Male Health Problems Starting in Your 30s and Beyond
For many people, aging can be a little scary. With so many unknowns surrounding the coming years, it’s no surprise that men and women are anxious about aging — especially when it comes to their health.
What if we told you there was a way to prepare for the potential health changes that may arise as you age? In this blog, we discuss the most common male health problems men experience from their 30s to their 60s. By preparing for what may come, you can work towards a healthier you, both now and in the future.
Male Health Problems in Your 30s
Although your health should be a priority long before you hit the big 3-0, this is when more serious health ailments begin to present themselves in most men. Unfortunately, many men think they are “too young” to begin experiencing certain health problems and do not take the time to prepare for what may come. To remain proactive — in your 30s and beyond — keep these potential health concerns in mind.
Your heart is a muscle that needs to be exercised in order to remain healthy. Taking care of your heart includes aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, or biking, and also eating healthy.
Cholesterol is more likely to increase and cause problems in your 30s, especially as your metabolism begins to slow down. Staying at a lower weight and maintaining a healthy diet with lots of dark leafy green vegetables, good fats such as nuts and seeds, and grass-fed organic meats will keep your cholesterol low and heart strong.
Sperm levels and their quality can begin decreasing as early as the mid-30s. As men age, the body is less able to filter out old or damaged sperm. For men who are wanting to have children, this is a concern, since the DNA in these damaged sperm have the potential to affect the genes of your future children. Therefore, if you’d like to have kids a little later in life, consider banking sperm for future use.
Loss of Bone and Muscle Mass
You may also start to notice a slight decline in your muscle and bone mass as you get through your 30s. It’s now more important than ever to exercise and get enough calcium and Vitamin D in your diet to keep your bones strong. In addition, if you have a habit of smoking, now is a great time to quit as smoking can contribute to loss of bone density. Luckily, there are many resources available to help you get started on quitting.
Preventing loss of bone and muscle mass is important because it can otherwise make you more susceptible to injury. Foods rich in calcium include dark leafy greens, like kale and collards, in addition to fruits such as oranges and figs. For Vitamin D, focus on incorporating fatty fish and eggs into your diet. If you aren’t able to eat these foods, you can take a high-quality supplement instead.
Believe it or not, testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer for men in their 30s, according to the National Institute of Health. Your 30s are a great time to get screened for testicular cancer and stay on top of prevention. Symptoms might include an aching in the groin, lumps in one or both testicles, pain in the testicles or scrotum, and breast area tenderness. If you experience any of the above symptoms, be sure to make an appointment with a urologist for a check-up.
Unlike testicular cancer, prostate cancer isn’t generally a big concern for men in their 30s.
However, being aware of any developing symptoms (as well as early detection) can make a difference when treating prostate cancer.
Symptoms of prostate cancer include frequent urination, pain when urinating, inability to hold urine or begin to urinate, difficulty maintaining an erection, and ejaculation that is painful. The good news is early detection of prostate cancer can make treating prostate cancer successful with minimal treatment. Have your doctor perform a Prostate-Specific Antigen test to screen for this men’s health condition.
Male Health Problems in Your 40s
As you approach middle age, it’s important to keep up with proper habits in order to maintain a healthy body. While genes play a role in our wellbeing as we age, the importance of diet and exercise should not be overlooked. Below are the five men’s health problems that can occur in your 40s.
Decrease in Testosterone
A decrease in testosterone can affect everything from bone density to sex drive. While lower levels of testosterone is normal at this age, if it’s affecting your wellbeing or sex life in any way, get checked out by a doctor. To keep your testosterone levels high, maintain a lower weight, exercise regularly, get enough zinc (an important mineral that contributes to fertility), Vitamin D, and good fats from oils, nuts, and seeds.
Stress is inevitable in your 40s. By this time, you are likely to be working hard in your career, supporting a family, and maybe even taking care of aging parents. All of these major life factors can create a significant amount of stress for you and take a toll on your health. This is why it’s crucial to identify and minimize stress factors that are negatively impacting you.
Perhaps losing flexibility doesn’t sound like a big deal, until you consider the fact that decreased flexibility can shorten your muscles and cause stiffness. If you work in an environment where you spend most of your day sitting, then this is especially true. To stay flexible, move around every hour — even if it’s just a short walk around the office.
Symptoms of an enlarged prostate include the need to urinate frequently or painful urination. Prostate enlargement can be affected by many factors, but the most prevalent among them are poor diet and lack of exercise.
Focus on improving your diet to boost urological health and prevent male health issues. Staying away from consuming foods treated with growth hormones (such as meats and dairy), and increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, and good fats support a healthy prostate. If you are experiencing symptoms of an enlarged prostate, it’s best to see your doctor to determine the cause.
It’s common knowledge in the men’s health industry that your metabolism tends to slow down as you age.
A slow metabolism can lead to weight gain, and in turn, make it difficult to lose the weight. To prevent your metabolism from slowing down, build muscle through strength training, stay hydrated, and eat as healthy as possible. Also, try adding spicy foods or small amounts of caffeine to your diet to give your metabolism a bit of a jumpstart.
Male Health Problems in Your 50s
If you’re a man in your 50s, take a look at these top five male health problems. You may be surprised at what men’s health risks you are vulnerable to at this time and get inspired to make some changes to your lifestyle.
Loss of Muscle Mass
Losing muscle mass begins in your 30s and continues well into your 50s. At this point, you might notice frequent joint pain, lack of flexibility, or back pain. Discuss an appropriate workout routine with your doctor; strength building can greatly impact your muscles and keep your brain functioning well. Exercising increases circulation to the brain and can stimulate new cell growth, therefore promoting your ability to learn and memorize information.
Unfortunately, your risk for prostate cancer continues to increase as you age. However, prostate cancer that is caught early is treatable and has high rates of survival. Throughout your 50s, it’s important to know the symptoms of prostate cancer and visit your doctor regularly to ensure that your prostate is healthy.
Symptoms of prostate cancer include frequent or painful urination, blood in the urine, inability to urinate, or aching pain in the groin or back area. Without a doubt, regular visits with a urologist is the best way to stay on top of the symptoms of prostate cancer.
As you age, your body is made up of less water and so you tend to be less thirsty. Drinking less water can lead to dehydration, urinary issues, and overheating. Avoid dehydration by keeping water with you regardless of where you go. Slowly sip on fluids throughout the day as the easiest way to prevent dehydration.
Men in their 50s are also at a greater risk for developing colorectal cancer, which is why colonoscopies are recommended for anyone over the age of 50. A colonoscopy lets doctors take a look at the inside of your colon to make sure there are no cancerous polyps (growths that begin on the inner lining of your colon) and other internal issues. Don’t shy away from getting a colonoscopy, as they’re essential for keeping you protected against certain male health issues such as colorectal cancer.
If you don’t already, eat a diet that consists of fiber-rich foods like brown rice, vegetables, and whole grains for a healthy colon.
Another common issue to watch for is your heart health declining as you reach your 50s. If you suffer from high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you must be more attentive to your health than ever before.
Diet and exercise can benefit heart health immensely! Focus on plant-based proteins — such as lentils and nuts — rather than red meat. Adding good fats from seeds and oils can also help you maintain optimal heart health.
Most importantly, don’t forget the heart is a muscle that needs to be exercised. Walking for just 20 minutes a day can significantly reduce your overall risk of heart disease and stroke.
Male Health Problems in Your 60s
In your 60s, you need to be aware of a few health ailments that could be affecting your daily life. With retirement just around the corner, stay healthy in order to guarantee you will enjoy those relaxing years without major concerns.
As you get older you come to know joint pain fairly well. Our joints are involved in nearly every movement we make, so it can be very difficult to ignore the pain. This pain is typically caused by inflammation, and inflammation in our joints usually gets worse as we age.
Discuss arthritis treatments with your doctor to see if options such as physical therapy, cold applications, and proper exercise could alleviate any pain. In terms of your diet, it’s said that some people find spicy foods to provide relief. But more importantly, eat plenty of fish that are rich in essential fatty acids to fight off inflammation.
While we know bone loss continues as you age, so does your risk for osteoporosis. Although women are more likely than men to get osteoporosis, bone loss is a male health issue that should never be ignored!
Discuss taking a calcium supplement with your doctor and the amount you should take; most men in their 60s need over 1,000 mg a day to maintain their bone health. Exercising and strength building are other simple ways to prevent osteoporosis as well.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
Benign prostatic hyperplasia simply means an enlarged prostate in men. Although this is not cancer, it’s still a men’s health issue that can affect urination. You may feel like you need to urinate often, but then not be able to urinate at all or produce a weak stream. You may also experience trouble starting and stopping urination.
While BPH doesn’t lead to cancer, your doctor may want to perform some tests to see if you are suffering from any other underlying causes.
Sadly, heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States. If you are still smoking at this age, it’s not too late to stop. Having an honest conversation with your doctor can help you get started.
Additionally, eating healthier and exercising for 30 minutes a day will decrease your risk of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure.
The risk of incontinence, or loss of bladder control, is more likely to occur in your 60s. Symptoms include the “leaking” of urine whenever you laugh, cough, or sneeze (stress incontinence) or uncontrollable urges to urinate (urge incontinence).
Fortunately, incontinence is a male health problem that is preventable and is easily remedied with exercises, provided other issues are not concurrent. Anyone suffering with incontinence will benefit from Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that control the bladder’s function.
How to Stay Proactive Against Male Health Problems
Enjoy good health in every stage of your life by using our Men’s Health Guide. With each decade of life throwing a new set of potential health problems at you, it’s important you know what to expect and how to prepare for it. This way, you can discover what it takes to be healthy!
Download your free copy of the guide below.
This content was originally published in 2015 and refreshed in 2020.