Men’s health centers around the function of the prostate, the genital area, hair growth, energy, fitness and plastic surgery. Of course, in the back of a man’s mind there is the concern that he will be attractive to a sexual partner.
One of the common complaints of men is erectile dysfunction (also called “impotence”). In the past it was perhaps thought to be due to the normal aging process, but in recent years it has become more obvious that there is a connection between obesity and erectile dysfunction. A study from the Cornell University (NY) has shown that 80% of men with a waist line of greater than 40 inches have erectile dysfunction. In contrast only 35% of men with a waistline of 10 inches less than the fist group will have this problem. Other studies have confirmed that the metabolic syndrome is what is responsible for this difference not only in men, but also in more subtle ways in women (polycystic ovaries, infertility, menopausal symptoms). There are a number of factors that have been implemented with regard to erectile dysfunction.
Hormone changes similar to those that cause menopause in women do occur in males around the age of 45 to 60 years. However these changes are not as obvious in men as they are in women (see details here).
One of the problems for men in midlife and beyond is the fact that 50% are getting problems with an enlargement of the prostate. Much has been learnt about this problem, but not all answers are out yet. Here is a summary about this problem.
Males in the age group of 15 to 25 (the “single years”) are prone to chronic infection of the prostate gland. This condition is known as prostatitis.
Testosterone is the male hormone, produced mainly by the testicles, but also in the adrenal glands. The enzyme 5-alpha-reductase is present in androgen susceptible hair follicles on the scalp and it converts testosterone to DHT. This leads to premature hair loss in the scalp area and causes male type baldness. As there are genetic differences with respect to androgen response, it would explain why some men develop baldness earlier than others. Here is a link to a chapter on baldness (alopecia) and what can be done about it.
Plastic surgery in men
Many of these surgical procedures to improve cosmetic appearance that used to be the domain of women for many years, are more and more used by men.
After personal or sports injuries there can be an unsightly, deformed nose and a rhinoplasty can be done to rectify this. Some men were born with ears that stick out and a minor plastic surgery can rectify this. However, face lifts and removal of excessive skin after major weight loss are routine procedures in males now and are done on a large scale. Baldness can also be permanently solved by hair transplants.
1. Erectile dysfunction: Ferri’s Clinical Advisor 2007: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment, 9th ed.
2. Baldness: Habif: Clinical Dermatology, 4th ed., 2004, Mosby: Androgenic alopecia in men (male-pattern baldness)
3. Face lift: Cummings: Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery, 4th ed., Mosby 2005. Chapter 32 – Managament of the aging periorbital area; Chapter 31 – Managament of the aging brow and forehead.