On average, the male lifespan is five years shorter than that of females, and this can be attributed to a variety of reasons. Firstly, males are born more fragile and vulnerable than females, making them more susceptible to premature death. Later in life, males are less likely to take care of their health than females, which is illustrated by fewer visits to the doctor and engaging in risky behaviors, such as smoking and drinking.
The health risks of men are influenced by a lot of factors, including cultural influence, environment, social upbringing, and personal beliefs. In older age, these health risks are more significant, leading to early onsets of diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, or even premature death.
If you are pushing 50 or older, here’s how you can take better care of your health for longer and more fruitful life:
1. Visit your healthcare provider regularly
Of 1,174 males surveyed by Cleveland Clinic, only 50 percent engage in preventative health care, and 77 percent said that they would rather do other tasks than go to the doctor. This avoidance of going to a healthcare provider, even when they are not feeling well, is one of the primary reasons why men’s illnesses are diagnosed and prevented late.
That said, going to a doctor regularly can help diagnose and treat illnesses early. When you don’t feel well, don’t delay your visit to the doctor for too long, either. Seeking prompt medical help can catch diseases before they get worse, and in some cases, early diagnosis can even save your life.
If you want to invest in healthcare, you can even opt to visit a healthcare franchise and see if they have an opportunity for you.
2. Be honest with your doctor
In the same survey, about 20 percent of men said that they haven’t been completely honest with their doctor, with the reasons being embarrassment, not wanting to hear that they needed to change their lifestyle, and/or not being ready to face their diagnosis. Whatever the reason might be, failure to be completely honest with your healthcare provider can prevent you from getting the medical help that you need. Moreover, it can even delay diagnosis and make your condition worse over time.
When you reach 50 and beyond, your health risks might be greater than when you were younger. Hence, now is the time to be honest with your doctor to prevent non-communicable diseases for as long as possible, especially diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
3. Reduce your prostate cancer risk
Early diagnosis of prostate cancer is the key to successful treatment. If you have at least one first-degree relative or two extended family members who have had prostate cancer, it is advisable to get screened as early as 40 years old. If you don’t have a family history of prostate cancer, you should get screened as early as 55 years old.
You can also reduce your risk of prostate cancer by eating a diet that is low in fat and rich in vegetables and fruits and exercising regularly.
4. Quit smoking and moderate alcohol intake
It is never too late to quit your bad habits, even if you have brought them to your later years.
If you smoke, there is no better time to quit than today. Talk to your healthcare provider about your options for smoking cessation. If you drink alcohol regularly, cut back on your intake to at most one drink a day. Similarly, you should talk to your healthcare provider if you have trouble cutting back on alcohol. If you have an alcohol dependence, you might want to consider cognitive behavioral therapy.
5. Check your testosterone levels
Men’s testosterone levels begin to decrease at age 30 by as much as 1% every year. Reduced testosterone levels can affect your muscle mass, concentration, libido, and ability to exercise for prolonged periods. Apart from affecting your physical health, lower levels of testosterone can also decrease the quality of life and make you more susceptible to depression.
If you experience symptoms of low testosterone, such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and loss of body hair, go to your doctor as soon as possible to have your testosterone levels checked.
There are many health risks that older men have to look out for, such as diabetes, heart disease, prostate cancer, and low testosterone, to name a few. But by making the right decisions for your health, you can delay or even prevent illnesses and extend your lifespan with a good quality of life.
Do you have more health tips to share with us? Please leave them in the comments below.