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The average lifespan for men is about 5 years shorter than for women. This is down from a seven year difference several years ago but more improvement can be made. This will require men to pay more attention to their bodies. A man's life span is less than a woman's for several reasons. Men smoke and drink more than women and in general lead less healthy lives. Men are generally more hesitant to seek medical attention particularly in non-emergency situations. Men also engage in more risky and dangerous activities than women. Because men tend to define themselves by their jobs, their stress levels tend to be higher.
Men need to devote special attention to several specific areas of health concerns.
1. Prostate health - Prostate cancer is a condition unique to men. Diagnosed early it is highly treatable Other prostate conditions can interfere with quality of life. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) results in an enlarged prostate causing difficulty urinating. There is evidence that BPH can be positively impacted and possibly prevented by natural supplements including beta sitosterol and saw palmetto.
2. Cardiovascular health - Poor diet combined with stress and inactivity all contribute to increased poor cardiovascular health. High blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels can lead to stroke or heart attack if not treated. Natural supplements like Red Yeast Rice can help lower cholesterol. Omega 3 fatty acids may improve heart health.
3. Diabetes - Undiagnosed or untreated, diabetes can lead to serious health problems or death. Men are more likely than women to ignore dietary guidelines or prescribed medication resulting in higher incidence of blindness, kidney disease, and other diabetic conditions.
4. Cancer - Lung cancer, colorectal cancer and testicular cancer are common among men but in many cases treatable if diagnosed early.
5. Emotional health - Stress and depression occur in men more frequently than most realize, but due to pride men are less likely to seek help for these conditions than women.
6. Substance abuse - alcohol and recreational drug use can have damaging, long-term effects in men.
How can a man have a healthy life?
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1. Eat healthy - Strive for a low-fat and low cholesterol diet. Include more fruits and vegetables and less red meat and processed or high sugar foods.
2. Maintain a healthy weight - Obesity increases the likelihood of debilitating diseases.
3. Increase activity - Get off the couch and do something. More than half of all men do not get enough physical activity to benefit their health.
4. Do not smoke.
5. See the doctor for routine tests and screenings. As you age get tested routinely for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, and cancers of the skin, prostate and colon.
6. Manage stress.