Historically, men will often avoid seeking healthcare support until they have to. A significant portion of men will admit to only visiting the doctor when they are extremely ill, or if their symptoms have not gone away on their own. With this frightening portion of men failing to seek medical help, many will ignore serious signs and symptoms that could potentially be dangerous.
Despite being a milestone birthday, turning 40 can increase the risk of various health conditions. It is around this time the body begins to wear out, signalling the onset of certain lifestyle diseases. As you age, it is important to take more notice of your body and overall health and identify any changes that occur. In doing so, you can spot a potential health issue in its earlier stages and seek treatment as soon as possible. As a result, it helps to prevent an issue from developing further, making it more difficult to treat.
Spot The Signs
Knowing that your risk of developing a health issue increases as you get older, especially after turning 40, can put some on alert to spotting any signs. There are a few common health issues that men tend to experience over the age of 40. Here is a selection of the most common health issues and signs that are worth looking out for.
- Alopecia – The most common form of male hair loss is alopecia. It affects between 30 to 50% of men by the time they turn 50. Whilst it might not be harmful on its own, hair loss can be linked to causing depression and there is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The signs that a person has alopecia include gradual thinning on the top of the hair. Some will notice that the hairline on their forehead is beginning to recede. Another sign is circular or patchy bald spots appearing on the scalp, beard or even eyebrows. Before the hair falls out, the skin can become itchy or painful first.
- Heart Disease And High Blood Pressure – Heart disease claims more men’s lives compared to any other disease. If there is a history of heart disease in the family, then the chances of developing it are greater. Chest pains (angina) and breathlessness are two of the most common signs of heart disease. Additionally, high blood pressure is also a major risk for men over 40. If blood pressure has been high for a long time, then the risk of a heart attack or stroke increases. Those over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least every 5 years. It is easy to do and can save a life.
- Skin Cancer – According to research, melanoma skin cancer is the 5th most common cancer for males. In addition to this, the rates of melanoma are higher in men than they are compared to women. The risks are highly likely related to frequent sun exposures and limited visits to the doctor. One of the first signs that a person has a melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in the appearance of an existing one. A healthy mole can be larger than 6mm in diameter, whilst a cancerous mole can be smaller.
- Diabetes – For men, diabetes presents a unique number of complications, which includes lower testosterone levels that can later lead to a great risk for sexual impotence. In turn, this could also potentially lead to depression and anxiety. If diabetes goes untreated, it could lead to further health risks such as nerve and kidney damage, heart disease and vision problems. Some of the main symptoms of diabetes include weight loss and loss of muscle bulk, feeling thirsty or very tired and cuts or wounds healing slower than usual.
- Erectile Dysfunction – A common health problem many men over the age of 40 experience is erectile dysfunction. There are various reasons why men develop erectile dysfunction, especially as they get older. Some of the reasons include tiredness, anxiety, stress or even consuming too much alcohol. The good news is that most of the reasons can easily be treated.
Know What Treatments Are Available
After spotting and identifying the signs of a potential health issue, the next step is seeking professional medical support. Fortunately, there is treatment available to help with these issues. Here are a few treatments and support available for some of the most common health issues men over 40 are most likely to experience.
Treating Erectile Dysfunction
There are various routes to take for those suffering from erectile dysfunction. The most used form of treatment is medication, in particular, Viagra and other sorts of erectile dysfunction pills. Any one of these has a strong success rate amongst men. Viagra is a shorter-acting erectile dysfunction drug, lasting only five or six hours. Whereas pills that help with erectile dysfunction are longer lasting and can, on average, work for up to two days after taking it. There are guides available that go in-depth about everything you need to know about erectile dysfunction pills in Canada and treatments for it like Viagra.
Handling Your Diabetes
Currently, there are countless ways people can manage and treat their diabetes. However, since everyone is different, not all treatments will work for everyone, so it is important to find one that suits your individual needs. For example, those with type 1 diabetes will need to use insulin to treat it. Those with type 2 diabetes might have to use either tablets or insulin. Although, some might be able to treat it by moving more and eating well initially.
Treatments For Skin Cancer
Those with melanoma skin cancer will often be treated by a skin specialist, plastic surgeon, an oncologist, a pathologist and a specialist nurse. This team of specialists will decide on what treatment is best for you and your case. Included in their decision process will be the stage of cancer (the size of it and how far it has spread), overall general health and also the type of cancer.
The team of specialists will recommend what they believe is the best course of action to take, however, the decision is ultimately decided by the individual being treated.
Reducing Chances Of Heart Disease And High Blood Pressure
Although chances of heart disease increase if there is a history in the family, there are ways to reduce the risks. Both are easily caused by a poor diet, smoking and lack of exercise.
Support For Alopecia
Whilst it cannot be cured, there is support available for those suffering from alopecia. Depending on the extent of the hair loss, there is a chance for some affected to have a complete regrowth occur within a year without treatment. For those who had extensive hair loss from the beginning, the chances are not as strong. For cases of mild alopecia, the hair will likely come back anyway.
There are treatments available that can help to induce hair growth, but none can alter the overall course of the disease. Some of the treatments available include steroid creams and scalp applications that can be applied to bald patches. Local steroid injections can be done on the scalp and brows. Steroid injections are often the most effective approach for those with small patches of hair loss.
Ways To Stay Healthy In Your 40s
As you get older, the chances of health issues developing increase. Despite the increase in chances, it is important to remain healthy and active, even as you get older. It can be easy to set aside your health when you get older. From demanding jobs, children growing up, ageing parents or all three combined, taking care of your health can often take a backseat. However, turning 40 is a great time to evaluate your overall wellbeing and plan for the future. Here are a few ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle, even after turning 40.
Check Your Vision
Vision can begin to worsen when you turn 40, so you must go to the opticians to have your eyes tested regularly. Wearing sunglasses can help to prevent further damage to your eyesight. Having too much sun exposure can increase cataracts, which is why wearing sunglasses is a great idea. Alongside this, including more fruits and vegetables into your diet, ones rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, might also help to slow vision loss.
Build Up Muscle
As you get older, you begin to lose muscle mass. When you hit 40, every year 1% of muscle mass is lost. It will be beneficial to incorporate weight-bearing exercises, as well as cardiovascular exercises into a weekly physical activity plan. Aside from losing muscle mass after 40, flexibility also decreases as we get older. Including a yoga or Pilates routine into your weekly physical plan can help to improve flexibility, balance, core strength and range of motion.
By paying close attention to basic aspects of health, eating well, drinking plenty of water and staying active, can all help a person to live a long and happy life. In addition to this, seeking medical help if and when something is wrong or if there is something that is concerning is also vital. Whilst there is pressure in society to hide feelings, seeking medical support and regular healthcare check-ups can help to improve the overall quality of a man’s life. Combining regular check-ups with a healthy lifestyle that avoids any dangerous drugs and supplements, men can maintain long-lasting health.
Published on Holr Magazine