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6 Scary Reasons for Men To Stop Avoiding the Doc (Part 2)

Written by Courteney

Posted on September 16, 2016 at 11:20 pm

Men simply don’t visit the doctor enough and the proof is in the disease statistics. In Part 1 we looked at the prevalence of heart disease, stroke and cancer among men, so now for a look at depression, diabetes and sexually transmitted diseases:

  1. Depression

Over 6 million American men will struggle with depression annually but unfortunately, statistics show that men are far less likely to seek help for their depression than women. Moreover, depression often doesn’t present the same way between the sexes. The American Psychological Association explains that while women are more likely to battle feelings of guilt, sadness, worthlessness and shame, for men, depression manifests itself as anger (sometimes even episodes of verbal or physical abuse), irritation, lack of motivation, life or job dissatisfaction, and loss of interest in usual activities. Men are also more likely to dangerously self medicate with recreational drugs or alcohol, which compounds the depression, as alcohol is a depressant. It is extremely important for men who are noticing some of these symptoms to go to the doctor and speak up about it to get help. Untreated depression in men can lead to other complications such as sexual dysfunction, job loss, alcohol dependence or even suicidal thoughts (or actions). So see your doctor ASAP if you are experiencing depression symptoms.

  1. Diabetes

More and more men these days are developing diabetes and other kidney problems like chronic kidney disease. Of the 29 million Americans with diabetes, a shocking 25% of those don’t even know they have it. Excess alcohol consumption (which is more prevalent with men as well) and poor diet are both contributing factors to diabetes. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Too much alcohol can cause chronic inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), which can impair its ability to secrete insulin and ultimately lead to diabetes.” Excess alcohol consumption can also contribute to virtually all of the other diseases on our list as well, so it is important to keep alcohol intake under about 2 drinks daily for men.

 

  1. Sexually Transmitted Disease

Sexually transmitted infections are rampant in America for both men and women, but as many men don’t get screened as regularly, they may not even realize they are silently carrying STIs that can cause harm to both themselves and their partners. Some of the main culprits for men include:

  • HPV – The vast majority of sexually active people will contract a form of the human papilloma virus. While most types are harmless and won’t cause problems, other types can lead to terrible warts or even cancer. Men are often carriers of HPV and pass it to women who man go on to develop precancerous cells or other reproductive issues.
  • Herpes – Nearly 20% of men will contract some type of herpes, most of whom will be under 25 years of age. Herpes is quite an unpleasant disease that can lead to terrible blisters, fever and swollen lymph nodes.
  • HIV – Perhaps the most frightening of all STDs is HIV, which often leads to life-threatening AIDS. HIV can lay dormant for years before developing into AIDS or causing other health problems.
  • Hepatitis B and C – are conditions that cause inflammation of the liver and can be passed from person to person via sexual contact. If left untreated, hepatitis can lead to permanent liver damage or even liver cancer.

There are many other STDs that commonly affect men, including chlamydia and syphilis, so it is important to get regular checkups and screenings to catch and treat any STDs early to avoid future complications or the risk of passing the disease to a partner.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Hopefully some of these scary statistics really hammered home how important it is to attend regular checkups, whether or not you feel sick. If you have any questions or concerns about the health problems listed above (or any other ones), our board certified DocChat doctors are standing by 24/7/365.

 

 

 

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