Your clean bill of health may not be so squeaky after all. Even the strongest, most active (and proactive) men will experience a few health hiccups as they get older.
These conditions strike the majority of men by middle age. Here’s how to help fend them off and stay healthy for life.
If you can escape acne your whole life, consider yourself lucky. Up to 85 percent of teens suffer from the skin condition, and for many guys, breakouts persist well into adulthood.
The average adult male acne patient is 39.5 years old. Think about seeing a doctor if your acne is severe or doesn’t respond to over-the-counter treatments.
According to a study, high-glycemic foods, such as rice, potatoes, bread, and sugary snacks and drinks, may contribute to acne.
A diet loaded with sugars and starches causes a rise in insulin and blood glucose, which may influence hormones and other proteins that make breakouts worse, the researchers say. For a healthy face (and body), limit your carb intake to no more than 40 percent of your total daily calories and eliminate high-glycemic foods.
#2: Male Pattern Baldness
This condition affects 67 percent of middle-aged men, according to a recent study from Finland. Hair loss happens when hair follicles become sensitized to dihydrotestosterone. This male hormone, also known as DHT, is more potent than testosterone.
When DHT binds to receptors in the dermal papilla—part of the hair follicle—it shortens your hair’s growth phase so that each new hair comes in shorter and finer than the previous one.
#3: Epstein-Barr Virus
This is the bug that causes mononucleosis, the infamous “kissing disease” you may have contracted at some point in college. But even if you never felt the ravages of mono, there’s a good chance the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is lurking somewhere in your body.
About 95 percent of adults over age 30 carry it. EBV transmits very easily. It is mostly through person-to-person contact, especially through saliva.
Many people have no symptoms or very mild symptoms. Your doctor can easily test your blood for the virus if you’re concerned about it.
#4: Gum Disease
This mouth malady strikes more than half of men. To reduce your risk, make friends with floss.
In a recent study from Japan, people who didn’t floss were 95 percent more likely to develop periodontal pockets, a hallmark of gum disease. Smokers also had a 71 percent increased risk, while those who only brushed their teeth once a day or less were 33 percent more likely to develop gum disease.
About 54 percent of adults carry the herpes simplex virus 1, while 16 percent carry herpes simplex virus 2, according to research from the CDC. HSV-1 is often the culprit behind cold sores, while HSV-2 frequently causes genital herpes.
To avoid the scarier second type, always use a condom unless you’re absolutely certain that your partner is herpes-free. Every unprotected sex act increases a person’s risk of herpes by about 4 percent.
That’s the human papillomavirus, a very common sexually transmitted infection that can cause genital warts. Just over half of men 18 to 40 were infected with at least one strain of the virus.
Many strains of HPV are essentially harmless—however, HPV 16 and HPV 18 have been linked to an increased risk of various cancers. Safe sex is the best way to stay clean.
The average person will have five norovirus-caused gastrointestinal infections in their life, according to CDC estimates. You can catch this bug from food, surfaces, and—most commonly—other people.
Poop and vomit are reservoirs for millions to billions of virus cells, but you only need to be exposed to a few thousand to end up leaning over the toilet bowl. Worse yet, your immune system may not remember the bug next time you’re exposed.
It appears that people have short-term immunity, but they don’t really have long-term immunity to noroviruses. There’s a lot of strain evolution, so new viruses are popping up all the time.
Your risk is highest in tight quarters—like on cruise ships. Wash your hands frequently and be cautious around others with stomach symptoms. Even if your friends seem fine, they can shed the virus for weeks after infection. Many norovirus infections resolve themselves, but see a doctor if you experience dehydration or if you just can’t kick the bug.
CDC data shows that 73 percent of adult men are either overweight or obese. There’s no simple explanation for why so many of us are pudgier than we should be, but fortunately, we do know how to shed those pounds.
According to research, 98 percent of adults have been infected with this virus, which can cause chicken pox and shingles. The varicella vaccine is recommended for any adult who hasn’t had the shot or chicken pox already. It’s a two-part vaccine with doses spread 28 days apart.
#10: Visual Refractive Error
Lots of guys need glasses. A study published suggests that 46 percent of Americans are farsighted, 25 percent are nearsighted, and 45 percent have astigmatism.
If you have any of these problems, you probably noticed them back in school when you couldn’t see the chalkboard. However, even guys born with perfect vision are likely to end up reaching for a pair of glasses by middle age.
Presbyopia—an age-related eye problem that makes it difficult to read up close—sets in between ages 42 and 44 on average. To catch changes early, it is recommended that everybody should have an eye exam at age 40.
Source: Men's Health
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