When a man hits 40, there are a lot of changes that start occurring in the body, and these changes can lead to a variety of health risks. We often do not think of a man hitting 40 as a big deal like it is for women, but it actually could be worse for men, because a lot of the health risks are not talked about as openly. Being 40 might be a great time period for a man, as his career is steady and he likely has a wife and children, but it can also be one of the most devastating times in his life medically. Here are 10 of the biggest health risks that men in their 40s face, as well as what can be done to mitigate those risks.
Men are known to have cardiovascular disease early into their 40s, which is a lot earlier than most women get the disease. One of the biggest reasons why cardiovascular disease hits men in their 40s is because there is often so much stress going on during this time period. Work, children, wife, divorce, job change, and money problems all are examples of what could be causing stress. Stress alone is the biggest known cause of cardiovascular disease, but also the easiest to control and mitigate. Even if a man in his 40s doesn’t feel stressed out that much, he still needs to take time to regroup and focus. Yoga, working out, meditation, and even stress management courses can help a man learn how to focus stress in a positive manner. Basically, you need to learn how to get outside of your head and create positive vibes, because negative energy inside your head will only increase your odds of cardiovascular disease.
One of the most common health risks that a man in his 40s will likely face is erectile dysfunction, and it is also one of the worst things a man can experience in his lifetime. Erectile dysfunction can be due to other health conditions such as high cholesterol or diabetes, but it can also just be due to the significant drop in testosterone levels during this time period. Even though men are often embarrassed to mention this condition to their doctor, it is really important to do so, since it can be a symptom of a more serious situation. Knowing that erectile dysfunction can be the result of a serious medical condition makes this one of the biggest health risks to a man in his 40s, especially if there was never any trouble in this department before. It is also a health risk because the lack of sexual function can lead to depression and feelings of inadequacy, which could potentially lead to a suicidal state of mind.
Obesity might be one of the most dangerous health risks to a man in his 40s, due to the fact that obesity can lead to so many serious medical conditions. Testosterone levels significantly decreases in a man over 40, which leads to a serious slowdown in metabolism, and leaves a man feeling tired more often than before. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and joint swelling or inflammation can all be caused by obesity. Obviously, the best way to mitigate this risk is to exercise regularly, eat a meal full of fruits and vegetables, and cut out as much junk food as possible. Even light exercise like walking for an hour everyday can really help reduce the obesity risk, and something like walking could allow the whole family to stay active together.
Loss of Vision
Many men experience a reduction in vision when they hit 40, which is due to presbyopia. Presbyopia is a change in the eye’s focusing ability. Most men in their 40s will experience problems reading up close, such as while on the computer or reading a book. Obviously, any change in vision can be a huge health hazard, especially if your job depends on keen eyesight, such as a truck driver. It can also increase the risk for getting into an automobile accident as well as increase the risk of injury at home or on the job. Not to mention, vision changes can also be a symptom of a more serious health condition such as diabetes. One of the ways a man in his 40s might mitigate this is to get a yearly eye exam starting at age 40, or at least getting an eye exam every two years after turning 40. Note any and all changes in vision, even if they seem small, and make an appointment with an eye doctor as soon as possible.
A lot of the health risks that a man in his 40s faces is often due to or related to the onset of adult diabetes. Diabetes can cause a variety of medical issues including obesity, erectile dysfunction, heart disease, and permanent nerve damage to hands and feet. Diabetes can also lead to limb amputations and even death, so the risk associated with diabetes is fairly severe if not treated promptly and properly. The best way to mitigate the risk of diabetes is to eat healthy and exercise often, but sometimes that is not enough to stop diabetes from occurring. A man in his 40s might want to invest in a glucose meter, so that he can check his blood sugar regularly at home, and see a doctor if the numbers are consistently above 120.
Men over 40 lose up to one percent of their muscle mass per year, a condition known as sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is often characterized as a gradual loss of muscle mass, because it occurs over a long period of time, and often is not noticeable for years. This is a huge risk because it can make men more susceptible to fractures, breaks, and falls, and can lead to depression. A man who is 40 should begin lifting weights three times a week at least, which can help mitigate the impact of sarcopenia. Men need to make sure they maintain core strength and muscle tone, as well as focus on maintaining joint flexibility. Exercise and a focus on strength training will go a long way in helping fight this disease.
Low testosterone is a fairly common and significant health risk for any man in his 40s, and can really lead to a diminished quality of life. Testosterone is very important for men because not only is it responsible for sexual health, it also helps maintain bone strength. Not to mention, it is important for maintaining and increasing muscle mass and strength. A man with low testosterone levels will experience a high decrease in energy levels, which increases the risk for obesity and diabetes, as well as cardiovascular disease. Men in their 40s should have their testosterone levels checked yearly, and if low testosterone is found, there are many treatment options to help mitigate the condition. Some treatment options include testosterone pills, patches, and gels, which can help replace the testosterone lost during the aging process.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure impacts many men, especially men that are around age 45, and can have fatal consequences if not treated immediately. Obviously high blood pressure can lead to a variety of conditions such as an aneurysm in the blood vessel, heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, and ultimately lead to death. High blood pressure can be a symptom of other medical conditions, and most people don’t even know they have high blood pressure for years, so an annual checkup is one way to lessen the risk of getting the disease. It is also important that men in their 40s limit their salt intake, exercise, and eat healthy foods in order to keep the risk of developing high blood pressure at a minimum.
An enlarged prostate is a potentially very serious condition that can start impacting men right around age 40. A man might notice that he is having urinary issues, whether it is going a lot more or not hardly getting any urine out, these are warning signs of an enlarged prostate. While it might be nothing, an enlarged prostate could mean cancer, so getting yearly exams after age 40 is one way to ensure the prostate is in good condition. Prostate cancer is one of the deadliest and most common cancers in men, and although it is often a slow killer, it is still nothing to mess with.
Glaucoma is one of the most severe medical conditions relating to the eyes that impact men in their 40s. Glaucoma occurs when the fluid that flows in the front of the eyes stops circulating normally, which leads to a buildup of pressure. bu Glaucoma can be caused by diabetes or other serious medical conditions, so it is very important to get your eyes checked as soon as any warning signs appear, such as blurred vision. Having other eye problems, taking steroids, having a family history of the disease, and also trauma to the eye could cause glaucoma. Unfortunately, there is no real way to mitigate the risk of getting this disease, but getting eye exams early and often can help lessen the severity of the disease.