Men's Health: Decade By Decade
We take a look at health care—decade by decade—to ensure the best quality of life for men at every age.
MEN IN THEIR 30S
Men in their 30s are accepting the responsibilities that come with “growing up,” marriage, a career, a mortgage, and kids (or the possibility of kids). Going to the doctor—when not encouraged or physically dragged there—is not very likely for men in this age group. A serious sports injury might warrant a doctor’s visit, but men who ignore a lump or persistent pain are doing themselves a huge disservice by not having it checked out.
Dr. Andrew Will and his team of nurse practitioners and physical therapists at Edina-based Twin Cities Pain Clinic are specifically trained in pain management and rehabilitation, commonly treating neck and back injuries (among other conditions) through a wide range of treatments, including physical therapy, injections, medication, and medical devices to block the pain.
“Pain can really affect your quality of life,” Dr. Will says. “It’s not a life or death issue, but it does limit a person’s ability to enjoy their work, family, friends, sports or hobbies. I encourage any man with persistent pain to at least get it checked out. We see new patients every day. You don’t need a referral.” Call 952-841-2345 to schedule a consultation.
MEN IN THEIR 40S
The 40s are an exciting yet challenging time for many men. Most men still feel young and energetic during this decade, are productive in the workforce, have a certain amount of wisdom, patience, and maturity, and feel capable of either accomplishing more in life or resigning themselves to fate (many men calm down and accept where they are and where they’re going while in their 40s). For some, family is their first priority; for others, it’s work. They have the financial means to explore their interests and hobbies.
During this hectic decade, a rectal examination is necessary. This is because prostate cancer— detectable with a rectal examination—is the leading fatal cancer in non-smoking men in their 40s.
MEN IN THEIR 50S
A man in his 50s might want to slow down a little and enjoy the fruits of his labor—he’s worked hard to get where he is. And if he wants to enjoy life to the fullest, seeing a general practitioner for regular checkups is absolutely imperative. (On average, men visit their doctor 40 percent less than women.) Compared with men in younger age groups, men in their 50s have an increased risk of bowel, prostate, and lung cancer. Mental health is important, too. This is the decade of letting go. With age comes experience, acceptance, peace, and wisdom.
This also is the decade of better understanding your hormones and the important role they play. Hormones regulate metabolism, immunity and temperature. When hormones are plentiful and well balanced, for example when we are 25 years old, our bodies function optimally. As we proceed through midlife, hormone levels change. When hormones are deficient and unbalanced, we develop various medical problems.
It’s the goal of Dr. Khalid Mahmud, founder of Innovative Directions in Health, to help men understand the root causes behind why they might be gaining weight and losing their energy, motivation, focus, muscle tone, or sexual desire, and then prescribe natural substances to revive the body—such as bio-identical hormones, appropriate antioxidants, and other targeted supplements—that pull double-duty making men feel better now and lowering the risks of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, adult-onset diabetes, stroke, and cancer down the road.
Board-certified in anti-aging medicine, internal medicine, hematology, and oncology, it is a goal of Dr. Mahmud’s to help his patients achieve the “optimum” of wellness and longevity with treatments in the preventive health care field, without artificial drugs.
“Our current health care system is broken,” he says. “We wait until we get a disease to treat it. That’s not health care. That’s disease care. We need to pay attention to when these degenerative processes begin and take action. When we do that, we can add years to our life and life to our years.” Call 952-922-2345 for a consultation.
MEN IN THEIR 60s & BEYOND
People today are living longer than in any other time in history. There is better healthcare treatment and prevention, better medical technology, better research. Gone are the images of retirees sitting idly in their rocking chairs. Today’s retirees are living life to the fullest as more people realize the benefits of good nutrition and exercise to keep heart disease, osteoporosis, and some types of cancer at bay. Sleep, though, can be an entirely different issue.
According to a study conducted by The Sleep Medicine Center, more than half of men and women over the age of 65 complain of at least one sleep problem. Many older people experience some form of snoring or obstructive sleep apnea—where people stop breathing for 10 or more seconds at a time, then abruptly begin breathing again, often with a snort. “If you live long enough, you will develop sleep apnea because of the aging process,” explains Dr. Roy Hakala of The Minnesota Craniofacial Center Midway, St. Paul. “Obstructive sleep apnea is not just a social situation, it produces or aggravates high blood pressure, blood sugar, and acid reflux, diminishes the immune function, increases anxiety and irritability, and may even be linked to Alzheimer’s.”
Sleep apnea sufferers don’t get enough oxygen as they sleep and might wake with morning headaches. Sometimes, they wake feeling more tired than when they went to bed, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness and dozing off inappropriately.
For some people, a CPAP nightstand machine and nose mask is the answer, but for those who are unwilling or unable to use the often uncomfortable and cumbersome CPAP, small oral appliances that keep the lower jaw and tongue forward make all the difference in the world, plus they’re easy to wear and maintain. Regardless of your age, good restorative sleep is essential to physical health and emotional well-being.
“We can help people get their lives back,” Dr. Hakala says. Call 651-642-1013 for a consultation.