June is Men’s Health Month, so you have the perfect excuse to make an appointment to address those nagging digestive issues. According to a 2014 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men are half as likely as women to go to the doctor. Whether this is due to fear, discomfort, shame, busyness or a combination of these reasons, this statistic may contribute to the fact that men tend to die earlier than women.
Does this sound like you? If so, you’re not alone.
But there’s great news! This doesn’t have to be the status quo. It’s vital to routinely discuss and understand your health. Benjamin Franklin said it best: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Here are three of the most common GI concerns that we hear from men.
Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER & GERD)
Over 60% of the adult population will experience some type of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) within a 12-month period and with chances that high; GERD is not a health issue to overlook. Simply put, GERD is more commonly known to cause heartburn, and it occurs when stomach acid moves up into your esophagus, creating an acid that can irritate the lining of your esophagus.
Some common symptoms of GERD are:
- Bitter taste in the mouth
- Discomfort in upper abdomen
Foods to avoid:
- Spicy foods
- Citrus or other acidic foods
- Foods with high-fat
Although women are prone to getting hemorrhoids as well, about half of all men between 45 and 65 have had hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. Some common causes of hemorrhoids are improper breathing (particular when lifting), lifting heavy objects and straining when using the bathroom.
Some great tips to avoid hemorrhoids are:
- Eating 30-35 grams of fiber per day
- Drink lots of water- hydration is key!
- Avoid holding your breath when lifting heavy items
- Consume less red meat
Although less common than the other two health issues, celiac disease is an important issue to consider because it’s estimated that approximately 83% of people who have celiac don’t know they have it. Most people know celiac as possessing the intolerance to gluten.
Unfortunately, the main treatment for celiac is to avoid eating gluten entirely. Luckily, in today’s world, there are more and more options for gluten-free eating every day. If you think you could be experiencing a reaction to gluten, try taking it out of your diet and see if you experience any changes in your symptoms.
Some common symptoms of Celiac include:
- Bone loss
Okay, with all that information thrown your way, it’s time to go pour yourself a drink.
If you or a friend you know may be experiencing a GI problem, contact Cary Gastroenterology for more information and schedule an appointment. Let’s stop the stigma of avoiding the doctor and take control of our health!