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Men: Are Bad Habits Killing You?

The Beer Drinker. Do you drink beer every day? If you do, then you are at a higher risk for developing gout. Gout is a form of arthritis that causes severe pain and swelling in the joints. There is a strong link between alcohol consumption and gout. Every drink of hard liquor increases your risk for gout by 15 %, but each beer you drink daily increases your risk by 50%. This is due to the high purine content in beer that breaks down into uric acid and forms crystal deposits in your joints. If you do drink alcohol, choose your drink wisely and carefully moderate your consumption.

The Cigarette Smoker. Do you smoke tobacco? If lung cancer and heart disease aren’t terrible enough, smoking cigarettes can also cause erectile dysfunction in men. In fact men who smoke more than 20 cigarettes daily increase their risk of ED by as much as 60%. Luckily, quitting smoking now can greatly lower those risks. Consider a smoking cessation program to help.

The Couch Potato. If you are overweight from lack of exercise, you are at higher risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke. However even if you aren't overweight, lack of exercise can shorten your life. Many of the problems associated with aging are exacerbated by lack of exercise or disuse. So if you aren’t getting at some exercise every day, get off the couch and get going!

The Doctor-phobe. You know who you are, the man who feels healthy but avoids regular doctor visits even though you might have several risk factors. Regular visits to the doctor can ultimately help you live a longer and happier life by monitoring and preventing health problems right when they arise.

If you don't have a doctor, we can help you find a doctor.

This article first appeared in the January 2014 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.

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