7 Things to Know About a Man’s Body

Family Health, Healthy Living
on October 18, 2011

1. Men can go through their own version of menopause. Contrary to popular belief that hormonal changes are exclusive to women (probably because we talk about it more!), men can also have dramatic changes in their hormone levels. “I like to call it ‘Man-o-Pause’,” says Dr. David G. Edelson, medical director of Thin-site, LLC and assistant clinical professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “This occurs when the primary male hormones, testosterone and DHEA, decline to levels that begin to cause physical symptoms. What's more, it can occur at virtually any age, although it is clearly more common with older men.”

2. Juggling his parts could prevent testicular cancer. This disease occurs most often in men between the ages of 20 and 39. It is highly treatable when caught early, so regular self-exams are good practice—this is where you come in, lady friend! A good time to examine his testicles is after a warm bath or shower, when the heat from the water has relaxed his scrotum. Here’s how to do it, from the Mayo Clinic:

  • Examine each testicle with both hands. Place the index and middle fingers under the testicle while placing your thumbs on the top.
  • Gently roll the testicle between the thumbs and the fingers. Remember that the testicles are usually smooth, oval shaped and somewhat firm. It's normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other.
  • If you find a lump, call your doctor as soon as possible.

3. Men’s top health threat is heart disease. (OK, maybe you knew this one, but we’re including it here because it’s so important!) The Mayo Clinic recommends healthy lifestyle changes—quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet including lean sources of protein like fish (instead of fatty steaks and pork butts), physical activity, limiting alcohol and managing stress in healthy ways.

4. His beer belly isn’t from drinking beer. Sure, drinking too much can cause him to gain belly fat, but beer alone isn’t to blame—excess calories are. Belly fat is nothing to joke about, though. Regardless of his overall weight, a heavy belly increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, some types of cancer, type-2 diabetes and sleep apnea, among other things, says the Mayo Clinic.

5. Kissing him means you could get sick. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, you can share more than 500 different types of germs and viruses while kissing. So, ladies, be sure you like him (a lot) first! Also make sure that there aren’t any visible symptoms like cold sores (tiny, clear blisters) or the common cold (hello, sneezing, coughing, runny nose).

6. Men can get breast cancer, too.Though breast cancer is 100 times more common in women, men (the majority between ages 60 and 70) aren’t in the clear. The biggest problem is that men don’t recognize what it is, so school them in the symptoms. The American Cancer Society says these include lumps, skin dimpling, nipple retraction, redness or scaling of the nipple or breast skin and nipple discharge.

7. It’s not his testosterone that’s making him “mad.” Testosterone is a male sex hormone that is often associated with negative and risky behaviors like bar fights. Thing is, there’s no real evidence that it causes increased aggression. In fact, a study at the Universities of Zurich and Royal Holloway London showed that the hormone can encourage fair behaviors. So, that road rage is just him—take it or leave it!