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Professor Filip Kumanov, MD, PhD in Medicine Professor Filip Kumanov, MD, PhD in Medicine

Be always strong and hide your weaknesses: men are raised to keep their work, emotional, and health-related problems to themselves. But neglecting one's health can have devastating effects, knows Professor Filip Kumanov, MD, PhD in Medicine. An renowned specialist in andrology and endocrinology, he is a member of the European Academy of Andrology and several scientific organisations in Europe and the US. You can meet him at Ascendent Specialised Medical Centre.

What do men don't know about their health?

They don't know how to live healthily. Our civilisation has made sedentary lifestyle common even among traditionally physically active professions, like in construction, agriculture, industry. Lack of physical activity is bad for the organism, and combined with overeating, has led to an epidemic of obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. On the other hand, some men train too much. Pursuing goals that are too high puts a lot of stress on the joints, the bones, the cardiovascular system. Sport should be done moderately, for pleasure, and for keeping fit.

Metabolic syndrome is a plague of our times, a deadly combination of high blood pressure, increased fatty indicators, diabetes. If these go out of control, they can lead to untimely, early death. Obesity and metabolic syndrome are also responsible for decreased sexual function, leading to reproductive problems and low levels of testosterone and other sex hormones.

However, every day I consult men oblivious to the fact that use of anabolic steroids and growth hormone harms their health. Healthy men don't need such additives. The use of such products in the aim to gain more muscles suppresses the body's own production of these hormones, putting a burden on the hypophyse and the sex glands.

What are the men's most common diseases?

It depends on the age. In childhood and during puberty, proper physical development is the most important. Men between 20 and 40 years of age have high disease rate of testicular cancer. After 40-45 years of age comes the danger of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, resulting in serious pressure on the heart, the blood vessels, the muscles, the bones. After 50-60 years of age, cancers and particularly prostate one are very common.

Men between 40 and 65 years of age are the most vulnerable group, as they still believe they are young and can be as active as they used to be. The truth is that their bodies are not that young anymore and if they continue with their working, sport or sexual activity as if they were still 25, they risk fatal effects, like infarct, hypertonic crisis, other problems.

What should a man do to prevent these things?

To live normally, to not overdo and overestimate himself, and to regularly examine major indicators like cholesterol, triglycerides, liver enzymes, creatine, blood sugar, the prostate-specific antigen PSA. The sexual function is also a good indicator about the general condition of the organism. Erectile dysfunction and lack of sexual desire are precursors of future health problems, including an infarct in the making.

Why men shouldn't smoke?

Smoking is one of the main causes for infertility and lung cancer, damages the cardiovascular system, and is harmful to people with damaged thyroid gland. It is bad for the all organs and systems in the organism. The easiest way to quit smoking is to never start it in the first place, but even hard smokers can end their habit, if they have will and dedication.

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