Did you know that in the United Kingdom the state of male health is generally much poorer than that of females? This is because men are much less likely to visit their GP and tend not to act when they suspect that something might be wrong. However, the reality is, if you seek the help of your physician as soon as you notice any signs or symptoms, many of the conditions that most commonly have an impact on men’s health can be easily treated or prevented. Here are some of them:
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men with over 40,000 new diagnoses every year. Because prostate cancer develops slowly, it can remain largely symptomless until it has reached the second or third stage. The likelihood that you will develop prostate cancer will increase as you age, with most cases developing in men over 50. Men of Afro Caribbean descent are also more likely to develop prostate cancer.
Symptoms to look out for include an increased need for urination, struggling to urinate, or feeling that you cannot fully empty your bladder. Nobody enjoys visiting their GP for a prostate examination, but it is the single most important thing that you can do for your own health. Missing your appointment could cost you your life.
As we age it is perfectly normal to occasionally experience erectile dysfunction: research suggests that 40% of men over 40 and 70% of men over 70 suffer with this issue. You are also more likely to experience erectile dysfunction if you suffer from heart disease, diabetes, or are taking any regular medications to control your health. The good news? In most cases, erectile dysfunction is fully reversible with medications, such as tadalafil, available from your GP or online to reverse the impact of the condition. Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and improving your diet, can also help to reduce erectile dysfunction without medication in many men.
Cardiovascular disease (or heart disease) is man’s worst enemy: worldwide, heart disease is the number one cause of death in both men and women. In the UK it accounts for 150,00 deaths every year, which means it kills one person every three minutes. The good news is that in many cases, heart disease is entirely preventable.
Give up smoking, moderate your alcohol intake and follow a healthy, balanced diet. Exercise regularly and be aware of any changes in your blood pressure. High blood pressure is more common in males over the age of 45 and is a sign that you are more susceptible to heart disease. Finally, don’t ignore those routine health MOTs with your GP; they are the best way to beat cardiovascular disease before it even develops.
Depression is the most common mental health complaint amongst both men and women, but it is something most men are very reluctant to talk about. There is an old-fashioned, and dangerous, view that talking about emotions and negative thoughts isn’t a masculine thing to do. Because men find it difficult to talk about depression, they are much more likely to resort to suicide than women: a man is three times more likely than a woman to take their own life as a result of depression and the highest suicide rate in the UK is amongst males aged between 40-44.
If you are experiencing depression then the best thing you can do is visit your GP and ask for support as soon as possible: they will be able to offer you medication, therapy, and any other support you need to overcome the condition. Some of the best ways you can help yourself to overcome depression include regular exercise, communicating openly about your feelings with your friends and family, and journaling any negative thoughts that you may have.
The average liver is the size of a football and it serves an important function of helping you to digest your food whilst also ridding your body of any toxic substances that you ingest. Two of the liver’s greatest enemies are alcohol and tobacco, and if you abuse either of these substances then you will be much more likely to experience liver disease.
One of the very best things you can do to improve your liver health (and minimise your risk of developing any of the spectrum of liver diseases, including cirrhosis) is to limit your alcohol intake. You should also aim to maintain a healthy weight, as obesity can lead to damaging fatty liver disease.