Men tend to ignore subtle signs that their health is in trouble. Black men might be even more likely to take health changes in stride because of cultural beliefs and expectations. That’s a bad idea because African American men can be prone to certain illnesses more than other ethnicities. Here are 10 symptoms black men should never ignore.
- Unexplained Weight Changes
Unless you’re definitely trying to lose or gain weight, significant changes in weight should never be ignored. Unintended weight loss may be an indication of serious illnesses such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, and cancer. Weight gain, on the other hand, could indicate issues with the heart, digestive system, or thyroid.
As an African American man, it’s important to pay attention to these changes because studies show that African Americans continue to be more at risk for the illnesses listed above.
- Persistent Itching
While a persistent itch could be a simple irritation that a dermatologist can address, it can also be a sign of something much worse. In some cases, an itch that won’t go away can indicate a type of cancer, such as lymphoma or myeloma, or diabetes.
This is especially important to note for African American men as diabetes continues to be a troubling health issue for them. Skin cancer might not occur as often as other forms of cancer but health professionals are still concerned because it’s often diagnosed in the very late stages of the disease.
- Pain in the Jaw
Feeling pain in the jaw is one of the little-known signs of a heart attack or chronic heart disease. This diagnosis is more likely if the pain occurs during an activity but goes away while resting. If you feel pain in your jaw along with numbness, neck pain, pressure in the chest, or other signs of a heart attack, you need to see a doctor quickly.
As an African American man, you’re already more likely to develop heart-related issues. Ignoring any signs of heart disease is a bad idea.
- Jaundice in the Eyes
Jaundice typically presents as a yellowing in the white portion of the eyes. It shows that there is too much bilirubin in the blood, which suggests a problem with the liver. In some cases, jaundice can be one of the signs of pancreatic cancer.
According to recent health statistics, African American men are up to 60% more likely to have liver cancer than other ethnicities. While pancreatic cancer is not high on the list of cancers that affect African Americans, it’s still a valid concern.
- Unexplained Bruising
Anyone can experience bruising, especially if they live a highly active lifestyle. However, if you’re seeing unexplained bruising or