Health Symptoms Men Should Not Ignore
It is common knowledge that bleeding,
chest pain, and high fever warrant emergency medical care. But what about less known
symptoms, such as the need to urinate more, or having to strain to use the toilet?
Are they serious? Here are nine symptoms that deserve your attention.
Weight and Fitness
Shortness of Breath
Chest pain is not the only telltale sign of a heart attack.
Everyone’s symptoms are unique. For example, having a hard time catching your
breath after an easy walk may be an early sign of
ischemia, a partial or complete blockage of an artery that carries blood to the
heart. (A complete arterial blockage can cause a heart attack.) Make an appointment to see your doctor
if you experience chest pain or shortness of breath.
symptoms, such as pressure or tightness in your chest, extreme
shortness of breath, or dizziness, warrant a visit to the emergency
Unintended Weight Loss
Unless you are actively trying to slim down, unexplained
loss is a cause for concern. Such weight loss is one of the first signs
of many diseases, including cancer. It is important to see your doctor and
let them know if you are losing weight unintentionally.
Bloody or Black Stools
Stool color can change from day to day based on the foods you are
eating and the medicines you are taking. For example, eating beets can cause
your stool to be alarmingly red. Likewise, iron supplements and diarrhea medicines such as
Pepto-Bismol may temporarily turn your stool black
or tarry. Anything in the brown or green spectrum is normal, but black,
bloody, or lightly colored stool,can be a potential
indicator of a significant underlying problem and deserves prompt medical
Black stool may suggest you are bleeding
somewhere in your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Maroon-colored or
bloody stool may suggest bleeding lower in the GI tract. See your doctor to
check for bleeding, hemorrhoids, or ulcers. Lightly colored stools may signal a problem in the liver
or bile ducts. If you notice unusual changes not explained by
medication use, see your doctor immediately for help.
Frequent urination can be a sign of diabetes or prostate enlargement. People with diabetes urinate frequently
kidneys are working overtime to eliminate excess sugar from the bloodstream. Potential symptoms
of prostate problems include decreased flow when urinating, pelvic-area
discomfort, and blood in your urine or semen. Talk with your doctor if you are
experiencing any of these symptoms. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is common among older
men, but symptoms should never be ignored because they can be identical to
those of other, more serious conditions..
This symptom can be troubling for two
reasons. First, constipation can lead to excessive pushing and straining when
trying to have a bowel movement.
increases your chance of developing hemorrhoids, which can cause bleeding around the rectum. Second, constipation
may signal that something is blocking
stool from exiting properly. Although occasional constipation is normal, and can be more common after age 50, it
could also indicate a tumor, a polyp, or some other condition involving either obstruction
or abnormal colon motility.
Early diagnosis of colon problems is important, given the risks of colon
Other than the obvious concerns regarding sexual performance, erectile dysfunction (ED) can be a sign of an
even more serious
problem, such as cardiovascular disease. ED may also be caused by increased
stress or depression, which can be resolved with therapy or medicine. Men
sometimes have a hard time talking to their doctors about this kind of problem,
but in most cases, there is a solution. Do not be shy about mentioning erectile dysfunction to your physician. It is a condition
that doctors treat often;
there is no need for embarrassment.
men experience occasional heartburn after a greasy burger or a big pile of
spaghetti, but if it
happens after every meal, it might be gastroesophageal
reflux disease (GERD). In people who
have GERD (commonly known as acid reflux), stomach acid flows backward, up the
esophagus. If left untreated, stomach acid can erode the tissues of the
esophagus and cause irritation or ulcers. In a small subset of patients,
chronic GERD can lead to cancer of the esophagus.
Symptoms of GERD may also mimic other rare but
treatable problems of the esophagus, including sphincter dysfunction. Occasionally, a man may
think he has heartburn but
experiencing heart problems. See your doctor if you have a long-standing
complaint of heartburn.
Chronic, loud snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep
apnea—a condition in which the muscles in your throat relax and
temporarily block your airway while you are sleeping. This can cause breathing
problems and disrupt sleep patterns. These constant interruptions may leave you feeling sleepy or fatigued, even after
getting adequate hours of sleep for several nights. If left untreated, sleep
disorders such as sleep apnea can lead to pulmonary hypertension, a serious
lung disease that can lead to heart failure or abnormal heart rhythms. Not surprisingly, snoring, and
obstructive sleep apnea are linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Most men think breast cancer is a women’s
disease, but that is not the case. In fact, each year more than 1,000 men — mostly
between 60 and 70 years of age — are diagnosed with breast cancer. If you feel a lump or
thickening of tissue in
the breast, or if your nipple darkens, turns red, or begins to have
discharge, see your doctor.
Early diagnosis and treatment are just as important for men with breast cancer
as they are for women with the disease.