June is Men’s Health Month, and there are a few alarming facts everyone should be aware of, whether it’s to optimize their own health or to take better care of their loved ones.
- Men die at higher rates than women from the top 10 causes of death
- The average male life expectancy is 5 years less than females
- Men are less likely than women to attend preventative medical visits, contributing to their under-diagnosed health issues
- Depression is higher in men than women in both young and elderly age groups, and is under-diagnosed. Because of this, men are also more likely to commit suicide when their health is not properly managed.
Naturopathic Physican Examines Low Testosterone & Men’s Health
By the time men reach 100 years of age, women outnumber men almost 5 to 1.
The factors that influence the more drastic aging and disease processes in men are modifiable with proper medical care from a men’s health physician.
For instance, testosterone levels in men can decline at a pre-mature age due to unmanaged stress, poor diet, harsh drugs, and environmental toxin exposure. Optimal amounts of testosterone are needed to reduce inflammation, support maintenance of muscle mass, and maintain heart and brain function.
Low testosterone is associated with:
- Dying at an earlier age from any cause, including heart disease
- Increased rates of heart attacks and strokes
- Increased brain aging, including reduced memory, reduced intelligence, and increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s
- Other signs of poor physical and mental function: fatigue, depression, low libido, lack of motivation, decreased exercise performance, inability to lose fat or build muscle, and more.
Moreover, increased rates of depression and suicide can be addressed by maintaining better physical health. Optimized testosterone levels are significantly associated with increased motivation, improved mood and prevention of the cognitive decline, such as that seen in severe depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
4 Tips from Portland Naturopaths to Positively Impacting Men’s Health
A few ideas to consider include:
- Use the 30 days in June to complete a whole foods health challenge, such as the Whole30. Re-establishing healthy relationships with food is the most important step in reversing the alarming health statistics facing men today. (Whole30.com)
- Join a gym and treat yourself to a series of personal training sessions. The majority of calories you burn in a day come from your resting metabolic rate, not from the amount of exercise you do. Strength training and developing muscle mass is more effective for weight loss than aerobic exercise, such as running or biking. There are numerous other health benefits to maintaining good strength.
- Spend time outside. Even short doses of nature have measurable impacts on your hormones, vital signs, and ability to manage stress. These are all key to longevity.
- Finally, make an appointment with a Men’s Health Naturopathic Physician who understands what makes men’s health unique and motivates men to stay on top of their health.
Dr Jason Wells is a naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist.