Men often rate health as a low priority and do not seek help until a crisis point is reached. However, the good news is that regular checkups with the doctor and some simple lifestyle changes can prevent many deaths and a lot of illness.
Many men feel that seeking help and admitting stress is a weakness or failure. There is a notion that men should suffer pain quietly and alone. As a result, they are often less aware of their symptoms and less able to accept being unwell. It is no wonder that men often delay treatment for problems until it is too late.
Come in for a check-up
Having a 'well-man' check is an appropriate, responsible and courageous decision. Your risk of many serious illnesses can be greatly reduced by changes in your lifestyle. Heart disease risk can be greatly lowered and many cancers can be prevented. Most cancers can be cured if caught early enough.
Blokes are taught that real men don't talk about how they feel, let alone actually express an emotion. It is no surprise that many men suffer silently from stress, depression and attempted suicide. Talking to your family doctor can really help. Everything you discuss is confidential.
How do you shape up?
- Blood pressure. Your blood pressure should be checked every 1 - 2 years.
- Cholesterol. Have a blood test every 2 - 5 years (more often if cholesterol is raised).
- Weight. Sixty six percent of men are overweight. Even losing a few kilos can reduce your risk of serious problems.
- Smoking. If you are ready to quit, we can help. Smoking is the single greatest preventable cause of illness in Australia.
- Alcohol. Is your drinking causing you problems? The safe limit for men is four standard drinks daily.
- Bowel cancer. Annual tests are now recommended from age 50.
- Blood sugar. Regular testing for diabetes is wise if you are overweight, over 40 or have a family history of diabetes.
- Waterworks. If you are having water trouble, a prostate check may be in order.
Speak to us. Impotence (erectile dysfunction) affects four in ten Australian men and has a physical cause in most cases. It is often associated with other illnesses, such as heart disease, blood pressure or diabetes, which may require treatment.
Doctors today have many effective ways to treat impotence. Don't be embarrassed to talk to your doctor about any sexual worries you may have. Your sexual health is a natural part of a medical assessment. There is a lot we can do to help you.
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.