When it comes to going visit a health care provider, most men avoid it as much as possible. And those who do go tend to be dishonest about their symptoms or leave out important information.
Sadly, this could all have a negative effect on their long-term health. Some symptoms that seem minor could be signs of something much bigger, ranging from cancer to heart disease. Additionally, putting off treatment can be deadly.
Take a look at these eight health symptoms men shouldn’t ignore.
When you think of chest pain, you probably think of a heart attack. But if you have chest pain and don’t have a heart attack, you probably ignore it and go on about your day.
The problem is that a heart attack isn’t the only male health problem that causes chest pain. Other heart problems, lung problems like asthma or pneumonia and even stomach ulcers and reflux can lead to this type of pain.
Shortness of breath
You’ve been mowing the same lawn for the last 15 years. But the last time you did it, you noticed you got out of breath pretty easily. Even worse, you had a hard time recovering. It happens again when you go up the stairs to your bedroom that night.
You may think you’re just out of shape, but it could be signaling a bigger problem. It could be a sign of congestive heart failure or a warning sign that a heart attack is near. It could be a sign of anemia. It could also be a sign of a lung problem, like lung cancer, a blood clot or COPD.
Everyone experiences heartburn from time to time. And the older you get, the more likely you are to get it after chowing down on that pizza or those onion rings.
But frequent heartburn can be signs of a major problem, like GERD. This is when the acid in your stomach flows back up into your esophagus. It can cause problems ranging from ulcers to cancer over time. And in some cases, heartburn can be a symptom of a heart problem.
Blood in your urine or stools
Blood when you go to the bathroom is never a good sign.
Blood in your urine could be something like a urinary tract infection that is easily treated with antibiotics. But it could also be a warning sign of prostate cancer or bladder cancer.
Blood in your stool may come out red like normal blood or make your stool look black and tarry. Either way, it could be a sign of something easily treated, like hemorrhoids, or something more serious, like colon cancer.
Unexplained weight loss
Losing weight is great — if that’s your goal. However, if you lost weight without trying or changing your eating habits and activity levels, something could be wrong. Especially if you lose a lot of weight.
Your health care provider may want to test you for health issues like:
- Cancer, particularly leukemia, breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Peptic ulcers
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Thyroid problems
- Zinc deficiency
It’s normal to be tired from time to time. Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep this week. Maybe you did some extra yard work or time on the treadmill. Maybe you’re under a lot of stress at work. Thankfully, when you know what’s causing your fatigue, you can take steps to fix it.
But if you do take steps to fix it and it doesn’t go away, something else may be causing it. Dozens of underlying conditions can cause fatigue, ranging from diabetes to depression.
Trouble with memory
We all experience some memory loss from time to time. You might forget where you put your phone down or can’t remember the name of that girl from high school.
But if you suddenly find yourself forgetting many things that you should know, it’s time to see a health care provider. This could be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. It could be a sign of an infection or a nutritional deficiency. It may even be a sign that you’ve had a stroke.
Do you snore so loudly that your partner sleeps on the couch? Do you wake up feeling tired, even after a full night of sleep? If so, you could have sleep apnea. If you snore more than the average person, get it checked out. Not doing so could lead to heart disease, heart failure or diabetes.
If you need one or more of these health symptoms checked out, we are here to help. In fact, you can schedule an appointment online with a Mercy Health provider near you.
Also, curious what health screening men should have every year? Find out on our Mercy Health blog.