We men are notoriously reluctant to go to the doctor. It probably stems from our aversion to admitting weakness to other men. Men are raised to be strong, dependable and tough. We are used to people leaning on us, not the other way around. When it comes to our bodies, though, we should pay attention to any symptoms and get them checked out if they become a problem.
Here are 10 health symptoms men should never ignore:
Chronic stress can cause mental health issues like depression, insomnia and anger management issues. But, it can also be a contributing factor to biological issues like heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Try to set aside time for yourself to relieve stress, whether it is a hard workout or relaxing with friends and family.
2. Erectile dysfunction
Men are pretty sensitive when it comes to the family jewels, the twig and berries, junk, or manhood. We define ourselves by it. So, when it isn’t working right, we don’t want to advertise it. It is a secret source of shame, but it might also be a sign of an underlying condition. Cardiovascular disease, or Arteriosclerosis, could cause reduced blood flow to the smaller blood vessels in the penis and inhibit the ability to get an erection. If you are having trouble getting or keeping an erection, then go see a doctor and have some bloodwork done just to be on the safe side. If anything, it just may be stress, but get it checked out anyway.
3. Lumps on testicles
In order to keep your health intact, you should check your testicles regularly for any lumps. The testicles should be smooth, so if you find any abnormalities, you should get them checked. It could be something like a cyst or fluid buildup, but it could also be testicular cancer.
4. Difficulty urinating or urinating often
If you are getting up in the middle of the night to urinate only to have either nothing come out or dribbling before you get there, then you might have an issue with your prostate. The prostate produces the fluid your sperm swim around in and sits right under your bladder near the tube (Urethra) that goes from the bladder to your penis. When the prostate is inflamed or swollen, it puts pressure on the bladder (making you feel like you have to pee) or pinches the urethra (making it hard to pee even when you have to). Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer in men, and you should be getting it checked every year over the age of forty.
5. Persistent cough
A cough from a cold or flu should only last a week or so, but if it lasts for three weeks or longer, then it could be a sign of a persistent lung infection, COPD or lung cancer. Smoking increases your chance of having some, or all, of these issues, but you can still get them even if you don’t smoke. If your cough lasts for more than three weeks, then go get it checked out.
6. Changes in stool
If you have long term diarrhea or constipation (and haven’t changed your diet), or notice your stool is very dark (black), then you need to see a doctor. Colon cancer is another leading cause of death among men and can cause changes in your stool or ability to have a good bowel movement. If your stool is dark, almost black, then that is a sign of bleeding near your stomach or small intestine. So if you notice changes, then go see a doctor.
7. Large moles
Everybody has a mole or two, but if you notice new moles forming on areas of skin that get a lot of sun (like your arms and face), then get them checked out by a dermatologist.
8. Bloody urine
Blood in the urine can be a sign of bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is most commonly caused by smoking, as the chemicals in cigarettes get into the bloodstream and cause changes to the bladder cells over many years. Other signs of bladder cancer can be abdominal pain, weight loss for no reason, lower back pain and frequent or recurring bladder infections. See your doctor immediately if you have blood in your urine.
9. Pain in your big toe
Pain in the big toe can be an early sign of gout. Gout happens when your body is not eliminating all of the uric acid. Uric acid builds up and forms tiny crystals of sodium urate in and around joints. These crystals eventually build up into hard lumps of crystal in and around joints causing those joints to be stiff and painful. In men, symptoms usually begin after the age of 30.
10. Lumps near the nipples
Lumps are never a good thing, and while women have had a very successful campaign to make women aware of breast cancer, there is no campaign for men. Yes, men can and do get breast cancer. So, if you feel a lump near your nipples or in your pecs, go get them checked out by a doctor.
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The bottom line, guys, is that if something feels wrong in your body, put any stubbornness aside and go get yourself checked out.