Let’s take a look at the importance of a men’s health check and what we can all do to keep the guys in our life safe and well.
Did you know men can expect to die five years sooner than women or that fathers can suffer postnatal depression? You might also not know that erectile dysfunction can indicate a man is at risk of heart disease.
Chances are you know a man who hates the doctor. In a series of articles from the Conversation, Diana Sanchez and Mary Himmelstein looked at why there were some notable differences between men’s and women’s health that were “not well explained by physiological differences”.
“One possible explanation is that men are more reluctant to go to the doctor – and less likely to be honest once they get there.”
Part of the problem is the use of phrases like “man up”.
“Men learn from an early age if they don’t act in this tough, masculine way they lose their status and respect as men,” the Conversation piece read.
“There’s a lot of literature linking masculinity to health issues in men.”
The best thing we can all do is remind the men in our lives to have regular health checks with their doctor. And if you are a man, pick up the phone, make an appointment and get it done.
“When you have a men’s health check, your doctor will talk to you about your medical history, your family’s history of disease and your lifestyle,” according to Better Health.
“Your diet, weight, how much you exercise and whether or not you smoke will also be discussed.
“If you have high-risk factors, such as a family history of a disease, it may be more likely that you will develop a particular disease.”
Seeing one doctor regularly builds a relationship so they’re able to notice changes and recognise warning signs.
And yes, erectile dysfunction can be one of those. Nearly one in two Australian men will experience it. Sometimes it comes and goes, in other cases it is pointing to a more serious problem.
According to Health Direct, the physical factors that can cause impotence include:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Prostate disease
- High blood pressure
- Underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
- Some medicines.
According to Better Health some of the key things doctors may cover off in a men’s health check include:
- Heart health checks including blood and blood pressure tests, checks for obesity indicators and an ECG to measure for any heart irregularities
- Tests for diabetes and analysis of blood sugar levels
- A prostate check
- Bowel health check. Your doctor will want to do some more thorough testing if you are over 50 or have a high risk of bowel cancer.
The main lesson is delaying a trip to the doctor, or falling victim to “fear of finding out”. This may put anyone at risk of letting a condition or disease go undiagnosed. It might also force them to endure another year of symptoms when relief is only a prescription away. Make an appointment and start a conversation with your GP to keep your health in check.