Men, on average, have life spans that are five years shorter than women, and make half as many yearly doctors’ visits. From childhood, many men are encouraged by society to suppress emotional or physical discomfort and to “suck it up.” While these conceptions of masculinity are shifting, many men are still encouraged to ignore concern over injury or discomfort. These factors can be a special challenge as you are tasked with providing preventative medicine and the early detection of diseases.
Men’s Health Month is an important opportunity to highlight these challenges and barriers to men’s health and the importance of stressing prevention, detection, and education. Encourage your patients to schedule regular checkups and stress the importance of being proactive about addressing symptoms. It is particularly important to talk openly about the need to screen for diseases that can be uncomfortable for patients to talk about but are often treatable if caught in the early stages.
Opening the conversation helps remove stigma and can have a big impact on:
Many patients may not know that testicular cancer can occur as early as age 15 or may be unaware that they can perform self-exams. Others may understand the seriousness of prostate cancer but fear the prospect of a rectal exam and are unaware that there are alternatives like blood tests that can also be used as screening tools.
2. Mental Health
We know that telling someone to “man up” will not alleviate emotional distress or eliminate mental health disorders. This kind of language serves to prevent many from seeking the help they need. Creating a safe, stigma-free space for men to voice their mental health concerns and seek resources is especially important.
3. Sexual Health & Hormone Balance
Encouraging men to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases is important. Additionally, while erectile dysfunction or lack of libido might be uncomfortable to discuss, these symptoms should be addressed, and may also indicate broader health concerns, like hormone imbalance.
Testosterone & Men’s Health
While it can be hard to talk about, low testosterone can have a serious impact on overall male physical and emotional health. Erectile dysfunction and low libido maybe symptoms underlying a testosterone dysfunction, which can have broad-ranging implications on overall health. Unfortunately, only 5% of men with testosterone insufficiency receive hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
By providing patients with the BioTE method of Hormone Optimization, you are utilizing a comprehensive diagnostic technique that pairs blood testing of total and free testosterone measurements with a clinical survey that puts the numbers into a context built around your individual patient. There is no one “magic” number, every man is different, and treating each patient as unique is vital to providing the right solution to each patient.
Low testosterone may have a wide range of influences on overall health and well being. These can include low energy levels, insomnia, weight gain (especially around the midsection), brain fog, loss of muscle mass, decreased libido, decreased sexual performance (erectile dysfunction), joint pains, and mood disturbances, including irritability.
As testosterone decreases, there is also an increase in inflammatory cytokines in the brain, leading to more free radicals and oxidative stress. This causes damage to the endothelium, brain cells, and mitochondria, restoring testosterone levels increases blood flow to the brain, decrease beta amyloid deposition in the brain, and decreasing inflammatory cytokines. Many patients have reported an increase in mental clarity.
Testosterone Replacement in Men
Optimizing testosterone using the BioTE Method of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, may help alleviate the challenges associated with low testosterone. While the benefits of optimizing testosterone maybe overwhelmingly positive, seeking new care can be intimidating. After receiving testosterone replacement, many patients report:
- Less body fat, especially around the mid-section
- Increased energy levels
- Retention of muscle mass
- Heightened mood
- Increased libido and sexual function