In support of Men’s health, we highlight key issues affecting Australian men and some ways to support their health and wellbeing.
Each decade poses varying challenges and issues for men. In your 20s, greater freedom and independence may open healthy issues around sexual activity, drug use, alcohol, depression and anxiety. Health in men's 30s often includes concerns about reproductive health and fertility. 40s require re-evaluation of priorities, with focus on energy and endurance for better work and family balance, relationship challenges, as well as greater awareness of emotional wellbeing. Health in men's 50s may seek greater support for physical strength, libido, prostate, skin and heart-related issues. 60s+ heart, prostate and kidney concerns.
Key issues affecting men
Stress and Emotional Wellbeing
Do you have feelings of anger, frustration and irritability, anxiety, being burnt out or stressed? Seeking out how to manage negative emotional and thoughts is essential for mental and emotional wellbeing.
Talking to a mate, a partner or telling your trusted GP or healthcare professional may help to identify the underlying cause, alleviate certain challenges and allow you to manage any negative feelings.
Are you having enough sleep? Are you eating adequately? What exercise or activity can you do to manage the stress?
Emotions are driven by the body’s adrenal system. Supporting the adrenal and nervous system with adequate nutrients and with herbs, if appropriate, can have a positive effect on emotional wellbeing.
Nutrients such as B-Complex, Magnesium, and herbs such as Rhodiola, Cordyceps are all supportive of the nervous and adrenal systems to allow the body to cope better with stress, increase energy and vitality
An enlarged prostate is common in men, particularly over the age of 50. Symptoms include increased frequency and urgency of urination, increased night urination, intermittent urine flow and incontinence or dribbling.
Saw Palmetto is a popular herb, well-known in helping to relieve the symptoms of enlarged prostate. It is thought that Saw Palmetto inhibits 5-alpha-reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to its more potent form 5-hydroxytestosterone that ultimately leads to enlargement of the prostate.
Age, emotional anxiety and stress, medications, insomnia and some health conditions can affect sexual desire. It is important to understand and address the underlying cause.
Tribulus and Damiana are herbs which have been traditionally used to support the nervous system and stamina to promote healthy sexual function.
Korean Ginseng has been used in China as a sexual tonic for over 7000 years. Considered one of the world’s popular herbal supplements, Ginseng combats fatigue and physical and emotional stress to boost energy and sexual health.
Natural ways to improve digestion starts with good Nutrition. Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, cutting back on processed packaged foods, including fibre and purified water (1.5L-2L) daily are a great start. Boosting beneficial bacteria with probiotics and digestive enzymes naturally enhances the metabolism and the uptake of nutrients in food for improved digestion.
Psyllium Hull and Slippery Elm are excellent sources of fibre and are soothing demulcents. These herbs can help protect the lining of the digestive tracts and soothe irritation such as gastric reflux.
Listen to your gut, particularly with sensitivities or intolerances to food. Our gut’s ability to digest certain foods change with age, this is likely for foods such as wheat, dairy, eggs, even chilli or spicy meals. A change in diet, such as increasing protein rich foods or supplementing with protein powders may require digestive enzyme supplements to aid digestion and reduce digestive discomfort.
Taking stock of our heart health is important for everyone. Ensure your cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose levels are checked regularly. For more information on heart health see: http://www.naturessunshine.com.au/health-articles/love-your-heart.html
- Zinc is an essential nutrient for men. Men need higher levels of zinc for the production of testosterone and a healthy prostate.
- The family of B vitamins plays an essential role in the metabolic processes of all the body’s cells. They act as coenzymes in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats to produce energy and hence support healthy normal cell functions. B vitamins are particularly important during times of stress when the body has an increased need for nutrients.
- Selenium is an antioxidant that helps support healthy prostate. Brazil nuts, oysters and seafood offers good sources of selenium.
- Keep active and maintain a healthy weight – walking 30 minute daily offer positive health benefits.
- Taking time for yourself is important. Relax and allow yourself time to do the things you enjoy.
- If you don’t already have one, find a doctor or healthcare professional you feel comfortable talking to. Check key heart health indicators, prostate, skin for unusual discolouring or moles, bowel health and digestion.
- Keep alcohol, refined sugars, caffeine in moderation.
- Quit smoking
Support for Men:
Men’s Shed 1300 550 009
Men’s Health Clinic
Probus for Men