There are many ailments that affect both men and women, and then there are some unique to each. Studies show that men are more likely to take risks that could lead to injury, they are more likely to smoke and they are also more likely to ignore symptoms and delay treatment.
The major health risks men face, such as prostate cancer, colon cancer or heart disease can be prevented and treated if diagnosed early, so it is vital that men get an annual wellness exam and screening tests.
Low Testosterone (Low-T)
As men age, their level of testosterone decreases. Testosterone is an important male hormone that is responsible for facial hair and muscle mass as well as sperm production and sex drive.
Normal levels of testosterone range from 300 – 1000 ng/dl.
Men with low testosterone levels may experience:
- A drop in sex drive
- Poor erections
- Low sperm count
- Enlarged breasts
- Loss of body hair
- Reduced muscle mass and strength
- Increased body fat
- Weak bones
- Mood changes
- Less energy
Low Testosterone is treated with hormone replacement therapy. There are several ways to replace testosterone.
- Gel or patches
- Pills that stick to your gums
Your doctor will help you decide on the right option for you.
As with all hormone treatments, there are long-term risks. The most serious of these is the risk of developing prostate cancer. Other risks include:
- A high red blood cell count
- Breast enlargement
- An increase in prostate enlargement
- Sleep apnea—the occasional stopping of breathing during sleep – rare
- Fluid buildup (edema) -rare
If you think you may have low testosterone, find out by making an appointment with Dr. Gautam and get tested.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Erectile dysfunction can be a hard thing to talk about, but it is very common. There are more than 3 million cases each year in the US as more and more men are speaking up.
While having erection trouble from time to time is not necessarily a cause for concern, if it becomes an ongoing issue it can cause stress, affect your self-confidence and potentially cause relationship issues.
If you experience any of these symptoms on a persistent basis, talk to your doctor:
- Trouble getting an erection
- Trouble keeping an erection
- Reduced sexual desire
In many cases, ED is caused by something physical such as:
- Heart disease
- Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
- High blood pressure
- Certain prescription medications
- Tobacco use
- Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
- Surgeries or injuries
ED can also be caused by psychologic issues such as:
- Depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions
- Relationship problems due to stress, poor communication or other concerns
The first step to treating ED is to talk to your doctor. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Gautam today.