From ED to Pee: 5 Men’s Health Concerns at 50

Tue May 28, 2024

From ED to Pee: 5 Men’s Health Concerns at 50

“Age is just a state of mind” or “50 is the new 40” are two of many optimistic things to say about aging. And they’re both inspiring ways to think about getting older. 

Yet, even with a positive perspective, it’s important to recognize the physical realities that confront you with each passing year. Maybe you refuse to let your age define you, but, as another saying goes, “the side effects are getting harder to ignore.”

That’s especially true for men in their 50s. At a time when our minds are brimming with the wisdom of experience, we’re also entering a stage of life during which our bodies develop more challenges and our health faces greater risks than ever before.

While specific health issues vary from one man to the next, there are several common concerns that tend to pop up at age 50. Here’s a look at five important health issues and what you can do about them:

Heart Disease – The leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. And, according to Harvard Medical School, a 50-year-old American man has a 50% chance of developing heart disease during the rest of his life! A healthy diet and regular exercise are vital at any age, and they become even more essential now in your 50s. This is a time in life when high blood pressure and high cholesterol become increasingly common. Make sure to see your doctor yearly and to get blood work and blood pressure tests as directed. 

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Colon Cancer – If you haven’t already had a colonoscopy (which is recommended for men at age 45), be sure to get one now. Colorectal cancer only affects about 4.4% of men, but it can be a killer. In fact, colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death (behind lung cancer). When detected early, however, colon cancer has much higher survival rates. A colonoscopy may sound unpleasant, but the procedure is done under anesthesia, so you won’t remember a thing.

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Prostate Health – Starting at age 50, you should get a PSA test and/or digital rectal exam to screen for prostate cancer. The prostate gland slowly grows in almost all men as they age, and it becomes cancerous for about one of every eight men at some point in their life. Fortunately, prostate cancer is very treatable. But even benign growth can cause problems such as a frequent need to pee. That’s a common symptom for men in their 50s, when we really begin experiencing the effects of an enlarged prostate. In addition to cancer screenings, ask your doctor about natural health supplements that can reduce urinary frequency and help you take back control of your life.

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Low Testosterone – You may be surprised to know that your testosterone level has been declining since age 18! While most men still produce plenty of the hormone through their 20s and 30s, the decline accelerates in your 40s and by age 50 some men have low T. In fact, about one of every eight men in their 50s has low T, which not only can inhibit your sex drive and cause erectile dysfunction but can reduce your energy levels and impair your cognitive function, too. Eating well, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep are all ways to keep your testosterone levels from falling faster. You can also ask your doctor about treatment options. 

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Hearing Loss – Did you know that men are nearly three times more likely to have hearing loss than women? Yet, men are less likely to use hearing aids! It’s frustrating when you have to ask people to repeat themselves again and again, but there is a simple solution. You might think that a hearing aid will make you seem old, but instead it will help you hear as well as you did when you were younger. Unfortunately, many men endure years of hearing loss before they take action. Don’t wait to talk to your doctor about ways to improve your hearing as you age.

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There’s a lot to celebrate about life in your 50s. You might be at the peak of your career, for example, and more financially secure than ever. And you start to be eligible for senior discounts on coffee at the same time! 

But there also are some important health concerns that demand your attention at this time in your life. It’s vital to be proactive and to tackle any emerging issues before they become serious problems.

Inevitably, there will be more bumps along the road as you age. But, as Mark Twain famously said, “Do not complain about growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.” Taking steps to support your health will enable you to enjoy that privilege throughout your 50s and beyond!

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