February 27, 2023
Within the field of urology, references to men’s health may encompass reproduction, testosterone, urinary issues, erections and other conditions. However, due to the large overlap of physical and psychiatric conditions involved with urologic issues, holistically men’s health is much more.
“Anyone who comes to my clinic gets screened for their average diet, activity level, sleep habits and depression,” says urologist Richard “Jake” Fantus, MD. “These are so interrelated to urologic conditions that if not adequately managed it can be difficult to achieve a patient’s goals.”
Dr. Fantus joined us to share what men should know about their health and common urologic conditions.
What common men’s health conditions may be underlying causes of urologic conditions?
Obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and “the metabolic syndrome” are among the most significant underlying medical issues leading to urologic concerns.
What common urologic concerns do you see pertaining to men’s health?
How do you assess your patients’ needs and their overall health? What do you look for?
The assessment is 2-tiered. The first tier is what goals they want to achieve, maybe that’s having more energy, a better sex drive or more functional erections. The second tier is to ensure they are living a healthy, balanced lifestyle that will prevent future problems. While these 2 goals often coincide, sometimes they need to be addressed independently.
One of the most important things I look for is a well-established relationship with a primary care physician who can aid in this holistic treatment plan. With my background in personal training, I have curated a list of resources for patients regardless of their exercise or nutritional knowledge. I also work closely with their primary care provider to make sure underlying medical issues are identified and treated alongside their urologic complaints.
Anyone who comes to my clinic gets screened for their average diet, activity level, sleep habits and depression ...These are so interrelated to urologic conditions that if not adequately managed it can be difficult to achieve a patient’s goals. Richard J. Fantus, MD
What surprises people as they learn about how their overall health relates to urologic conditions?
While I don’t think it necessarily surprises people, it is the realization that treating these conditions can help optimize their sexual health. In the appropriate patient, diet and exercise with the aim of weight loss (and reduction in blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol) has been shown to improve testosterone levels and even erectile function.
What do you wish people knew as they think about what it means to be a “healthy” male?
That life is a marathon and not a sprint. Often the quick fixes are not permanent, and the ones that are sometimes hard to recognize in the beginning are often the most meaningful. Medical and surgical therapies should be used as adjuncts with the goal of living a healthier lifestyle and to optimize function and longevity.