Men are commonly the last one in the family to see a doctor, however, there are some very good reasons they should! Once they start coming into a health restoration clinic regularly, they often wonder what has taken them so long. In this article, we’ll talk about men’s health in regard to some of the common health concerns men face in regard to GI, diabetes, and cholesterol.
With A Different Perspective, men can maintain health and avoid some of the common pitfalls that are often associated with age. Just because those pitfalls are common, doesn’t mean they are normal!
Common Reactions to Symptoms and Dis-Ease
Most people, men included, fall into one of three categories of how they manage their healthcare. Some people will simply ignore symptoms or write them off as nothing of concern. The downfall of that thinking is clear; the body doesn’t make mistakes. If it’s sending a message, it’s for a reason and should be addressed!
Some will simply follow whatever they are told. They don’t question the prescription, the surgery suggestion, or, most importantly, why is their body facing the interference and causing these symptoms. Reading the product insert, and studying the risks of surgeries or other procedures are crucial to maintaining health. After all, you are the only one living in that body! If you don’t know the biological interferences behind the condition you are facing, how will you know to make the proper choice?
I’ve Got This!
Then there’s the third group, the DIYers. Now, sometimes when you’ve done your research and been educated and empowered how to look at these symptoms, determine the causes, and how to restore function, this might be a great solution! Other times, it leads to drifting through the drug store aisles with hope, but little knowledge as to how the products available could help, and whether they are doing more harm than good. In some situations, DIY just isn’t the answer, especially without some guidance and proper testing!
Are Salad and Sneakers the Only Answers To Weight Concerns?
Many people associate weight concerns with women, but in fact, men are concerned with their weight as well, or at least should be! According to data from the NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, more American men are considered overweight and obese than women:
|All (Men and Women)||Men||Women|
|Obesity (including severe obesity)||42.4||43.0||41.9|
- Nearly 1 in 3 adults (30.7%) are overweight.
- More than 1 in 3 men (34.1%) and more than 1 in 4 women (27.5%) are overweight.
- More than 2 in 5 adults (42.4%) have obesity (including severe obesity).
- About 1 in 11 adults (9.2%) have severe obesity.
- The percentage of men who are overweight (34.1%) is higher than the percentage of women who are overweight (27.5%).
When it comes to losing weight, many people are confused as to where to start. The food pyramid? Fad diets like Paleo, Keto, The Zone, vegan, vegetarian, and a whole slew of others are common go to’s when people are attempting to start a weight loss journey. This doesn’t even hit on all the prepackaged, chemical laden products marketed as weight loss “food.”
In reality, any one of these diets could be great for some and incredibly harmful to others. How would you know if you don’t consider your body’s unique needs? Personalized nutrition programs are really the only way to go for results and a healthier body.
It’s not all about the salad and sneakers, there are several contributing factors to weight gain and weight loss. How is your GI functioning? What about food allergies? How’s your liver function? Are you in a state of insulin resistance? How is your stomach acid? If you don’t know how your body is functioning, how will you know how to support it to lose the weight you are hoping to? Let’s take a closer look at each of these functions and how they affect weight loss.
Why do we eat? At the basic, biological function, it’s simply for fuel to keep our bodies functioning properly and sustaining life. If there is a breakdown in the function of the digestive system, the GI tract, the nutrients you are taking in won’t be processed by the body into the proper form for absorption and use in the body. Depending on where this interference stems from, and how the body is adapting, will determine which signals the body is sending to get your attention.
Many men tend to ignore GI issues, and chalk it up to just being a guy. Or they’ll turn to standbys like antacids and pop them like candy. But, how do you know if that antacid is doing more harm than good, or if the symptom is something that needs a bit more attention? What if the problem isn’t too much stomach acid? If the challenge is that there is too little acid, and you continue to reduce it, what is the body to do?
Why is that acid important in the first place? Stomach acid sterilizes food so that as it passes through the other organs in the digestive tract, the delicate flora balance isn’t disrupted. Consider all the gas and bloating, it could be attributed to bacteria producing gasses. Stomach acid is crucial to preparing food for the next steps in the digestive function.
There are some other practices that seem to not have huge impacts on the surface, but in reality, can affect overall health. Gallbladder surgery is common, however, doesn’t come without consequences. The gallbladder produces bile salts to emulsify fat for absorption. If fat isn’t prepared for absorption, it isn’t able to be used in the body. Many people have a misconception regarding fat; however some very vital organs rely on that fat. For instance, your brain is the highest concentration of fat in your body! Your body needs good, healthy fats, and the ability to emulsify them.
The simple answer is not to just jump to guessing and treat symptoms. Without proper testing and assessment, you could be doing more harm than good. Remember, DIY still needs some guidance!
Cholesterol and Heart Disease
Cholesterol has a reputation for being a “bad guy.” In 1986, Merck submitted the New Drug Application (NDA) for Ivostatin, the first commercial statin, to the FDA. At that time, heart disease was the #1 killer of Americans. In September of 1987, with FDA approval, statins were touted as the good guy to help reduce cholesterol in the blood and lower risks of heart attacks and stroke. According to drugs.com:
Statins are one of the most common medicines prescribed in the U.S., with more than 35 million people taking them.
Statins have gained popularity and become common practice. So, what does that mean for heart disease. Well, that’s not good news. In fact, according to the CDC, the #1 killer of men today is still heart disease and #5 is stroke.
|Leading Causes of Death, United States, males, 2016, all races and origins, all ages|
|1) Heart disease||24.2%|
|3) Unintentional injuries||7.4%|
|4) Chronic lower respiratory diseases||5.2%|
|7) Alzheimer’s disease||2.5%|
|9) Chronic liver disease||1.8%|
|10) Kidney disease||1.8%|
A Common Denominator?
That list of killers also tells another story. According to Mayo Clinic, a list of common side effects from statins includes:
- Liver damage
- Kidney failure
- Increased blood sugar or type 2 diabetes
- Neurological issues including memory loss or confusion
Compare those two lists again. This brings us to the question, are statins good at lowering cholesterol only to increase the risk of another health problem? Have statins improved the risk of death by heart disease? Ironically, today’s #1 killer of American men remains the same. Heart disease is still firmly on top of the list after 35 years of statins. The outcomes haven’t changed.
Is the cholesterol the problem? No, it is not. Is the testing incomplete to determine the real issue? Yes. Many people focus on the “bad cholesterol” (LDL). This is the type of cholesterol that goes out into the body to repair where damage has been done. If you have high LDL, you likely have something going on! HDL takes cholesterol back to the liver for processing. These cholesterols are not causing the health challenge. It means they have work to do and they’re restoring function. If we interfere with them from doing their job, we prohibit the body from healing.
For more information on cholesterol, check out what our founder, Dr. Patrick Flynn has to say in this video.
We’ve recently published a comprehensive article regarding diabetes, a metabolic condition in which the body isn’t able to properly use the hormone insulin. Insulin resistance triggers many of the leading causes of disease: obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, PCOS, and more. Diabetes also has an interesting connection to the statins described in the above section. To learn more, check out this video.
Of the two types of diabetes, type 2 is the more common type among adults. According to the CDC, in 1958, the percentage of Americans with diagnosed diabetes was .93%. That’s less than 1%. In 2015, that number was up to 7.4% of the population. Today, according to the CDC,
More than 37 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and approximately 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes most often develops in people over age 45, but more and more children, teens, and young adults are also developing it.
So, What Do We Do About it All?
The common ground with all of these concerns is typically with lifestyle and weight. While that may not answer all of the concerns, it certainly brings us a place to start. Weight loss can face many hurdles.
Below are a few of the common roadblocks many people face on their way to weight loss:
- Stress – In today’s high tech, fast paced world, people don’t face stress the way our ancestors did. There needs to be a space to release stress and return to normal, instead of a constant state of stress. When men stress, they eat, and then they get over it. When they are in this cycle, they connect to food emotionally. When this happens, there may be a challenge in the adrenals, the gland that regulates and helps the body adapt to stress.
- Inflammation—Inflammation is caused by one of the 3T’s. Toxins, traumas, and thoughts all disrupt the body’s normal function and cause inflammation, which causes all forms of disease. What is the common appearance of inflammation? Red and puffy. But what if that is happening on the inside where you don’t spot it as easily?
- Hormone deficiency or imbalance – Statins and blood pressure medications deplete men’s hormones. It’s simply not possible to balance hormones when someone in on a statin. Cholesterol is a building block for hormones. If there is no cholesterol, there are no hormones. Fat also produces hormones. When the body is under chronic stress, the body creates a fail-safe by keeping fat so that it can maintain hormones and sustain life. Often, in guys, this can result in the stereotypical “man boobs.”
- Immune system – Food allergies can cause water retention in gut, resulting in what appears as the classic “beer belly.” Your immune system is there to protect and sustain life. If your immune system is in a state of overaction or inefficient, the body will begin to protect itself and hold onto resources or wrap toxins in fat to withhold dangers from the body.
- Lifestyle –This is the classic road block everyone knows about. Sometimes, you just need to stop eating non-nutritional, highly processed, toxic foods, start moving a bit, and make the change. For some, it’s as simple as that.
To learn more, watch Dr. Jason destroy roadblocks to weight loss here. Figuring out what is holding you back can help get you started. Sometimes you need further testing. That’s where The Wellness Way is head and shoulders above any other health restoration practice, including weight loss. Each person is unique, and their individual biological needs need to be assessed. We have those tools and know how to use them. We do health differently!
Contact a Wellness Way clinic today to discover what might be holding you back in your weight loss and health restoration journey.