He's Not Invincible, You KnowIf your man takes better care of his car or favorite gadget than his body, he's not alone. According to the Men’s Health Network, a lack of awareness, weak health education, and unhealthy work and personal lifestyles have caused a steady deterioration of the well-being of American men. In this post you'll learn the 5 most common threats to men's health in the US and Europe.
These also happen to all be linked with the health and happiness of your microbiome (the trillions of microbial hitchhikers living in and on your body) and the integrity of the membranes they inhabit. The good news is, there are affordable, actionable steps you can take to balance and protect your microbial garden, the gut and other permeable membranes that will lower your risk of developing or progressing any of these deadly diseases.
Heart HealthHeart disease comes in many forms. All of its forms can lead to serious, fatal complications if undetected. The American Heart Association states that more than one in three adult men have some form of cardiovascular disease. African-American men account for 100,000 more cardiovascular disease deaths than Caucasian men. Stroke affects more than 3 million men. High blood pressure is now common in males under the age of 45, according to the American Heart Association.
Learn more about the connection between your heart health and organic alcohols produced by overgrown yeast, mold and fungus in your microbiome. To see how quickly high blood pressure and heart beat irregularities respond to better gut care, click here.
COPD and other respiratory diseasesMany respiratory diseases start with an innocent “smoker’s cough.” Over time, that cough can lead to life-threatening conditions, such as lung cancer, emphysema, or COPD. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an increasingly more common long-term lung disease. It comprises diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
A long-term cough is often the telltale symptom of respiratory disease and of long standing imbalance in your microbiome. If you have chronic mucus coming up, it could be time to clean house on mucous membrane inflaming micro-organisms in your lungs. See, Why Keep Your Mucous Membranes Healthy?
Many of these symptoms can be very slow to develop. More advanced symptoms appear when significant lung damage has already occurred. Symptoms can also come and go and vary in intensity. And all these conditions interfere with your ability to breathe.
According to the American Lung Association, each year more men are diagnosed with and develop lung cancer than in years past. African-American men have a higher risk of dying from the disease compared to other racial or ethnic groups.
While exposure to occupational hazards like asbestos increases your risk, smoking remains the leading cause of lung cancer. Other risk factors for undermining respiratory health come from common practices that affect the permeability of the bowel. Read What Causes Leaky Gut (8 Risk Factors To Know).
But if you don't smoke and still have recurring respiratory infections or chronic cough, you can tune up your immune system by restoring integrity where it's become weak and too porous.
Alcohol: Friend or foe?According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men face higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalizations than women do. Men binge drink twice as much as women. They are also prone to increased aggression and sexual assault against women. Alcohol consumption increases your risk for cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon. Alcohol also interferes with testicular function and hormone production. This can result in impotence and infertility.
According to this CDC Source, men are more likely than women to commit suicide. They also are more likely to have been drinking prior to doing so.Connect with Alcohol Addiction Treatment Hotline here.
To learn more about the gut link to alcohol addiction, and how you may be at risk for alcohol related disease ...without actually ever drinking alcohol, see Leaky Gut Link to Alcoholism.
Depression and suicideResearchers at The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimate that at least 6 million men suffer from depressive disorders, including suicidal thoughts, annually. Some ways to combat depression include:
- getting regular exercise, even just going for routine walks around your neighborhood
- journaling or writing down your thoughts
- communicating openly with friends and family
- seeking professional help
- address symptoms like brain fog, digestive issues, joint pain, sleeplessness, fatigue and depression by restoring proper permeability to your bowel. When the microbiome is set right again, your chemistry will foster clearer thinking, better sleep, a peaceful gut and a brighter outlook on life.
Liver diseaseYour liver is the size of a football. It helps you digest food and absorb nutrients. It also rids your body of toxic substances. Liver disease includes conditions such as:
- viral hepatitis
- autoimmune or genetic liver diseases
- bile duct cancer
- liver cancer
- alcoholic liver disease
According to the American Cancer Society, alcohol and tobacco use increases your chance of developing liver disease. Remember that even if you don't drink alcohol, the trillions of microbiota living in you can elevate alcohol (ethanol) levels whenever they metabolize simple sugars. If you feel brain fogged, fatigued, irritable, blurry vision or a little 'punch drunk' after drinking sugary soft drinks or eating foods high in simple carbohydrates, you're feeling the effects of elevated alcohol in your own bloodstream. This form of alcohol has a chemical signature similar to ingested alcohol and influences your risk of developing liver disease like any other alcohol you may consume.
Become proactiveNow that you know about the top 5 health risks that affect American men, the next step is to change your habits and become proactive about your health. If you've already addressed the known common risk factors, like carrying extra weight, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco, you may still be at risk because of high levels of alcohol in your blood generated by your microbiome.
Addressing your gut health and the massive microbial community living there can feel petty and insignificant, but avoiding it altogether can be deadly. Begin by listening to the messages your body is sending via pain, inflammation and your gut feelings that something's just not right.
The Wrap Up
If you have one or more of the 8 known risk factors for gut imbalance, consider addressing your microbiome as a next step, and begin taking primary responsibility for your return to better health today. No one is quite as invested in your wellbeing as you are (...with the possible exception of a woman who loves you.) And no one can change your mind but you.
See what the turnaround looks like over and over in men just like you, when they prioritize gut health for just 30 days.