Men’s Health week 15th-20th June
It is a well-known fact that men have the ability to close their ears internally. Usually, this talent is performed when their partners are speaking about something that they really don’t want to do, maybe DIY, shopping, housework, for example. But, this ability is also used to avoid the subject of health.
Men are known to take better care of their car or favourite gadget than their body and they are less likely to discuss their health problems or worries and are sometimes reluctant to see a GP perhaps because they are concerned about any tests or treatments this may lead to.
Far more women will pop along to the have their bits and bobs checked out (although, there will still be women who avoid health checks too) for us, it is something that we don’t particularly look forward to, but ask any women who has had a baby and she will tell you that any self –consciousness or embarrassment is straight out of the window when you have been through a birth, so a cervical screening or mammogram appointment pails into insignificance!
Prevention is far better than cure, catching health problems early can mean a massive difference in treatment and the severity of the condition.
Read on for the most common health problems in men…
One in seven men will have prostate cancer in their lifetime, but, caught early, it is extremely curable.
The symptoms of prostate cancer are;
- Slow flow when having a wee, or, going a lot more urgently and frequently having to get up x during the night to go.
- Blood in the wee or semen
- An inability to get an erection or, an erection is painful.
These symptoms don’t necessarily mean that it is cancer but, for peace of mind, it’s best to get it checked with your GP. I know a few men who were put off from going to the doctors because of THAT embarrassing test. They put it off because they didn’t want to have THAT test. Firstly, THAT test isn’t always given, it could be a simple blood test, secondly, THAT test or, FUTB (finger up the bum) is over in seconds and don’t worry, your GP won’t be embarrassed at all….
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men over 50. The most common causes for heart disease is being inactive, smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stress and being diabetic. If you haven’t had your blood pressure and cholesterol level checked, it’s a good idea to make an appointment. These conditions are silent killers, you may not have any symptoms until you are experiencing heart problems. Stopping smoking, drinking alcohol according to the recommended guidelines, eating a healthy, balanced diet and being active for 30 minutes a day will help keep your ticker ticking!
Diabetes type 2
This medical condition can, largely, be avoided by making simple changes to your lifestyle. High blood pressure and cholesterol levels, being overweight and a sedentary lifestyle can all lead to developing type 2 diabetes. This condition can be life-shortening and cause all sorts of health complications. Following the same advice as for heart disease can considerably lower your risk of developing diabetes type 2.
There are approximately 2,200 diagnosis a year in men aged 25-49 but, the survival rate is 95%. You would think that testicular cancer early detection rate, must be quite high as, let’s face it, men are always having a rummage around down there! So, while you’re at it, check for the following:
- A small, hard lump
- Change in size or shape of your testicle
- A dull ache in your testicle or lower abdomen
- Heaviness in your scrotum
- Sudden build-up of fluid in the scrotum
There are no links between injury to the testes, sports strains, hot baths or tight pants and testicular cancer. If you are at all worried, get yourself checked out.
Depression and suicide
Out of the 6,507 suicide cases in the UK, 75% of them were men, on average, they were in their forties. It is an extremely shocking fact that the thing that is most likely to kill them is themselves. Men are less likely to talk about their feelings as they see this as admitting to be weak, less of a man, they’re seen as vulnerable or a failure. Life changes such as divorce, moving out of the family home, separation from their children, losing a job, financial problems, loneliness or they don’t have what they feel society says they should have materialistically, or deep routed trauma can result in extremely low mood, anxiety or even suicide.
Slowly, over time the stigma surrounding mental health is starting to lift. The fact that sports stars such as footballers and rugby players are speaking openly and honestly about their own experiences is encouraging other men to seek help from friends, family and professionals, which can only be a good thing. So, don’t bottle it up- open up and talk.
So, now you know some of the most common health problems for men, it’s time to change your habits and take care of yourselves.
Remember: Don’t let embarrassment or feeling a bit scared kill you, go get that check up!