4 Health Issues Your Husband Isn’t Discussing with You

Your husband has just returned from a visit with your primary-care physician. When you ask him what the doctor said, he gives you an answer you’ve heard many times before. “Everything’s good.”

But is it?

Men are often reluctant to discuss their health issues with their spouses. In fact, many may bring up their worries with other male friends or co-workers before they talk to their wives about it. When it comes to their significant others, some men find it hard to have a sense of vulnerability, said Nicole Florence, MD, an internal medicine physician with Memorial Physician Services-Koke Mill.

Getting those men to open up with you takes time and patience. You’ll need to be specific with your communication by asking “What is it that you need?” or “What can I do to help you?” When they do communicate, these four things may be one of the issues they’ve been keeping to themselves.

Decreased libido.

When men find their sexual interest waning, they don’t want to focus on it with their partner. A decreased sex drive can be devastating for some men and threaten their masculinity. And when they don’t discuss it, other parts of your relationship will start to feel the friction and break down.

A lack of interest in sex can be caused by several factors, including medications, alcohol or a major life change, such as a job loss or a new home.

Depression.

Some men can perceive struggling with mental health issues, like depression, as a weakness. Society dictates that men should be strong and stoic. Admitting to feelings of depression runs counter to that societal stereotype. Men struggling with depression don’t necessarily act sad or tearful; their depression could manifest itself through irritability or anger.

Male menopause.

As men age, often around the age of 50, their bodies begin to make less testosterone. This results in less muscle mass, reduced energy levels and changes in mood. Men are often reluctant to acknowledge these changes are occurring. They can naturally boost their testosterone levels with exercise, drinking less alcohol, eating right and getting enough sleep. Testosterone supplements may also help, but not all men are candidates for this. They should talk to their primary-care physician.

Stress.

When people are under increased stress, it can affect many areas of their physical health, such as their immune system or their blood sugar levels, to name two examples. It’s important to get men to talk about the stress they’re facing so it doesn’t take a significant toll on their health. When someone’s under stress, usually other people in the home will notice the changes first.

Nicole Florence, MD, is an internal medicine physician and pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services-Koke Mill. She is a graduate of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, where she completed residencies in internal medicine and pediatrics. Dr. Florence is board certified in internal medicine, pediatrics and obesity medicine.

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