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  • Writer's pictureMarvin de Castro, MN NP

What Young Men Should Know About Their Health

We have reviewed a few major health topics this month of November at HomeHealth NP, thanks to the inspiration from the Movember campaign highlighting Men's health that focused on testicular cancer, prostate cancer and mental illness (To Learn more - see our social media on Facebook & Instagram.

To finish this series we highlight health tips that younger adult men between 18-40 should know.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs, or the previously known, STDs)

To the young men living quite vicariously in their early adult years. Have fun, but don't forget about your health and protect yourselves against STIs, as you are at the highest risk for acquiring them.

What are STIs? Exactly what it means, infections that are transmitted between sexually active individuals.

How is it transmitted? Through direct sexual contact that includes oral, genital and anal intercourse. Blood borne infections such as HIV and hepatitis are passed through sharing of needles, exposure to blood, and it can be passed from mother to child during childbirth.

Why should I be concerned? STIs are contagious! But most are very treatable, such as gonorrhea/chlamydia/syphillis, and some are very serious and not curable, such as HIV and certain types of hepatitis. STIs can cause a number of problems, including infertility, during pregnancy - increased rates of miscarriage and premature labour, after pregnancy - risk of transmission to newborn, increased risk of certain cancers such as throat, penis, cervical cancers, and the list goes on.

Am I at risk? People between the ages of 18-35 have the highest rates of STIs, according to a Canadian study. The risk increases if you are having unprotected intercourse, multiple partners, intercourse under the influence of drugs/alcohol, sharing needles, and men having sex with men.

What symptoms should I watch for? Discharge (fluid or pus), pain, rash, bumps, ulcers, painful urination, flu like symptoms AND from anywhere you have had sexual contact including, throat anus and penis.

Should I get tested? If you have symptoms or fall in the at risk category, you should! Otherwise talk to your Family Nurse Practitioner or Physician whether or not you should get screened (screening is testing for STI, even though you do not have symptoms)

What can I do to protect myself? Use barrier methods 100%! This includes both male and female condoms and other barrier methods. Get tested if you are at risk or have symptoms, and get screened regularly if you live a risky sexual lifestyle.

High Blood pressure

Men are at increased risk for high blood pressure. Take your blood pressure regularly, because catching it early can help save you a lot of problems down the road.

What is high blood pressure (Hypertension)? A blood pressure above 140/90 mm Hg is considered high.

What is a normal blood pressure? The ideal blood pressure is to around 120/80. If you are in the high normal, which is above 130/85, you are still considered at risk for developing hypertension.

Why is it important? Addressing hypertension early can help prevent complications such as stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, etc. It can help to keep you from being on medications if you adopt a healthy lifestyle early on.

What are the symptoms? Most men are asymptomatic, at a young age. If your blood pressure is really high or has been high for a long time, watch out for: headaches, fatigue, heart pounding, shortness of breath, numbness and tingling, vision problems, etc.

When should I get checked? All healthy adults (18+) should check their blood pressure every 3 to 5 years at the minimum. If you have a personal or family history of hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, heart disease - you should check it every 1-2 year

Where can I get checked? Its very easy to check your blood pressure outside of the medical clinic, and its actually preferred to do so, since some people experience a rise in blood pressure at the clinic, known as white-coat syndrome. You can buy a blood pressure machine, or get it checked at your local pharmacy such as at walmart, superstore and various others.

What can I do? Adopt a healthy lifestyle - including regular exercise, healthy diet, sleep, smoking cessation, etc. We touch on these topics in the last blog 6 Simple Reminders to Prepare your Immune System. Follow up with your Family Nurse Practitioner or Physician if you have questions or concerns.

High Cholesterol

Coupled with a bad diet and little-to-no exercise, your risk for having high cholesterol increases. In today's society, it is near impossible to avoid some type of fast food or quick fix advertisement during your morning or evening commute to/from home & work, resist the temptation! High cholesterol affects more men than women, especially in your 20s and 30s.

What is high cholesterol? There are a number of cholesterol indicators including: HDL-C (good cholesterol), LDL-C (bad cholesterol), triglycerides, and a few more (without getting too technical). When these cholesterol indicators are too high, you are considered to have high cholesterol.

Why should I care? High cholesterol is often associated with chronic disease such as high blood pressure and diabetes. It increases your risk of stroke and heart disease. In the body, its thought to contribute to hardening of the arteries, and also over time can narrow the arteries - this in turn makes it harder for the heart to move blood through your body AND makes you susceptible to clots that can plug the blood flow and cause a heart attack or stroke.

What are the symptoms? Generally you are asymptomatic even if you have high cholesterol.

When should I get checked? Some risk factors include: poor diet, lack of exercise, being overweight/obese, smoking, lack of sleep, family history, etc. If you meet this criteria - you should have your cholesterol levels checked.

Where should I get checked? It is a simple blood test that can be ordered by your Family Nurse Practitioner or Family Physician.

What can I do? Adopt a healthy lifestyle - including regular exercise, healthy diet, sleep, smoking cessation, etc. We touch on these topics in the last blog 6 Simple Reminders to Prepare your Immune System. Follow up with your Family Nurse Practitioner or Physician if you have questions or concerns.

Now is the time to Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle!

We cover healthy lifestyle interventions in our last blog, including: Washing Hands, Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep, Immunizations. See 6 Simple Reminders to Prepare your Immune System

We also cover health topics related to testicular cancer, prostate cancer and mental health. Add us on Facebook & Instagram.


Thank you for reading

At HomeHealth NP in addition to providing medical care, we are using our position in the community to educate the public about their health and how Nurse Practitioners can be a part of the solution.

Marvin de Castro, RN MN NP


HomeHealth NP

At HomeHealth NP our services go beyond your traditional medical visit. By offering house calls and virtual care - we provide excellent care and convenient patient accessibility.

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