Men's Health Myths: From Viagra Tales to Hair Growth Legends

IMAGE It is no wonder health myths abound. For example, as a kid you may have believed that if you did not wait an hour after eating to go swimming, you would get a stomach cramp and drown. Not true—unless you ate lead. Although, sometimes what sounds like a myth may be true. For example, wearing briefs that are too tight can indeed lower your sperm count, which may affect your fertility.

Myth: Men Do Not Get Osteoporosis

Fact: While women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men, the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) reports that many men aged 50 and older may be at risk. It is a sneaky disease because many people do not realize they are losing bone density until a brittle bone fractures. Proportionally, more men than women who have the disease suffer hip fractures , and men are also at a greater risk than women to die within a year after breaking a hip. In addition, NOF says osteoporosis in men is under-diagnosed, under-reported, and inadequately researched. What is known is that age, certain health conditions, medications, and lifestyle habits can speed bone loss. The NOF advocates a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D . This should be coupled with a weight-bearing exercise routine, such as walking , dancing, or playing tennis . The organization cautions against smoking and excessive use of alcohol .

Myth: Shaving Your Head Will Make Hair Grow Back Thicker

Fact: Do not bother. But the good news about this myth is that it does not cost anything. You could spend a fortune chasing other so-called hair-loss remedies that do not work either, like creams, scalp massage, and vitamins. Many prescription and nonprescription treatments are available. However, the American Academy of Dermatology cautions consumers to be wary of drugs and herbal remedies that are not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating hair loss. For example, the drugs finasteride and minoxidil are two products that have passed FDA trials.

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