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MAY 5, 2015 by APRIL McCARTHY
7 Symptoms Men Ignore Which Could Lead To Serious Health Problems


Maybe it's just a guy thing, but most men often take a backseat when addressing health concerns. Study after study has shown that men are more reluctant to face up to worrisome symptoms or have them addressed by competent health professionals. Here are the six most common ones that men should not ignore.

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1) Chest Pain: Most men associate chest pain with a heart attack, but there are several other health conditions that share this symptom. Men are less likely to see themselves as susceptible to chest pain when, in fact, they are more susceptible. A lung condition such as pneumonia, a pulmonary embolism, or asthma are also associated with constant chest pain. "With increasing stress levels and unhealthy food habits, gastrointestinal health condition such as acid reflux or stomach ulcer are common among men. These conditions cause severe chest pain and should not be ignored," says Dr. Hemant Mittal, consultant psychiatrist, counsellor and motivational speaker.

2) Breathlessness: Falling short of breath is a common complaint among men, and it indicates serious health concerns related to cardiovascular system. Most men don't want to find out why they're our of breath as they see it as an issue they may have to deal with something that could disrupt their life. However, it may indicate lung diseases, such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, or pulmonary hypertension. In fact, breathlessness is also sign of anemia, which is common in men these days.

3) Fatigue: Men experience extreme tiredness and an ongoing lack of energy on a regular basis. Experts say many men view fatigue as a vulnerability, the polar opposite of masculinity and hence avoid seeking help. .In some cases it goes even further to include lack of motivation, negativity and lack of sleep. "Fatigue can also be a symptom of a more serious physical or psychological health condition. Cancer, congestive heart failure, diabetes, arthritis, infections, and kidney or liver disease are a few serious ailments that are linked to fatigue, which should not be ignored. It can also indicate the malfunctioning of the thyroid gland," says Dr. Pravin Dehana, general physician.

4) Depression: Depression isn't just a bad mood, a rough patch, or the blues. It's an emotional disturbance that affects your whole body and overall health. Statitistics indicate that men are more prone to depression, the reason being men undergo a lot of stress — from a lot of expectations to fulfill for family and society. Experts previously thought depression affected far more women than men. But that may just be men's tendency to hide depressed feelings, or express them in ways different than women's. This leads to restlessness, stress and depression as they are not vocal about their problems. "Depression results from over activity of the brain trying to get neurochemicals (like serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine) to function from all over the body. The brain then goes to a shutdown mode. While, in depression, the brain stops a lot of activity to preserve these chemicals, which leads to anger and suicidal thoughts," says Dr. Hemant Mittal.

5) Memory loss: It's not as simple as forgetting where you kept the cheque book or those important papers. Forgetfulness is more common in men than women. "Forgetfulness can be caused by age to some extent. However, it can also indicate several other serious issues like Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, brain tumours, brain damage or inflammation, etc. Vitamin deficiencies also cause memory loss, which is not is not a good sign," adds Dr. Mittal.

6) Erectile Dysfunction: It may not be life threatening, but Erectile Dysfunction (ED) still signals an important health problem. Two-thirds of men older than 70 and up to 39% of 40-year-old men have problems with erectile dysfunction. Men with ED report less enjoyment in life and are more likely to be depressed. Erectile dysfunction is most often caused by atherosclerosis -- the same process that causes heart attacks and strokes. In fact, having ED frequently means that blood vessels throughout the body are in less-than-perfect health. Doctors consider erectile dysfunction an early warning sign for cardiovascular disease.

7) Urinary crisis: Just like women, men also undergo genital issues which are largely ignored. Bloody urine or trouble in urinating among men is of serious concern, as it can be due to kidney and liver disorders. Bloody urine can be a symptom for prostate cancer and kidney stone, inflammation of bladder. "If ignored, this can lead to further complications among them. Enlarged prostate or prostate cancer is very common among men, but men tend to ignore the early signs, which aggravate the problem," says Dr. Anand Biswas, DNB Urology.

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