We conclude Mens Health Month with a look at some more embarrassing mens health issues, and how to prevent them
Too Much Gas?
Passing gas, also called flatulence or “farting,” results from releasing air trapped in your digestive system. While the sound and smell can make us the “butt” of many jokes, passing gas is common and harmless. Everyone does it several times a day. Beans, fruits, vegetables, and other high fibre foods can cause gas, as can carbonated drinks such as beer and cola. If you are lactose intolerant, dairy products may cause you to have more gas. If excessive gas is a concern for you, try to identify those trigger foods that produce more gas, and consult your GP if symptoms do not stop when you eliminate such foods.
“B.O.” comes from bacteria that thrive in a warm, moist environment. When we sweat, our skin becomes a breeding ground for these bacteria, and we may give off an unpleasant odour. Stinky foods such as garlic and onions may add to the smell. Usually a shower, clean clothes, and antiperspirant will rid you of B.O.
Extreme body odour, sometimes called bromhidrosis, is more common in men than women. It’s caused by bacteria that feed on sweat—particularly sweat from the underarms and groin produced by your apocrine glands. Prevention usually involves keeping skin as dry as possible and mitigating bacteria. If standard treatments fail, sweat glands can be removed through surgery.
Jock itch (tinea cruris) is a fungal infection that can cause a red, itchy rash in the groin area and inner thighs. It often occurs after excessive sweating such as from hot weather or exercise. Jock itch is more common in overweight men. It may arise from a case of athlete’s foot that spreads to the groin, as the same type of fungus causes both problems. It can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal creams or gels. To prevent recurrence, treat athlete’s foot at the same time (if you have it), keep the area clean and dry, and wear loose-fitting clothing.
Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by smoking or eating strong-smelling foods, but most often it is caused by bacteria in the mouth. Proper dental hygiene, including tooth brushing, flossing, and mouthwash, can usually remove the smell. Several underlying medical conditions such as gum disease, dry mouth, acid reflux, sinusitis, and diabetes can also cause bad breath. If symptoms persist even with proper oral care, contact your doctor or dentist.
Downstairs not Functioning?
Male sexual dysfunction may feel embarrassing, but by age 40 nearly 40% of all men have experienced a sexual dysfunction of some kind. This may mean decreased libido, premature ejaculation, or an inability to get or maintain an erection (erectile dysfunction, or ED). Often sexual dysfunction in men is related to an underlying condition, smoking, or medications. Talk to your doctor if you experience sexual problems to rule out diabetes, low testosterone, heart disease, neurologic conditions, and circulation problems. Sometimes it helps to seek some form of counselling to help.
Say That Again?
Hearing loss is a common problem, especially as we age. Loud or continuous noise can make it harder to hear. It may affect your ability to hear high-pitched noises, or it can result in ringing or buzzing in the ears. To prevent some forms of hearing loss, wear earplugs and keep your personal music player headphones at a low volume. Avoid loud noises or music whenever possible, and especially avoid listening to them for long periods of time.