normal and stress is controlled.  This is because it is a lot easier to lose weight if the energy is good and stress hormones are not making it difficult to lose weight. 

After having lost weight, machines such as coolsculpting can be used to get rid of stubborn pockets of fat like love handles and muffin tops.  This machine is based on the principle that cooling will kill fat cells even though it does not harm with skin barrier.  It was designed by physicians at Harvard and has become an important tool in helping get people sculpt an ideal body shape. 

Prostate Cancer

men that get prostate cancer at an earlier age tend to get a more aggressive form of prostate cancer.  It is important to start doing a PSA test and prostate exam on an annual basis starting at age 50. 

Depression 

Women tend to get depression more than men and women attempt suicide more than men but men tend to be more successful in doing so.  Men tend to not voice their feelings or display their emotions.   If there is any concern of depression, it is important to seek out medical help. 

Low Testosterone

Many men, even young men, have low testosterone and start to lose their drive and become couch potatoes.   Weight gain is a common problem when the testosterone is running low.  Replacing testosterone helps people feel better and often makes it easier to loser weight.  Raising testosterone levels helps with erectile dysfunction as well.

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