Men are more likely to suffer or die from preventable causes such as heart disease and unintentional injuries than women. Male health focuses on health conditions specific only to men such as prostate related illnesses (erectile dysfunction, prostate cancer), and serious diseases for which men are at higher risk for such as heart disease and lung cancer. Male health issues are related to reproductive, sexual, cardiovascular, and mental health, and cancer prevention and treatment. Often lifestyle factors including diet, stress, and exercise, and preventive screenings are considered when assessing male health.
What do male health tests measure?
Male health tests assess hormones and biomarkers significant to male health such as testosterone, cortisol, prostate specific antigen (PSA), cholesterol, and HbA1C. There are a variety of tests using various types of samples (blood, saliva, urine) available through Rupa Health.
Some examples of these tests include:
- Dutch's Complete (Dried Urine): A detailed analysis is performed on a urine sample for the sex and adrenal hormones and associated metabolites. Daily and free cortisol, organic acids meltonis, and 8-OHdG are included.
- Access Medical Labs' Testosterone, Free & Total: A serum sample is assessed for free and total testosterone, which can be helpful in determining testicular function in males.
- Vibrant America’s IGF-1: A blood sample is analyzed for insulin-like growth factor 1 to provide information for growth disorders.
- Access Medical Labs' PSA, Total (mcr Scr): A serum sample is analyzed for total PSA to support monitoring and treatment response in patients with a prostate cancer history. Elevated levels can be indicative of prostate inflammation, benign prostatic hypertrophy, and prostate cancer.
- Boston Heart's Estradiol (E2): A serum sample is assessed for estradiol, which can be helpful with diagnosing infertility issues, hormone imbalances and some reproductive conditions.
Alongside male health tests, a physical examination and medical history are important, as well as recommended age-group screenings such as blood pressure, cholesterol, prostate cancer.
Generally, treatment plans for male health include promoting self-care for men such as supporting mental health, encouraging appropriate exercise, healthy eating and supplements, and undertaking preventive screenings.
Depending on the male health concern, some common treatment plans include:
- Prostate - regular screening, beneficial supplements which improve urinary tract function, keeping hydrated, and diet changes to limit caffeine and processed foods.
- Low Testosterone - ensuring adequate sleep, regular exercise, balanced diet, limiting stress, and taking supplements to help increase testosterone levels such as vitamin D, ginger. Potential symptoms of low testosterone include unexplained fatigue, depression, irritability, increased body fat, male breast tissue growth, loss of muscle tone, decreased libido.
- Heart - managing and decreasing stress, daily activity and exercise, including omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium in diet.