Men are under attack. We’ve all seen the news stories that suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45. And then when we get through this stage of life, we’re headed to our fifties and all the health issues that this can bring. It’s not that we need to be worried every day (all that will do is bring stress and more illness) but we need to be aware of what’s going on in the world. What are the most common illnesses for over 50 men in the UK? Great question. But before we look at some of the statistics, let’s take a look at life itself.
Life is great. We can enjoy every single day in one form or another. But because life is great, we need to protect ourselves. Something as simple as quality sleep can change our health, just as much as poor sleep can cause problems. With this in mind, this article is designed to look at the most common illnesses for over 50 men in the UK.
If we don’t look after our body, mind and soul then we’re in trouble. The first 50 years are easier than the 2nd fifty, we can be sure about that. We lose fitness, brain capacity and connections. As we get older, we need to look after our body more. But we’re under attack. And we need to fight back. As with any fightback, the first step is to gather information. With that in mind, here are the most common illnesses for over 50 men UK.
Heart disease affects men over 50. It’s as simple as that. 1 in 10 men aged 50 have a heart aged 60. That was a startling fact that I read in an article a while ago. It scared me (I was going to say it scared the life out of me, but that’s possibly too close to the mark) and I suppose it will at least concern you.
Heart disease is a killer in its own right. In addition, it is a contributing factor in other illnesses that affect men over the age of 50. In basic terms, the linings of the arteries clog up around the heart and the flow of blood lessens. There are different types of heart disease, such as angina, a heart attack or heart failure. Let’s look at these in a little detail –
- Angina is where the blood flow is reduced to the heart muscle and this causes a pain in the chest. This can be a sign that the other two types of heart disease might be next.
- Heart attacks is where there is a sudden blockage of blood flow to the heart. Obviously, you need urgent medical attention to out this right, and possible surgery.
- Heart failure is where the heart stops being able to pump blood around the body.
Now, all of these are serious. And as men in and around the age of fifty, we want to stop any of this from happening. The risk factors are –
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
- Excess weight
As you can see, the majority of these factors are things that we do to ourselves. If we don’t look after this body that has taken us through these first 50 or so years of our life, then it won’t be fit for purpose for the 2nd fifty.
The heart is the most important muscle in the human body, pumping blood around the rest of the body thousands of times every day. And if it doesn’t work properly then you can end up with other health issues. The tissue of the body is kept alive and healthy with the flow of blood, as are the other organs. If you don’t have a healthy heart, then it is difficult to have a healthy body.
And it is down to the same things time and time again with your health – don’t smoke, regulate your alcohol intake, exercise and watch the fatty foods. I have seen an increase in my health when I became vegan, reducing the animal fats in my system. It might work for you.
There are 2,000 new cases per year of testicular cancer in the UK. So, by no means is it the most prevalent cancer among men. But it is a silent killer. And one of the main reasons it is silent is because we don’t talk to each other. This is a sensitive area for men. One where we just assume everything will be alright. But it isn’t necessarily alright.
We naturally associate testicular cancer with a lump on one of the testicles. But this isn’t the only sign of testicular cancer. There are other signs that you need to seek medical help, such as –
- Sudden shrinking of a testicle. Our testicles are a certain size all our life. If over the course of a few weeks you see one of them shrink, then you should get this checked out. Of course, regular checking of the testicles will help you to notice these changes.
- Enlargement of the breast. This is linked to the changing hormones in the body associated with testicular cancer.
- Collection of fluid in the scrotum. This may not be testicular cancer but a collection of fluid in the scrotum is another potential sign. This needs to be checked out as a matter of urgency so make an appointment with your GP.
- Dull aching pain in the abdomen. Particularly if it is in the lower abdomen. The body gives us warning signs that something is not right. A persistent pain here is your body telling you to get it checked out.
If you have any of the above symptoms, then you need to seek help. It may or may not be testicular cancer but any of these signs is an indication that there is something not right. As with all cancers, early detection, diagnosis and treatment increase your survival rate massively. As you already know, things like this don’t heal themselves. Ypu need to look to a medical professional for a solution. Don’t worry – they have been through this hundreds of times before and will be discrete as well as sympathetic.
Type 2 Diabetes
This has become a major problem globally. It has been put down to the amount of processed sugar and fat we have in our diet in the modern day. And it is really difficult to avoid sugar. If you’re looking to combat this one of the most common illnesses for men over 50 in the UK and the rest of the world then look out for fatigue, weight loss and thirst.
Type 2 diabetes has been written about ad nauseum, so I won’t go into massive detail here. Suffice to say, it’s something you really want to avoid on your 40’s and 50’s if you want to live into your 70’s. 80’s and beyond.
Cigarettes & Alcohol
Self-inflicted illness is a huge risk at 50. It’s as simple as that. The damage that we’ve done to our body earlier in life heals pretty well when we’re in out twenties. But once we reach our forties, it is more and more difficult to heal from self-inflicted illnesses. If you’ve ever been to the doctor, then they always ask you if you smoke and how much you drink. There’s a reason for that. Smoking is incredibly bad for your health. There’s no two ways about that. If you smoke then you are far more likely to contract heart disease or cancer. That’s the simple fact. But there are still so many people who smoke – and continue to d so despite the health warnings. In the UK, we’ve seen cigarette packs change massively over the years so they are now more warning than anything else.
There is always a debate over whether the governments of the world are serious about stopping people from smoking. The tax revenue from cigarettes is huge. The UK government collects around ten billion pounds a year from cigarette taxes. That’s a tidy sum of money that I’m sure any government around the world would miss. But the amount they spend on the NHS to tackle the illnesses associated with cigarettes is more. And growing.
And then there is alcohol. We all like a drink from time to time. And we are all aware that is can be dangerous to our health too. But for me, and many of the men I speak to, the advice is confusing.
We read that drinking a glass of red wine every day is good for you.
We’re told that it is regular drinking that causes the problem.
Binge drinking is the enemy if you read some studies.
Drinking spirits is seen as beneficial in some cultures.
Once you start to scratch the surface then you end up even more confused then you were to begin with. Google it and you will find studies carried out all over the world from different sources that give us different advice. This leaves us in a strange position. We want the best for our body. But we also want to have a good time. And a good time can often involve having a few drinks.
Think about it. There are so many social occasions where alcohol is involved. It is part of our culture in many ways. And that’s OK. But where do we draw the line? It’s difficult to say. Here are the pieces of advice I can find from the research that should help –
- Make a plan. How do you know what success looks like? Is it cutting out altogether? By when? You should sketch out a rough idea of what you want and when you want it to happen by. Then add details like what you will do to make that happen.
- Avoid the triggers. There will be certain situations that trigger your smoking or drinking. By avoiding these as best you can, you put yourself in the best place to manage the urges. So, if it’s Friday after work because of the stress, try looking for something that will relieve stress.
- Stay positive. I know, sometimes easier said than done. But a positive outlook will help you stop smoking, cut down your drinking. If you see the positive side of life while you’re not smoking or drinking, then this mindset will help you to keep up the good work.
- Staying busy helps. If you’re busy, then you’re less likely to stop and think about having a drink or a smoke. When the brain is occupied it doesn’t lead you on to thoughts about other things. Stay busy!
I hope these help as we look to combat the most common illnesses for men over 50 in the UK.
This is a difficult one for many men of our age to read about. We’re concerned that it will be us next, if it hasn’t been us already. It’s a simple fact that 50% of men over 40 have experienced this in one way shape or form. So, the good news is that we’re not alone. If many men are experiencing this, then we can take comfort in the fact that we don’t have something ‘wrong with us.’ The feeling of being alone when you’re suffering from something can often be more depressing than the health condition in the first place.
One of the disadvantages of being a man (yes, there are some!) is that we don’t communicate with each other. We’ve been brought up to ‘show a stiff upper lip.’ I’m still not entirely sure what that means but we’re too insular as a group of people. That has to stop. If you have any health concerns, then share these with your friends. They may well be in the same position as you, hoping that they are not alone.
Impotence is a tricky conversation to have, I’ll grant you that. As men we’re built on our manliness. Bravado has become just a part of life for many of us. Testosterone is a large part of this. But this is a real concern for men approaching the age of fifty and beyond. We still have urges, still want to have sex, but we’re not always in the ideal position to make it happen. Now, there are other ways of pleasuring your partner than your penis, so this isn’t something that has to stop the world dead in its tracks. But it can be worrying. The worst part about it is that worrying can lead to it happening more often. And then you worry more. And the cycle continues.
There are ways of making things better here. One of the issues is the supply of blood to the penis. These blood vessels can be affected in the same way as the arteries to the heart are in heart disease. So, cutting down on fats, reducing the consumption of meat and exercising can all have a positive impact. Try this to begin with and see where it takes you. I suspect that it will have a positive impact. If it doesn’t do the trick, then you might need to speak to a doctor. But remember that it isn’t just blood flow. Your testosterone ;levels also have an impact on your erection. As one of the most common illnesses for over 50 men in the UK, they will have spoken to many men in the past.
Most Common Illnesses For Over 50 Men In The UK
These are some of the most common illnesses for over 50 men in the UK. Unfortunately, we all probably know someone who has suffered with one of these illnesses. And we don’t want to suffer the same fate. Each of these can be managed if you know and do the right things. Looking after tour body is something that wee probably don’t do well enough in our twenties, thirties and sometimes forties. And now is the time to do something about it.
If you can get an appointment at your GP for a well man check-up then this is a great place to start. Be prepared that if you drink and smoke then you will be asked to cut these down or cut these out. And they will look at the rest of your lifestyle too in order to help you improve your health and get your body in the right place. They will also check things like your blood pressure and take bloods. All of this is to get a good picture of your current state of health.
And when you have all the information you need, you can make the changes that will help you avoid the illnesses outlined in this guide. If you have any worries or question then a medical professional will be the best person to speak to. Your GP can refer you to a specialist if you have specific concerns. One of the biggest killers of men is inaction. We don’t take action because we’re scared and don’t talk to each other enough. They say that a problem shared is a problem halved. And with your health this really is the case. If you speak to your friends or family about any health concerns then you will find loving people who will help ypu work your way through it. Bury your head in the sands and your health issues will only become worse.