July 13, 2024


Health know-how

Healthy Living: Men’s health while aging


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Men live on average five years less than women do. Maybe that statistic is not surprising to you, but there are ways in which men can add longevity to their life.

Doctors say there are chronic conditions that are more common in men than in women. Not to mention, men tend not to keep up with regular health checkups, like women. Preventive measures are in your control and doctors say that’s your ticket to living longer

Press pause on purchasing those supplements that claim to boost your testosterone.

Doctor Drew Oliveira, senior executive medical director with Regence says do not buy into the hype.

“We’re now getting advertising being pushed to us,” said Dr. Oliveira. “Take this supplement – it will boost your testosterone. Or maybe you need testosterone because your testosterone is low. The truth of it is our testosterone gets lower as we age, that is a normal process.”

Some call it male menopause – or andropause – which is when men’s testosterone levels decrease with age. After age 40, a man’s testosterone levels decline on average about 1% a year, according to the Mayo Clinic. It often goes unnoticed too.

You can test your levels by asking your doctor for a simple blood test. Dr. Oliveira says you can replace testosterone, but it’s not always recommended. 

“Testosterone replacement has risks. A study of older men, 15,000 men showed a 21% increase in cardiovascular events in that group, heart attack, strokes.”

More research is needed on the benefits of testosterone therapy and replacement. But there are natural, preventive measures men can take for better health.

“If you smoke, stop smoking. If you need to drink, limit your drinks to two drinks a day because alcohol use is associated with a higher risk of cancers and certainly some other cardiovascular risks including hypertension,” Oliveira said.

And here are some other ways to stay healthy:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Eat colorful, healthy food
  • Limit fat in your diet
  • Stay active

Dr. Oliveira says 150 minutes per week or 20 minutes a day of exercise is the best way to feel younger and live longer. 

Younger men may also experience hypogonadism – where they lose hair on the body, have hot flashes or even start to grow breasts.

Those are signs and symptoms that should urge you to talk to your doctor about low testosterone.


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