Men’s Guide to Navigating the Road to Older Age
As men continue to age, they may go through many hormonal and physical changes throughout their bodies. While the extent of these experiences can vary from man to man, it is essential to prepare for them later in life. Here are some tips to help men navigate the changes they may experience as they transition into their senior years.
Dealing with Hormonal Changes
Similarly to women going through menopause, men experience a drop in their production of the hormone testosterone. The symptoms associated with a steady decline is typically referred to as andropause, testosterone deficiency syndrome, androgen deficiency, or hypogonadism.
While it is usually compared to menopause, it is important to note that andropause is not the male equivalent to female menopause. Men do not lose their ability to reproduce and it does not necessarily affect all men at some point in their life.
Signs and Symptoms
With a decline in the production of testosterone, it is normal for men to experience physical, emotional, and sexual changes. Some common symptoms associated with andropause include::
- Decreased sex drive
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Loss of muscle mass
- Mood swings and irritability
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
While the symptoms themselves can seem overwhelming, luckily there are ways to manage them and their severity.
- Eat a balanced diet
- Get regular exercise
- Get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night
- Manage your stress levels
Get Up and Get Moving
According to the American Heart Association, adults should aim to get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. While many of us know that being physically active can help you to stay in shape and build muscle—it can help to support various areas of your health.
Reduces Risk of Chronic Illness
While we’ve all heard that getting exercise is good for you, it’s essential to understand what staying physically active is actually protecting you from. Adding regular exercise to your routine can help to:
- Reduce your risk of heart disease
- Manage your insulin levels
- Reduce your risk of some cancers including colon, breast, and lung cancer
- Maintain a healthy weight, reducing risk of obesity
Just like your muscles, the tissue in your bones becomes stronger with regular physical activity. You also help to build up the muscle that surrounds your bones and joints, making you less likely to experience fractures and other orthopedic injuries.
Supports Healthy Brain Function
With age, our brains decrease in size and in cognitive function. With regular exercise, your brain released chemicals and proteins that help to maintain the structure and function of your brain cells.
Helps You Effectively Manage Stress
Older people tend to spend more time indoors, sitting or laying down which can bring on negative and distressing emotions. With regular exercise, your brain will release endorphins that can trigger positive emotions and a sense of wellbeing. This is especially true if you use physical exercise as an opportunity to interact with others.
Stay Up-to-Date on Colorectal Cancer Screenings
Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of non-skin cancer in men, affecting about 5% of American men at some point in their lifetime. Typically, this form of cancer develops from pre-cancerous polyps that are found in the colon. When these growths are found early, they can be surgically removed before they have the chance to become cancerous—making routine screenings necessary when it comes to early detection and prevention.
Men of average risk should begin getting regular colon cancer screening from the age of 50 until the age of 75. Thetype of test you have done helps to determine how frequently you should have colorectal cancer screenings:
- Highly sensitive fecal immunochemical test (FIT): Annually
- Highly sensitive guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT): Annually
- Multi-targeted stool DNA test (MT-sDNA): Every 3 years
- Colonoscopy: Every 10 years
- CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy): Every 5 years
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy (FSIG): Every 5 years
If you are at an increased risk for colon cancer, it is important to speak with your gastroenterologist to determine how frequently you should be screened.
Primary and Specialty Care in Henry County
At Henry County Hospital
, we’ve been providing compassionate healthcare since 1919. When it comes to primary and specialty care, each patient can expect individualized care that meets their needs. From education to emotional support, we focus on your individual health and wellness.