Many men have a hard time making appointments with a doctor and are inclined to not seek medical help until it is absolutely necessary. With an eye toward prevention, we took an overview of the health issues men should be aware of.
General health concerns for men include awareness of developing health conditions that can affect the heart, eyes, joints, and other body functions. Although osteoporosis is not as common in men, this disease afflicts approximately 5 million men in the U.S. according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation . A bone density test can be arranged by your healthcare provider. Other health screenings specific to men include prostate, colon and testicular health, as well as cholesterol, blood glucose, and testosterone levels. Men need to be proactive and keep up routine health screenings with their primary care physician to stay on top of their health and wellness . We also suggest getting serum Vitamin D levels checked as 95% of Americans don’t get enough in their diets alone and approximately 40% have either insufficient or deficient blood levels of Vitamin D .
Issues in Men's Health Based on Age
In the 20-40 range, men should periodically visit their physician for complete physicals. Many men neglect such visits, even though they can detect health concerns early on that prompt necessary treatment. For example, testosterone levels tend to decrease after 35 years of age and can cause muscle loss, weight gain in the midsection, and fatigue. It is estimated that nearly 40% of men aged 45 and older have low testosterone . As men age, they might develop benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) or enlarged prostate. In fact, BPH is the most common prostate issue for men over age 50 . Therefore, men 40 years and older should periodically undergo physical examinations for prostate health. Erectile dysfunction incidence also rises with age, starting at around 8% of men aged 40-49 years to about 77% of men above age 75 . In addition, other age-related health concerns for older adults include heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and osteoporosis .
A well-balanced diet is the backbone of a healthy lifestyle. Why? Because what we eat determines which nutrients get absorbed and used by our body. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are regularly updated to help both children and adults meet nutrient needs and promote health and wellness. The core elements that make up a healthy diet include vegetables of all types (dark leafy, red, orange, and starchy), fruits, whole grains, dairy (fat-free or low-fat), lean meats (poultry, turkey), eggs, seafood, legumes, nuts, and seeds. The Guidelines stress that nutritional needs should be met by consuming nutrient-dense foods and beverages with little to no added sugars and sodium . The foods listed here will provide many essential nutrients our bodies need to function, like the letter vitamins (A, C, D, E, and K), minerals such as Zinc, Magnesium, and Potassium, as well as fatty acids like the Omega-3s EPA and DHA found in seafood, however, many of us need dietary supplements to help fill in nutrient gaps in our diets. It’s best to check with your healthcare provider to see if you are getting enough of these essential nutrients through food, and if not, you can consult about any diet changes or use of dietary supplements.
Visit your physician periodically for complete examinations and physicals. Educate yourself on specific health issues concerning men and the preventative measures that can be taken. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and get regular exercise, if you are safely able to do so, to help maintain a healthy weight and help control stress. Talk to your doctor about filling in nutrient gaps with dietary supplements.
Continue to check back on the Nature Made blog for the latest science-backed articles to help you take ownership of your health.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice or a recommendation for any specific product. Consult your health care provider for more information.
“Learn What Osteoporosis Is and What It's Caused By.” Bone Health & Osteoporosis Foundation, 12 Apr. 2021. Accessed on June 2, 2022: https://www.bonehealthandosteoporosis.org/patients/what-is-osteoporosis/.
Tri-City Medical Center. “Your Guide to Health Screenings by Age [Infographic].” 29 Dec. 2018. Accessed on June 1, 2022: https://www.tricitymed.org/2016/09/guide-health-screenings-age-infographic/.
Gareri, Pietro, et al. “Erectile Dysfunction in the Elderly: An Old Widespread Issue with Novel Treatment Perspectives.” International Journal of Endocrinology, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2014. Accessed on June 2, 2022: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3976909/#B6.
Jaul, Efraim, and Jeremy Barron. “Age-Related Diseases and Clinical and Public Health Implications for the 85 Years Old and over Population.” Frontiers in Public Health, Frontiers Media S.A., 11 Dec. 2017. Accessed on June 2, 2022: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5732407/.
S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020. Available at DietaryGuidelines.gov.
Amy has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University in Los Angeles and is a credentialed English teacher, though she left the classroom to write full time. She especially enjoys creating educational content about health, wellness, and nutrition. Her happy place is in the kitchen, and when not writing, you can find her trying out “kid-friendly recipes” and “healthy desserts for chocolate lovers” from her Pinterest board.
Senior Manager, Medical and Scientific Communications
Melissa is a Registered Dietitian and provides leadership to Pharmavite’s Medical and Scientific Education team. She has over 20 years of experience educating consumers, healthcare professionals, retailers and employees about nutrition, dietary supplements, and overall wellness. Prior to joining the Medical and Scientific Communications team, Melissa launched and managed Pharmavite’s Consumer Affairs department and worked as a clinical dietitian throughout Southern California. Melissa received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, and completed her dietetic internship at Veteran’s Hospital in East Orange New Jersey.