Have you ever noticed that men are diligent about taking their cars in for maintenance or repair? The slightest knock, clank, or clatter and they are off to the mechanic shop. However, men don't always have that same philosophy about personal health issues and their own bodies. In fact, because men put off seeking medical treatment more often than women, they are more likely to die from serious diseases such as heart disease, cancer, or stroke. Here are five symptoms that even tough guys should pay attention to.
Severe Back Pain
Men can suffer back pain from a variety of activities such as playing sports, heavy exercise, or strenuous manual labor. But when routine back pain doesn't respond to usual treatments such as rest, massage, or over-the-counter pain killers, it's time to see a doctor. Severe back pain could be one sign of a very serious condition known as an abdominal aortic aneurysm. This dangerous condition occurs when a weak spot develops in the lower portion of the aorta - the large blood vessel that is the body's main supplier of blood. If the aorta ruptures, the results are life-threatening.
If you feel a painful heaviness in your chest or pain that radiates from your chest down your arm or up into your jaw area, it would be best to head for the emergency room right away. Yes, it most certainly could be heartburn or indigestion, but nearly half of all people who die from a heart attack die within three hours of having their first noticeable symptom. Don't take any chances with chest pain.
Shortness of Breath
Just like chest pain, shortness of breath - although lesser known - can be a symptom of cardiac disease. In fact, sometimes it is the only symptom. It's important to evaluate your shortness of breath within the context of your activity level. For example, it's perfectly normal to experience shortness of breath after running up a flight of stairs. However, you should not experience this symptom when resting or watching television.
Problems with Urination
Under normal circumstances, the process of urination should not be painful. By the same token, getting up more than twice a night to urinate is not normal either. Frequent urination is a tell-tale sign of type 2 diabetes and painful or weak urination can be caused by an enlarged prostate or an infection. All of these conditions warrant a trip to the doctor. Don't ignore problems with urination as these symptoms could be warning signs of something much more serious.
If you have stabbing pain in the abdominal region, you should see a physician right away. The space between the ribs and hip region is chock full of vital organs. Therefore, severe abdominal pain could be associated with the appendix, the gallbladder, the liver, or the pancreas. When something goes wrong with these organs, life-threatening infections can ensue.
Not every little ache or pain warrants a trip to the doctor, but men are notorious for ignoring symptomatic markers that are indicative of more serious conditions. Don't take chances with your health. See a physician right away if you have any of these symptoms.