Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • January 2016
Written by 

The health of our men

Last month, my article was titled, Standard American Diet (SAD) — Is it feminizing our men? The answer is yes! The SAD is laden with foods high in animal fats, unhealthy saturated and hydrogenated fats, high in processed foods and low in fiber, complex carbohydrates, and plant based foods. This is not only a contributor to decreasing testosterone levels and the increasing of estrogen in our male counterparts, but it also further plays a role in metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, atherosclerosis, stroke and cancers.

According to a 2007 article in Journal of Sexual Medicine, it was estimated that diabetes alone costs Medicare $110 billion! Also, obesity and lack of exercise is estimated to be responsible for one thousand American deaths daily. This trend continues to climb in our society and is estimated to overtake smoking as one of the leading preventable causes of death in the US, according to a Harvard publication. What is even more “SAD” is that the US spends more money on cancer research than any country in the world, yet the American diet contributes to the very disease we are spending money to prevent!

The fact is our diets are definitely problematic in our society in general. But it seems there is not as much focus on the health of our aging men as in Women’s Heath (breast and female cancers, menopausal conditions, heart disease, etc.). It is known that women definitely experience a variety of female conditions, but men also face hormonal conditions too.

Changes that occur in a man’s mid to later years is often referred to as andropause, which is a transition associated with low testosterone levels. Low testosterone levels may also be called hypogonadism, low T, testosterone deficiency syndrome and late-onset hypogonadism. Symptoms of low T can include: fatigue, loss of libido, memory problems, depression, lack of motivation, irritability, gynecomastia (excess breast tissue), decreased energy/muscle mass to name a few. These are real conditions that exist in men, whether they admit it or not. Unfortunately it is not taken into account or discussed like women’s health issues tend to be.

Like women’s health, men’s health is equally important and has been called by some as a “health crisis or silent health crisis” because men on average live sicker and die younger than women according to Dr. David Gremillion of Men’s Health Network. It’s no secret men do not visit the doctor as often as women — most men take better care of their vehicles than they do themselves. Several aging/sociological groups (American, International and European) stressed in the International Journal of Impotence Research that low T “may result in significant detriment in the quality of life and adversely affect the function of multiple organ systems.”

Now if you’re a man reading this, you may be thinking of a few or maybe all of these: “There’s nothing wrong with me,” “I don’t have a doctor,” “No insurance, it costs too much,” “I don’t have time,” “They have to do what, or put what where?” “Doctors don’t do anything” (other than probe areas you do not want probed and/or run tests),” “Why go when I already know what they are going to tell me (lose weight, quit smoking, exercise, etc.)?” “I’ll tough it out — I’m a man,” or the best one, “My wife keeps nagging me to go.”

If you’re nodding your head yes to any of these excuses, you are not alone. But, if you think wellness is expensive, you should try illness! For instance, there are many health conditions (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar) to name a few, that are in fact “silent” — you do not experience any real recognizable or significant symptoms until it causes a big symptom, a bigger problem like a heart attack or stroke. Discovering a smaller issue can be a lot easier to deal with than be slapped with a big one. And right along the same lines, it makes more sense to spend a little money, and save a lot, than vice versa. Not to mention if you think doctor visits are expensive, how about a hospital visit or stay for that matter. This also puts it into perspective a bit better: there are approximately 8,766 hours in a year, and going to a doctor appointment will take how many hours?

Andropause is essentially about preventative medicine during the aging process. If we begin to take this into account, we will not only be improving the quality of life of the men in our lives, but it can be cost savings in the long run. The savings overall could be tremendous and seen in our health/wellness, relationships, our finances (individual/societal) and our lives in general.

Therefore is estrogen balance necessary for men? More and more research is pointing to yes because estrogen dominance in men can double their risk of stroke and contribute to higher incidence of coronary artery disease, according to a Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) article. There has not been enough attention paid to the aging of our men.

So urge the men in your lives to take time out for their health. Abraham Morgentaler, MD, FACS - Urologist, said it best, “We always have choices when it comes to our health. For many men with low T, learning about the condition and finding help to treat it is a good choice — a choice of life.”

Suzanne Linton, NP

Suzanne Linton, ANP-BC, APNP, is the newest Nurse Practitioner to join Wise Woman Wellness LLC, an innovative wellness and hormone center at 1480 Swan Road, De Pere. Linton is a board certified Adult Nurse Practitioner and an expert in sexual health and integrative medicine. Along with caring for women with hormonal imbalances, Linton directs the new Wise Woman Wellness’ Men’s Vitality Program (MVP). This program is designed to help men who are suffering from hormonal imbalances such as thyroid, Andropause or Low T. This program uses laboratory testing along with physiological symptoms to outline a custom program for each individual male. The program includes lifestyle coaching, nutritional guidance, supplement recommendations, sexual help and hormone replacement if needed to restore the vitality lost as men age. Please contact her at 920-339-5252 or via the Internet at www.wisewomanwellness.com.

Website: www.wisewomanwellness.com
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