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Men's Health, Substance Abuse Disorder and Mental Illness

Here are some men’s health statistics according to Luma Health:

  • Men are less likely to seek healthcare than women

  • Prostate cancer affects 1 in 9 men

  • Mental health is one one of the most stigmatized issues affecting men

  • The average man should be making better lifestyle choices to protect his health

We hope these statistics are as alarming to you as they are to us. We are going to break down some of these statistics, explain to you what they mean and how we can help.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorder

Men have significantly higher rates of mental illness and substance abuse disorders (SUD). According to Pew Health:

  • Men are more likely than women to start using drugs and alcohol in excess at an earlier age than women. This results in higher rates of alcohol-related deaths, hospitalizations and risky behavior while under the influence. Trauma plays a big role in developing a SUD; however, the relationship between SUDs and previous physical or sexual abuse, and parental separation or divorce, is stronger in men.”

  • In addition to this, men who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are twice as likely to also have a substance abuse disorder.

  • Roughly half of adults with a SUD also have a mental illness. Rates of suicide in men with SUD are FOUR times greater than in women.

These statistics should shock you. There is a clear disequilibrium of men versus women who struggle with mental illness, suicide and substance abuse disorders. As humans, it’s our job to figure out what is causing this and to try to work against it. We encourage you to support and check in on the men in your lives.

Positive Lifestyle Habits for Men

Here are some tips according to Everyday Health to maintain positive health for our men:

A. Find or develop a hobby.

B. Find a physical activity you enjoy.

We’ll be the first ones to tell you that you don’t have to do yoga contrary to what you might think. It’s human nature to not do something you don’t want to do. Try pilates, spin class, tai chi, qi gong or another type of movement that suits you. The purpose of movement should be to raise endorphins, improve sleep and focus before simply ‘getting fit,’ although getting more in shape is usually an added bonus.

C. Book an appointment with a doctor (you can come see us at Nutritest!)

Many men only go to the doctor when it’s too late and we’re here to tell you that preventative care and taking care of yourself as an identified male will help improve the lives of those who love you and are around you.

D. Find a new meal to cook.

Eating healthier gets a lot more exciting when you have something new and fun to nibble on. Cooking can be a way to find oneself in the ‘flow’ state where they can feel creative and think about and process their emotions.

E. Make time for friends and maintain friendships.

As dads and as men get older, it can be easy to forget about personal relationships. As cited by @everydayhealth, research published in April 2017 in the journal Personal Relationships found that “valuing friendships was related to better functioning, particularly among older adults, whereas valuing familial relationships exerted a static influence on health and well‐being across the lifespan.”

F. Watch something funny with your family or play a board game.

According to Everyday Health, “Over the last several decades, study after study has shown the enormous health benefits of laughter: It helps lower blood pressure, eases stress; some research even suggests that laughter can help you burn calories. When you’re laughing, you're increasing your oxygen intake, which helps your heart, lungs, and muscles. Plus, you're releasing endorphins, the feel-good hormones that can ease tension and improve your sense of well-being.”

How Toxic Masculinity is Hurting Men

“Fragile masculinity,”according to Very Well Mind, a term referring to the unrealistic cultural standards placed on men, exists because many men feel they have to overcompensate or act in a certain way to meet these traditional standards, but we are all human. As human beings, regardless of gender, we have a combination of masculine and feminine traits.

What our society needs to remember is that being a man doesn’t mean you have to like sports or women. Being a strong man doesn’t mean you can’t show weakness or cry. Being a successful man doesn’t mean you have to marry or become a c-suite executive. Sexual preferences and gender identities, just like career choices and lifestyle choices, don’t make you any less of a man.

Some detriments of toxic/fragile masculinity according to Very Well Mind are :

  • Increased risk of mental health. According to Dan Doty, co-founder of EVERYMAN, “Most men are simply in survival mode.” and are not in touch with their emotions because they’ve been told that it’s not manly. We need to teach boys from a young age that emotions and properly expressing them is healthy.

  • Boys also must be taught how to deal with negative feelings.

  • “Traditionally, boys are taught to “act like men,” and in many cases, treated like men, which can greatly impact their understanding of themselves and their place in the world.

  • For Black boys, in particular, the expectations and misconceptions can be dangerous. Studies have shown that Black children are seen as less “childlike” than white children and are often perceived as being older than they are.9

  • Exilus points out that minority men, in particular, have to do a lot more work every day. They need space, time to rest, and the opportunity to share and/or express their anger. Whether you join group therapy, or individual therapy, or visit an organization like Black Men Heal, the goal is to better understand yourself and your emotions and prioritize your mental well-being.”

Hormone Levels in Men and Vitamin D

As cited by the International Journal of Endocrinology, “some evidence also suggests a possible role for vitamin D in the regulation of sexual function. In particular, recent clinical works have suggested that low vitamin D levels may somehow be associated with the occurrence of sexual disturbances, especially erectile dysfunction [5–8], even if not all the studies agree on this point [9]. These results need confirmation because of their potential revolutionary approach to the treatment of sexual dysfunction.

The average age of the 114 men who took place in the study was 64. According to the International Journal of Endocrinology, the findings were, “After vitamin D replacement therapy, total and free testosterone increased. Erectile function improved, whereas other sexual parameters did not change significantly (Table 1). Similarly, in hypogonadic patients, total and free testosterone as well as the erectile function index significantly increased after vitamin D supplementation, whereas orgasmic function, sexual desire, intercourse satisfaction, overall satisfaction, and total IIEF score did not change significantly (data not shown).”

What this means is that proper vitamin D supplementation may help in assisting men with ED issues. This is still fairly new research with limited studies done. Given that many people are low in vitamin D, especially if you or someone you know is struggling with ED, we recommend getting vitamin D levels checked and beginning supplementation if they are low.

Mens Health Supplements

M+ by Systemic Formulas

According to Systemic Formulas, M+ from Systemic Formulas

  • Supports overall circulation, endurance, and hormone balance (testosterone balance).

  • supports the male glands and endocrine system to provide vitality and energy.

  • Supports the male glandular and endocrine systems

  • Provides vitality and energy to the male endocrine system while also supporting overall circulation and endurance.

  • Promotes healthy libido and balance of male gonadal function.

M+ has Marapuama in it which is a South American herb that supports libido. Abecedario leaves are a Chinese medicine long term support for water element which is associated with the bladder in Traditional Chinese Medicine. We carry Systemic Formulas products at Nutritest + Wellness because they work. Come see us for a Nutrition Response Test to see if M+ might be right for you

ProstaCo by Mediherb

This supplement supports and encourages normal and healthy prostate cells with a healthy level of hormones in the prostate tissue. Saw palmetto, nettle root and pumpkin seed oil:

  • Support healthy urinary tract and prostate gland function

  • Support healthy bladder function

Eventa by Systemic Formulas

Eventa improves how Nitric Oxide works in our body. Nitric oxide relaxes small muscles in our blood vessels. This is what helps males get an erection and how common ED medications work. Medications like Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis help your body accumulate nitric oxide. An important part of Eventa is the component L-Arginine that converts into nitric oxide. It helps with cardiovascular support and functioning.


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