10 Vital Men’s Health Pointers from a Urologist
For many men, providing for their families is their top priority, so much so that they tend to shy away from looking after themselves. They often take their health for granted until they start to have problems with it.
If this sounds like you, it is time to take charge of your health—and the same thing holds true for your urological health. These pointers from one of the most trusted men’s health experts in North Carolina, Dr. Richard Natale, will help you get started.
1.) Make healthy food choices.
The importance of making healthy food choices is self-explanatory and beyond question.
To help maintain your reproductive health, consume foods rich in zinc, selenium, and sulforaphane, as these contain powerful antioxidants.
Avoid excessive consumption of sugary foods or those loaded with simple carbs, as these can lead to diabetes and obesity, both of which increase your risk for prostate conditions, such as cancer and erectile dysfunction.
Additionally, overcooked meats and animal fats, which are found in fatty meats, butter, cheese, and lard, have also shown to increase your susceptibility to prostate cancer and therefore should be avoided.
Limit your consumption of caffeine, chocolate, spicy food, blackcurrant, and fruits that are very acidic, such as tomatoes and citrus fruits, as too much of them can irritate your bladder.
2.) Drink enough water.
Aim to drink six to eight cups of water every day to flush out toxins, avoid dehydration, and maintain good urinary health. Drinking water also helps to lower your risk of developing kidney stones. Limit alcohol consumption, as it can also irritate your bladder and heighten bladder activity, which may contribute to urinary incontinence.
3.) Engage in regular physical activity.
Regular exercise is central to both maintaining a healthy weight and lowering your risk of developing urological cancers, heart disease, and diabetes.
Research shows that just a few hours of exercise a week can help improve prostate health, regulate hormones, and boost metabolism, among many other benefits.
4.) Kick the wait-and-see habit.
It is imperative that you pay attention to what your body is telling you about your health. If you sense that something isn’t quite right or you’re experiencing symptoms of a urological condition, such as blood in urine, frequent urge to urinate but less output, or painful ejaculation, don’t wait. See Dr. Natale right away, so he can diagnose and administer appropriate treatment before your condition escalates to a point where it will be impossible to reverse it.
5.) Stop smoking.
You must have heard time and time again about the detrimental effects of smoking on your health. It pays to be aware of the fact that it can also increase your risk for prostate and bladder cancers. Moreover, studies show that prostate cancer patients who are smokers are also more likely to die from the disease or experience a recurrence of prostate cancer later in life.
6.) Strengthen your pelvic muscles with Kegel exercises.
It’s a good thing to care about your biceps, but it’s even better to take care of the muscles you don’t see—your pelvic muscles!
Kegel exercises help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which enable you to control your urge to urinate or defecate when it is inconvenient. The exercises also help delay ejaculations by allowing you to contract the muscles on command.
By repeating a set of Kegel exercises three times every day, you can prevent incontinence and improve your sexual experience at the same time.
- Establish good toilet habits.
Establishing good bathroom habits is crucial for preventing urinary problems. Going to the bathroom too frequently or before you actually need to go, can reduce the strength and capacity of your bladder. Rushing or forcing urination, or not fully emptying your bladder, may also lead to complications such as bladder infections and problems with the pelvic floor muscles.
A healthy person typically uses the bathroom four to eight times during the day and does not need to urinate more than twice per night. If you notice otherwise, or are experiencing problems urinating, schedule a consultation with Dr. Natale.
8.) Get enough sleep.
Not getting enough shut-eye? It’s about time to do something with your sleep hygiene. Lack of sleep can cause brain fog, weaken your immune system, affect your sex drive, and lead to weight gain, which can render you susceptible to diabetes and other chronic conditions. As if those were not enough, research has found that men who are chronically sleep-deprived are at a greater risk for infertility.
On average, the life span of women is approximately 8 percent longer than that of men. One good reason for this, according to experts, is that while women are more likely to endure a great deal of stress than men, the former are much more social in the way they manage it. Men, on the other hand, often sort to aggression or withdrawal (flight-or-fight reaction).
If you’re feeling inundated with negative thoughts caused by stressful situations, try meditation, prayer, exercise, journaling, or getting a massage. These are all great stress relievers and are definitely worth considering.
10.) After age 40, See a Urologist Regularly.
To fully take charge of your sexual and reproductive health, Dr. Natale recommends that you see him regularly starting at age 40, or possibly earlier if you have risk factors for potentially serious urological conditions like prostate cancer.
Urologist Dr. Natale is a proponent of preventive health care. Through routine exams and health screenings, he can determine your risk and mitigate it long before you develop signs and symptoms.
Also, regular appointments with Dr. Natale give him an opportunity to not only address specific complaints; it also allows him to employ an encompassing approach, (e.g., dietary and lifestyle recommendations) to help lower your risk of developing certain health conditions commonly linked to urological problems.