Men seem especially prone to accidents, or unintentional injuries. This is the third leading cause of death among men. It's an issue for men that encompasses a variety of factors, including car accidents, falls, drug overdoses, safety problems at home and at the workplace and violence. Problems with the prostate, a gland located below the bladder in men that makes semen, can also occur. Prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate), an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer are the three main problems that men can experience related to the prostate gland. Men can also experience sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction or low testosterone. Both men and women can become infected with HIV and develop AIDS, but gay men and black men have the highest rates of the disease. Let’s take a look at prostate problems as it related to diet. The prostate gland helps make semen, the fluid that contains sperm. Problems like an enlarged prostate, prostate cancer and prostatitis, or inflammation of the prostate, are common health problems for men as they grow older. One way that diet can affect the risk of prostate problems is through obesity. Several studies have shown that being obese increases the risk of prostate cancer and other prostate problems. Other studies have shown specific types of food to influence the overall risk for prostate cancer and other problems. For example, some research has shown that men who eat a lot of red meat and fatty dairy products, and not a lot of fruits and vegetables, increase their risk of getting prostate cancer. High calcium intake may also enhance risk, though it’s important to note that calcium has other health benefits for the body.
What to Eat and What to Avoid Eating for a healthy prostate is like maintaining a healthy diet overall. The focus should be on a variety of healthy foods, with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein. Some studies have shown that lycopene, a carotenoid found in fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, apricots and watermelon, may help lower the risk of several cancers, including prostate cancer. Lycopene is easiest for the body to process when consumed through processed tomato products like tomato paste and puree. Unsaturated fats, such as those found in fish, nuts, olives and vegetable oils, should be emphasized over red meat. And it may also help to load up on spices that fight inflammation, like ginger, cinnamon and garlic.
Eating right may not be at the top of every young man's to-do list. But the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says by starting healthy eating habits in their 20s, young men can set themselves up for healthier adult lives. The academy offers this advice: Eat a nutritious breakfast each day. Have a healthy snack in the midmorning and midafternoon, which will boost energy and help avoid overeating at mealtimes. Eat at least 2 cups of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables daily. Opt for lean proteins, such as chicken, turkey, pork and fish, over red meat. Include plant-based foods -- such as tofu, beans and lentils -- in your diet. Eat healthy fats, such as avocado, olive oil, walnuts, almonds and canola oil. Eat three servings of low-fat dairy each day to promote healthier bones. Get enough vitamin D by taking a supplement or by drinking fortified milk. Get enough iron by eating lots of leafy greens or by eating fortified cereal.
When the weather warms, we tend to spend more time outside with six-legged creatures that feast on our blood. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggests how to prevent bug bites by applying insect repellent: Use only repellent that contains ingredients registered with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Spray repellent on clothes or skin, but not directly on the face. Don't use repellent on babies. On children, only use repellent that contains no more than 10 percent DEET. You can use oil-of-eucalyptus products on children over age 3. Don't use repellent that's meant for people on your pets. Always follow the label's instructions. Avoid applying repellant to children's hands, around the eyes, or on a cut or irritated skin. Store repellent out of children's reach. Wash repellent off with soap and water. Contact a Poison Control Center if anyone has a reaction to repellent.
Avoiding pesky mosquitoes Mosquito bites may be more than just an itchy annoyance -- they also can transmit deadly germs that cause diseases such as Zika, West Nile or dengue, the U.S. National Institutes of Health warns. Mosquito-borne illnesses kill about 725,000 people worldwide each year, the agency says. Here are the NIH's suggestions for avoiding mosquito bites: Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol or IR3535 on the skin or thin clothing. Wear long sleeves, pants and socks. Install or repair screens to keep insects out. Use air conditioning, if available, and keep windows and doors shut. Get rid of bug breeding sites by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet dishes and birdbaths.
Millions of Americans sweat their way through the work week. Ask anyone from welders to road construction crews to factory workers during a sweltering summer: Extremely hot and humid working conditions are not confined to tropical countries. If you're one of those getting hot under the collar at work, you should be aware of the many health problems associated with laboring in extreme heat. Extreme heat can lead to on-the-job accidents. It can cause less serious ills like heat cramps, prickly heat, and heat exhaustion. In rare cases, heat can even be deadly. Heat stroke occurs when the body's regulatory system fails and body temperature rises too high and can cause brain damage or death. As summer weather heats up, it is important to recognize symptoms of heat stroke. Normally, you regulate your body temperature by sweating. But in some cases, the body's temperature-control system is overtaxed and your temperature rises too quickly. Very high body temperature can cause damage to the brain and to other organs. People at highest risk of heat-related illness include infants and children up to 4 years old, people over 65, those who are overweight and those on certain medications. The CDC says symptoms of heat stroke include:
- Body temperature above 103 degrees F.
- Red, hot and dry skin, and little or no sweating.
- Rapid, strong pulse.
- Throbbing headache.
- Loss of consciousness.
The U.S. suicide rate has jumped 35 percent in the past two decades, health officials reported recently. From 1999 to 2018, the suicide rate rose from 10.5 to 14 per 100,000, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers found the rate of suicide rose by about 1 percent a year from 1999 to 2006, then increased to 2 percent a year from 2006 through 2018. The report also shows that men are more likely to die by suicide than women, and people in rural areas are at greater risk than their urban counterparts. While the suicide rate rose for both men and women, it soared 55 percent among females compared with a 28 percent climb among males. Still, men are nearly four times more likely to take their own lives, researchers reported. In 2018, the male suicide rate was nearly 23 per 100,000, and for females it was slightly more than 6 per 100,000. The highest suicide rate among women was among those 45 to 64 years old. Among males, the rate was highest for those 75 and over. Researchers believe some of these suicides are what have been called deaths of despair -- including deaths due to drug and alcohol abuse. Many of these deaths of despair occur in rural areas where there are fewer economic opportunities. Poverty breeds hopelessness, loneliness and depression, all emotions that increase the risk for suicide, Singer said. The report noted some good news in the last few years of the study period. "After years of increase, the suicide rates for several demographic groups, including females aged 45 and over and males aged 45 to 64, have stabilized," researchers said. But suicide rates continued to increase for males and females aged 10 to 44, and men 65 and over, she said. In 2018, men and women in rural areas were more likely to die by suicide than city dwellers, the researchers found. Among males, for example, the rates ranged from 18 in cities to 31 in the most rural counties (per 100,000). For the study, CDC researchers used data from the U.S. National Vital Statistics System. The numbers beg the question, "Why?" There's no easy answer, researchers echoed. There is concern that job losses and isolation related to current COVID-19 stay-at-home orders might result in a spike in suicides. On the other hand, being in lockdown with family might also be protective, researchers said. It's important to recognize signs of impending suicide. For more on suicide, see the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.