Let’s look at some facts:
- There is evidence that far too many men die from late treatment for chronic diseases and unhealthy lifestyle choices as compared to women. (source)
- In terms of mental health, men report fewer stress, depression, and anxiety cases than women do, but suicide rates suggest that men are 1.8x more likely to commit suicide than adult women. (source)
- Life expectancy for men is much lower than for women in most developed countries. (source)
- 57% of the world’s population above 65 is women.
Women are much more likely to see their GP or primary health care practitioner for health concerns in Canada. Similar numbers are reported in developed countries. (source)
If these facts suggest anything, it’s that men need to seek treatment and deal with existing health concerns more readily. As lifestyle choices are often the biggest concern for adult men, a consultation with a naturopathic doctor that focuses on personalized recommendations for diet, exercise and even stress management can do a world of good.
If you’re looking for a naturopathic clinic in Toronto, our naturopathic physicians can provide excellent care without judgement. Through naturopathic treatments, we can help you address both physical and mental health symptoms like male infertility, fatigue, impotence, prostate issues, anxiety, stress and hormonal acne.
Some conditions might not even require you to visit a clinic or be on a particular medicine. Natural remedies may be instrumental in addressing problems arising from hormone imbalance, which is usually the foundation of chronic diseases.
Why is Men’s Health Important?
While we may approach seeking treatment for diseases differently on a personal level, diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer do not discriminate. Prompt intervention from your health practitioner at the right time is instrumental to nipping many diseases in the bud before they hinder your daily life.
However, this is where it gets tricky. Despite the fact that men are more likely to use alcohol, cannabis and nicotine products like cigarettes and vapes (as per a Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey), they are also less likely to have insurance and regular doctors.
In other words, not only are men more prone to chronic diseases due to unhealthy lifestyle choices, they are also less likely to be diagnosed in time & receive treatment too. This speaks to the lack of awareness regarding men’s health in our society and how it can have catastrophic consequences.
As healthcare practitioners, we always recommend that our patients listen to their bodies and seek intervention when something feels “off”. No matter how healthy you are, it is always smart to have regular checkups to detect diseases before they develop and become severe. Specific issues such as prostate cancer require timely intervention, and if you rely only on external symptoms to track your health, you are not likely to get the diagnosis in time.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, it is critical that you are proactive (and not reactive) about your health concerns. It is worth mentioning that naturopathic doctors treat the body as a “whole”, and therefore can help you identify problems that an external exam may not address.
The consultation with a Naturopathic doctor is highly thorough & personal, and can last up to 90 minutes. Your doctor will explore your past illnesses, your lifestyle choices, and your family history to uncover anything that could be causing health concerns. We encourage patients to address any reservations they have about undergoing a check-up so they can focus on self-care.
Male-Specific Conditions That Our Naturopathic Doctors Can Treat
Fertility issues are estimated to affect 1 in 6 couples in Canada (source), and in at least 3 out of 10 times, the cause is traced to the man.
This can be due to reduced sperm production, poor sperm quality, hormonal imbalances, or some kind of blockage, undescended testicles, or prostate inflammation. STIs can also be a potential culprit.
We understand how difficult it can be not to be able to have a child, but we encourage our patients to see it not as a crisis, but an opportunity to improve their reproductive health, as well as their overall health.
Naturopathic treatments have shown to be highly effective in treating causes of fertility that arise from hormonal imbalances as well as lifestyle choices. As male infertility can also be traced to sex-neutral concerns related to tobacco and alcohol use, weight abnormalities, early or late puberty, chronic illnesses like diabetes, and past treatments for cancer or other such diseases — a naturopathic consultation can help you tackle the root cause of infertility as well as manage your overall health.
Naturopathic treatments for men’s fertility can help address some of the symptoms:
- Inability to engage in sexual activities
- Swollen/painful testicle area
- Anosmia, i.e., loss of smell
- Frequent respiratory issues
- Gynecomastia, i.e., abnormal breast growth
- Low sperm count
- Hormonal imbalance signs such as acne or reduced body hair
Low energy in men is sometimes rooted in low testosterone levels, which is also referred to as Low-T. Men who are overweight or are struggling with diabetes are more likely to have Low-T.
Studies related to low testosterone show that 30% of overweight men suffer from Low-T compared to 6.4% of those at a normal weight. (source)
Although Naturopathic doctors (NDs) do not provide testosterone therapy, they will work with you on correcting the testosterone levels naturally using naturopathic medicine and lifestyle recommendations. For instance, your doctor may prescribe supplements like Ashwagandha, a herbal remedy that boosts testosterone levels while also having other benefits.
Naturopathic consultations can also help in managing other causes of low energy including poor diet, insomnia, depression, thyroid disorders and iron deficiency. Some naturopathic solutions for insomnia and sleep apnea can also help improve your energy levels.
Please Note: Just as the causes of low energy differ, treatments for those will differ. The first naturopathic consultation will help our doctors in understanding and preparing a complete treatment plan for concerns that affect you personally.
Other than the specific symptoms related to the cause, low energy can lead to:
- Feeling sleepy during the day or having trouble sleeping and waking up on time
- Brain fog, or difficulty concentrating
- Loss of motivation
- Feeling stuck
Decreased Libido or Impotence
Loss of or decrease in libido levels, i.e., sex drive, is not necessarily related to a relationship issue. Underlying health conditions like erectile dysfunction can be the cause too.
In some cases, this reduction in libido will be temporary as a result of stress and tiredness. It is important to remember that “normal libido” is not a concept per se, and it varies significantly among men depending on a host of factors.
Libido also decreases with age due to sexual dysfunction (SD), with research showing that 52% of men within the age group 40-70 report symptoms of SD. (source)
Mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety and drug and alcohol abuse can also decrease libido or cause impotence.
Related Symptoms & Signs
- Signs of depression such as feeling empty, struggling with focus, sleeping too little or too much, and disinterest in hobbies and social interactions
- Anxiety signs such as trembling, a heightened sense of worry, and anxiety attacks
For sleep-related concerns, naturopathic solutions for insomnia centered on sleep hygiene can help.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) refers to tissue enlargement around the prostate or growth of the prostate itself. The prostate is supposed to double in size at puberty and then again at the age of 25. When this growth becomes abnormal, BPH is suspected.
Once the prostate grows too big, it can strain the bladder and cause urinary issues.
A man’s chances of having BPH go up with age. In the 51-60 age group, about 50% of men suffer from BPH, and this figure shoots up to 90% for men older than 80.
Another issue is prostate cancer, the 4th most common cancer in men, with 1 in 9 men diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. 99% of prostate cancer cases occur in men over 50 years. Risk factors for prostate cancer include aging, family history, and genetics.
Then there’s prostatitis, the infection and inflammation of the prostate that affects younger men and middle-age men more, unlike other health conditions. Only 5-10% men develop prostatitis in their lifetimes.
Natural remedies like botanical medicine, nutritional supplements, and acupuncture are all effective in treating these prostate conditions, and your doctor may prescribe a combination of those depending on the nuances of your condition.
- Urinating frequently, especially at night
- Difficulty getting a urine stream going
- Feeling as if you are unable to get all the urine out
- Urgent urges to urinate, even with no urine coming out
- Nocturia, i.e., having to wake up multiple times in the night to urinate
- Dysuria, i.e., burning sensation when urinating
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- Painful ejaculation
- Discomfort within the genital region
- Needing to urinate more frequently or urgent urges to urinate
- Flu-like feeling
- Pain in the abdomen and lower back
Acne that occurs as a result of hormonal imbalances can happen even after puberty, even up to the age of 30 or more. Sometimes, natural solutions for acne are enough to get rid of them.
Hormonal fluctuations can lead to intense acne that may not go away with even OTC medication. These are usually linked with genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices. When testosterone in men fluctuates, the skin produces more sebum (oil) and clogs the pores and receptors.
Getting to know your hormones and incorporating natural solutions are excellent options to help regulate your testosterone levels as a starting point to fixing the issue.
Clogged follicles lead to bacterial infection, causing breakouts. Some men naturally have more sebaceous glands than others on their chests, shoulders, and backs. For such men, hormonal acne can occur because of even minor modifications in hormonal levels. You can use some of the ten solutions to support hormones naturally or natural supplements for healthier skin to help regulate sebum production.
Identifying Hormonal Male Acne:
- Raised, red, and tender bumps
- Puss-filled whiteheads
- Cysts, i.e., deep pimples without an opening on the chin, cheeks, jawline, and neck
Thanks to patriarchally charged myths surrounding men’s mental health, a majority of cases go untreated. Men are expected to suppress these feelings of resignation or helplessness that can stem from depression. These then get channelized as anger and aggressiveness.
The fact is that a lack of dopamine causes depression, and this shortage can occur across all sexes.
Even though women are more likely to be affected by depression than men, as per research surveys, the fact is that depression is underdiagnosed among men (source), so these figures may be skewed. Men are told that therapy is only for women, which is a simultaneous attack on all sexes. Treatment is crucial for everybody.
Naturopathic treatments, including therapy, botanical medicine, and lifestyle changes can help in effectively managing symptoms of depression.
- Extreme feeling of sadness for extended periods
- Trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
- Pessimism and hopelessness
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or sleeping too much
- Crankiness or irritability
- Loss of interest in things once pleasurable, including sex
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Urge to cry
- Feeling disconnected from reality
Naturopathic Treatment of Men’s Health in Ontario
A “Naturopathic Doctor” (ND) is a protected title referring to medically-trained and licensed healthcare practitioners. NDs are not “Medical Doctors” (MDs), and both these fields have specific medical training and qualifications that differ from each other.
NDs provide a complementary or alternative avenue to conventional pharmaceutical methods to address illnesses and infections. NDs can effectively help address men’s health issues with naturopathic solutions.
Naturopathic medicine, treatments, and fees are not covered by Ontario’s Health Care Plan (OHIP), but you can receive coverage as part of your extended health insurance plans. Depending on the plan you have subscribed to, your insurance provider may cover naturopathic treatments and consultations.
Most naturopathic doctors charge an hourly fee which varies depending on the services they offer. A single consultation can last anywhere from 20 minutes to 60 minutes, with the first consultation being longer to cover the patient’s relevant medical history. These consultations can be in-person or virtual. You can find the breakdown of our fees here.
To help you overcome your health conditions, a naturopath can order a range of blood tests, including hormonal blood tests, diabetes scans, urine tests, and so on. A naturopathic doctor can also order tests not covered by OHIP (which is why MDs cannot order them), such as certain food allergy tests, infertility tests, and yeast sensitivity tests.
These tests can be the starting point for understanding the conditions you are struggling with.
NDs can prescribe medicine as per Table 3 in the Health Canada Prescription Drug List and the NAPRA Schedule I. For natural health products that do not fall under these lists, a prescription is not required.
Admitting the prevalence of some of the symptoms related to these conditions might be tricky. But once you take the first step, Annex Naturopathic Clinic can provide you with solutions that may help with the above conditions. Physical and mental health conditions require timely intervention for everyone. Men’s health is no exception.
Contact us today to know more about how we can address your concerns and how naturopathic medicine can assist you in your journey of being a better version of yourself, both physically and mentally.
FAQs About Men’s Health
What are the top men’s health issues?
Here are the most prevalent men’s health issues that you need to know about so that you can take the appropriate steps to remedy them and live a healthy life:
- Heart complications
- Respiratory diseases
- Diseases stemming from alcohol abuse (understanding alcohol effects is critical here).
- Mental health concerns such as suicidal ideation and depression
- Accidental injuries
- Liver disease
- Flu and pneumonia
- Skin cancer
- Diseases stemming from unsafe sex, such as HIV and AIDS
What are the dangerous years for men?
Within their 20s and 30s, men are susceptible to setting themselves up to diseases that flow from lifestyle choices such as alcohol and drug abuse, smoking, and reckless behavior that can lead to accidental deaths. When looking for an alternative to regular cigarettes, keep in mind the health repercussions of vaping and e-cigarettes.
In the 40s and the 50s, low testosterone-related diseases manifest, along with other conditions such as loss of energy and weight gain. The latter can be regulated with naturopathic solutions (the health benefits of polyphenols include regulating weight). These can be signs of heart disease, blood pressure, and diabetes.
Beyond the 50s, prostate issues flare up, and men start losing hair.
Along the way, you must address any signs of hormonal imbalance as they can indicate a host of mental and physical health issues.
What is included in men’s health treatment?
In general, men’s health is not just about looking fit or not having any disease. It refers to a comprehensive state of physical, mental, and social well-being. Most men’s health issues can be treated by taking preventive steps and tweaking lifestyle choices.
Those who require consultations with a naturopathic doctor or any other medical practitioner, whether related to mental health counseling, testosterone therapy, or prostate surgery, should unhesitatingly contact the authorized doctors in Toronto or Ontario.
Naturopathy treatment can assist with:
- Male infertility
- Impotence/Poor libido
- Prostate problems
- Hormonal acne
- Stress Management
How can a man improve his health?
Fundamental lifestyle changes can go a long way in preventing many diseases and improving men’s overall health. These include:
- Eating a healthy diet that incorporates all major food groups. Fad diets or restrictive diets that eliminate carbs should be avoided. They might bring short-term benefits, but in the long term, they can affect your body’s hormonal balance and overall functioning.
- Staying at a healthy weight.
- Getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep, using natural solutions for better sleep.
- Being physically active.
- Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Two drinks a day, with a standard glass measuring up to 12 ounces of beer/wine cooler, 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits is sufficient.
- Visit a Naturopathic doctor for consultations and regular checkups even when no apparent sign of infection or disease is present.