What are male health warning signs?

Playwright George Bernard Shaw said that youth is wasted on the young. If you don’t understand what this means, you’re not 40 yet. Alas, having reached this milestone (a few years ago), I know perfectly well what it means.

Beyond things like not belonging to the “right” demographic advertisers covet or having 30-year-olds call you “sir,” the nagging aches, pains and medical issues that sometimes come with age are probably the worst things some men have to look forward to.

What are the health warning signs that things may not be right that every man should heed? I sat down with Dr. Timothy Boone, chairman of the Houston Methodist Department of Urology, to talk about men’s health – specifically an aging man’s health. Dr. Boone cautions that there are several warning signs that should send any man to visit their doctor right away.

“You should be aware of a strong family history of prostate cancer – mainly first-degree family members. So if you have a father, a brother or an uncle who’ve had prostate cancer you probably should get checked as early as 45 to 50 years old,” Dr. Boone said.

This doesn’t mean that men in their late 40s and early 50s without a history of prostate cancer shouldn’t have a conversation about a PSA test with their doctor – they should. PSA – or prostate-specific antigen – is a protein produced by cells in the prostate. An elevated level of PSA can sometimes point to cancer.

Perhaps a scarier warning sign something may be wrong is finding blood in your urine. Even if it’s not accompanied with pain, it’s still something you should get checked out immediately.

There are several warning signs that should send any man to visit their doctor right away Click To Tweet

“It could be something as simple as a small stone that isn’t really causing you any trouble. But it could also be something much more serious like bladder cancer – especially if you’re a smoker,” Dr. Boone said.

You should also pay attention to how often you’re urinating. “Frequent urination may be a sign of diabetes,” Dr. Boone said. “Diabetes can affect your bladder function if it gets out of control.”

If you’re feeling dehydrated and notice you’re going to the bathroom more than normal, you may want to call your doctor.

And while it’s probably no man’s favorite subject of discussion, if your erections are dropping off in terms of rigidity it’s probably time to make an appointment with your doctor.

“It’s an early warning sign of significant cardio vascular disease. In fact it may be the first sign because the blood vessels in the penis are so small they’re real sensitive to narrowing long before your cardiac vessels are,” Dr. Boone said. “Loss of erective function in men in their 40s and 50s warrants careful attention.”

Dr. Boone said that the best way to prevent some of these issues to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. “Weight loss, good diet and exercise all have preventative features relevant to urology.”

As to how do you get the younger generations to stop asking you about the Cold War, the first moon landing or disco … I can’t help you.

Erik Noriega

Erik Noriega

Senior Editor at Houston Methodist
Erik Noriega has been writing words for almost 40 years and has been getting paid for it for more than 20. An almost-native Houstonian by way of Mexico City, he has also worked for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and the Greater Houston Partnership.
Erik Noriega

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Erik Noriega

Erik Noriega has been writing words for almost 40 years and has been getting paid for it for more than 20. An almost-native Houstonian by way of Mexico City, he has also worked for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and the Greater Houston Partnership.