Common Men's Health Problems: 10 Reasons To Take Dad To The Doctor

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OBESITY MEN
Obesity is one of the major health concerns for men in Canada. | Shutterstock

This Father's Day, your dad may need a little push to get to the doctor's office.

At least 38 per cent of men go to the doctor only when they’re extremely sick or when symptoms don’t go away on their own, according to a survey by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

"My general feeling is that men don't like talking about health issues. When you're talking about health you have an emotional component and sometimes men just get uncomfortable," Toronto-based naturopathic doctor Chamandeep Bali, N.D. says.

Even more concerning, Bali says men often insist nothing is wrong with them. "I often hear, 'I can handle it,'" he tells The Huffington Post Canada. "Due to societal norms -- although this is improving for younger age groups -- masculinity encourages men to be tough, competitive and not need help. This attitude of not asking for help most likely encourages men and society to deny that men experience health problems," he says.

Men also often skip annual check-ups, Bali says. And at least three out of four men do not know how to perform a testicular self-examination, he says.

"Most doctors do not even mention the importance of this exam to young men -- and they are the most at risk," he says.

Some of the biggest health risks for men that Bali sees in his practice include cancer, infertility, hair loss, high blood pressure and mental illness. Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting men in this country, and obesity levels continue to rise each year.

Bali says there are many small steps to take on road to improving men's health; routine preventive care, education and amping up counselling for depression and addictions are all ways communities can tackle some of these health risks.

Here are 10 health problems Bali says men should consider as they age:

10 Common Men's Health Problems
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Prostate Health
One out of seven Canadian men will develop prostate cancer, according to Prostate Cancer Canada. This particular type of cancer remains the most common type affecting men in this country.

Mental Health
Mental health is one issue Bali thinks is often overlooked. In Canada, four of every five suicides are committed by men, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association. Depression, anxiety and addiction are all key areas men should be thinking about, Bali says.

Low Sex Drive
Low sex drive in adult men can be caused by drug abuse, obesity and even poor sleep patterns. Although there are natural ways to boost your libido, Bali says adult men should see a professional.

Infertility
There are various reasons why men may have difficulty with fertility. Age, sperm disorders and problems with the immune system are all factors men should take into consideration.

Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects about half of all Canadian men over the age of 40, according to survey by EdHelp.ca. This is a condition that should never be ignored -- ED can even result in depression, some experts say.

Andropause
Andropause, or male menopause, is part of a man's aging process when testosterone levels can decrease about 10 per cent each decade after a man turns 30.

Hair Loss
Another common condition for aging men -- and even men in their 20s -- is hair loss. One out of four Canadians don't know who to ask for help when dealing with the loss of hair. You can talk to your doctor about cosmetic procedures or hair replacements.

Sexually Transmitted Infections
HPV, for example, is one sexually transmitted infection that can affect men. For the most part, men won't have any symptoms and some infections can go away in a few years, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. However, some infections can lead to penile and anal cancer -- another reason men should have annual check-ups.

Metabolic Syndrome
Obesity, fatty liver, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and overall cardiovascular health are all areas men should focus on as they age. Between 2003 and 2010, the obesity rate among men in Canada rose from 16 per cent to almost 20 per cent, according to Statistics Canada.

Arthritis and Sports Related Injuries
There are more than 100 types of arthritis, and it is among the top three most common chronic illnesses in Canada. Ankylosing spondylitis (an arthritis that attacks spinal joints) is more common among men between the ages of 15 to 40. Bali says men are also more likely to suffer from sports related injuries.

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