What Men Don't Talk About
It is a sad fact of life that, statistically, in Britain at least, women outlive men by six or seven years on average. Not only that, women benefit from the very beginning: all the problems that can affect babies in the womb are more common in males than females, and at birth a boy’s development is calculated to be about four to six weeks behind a girl’s. More boys than girls suffer from hyperactivity, reading and behavioural problems, clumsiness, stammering and autism. Once they make it into adulthood, boys are more likely to suffer from circulatory disorders (including the biggest killer, heart disease), diabetes, alcoholism, ulcers and lung cancer. Male infertility rates are on the increase too.
Why is this?
One of the problems is testosterone. Whilst helping out in many areas, it also has some drawbacks, including raising cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and lowering immune function. It increases aggressive behaviour too, which endangers health.
Luckily there is an up side to all this gloom. There are many simple ways to reduce the risk of succumbing to these problems.
One in four British men will have a heart attack before they retire, and one in three will eventually die from a heart attack or stroke, so this is a good area to start working on
If you exercise you can halve the risk of dying of heart disease. Obviously diet is also very important. Avoid saturated fats and refined sugars (which the body stores as fat).
- Vitamin E can keep your artery walls flexible
- CoQ10 can improve energy production in the heart
- Magnesium can feed the heart muscles
- Crataegus (Hawthorn) is a herb that gently rebalances blood pressure. It can be taken alongside conventional medication, so long as the doctor is informed. It needs to be taken for at least six months and can be taken long term. It is particularly good for angina, but helps most heart problems.
- A combination of Hawthorn and Garlic with other remedies can prevent the arteries from clogging up. If you have high cholesterol in your family and your blood pressure isn’t good, this is the remedy for you.
Stress affects most people to some extent or another, but men often lack the safety mechanisms that women have – the ability to have a good natter and moan to their friends, or bawl their eyes out and feel better afterwards.
Stress often interferes with sleep, which is vital for allowing the body time to heal and restore tissues to prime functioning order, but also for processing the events of the day – good therefore for mental/emotional health.
- Magnesium to calm the nervous system and relax muscles
- Vitamin B to strengthen the nervous system against stress, both physical and mental/emotional
- A complex of Passiflora and Avena sativa is a wonderfully calming remedy that can be taken long term or short term to help reduce the effects of stress. It relaxes muscles and makes it easier to sleep well. It is also good for the heart. It can be taken alongside any other medication.
The prostate gland contributes to sexual health by producing fluid for semen, in which sperm is transported. It is the size of a walnut and wraps itself around the urinary tract as it leaves the bladder. As men get older the prostate gland starts to enlarge, slowly squashing the urinary tract and reducing the amount of space available for urine to pass through.
Signs of this enlarged prostate (known as Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy or BPH) are
A feeble urinary stream – can’t reach halfway up the wall any more
- Difficulty getting started when needing a pee
- Stopping and starting rather than a steady stream
- Having to pee frequently and urgently
- Having to get up frequently in the night to pee
- Feeling that you can’t empty your bladder completely
- Loss of libido
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
As urine can’t empty efficiently from the bladder, due to the constriction caused by the prostate gland, stagnant urine stays in the bladder and easily becomes infected, adding to the general misery. All men are vulnerable to this condition, as the prostate starts to enlarge after about 30. Over 40% of men over 50 will have some symptoms, and this reaches nearly 100% after age 80.
Passing blood in your urine is always a bad sign. There are several different things it might indicate, but all of them need to be checked by your doctor, so don’t dilly-dally.
- Zinc is good for the prostate gland
- Saw Palmetto is the herb most men are grateful to in this department. It gently reduces inflammation in the prostate gland, causing it to shrink and release its stranglehold on the urinary tract; so if you have BPH, this is the herb for you. Unlike the conventional for this problem, Saw Palmetto has no unfortunate effects on your libido or erectile function; in fact, because the whole area feels so much better it can have a very positive effect.
- Use Saw Palmetto if you have symptoms of BPH, but also use it to maintain good prostate health once the symptoms have gone. Remember that once you’re over 30, that pesky gland is going to enlarge slightly every year, so you need to keep on top of it.
- As urine will be flowing more freely from the bladder, you are less likely to get urinary tract infections. There are those who claim that Saw Palmetto has a positive effect on male baldness, although these claims haven’t yet been scientifically proven.
Once the prostate symptoms have improved, the sex life tends to improve as well.
And don’t forget Male Essence to help with the emotional stress involved in these problems! They may have raging testosterone levels, but men still have feelings too!