Biggest health risks for young men

Sad moody man having a headacheStrong and capable. That’s the image many young men like to present to the world. But all too often, that image interferes with a man’s willingness to recognize he has health problems.

In fact, men often don’t make their own health a priority, according to the American Journal of Men’s Health. They don’t see their doctor for health issues as often as women do, which means they miss opportunities to treat health problems early. One result of this is that, statistically, women are healthier than men. Their average life expectancy is five years longer than the life expectancy for men.

Here are some of the leading health risks for young men in the United States today:

Injuries

Trauma from injuries is the leading cause of death and disability among young people, especially due to automotive accidents. Taking away cars and roads as a factor, drowning is one of the leading causes of death among young people, and more than two-thirds of the drowning fatalities every year are male.

Ironically, swimming can have immense health benefits. The solution is education on water safety and how to swim.

Mental health

Depression is one of the leading causes of illness and death among young people. While women were once thought to be more prone to depression than men, today the thinking is that men are more likely to hide their depressed feelings.

Depression can disturb sleep, appetite, energy and performance in many activities, and even contributes to heart disease. All too often, it increases risk of suicide.

Regular exercise and good relationships with family, friends and community can have profound impacts on mood and depression.

Lung cancer

By the time lung cancer is found, it’s often so advanced that it’s difficult to cure. Less than half of men who are diagnosed with lung cancer survive a year.

Ninety percent of lung cancer is caused by tobacco smoke. While smoking rates have been falling in the United States for years, lung cancer is still the leading cancer killer in men.

Quitting smoking reduces the risk, no matter how long you’ve been smoking. Regular checkups are important for smokers and non-smokers alike.

Diabetes

Untreated diabetes can damage kidneys and nerves, leading to blindness, amputation, heart disease and stroke. It also reduces testosterone levels and contributes to impotence, depression and anxiety.

Unfortunately, one third of boys born in 2000 — now young adults — will develop diabetes in their lifetimes. The main contributor is excess weight are and obesity.

The best way to control diabetes is through a healthy diet and regular physical activity. Young men whose family members have diabetes should also have regular screenings from their doctors.

Heart disease

While we think of this as more of an older person’s problem, heart disease can strike at any age. High blood pressure, a main contributor to heart disease, is common in males under age 45, according to the American Heart Association. Regular checkups, avoiding smoking and controlling cholesterol can help keep your heart healthy.

Alcohol

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that twice as many men as women have alcohol-related deaths and hospitalization. Men binge drink twice as much as women, as well.

Alcohol consumption increases the risk for cancer, interferes with testicular function, and can lead to impotence, infertility and suicide attempts.

Take charge of your health

The good news is that the younger you are, the easier it is to take charge of improving your health on your own terms. Call us at Proactive Wellness Centers today to find out how we can help you take a proactive approach to your health.

Would you know if your child was sick? Here are the signs and symptoms.

58409064_M (2)How can you tell when a child is sick, and needs to be seen by a healthcare provider? It’s a very real concern for many parents. Sometimes a child is too young to tell you when they’re ill, or don’t know yet how to tell you what’s wrong. To make matters even more complicated, symptoms can sometimes be confusing.

So, how can you tell? Sometimes the symptoms are obvious. If your child has a fever, is vomiting or has diarrhea, has a cough, a rash, or is in pain, then you’ll want to call a trusted medical provider. But sometimes the symptoms are more vague.

Here are a list of symptoms to watch for in children. Keep this list handy to consult. Is your child suffering from any of the following issues?

  • Lower than normal energy
  • New troubles with sleeping
  • Out of the ordinary fretfulness, listlessness or irritability
  • Crankiness, and you’re unable to comfort them when you usually can
  • Loss of appetite
  • If your child seems unusually flushed or pale
  • Complaints of feeling cold

These are common symptoms of illness that parents often see in young children. If you’re concerned, it’s worth checking out.

In addition to watching for the symptoms on the list, we also recommend that you trust your instincts. For the most part, if your child is eating, sleeping and playing normally then all is likely to be well. You know your child, and what is likely to be normal for them. But if your child is acting differently than is usual for them, then it’s wise to look for causes and try to determine if they are ill or dealing with a new issue.

Here are some things that can cause new, unusual issues in a child’s behavior and health. If you think any of the following might be an issue, then it’s a good idea to talk with your healthcare provider:

  • Mold in the home
  • Evidence of allergies
  • Food intolerances
  • Other environmental irritants, such as lead
  • Possible parasitic or other infection due to exposure on a trip or outing, or due to pets in the home

You’ll want to make sure to find a health care provider that’s open to reviewing all holistic factors, to make sure you don’t miss underlying issues. You want to take into consideration all factors, including environmental risks and new situations that might have uncovered an issue for your child.

If you’re concerned about your child and want to try a holistic, integrative approach to taking care of the health of your family please don’t hesitate to reach reach out to us. Visit us online to learn more and feel free to reach out with any questions.