There is a myriad of health issues facing men today of which hair loss, snoring and prostate problems are examples.
Hair loss or male pattern baldness usually evident in the late 20s starts with the hair line receding at the temples and thinning at the crown of the head. It tends to be hereditary, caused by excessive male hormone around the hair follicles but can also be due to other medical conditions.
Whilst many companies claim to have a cure for hair loss, only two products are clinically proven to be effective: Rogaine®, an over the counter topical solution and finasteride a prescription only medication. Both will slow down hair loss and promote hair regrowth to varying degrees yet must be used continuously for results to be maintained.
Snoring is a concern for many couples and families, often due to parts of the nose, throat and soft palate vibrating with normal breathing. During sleep, the muscles become relaxed and floppy so the airways narrow and vibrate more. Other factors include alcohol and sleeping tablets, being overweight or obese, colds, allergies, nasal polyps, smoking and sleeping on your back. It can lead to disrupted sleep for the partner or family, obstructive sleep apnoea where the relaxed throat muscles block the airway briefly, restlessness and can lead to elevated blood pressure, heart attacks or stroke. The treatment of choice is dependent on the cause, so seek advice from your Quality Pharmacist or GP.
Prostate Enlargement & Prostate Cancer
Prostate enlargement is common in men and because the prostate is situated near the bladder, it can lead to problems urinating. Symptoms may include frequent urination especially at night, weak stream, pain while urinating, blood in urine and pain or stiffness in lower back, pelvis or hips. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australian men and men should seek advice from their GP about testing for prostate cancer. It is especially important if over 50 years of age as part of a general medical check-up, if there is a family history of prostate cancer or if other unexpected symptoms affecting normal function develop. Testing involves a blood test or rectal exam or both.
Myth: Only women develop osteoporosis
Fact: Even though women experience rapid bone loss after menopause, by the age of 65, both men and women lose bone mass at the same rate. There is also a decrease in calcium absorption and often a vitamin D deficiency with age. Prevention should involve a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, regular weight bearing exercise, reduction of alcohol intake and cessation of smoking. At least ten minutes of sunlight exposure daily will help the body to produce its own Vitamin D
(Tips for taking control of your health)
How often should men be tested?
1. Bowel Cancer
• Over 50 years of age: every 2 years
• Any age with a family history: every 5 years
2. Cholesterol & Triglycerides
• Over 45 years: every 5 years
• With a high risk of cardiovascular disease: every 12 months
• At high risk: every 12 months
• Over 45 years and obese, or has high blood pressure or had a heart attack, angina or stroke: every 3 years
• Over 18 years: every 1-2 years
• Self exam every 3 months more often if at high risk
6. Blood pressure
• Every 2 years
• Annually if over 50 years or over 40 years with a family history