Our Top Three Health Tips for Men
1 – If you are worried about something, or a symptom you are having then go to the doctor and report it
Men are notoriously bad at this, often delaying seeking medical attention until symptoms become severe. This is especially true for conditions that affect men’s sexual organs, for instance erectile dysfunction can be embarrassing for men to talk about but it can be a symptom of underlying conditions such as heart disease, Parkinson’s disease or diabetes.
Men are nearly twice as likely as women not to have visited their GP in the last year, less men go to dentists and less ask their pharmacist for advice. These habits mean that men are more likely to end up in hospital because they delay reporting of their symptoms (Male Everyman Cancer Campaign 2008). In the case of testicular cancer this could not be more serious, both the footballer John Hartson and ‘cyclist’ Lance Armstrong delayed their reporting of symptoms leading to the cancer spreading to other areas and becoming much more life threatening. Testicular cancer is one of the most curable cancers if caught early, don’t ignore the symptoms.
2- Men, remember you are not invincible!
We see the following scenario a lot, a man who was fit and active in his 20’s decides in his 40’s/50’s to run a half marathon, as he was very fit 20 years ago he assumes he can do it with very little preparation, runs it, gets injured and is out of action for a few months. Then it may be a while before he gets round to trying to be active once more, and the cycle begins again. Just because you used to be fit does not mean you still are, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Men’s aerobic (cardiovascular) fitness tends to start to decline in their 20’s, at a gradually increasing rate until it plummets in their 70’s, however if you keep fit over your lifetime you can be aerobically 10-29yrs younger than the average man. Also, growth hormone starts to decline in your 40’s leading to the beginning of strength loss, so getting down the gym or doing some form of strength based exercise becomes necessary around this time if you wish to stay top of your game. Your body will also begin to deposit collagen in your muscles in middle age, this makes them less flexible and more prone to tearing, so men, even though you may think it isn’t manly, do some stretching, or yoga to maintain your ability to move without injury. Best advice here; do a little exercise every day, your body will thank you when you are older…..
3- Get probed!
Men, no-one likes it, no-one really wants it to happen but be aware of your prostate and if you think you have symptoms then get it checked out, this may involve ‘getting probed’ or a blood test, either way it is good to have any symptoms checked out. If you are in your 50s and you experience symptoms such as a reduction in your urinary flow, more frequent trips to the toilet, or if you feel your bladder isn’t emptying properly then go to the doctors! These symptoms can be indicators of diabetes (also not to be ignored), prostate enlargement or just signs of aging. Many men in their 50’s have an enlarged prostate, 9/10 men in their 90’s have an enlarged prostate. Just having an enlarged prostate does not mean you will develop prostate cancer, they are separate conditions, but you will need to know which condition you have as the treatment options and outcomes are very different. If you ignore these symptoms the resulting progressions can range from the very uncomfortable to the outright dangerous. More information can be found here.