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The symptoms men should never ignore

Men's Health

In line with Men's Health Week, Dr Mike Webberley advises on the common health issues men experience and the symptoms men should never ignore.

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Getting and keeping an erection becomes more difficult with age, but a 2013 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests erectile dysfunction affects around a quarter of men under 40.

There can be a range of causes, according to Dr Mike Webberley, medical adviser for online health-testing service Medichecks.

He says: “While stress and anxiety can be to blame, it’s important to get a diagnosis because erectile dysfunction can also be a sign of a potentially serious underlying condition that affects nerve function or blood flow, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

“Another possible treatable cause is a fall in levels of the hormone testosterone.”

Act now! If you’ve consistently had problems for more than a few weeks, see your doctor who will carry out an assessment to find the cause. Low testosterone can be treated by hormone replacement therapy.

It’s common to need the loo more often as you get older, but certain urinary symptoms could indicate an enlarged or inflamed prostate, or even prostate cancer, which affects 47,000 UK men a year, mostly over the age of 50.

Act now! Dr Webberley says: “See your GP if you’re getting up several times in the night to pass small amounts of water, or if you’re having difficulty starting urinating or emptying your bladder fully. Also if there’s a weak flow of urine, you have pain, blood in your urine or backache. Your GP should carry out a rectal examination, check a prostate blood test and may refer you for further investigations.”

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