Tag Archives: men’s health

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

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.




6 Scary Reasons for Men To Stop Avoiding the Doc (Part 1)

According to the CDC, women are 33% more likely to visit the doctor regularly or when health concerns arise than men are. Most men skip annual physicals year after year, thinking “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”. This is a dangerous mentality, as many diseases that commonly strike men creep in silently and gradually, with few or no symptoms (until it is too late). So, while many men may feel invincible to disease, the reality is they are anything but. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common diseases to afflict (and kill) men:

  1. Heart Disease

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, striking 1 in every 4 American men. According to the CDC, between 70-80% of heart attacks and other cardiac events happen to men. Even more starling is the fact that at least half of men who undergo these life-threatening heart episodes had no previous symptoms. So boys, do you see just how important it is to get regular checkups? Only a doctor can tell you how your cholesterol levels are, or if your blood pressure is where it should be. Might be time to book an appointment!

  1. Stroke

A stroke happens when blood flow to the brain is reduced or cut off, and brain cells die off due to lack of oxygen. As the fifth leading cause of death in American men, strokes are all too common in today’s population. Up to 80% of strokes can be prevented by curbing modifiable risk factors such as:

  • Having high blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Leading a high-stress lifestyle
  • Physical inactivity
  • Eating a diet high in take-out and junk food and low in produce
  • Drinking alcohol in excess
  • Being significantly overweight or obese.
  1. Testicular Cancer

Cancer is the second leading cause of disease-related death in the united states, and men succumb to the effects more often than women. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, more than half of all American men will get some form of cancer at some point during their lifetime. Testicular cancer is the most common form for young men, striking over 8700 men and killing approximately 380 of them annually. The shocking prevalence of cancer among men should be enough reason alone for men to attend their annual physical or get a checkup when things don’t seem right, as cancer is much more survivable the earlier it is caught. Lung cancer and prostate cancer also strike males with alarming frequency and smoking is often to blame for the former of the two.

That concludes part 1 of our men’s health feature, stay tuned for part 2 next! Thanks for visiting DocChat!



Testicular Cancer Awareness

Testicular cancer can affect males of any age, but most commonly strikes those between 15 and 34. The American Cancer Society projects 8,720 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2016, resulting in approximately 380 cancer or surgery related deaths. However, most cases of testicular cancer are curable. The key to a positive outcome is early detection and treatment. The survival rate for testicular cancer is very high as many cases are caught and treated before the cancer spreads to surrounding areas.

Types Of Testicular Cancer

There are different types of testicular cancer based on the type of malignant cells. The most common type is germ cell testicular cancer. Approximately 95% of testicular cancer sufferers develop this type. The two main subtypes of germ cell testicular cancer are seminomas and non-seminomas, both of which respond well to chemotherapy.

Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

  • A bump or bulge in either testicle
  • Testicular enlargement or swelling
  • Low back pain
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • Groin pain

Risk Factors

Testicular cancer is a relatively uncommon affliction, affecting an estimated 1 in 263 men so having these risk factors does not mean you will likely develop the condition, some men have several of these and never get TC, while others don’t have any risk factors and still get the disease. Some of the risk factors for testicular cancer include:

  • Family history of testicular cancer
  • Ethnicity: white males are more likely to get the disease
  • Cryptorchidism, an undescended testicle, puts men at higher risk
  • HIV: males who have the HIV virus or AIDS are at increased risk
  • Age: testicular cancer mainly affects young to middle aged men


As with most diseases, there are no sure-fire ways to prevent testicular cancer but there are some measures you can take that may help decrease your odds. The Canadian Cancer Society suggests reducing long term exposure to pesticides as they have been loosely linked to testicular cancer, “More research into the role of pesticide exposure in testicular cancer is needed. However, you should try to avoid or reduce long-term exposure and follow safety rules when working with chemicals such as pesticides.” Avoiding or quitting smoking may help lower your risk as well. Lastly, as men who still have an undescended testicle are at much higher risk of contracting testicular cancer, they should get an orchiopexy (surgical removal of an undescended testicle) to greatly decrease their odds of developing TC.


The foremost defensive measure all males should take against testicular cancer is to perform a routine self-examination which will help you detect any differences in the area that may be problematic. If you perform this examination weekly, you will certainly catch anything at the onset. If you detect any anomalies when performing a self-exam, be sure to contact your primary care physician right away. Often testicular symptoms can be attributed to less threatening conditions, but your doctor will perform the necessary tests to determine if cancer is present. Early detection almost always ensures a positive and treatable outcome.

Thank you for visiting DocChat, we hope you come again soon!


Body Image – Men Struggle Too In A Photoshopped World

The number of men with dieting and body image issues is steadily rising. It is estimated that 45% of North American men are unhappy with their bodies and appearance, a figure that has nearly tripled in 25 years. While it remains undisputed that women have unrealistic media-distorted physical ideals to contend with, it is clear now that men face similar battles being surrounded by countless lean, buff, chiselled images on billboards, television and ads.

Men And Eating Disorders

It isn’t debated that more women suffer from body dysmorphia and eating disorders, but the facts about males may surprise you. While 20 million women will suffer from eating disorders in their lifetime as compared to a reported 10 million men, these statistics may be different in reality; many men are ashamed to report an eating disorder because of its traditional classification as largely a ‘women’s disease’. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), the mortality rate is actually higher among men with eating disorders. Moreover, many men suffer comorbid conditions such as certain mental illnesses, steroid abuse or exercise addictions along with their eating disorders. NEDA also asserts that while eating disorders are much more prevalent in women, “subclinical eating disordered behaviors (including binge eating, purging, laxative abuse and fasting for weight loss) are nearly as common among males as they are among females.”

6 Pack Pressure

In recent years a new male-centric body dysmorphic disorder has emerged called muscle dysmorphia, which mainly affects males interested in bodybuilding. People suffering from muscle dysmorphia will compulsively over-exercise, abuse steroids and supplements, and obsessively tailor their eating to suit the disorder. These men believe themselves to be under-muscular when in actual fact their muscle mass is well above average. Sufferers will often disfigure themselves in the pursuit of the “perfect masculine body”. Even among men who don’t suffer this affliction is the ever-present notion of ‘bulking up’. Men feel pressure to keep up with the media’s tunnel vision perception of how ‘hot men’ should look.

The Role and Toll of the Media

Just as there are increasing pressures on women from the media and social media to use makeup, wear this, do that, push up this and tuck in that, there are similar unfair physical pressures on men to oil up, shave up, muscle up and man up. And not only is ‘fat shaming’ unfortunately still alive and well for both genders, but ‘skinny shaming’ has entered the playing field now too. The internet provides a collective anonymously cruel voice in comment sections on people’s photos or videos, creating a world where virtually no one gets away unscathed. Many men see the virtually unattainable and ever-circulating buff, tanned, hairless, handsome, angular, well-dressed amalgamated image and head for the gym, tanning parlor and clothing stores to emulate him. Both genders have unreachable ideals constantly streamed through feeds and on television, it is no wonder that even the most strong-willed sometimes question themselves against these photoshopped ideals.

We Need A More Positive World

Something clearly needs to change in advertising, social media and television to make way for a more relatable and less threateningly idealized characters and images. There have been ‘body positive’ campaigns, some helpful and some that still just promote one type of body over another, but more needs to change to help everyone be more comfortable in their own skin. Less negativity and more acceptance on the internet would be ideal if we can’t learn to ignore the pressures and bullying. Will these changes ever come to fruition? Hopefully before the statistics about either gender creep up any further.


If you or a loved one suffer with body image or eating issues, you should talk to your doctor or one of our qualified DocChat physicians today to learn about diagnostic and treatment options. NEDA has many great resources such as a helpline for people struggling with eating issues. Thanks for visiting DocChat!