30 is the golden age for men – on one hand you are beginning to achieve success at work and your career is starting to build momentum; on the other hand you are ready to start your own family, establishing a solid foundation for later life. However, most men experience some decline in body condition once they reach 30, affecting physique and, in more serious cases, mental health.
Let's see what our Watsons Chinese Medicine Practioners, Pharmacists and Dietitians have up their sleeves to help you combat the 3 most common male health concerns!
For male, the medical condition to describe male pattern hair loss is “androgenic alopecia”. Although typically occurring in men, it can also occur in women. Genetics does seem to play a role in the risk of androgenic alopecia. In addition to genetics, it is thought that dihydrotestosterone (DHT),a metabolite of testosterone, also play a role in causing hair loss,. Excessive DHT will shrink hair follicles then leads to hair loss.
Sometimes there are other reasons for hair loss, such as long term medical conditions (Hypothyroid, Iron deficiency), psychological stress and medications (Anticoagulant, antidepressants).
To improve the conditions, lifestyle modification such as balanced diet, gentle hair care are essential. Avoiding tight hairstyles, such as braids, buns or ponytails; avoiding compulsively twisting, rubbing or pulling your hair.
1. 米諾地爾 (Minoxidil) 洗髮水或頭髮噴劑 這項藥物無需醫生處方，可在藥劑師監督下銷售。市面上產品濃度通常為2-5%。用法為每天兩次用於受影響部位剌激頭髮生長，應持續使用以維持效果。有機會出現的副作用包括皮膚敏感及低血壓，使用前應先諮詢醫生或藥劑師的意見。
If you are diagnosed with male pattern hair loss, you may consider to use the following medications under medical supervision:
1. Minoxidil spray or foam; Minoxidil is a non-prescription medication that can be sold under the supervision of a pharmacist. It is available in different strengths from 2 to 5%. Usually apply topically twice per day on the affected area to improve hair growth, long term treatment is required to maintain its effect. Possible side effects include skin rash or low blood pressure. Consult a Doctor or pharmacist before use.
2. Finasteride tablet; Finasteride is a prescription-only medication and only suitable for male patient. It have a same ingredient as certain Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) medication but in a smaller dose. The effects take half to one year to be seen. Possible side effects include sexual dysfunction. Consult a Doctor or pharmacist before use.
3. Other than medications, you can explore hair transplant and low-level laser treatment with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
In traditional Chinese medicine, hair is the external manifestation of kidney, which means that the condition of hair reflects the status of kidney qi. Voluminous and lustrous hair can be seen in persons with abundant kidney qi. One of the famous traditional Chinese medicine classics, named Huangdi Neijing (Huangdi’s Internal Classic), states that kidney qi depletes at the age of 40s, resulting in hair loss and withered teeth. Diminishing in kidney qi happens during ageing, leading to the problem of hair loss. Chinese medicine and acupuncture can help nourish the kidney and replenish essence, thus promoting the growth of hair. Besides, eating black-coloured food adequately, such as black soybean, black sesame, black fungus etc. can also help tonify the kidney.
Training 2: Get rid of excess body fat
體重隨着年紀增長及生活習慣而改變。西方醫學普遍以身體質量指數(Body Mass Index，簡稱BMI)為肥瘦程度作一個簡單的區分。於亞洲人而言，BMI等於或大於23便屬於超重，大於28則為肥胖。長遠而言，肥胖及過重增加心血管、糖尿等患病風險，對健康百害而無一利。
Changes in body weight can be related to ageing and lifestyle changes. Body Mass Index (BMI) is commonly used in assessing weight status. Asians with a BMI of 23 or above are considered overweight, while those with a BMI of 25 or greater are classed as obese.
Being overweight or obese is one of the risk factors for developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
According to registered dietitians and pharmacists, some common causes of obesity are:
• Reduction in basal metabolic rate
• Muscle wasting
• Physical inactivity
• Decrease in energy expenditure due to lifestyle changes (e.g. sedentary work)
• Excessive intake of fat, salt and sugar due to eating out more often
• Increase in appetite related to sleep deprivation
• Side effects of medications (e.g. psychiatric drugs)
• Genetic factors
• 飲食方面，多選擇「三低一高」 - 高膳食纖維、低脂肪、低糖、低鈉的食品/ 飲品
Establishing a healthy lifestyle to stay fit while approaching middle age:
• Do aerobic exercise 3 to 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes each time to maintain your metabolism and muscle mass. Increase the frequency gradually according to your physical ability.
• Cut back on the frequency of eating out and seek advice from your registered dietitian about meal planning. In general, the estimated energy requirement for healthy adult men, weighed 65 – 70 kilograms, ranges from 1950 to 2100 calories.
• Select foods and beverages that are high in fibre but low in fat, sugar and sodium.
• Get enough sleep. Avoid staying up late and snacking mindlessly before bed.
If BMI target is not met in 6 months after lifestyle modification, pharmacological intervention or medical help is recommended:
• Orlistat: Reduce fat absorption by reducing digestion of triglyceride in alimentary canal through inhibition of gastric and pancreatic lipase. Balanced diet and adequate exercise are required for lipid-lowering effect of the drug. One of the most common side effects is steatorrhea (oily diarrhea). Medications mentioned above should only be taken under supervision of healthcare professionals and should never administer without doctor’s instruction.
• Surgery: Reduce food absorption by gastrectomy or gastric bypass surgery. Surgery is usually reserved for patients suffering from severe obesity. Approach your private doctor for details.
Registered Chinese medicine practitioners believe that yang qi of the middle-aged men is gradually fading, and there is no warming of the dampness, causing the dampness to stagnate and becoming fat. You can use traditional Chinese medicine or acupuncture to warm the spleen and kidney, and detoxify. At the same time, with appropriate exercises, promote blood and qi circulation.
Training 3: Get a good night’s sleep
Sleep quality and mood are closely connected. Studies indicated that even a single night of sleep deprivation has negative impacts on mood, such as being short-tempered, depressed, or exhausted etc.
• 多做讓心情放鬆的活動，如聽音樂、浸浴、到郊外/ 外地旅行等，紓緩生活或工作壓力引致精神緊張。
• 調整運動時間 – 有些人在晚上運動後，會因為身體處於興奮狀態而難以入睡，需要適當調節運動時間到早上或下午。
To ensure getting better quality and consistent sleep, our registered dietitians suggest making some simple lifestyle changes:
• Spend more time on relaxing activities, such as listening to music, taking a warm bath, traveling to countryside/oversea, may help relieve work-related anxiety or pressure in life.
• Stay hydrated; avoid drinking beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, black tea, energy drinks, and caffeinated soft drinks etc.
• Modify exercise routine – People who have difficulty falling asleep after a nighttime exercise due to elevated heart rate, can consider switching their workout time from evening to morning or afternoon.
Chinese medicine believes that insomnia is easy to cause yin deficiency , anger and tempered. You can use traditional Chinese medicine or acupuncture to soothe the liver and clear your mind. In daily life, you can brew tea to soothe the liver and relieve depression.
屈臣氏健康團隊 - 註冊中醫師、營養師及藥劑師為大家提供專業的健康諮詢服務及治療，全方位關懷守護你們的健康，日後將有更多實用健康貼士分享，請繼續留意我們，並隨時預約我們的健康團隊諮詢為健康增值。