It’s Men’s Health Week this week.
You might be thinking “so what? The men in my life are healthy”. But are they really?
Australian men are more likely than Australian women to get sick from serious health problems. Serious health problems that quite often kill them. And in large numbers.
Our men aged 25-65 are dying five years earlier than women of the same age, often from preventable conditions.
A main reason for this is because men visit the doctor less frequently than women, have shorter visits and only tend to go when their illness is in its later stages. Presumably because by then the symptoms are too bad to continue ignoring.
How often have you heard a man proudly state “I haven’t seen a doctor in over five years”? I think the record I’ve heard was 27 years. I was appalled. The man in question said he was healthy. I asked how he knew. He said “because I haven’t had to go to the doctor”. Let me tell you, he didn’t look overly healthy with his florid face and big gut.
For the men reading this, if you think visiting a doctor – for your physical OR mental health – is a sign of weakness, let me tell you IT IS NOT.Dear Men, visiting a doctor is not a sign of weakness. #menshealthweek Click To Tweet
For the women reading this, please encourage your men to go to the doctor.
And when I say “men”, I don’t just mean your husband. I mean your brothers, fathers, friends, cousins, sons, workmates, colleagues. ALL the men who are in your life.
Actually, get them to read this post too.
To stay on top of any nasty little diseases, we should all be having an annual check up (women too). This can tell you if you are at risk or in the early stages of cardiovascular disease (such as stroke or heart attack), diabetes and some cancers, as well as a whole heap of other diseases and illnesses. Finding out early can often save your life.
Depending on your age, and your personal and family history, these are the more common tests you should be considering:
- blood pressure
- blood tests for cholesterol, triglicerides and a fasting blood sugar test for diabetes
- a complete skin check – melanoma kills 1,500 Australians a year – ask your partner or a friend to check the bits you can’t see, such as your back. If something seems off, get it checked by a doctor immediately
- testicle checks – from puberty onwards, you should check regularly for unusual thickenings or lumps in your testicles
- a digital prostate examination (for the over 50s)
- stool samples for bowel cancer (for men over 50)
- bone density (for men over 50)
- eye examination – eyesight tends to deteriorate with age and serious eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration are more common with age
- dental check ups.
Not all these are required every year. And some are required more than once a year, especially if you have a personal medical history or family history of illnesses such as heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes.
Let’s not forget mental health.The statistics for men and mental health are not pretty. #menshealthweek Click To Tweet
The statistics for men and mental health are not pretty. On average, 1 in 8 men will have depression (a leading cause of suicide) and 1 in 5 men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives. Yes, women are more likely to struggle with depression and anxiety, but women are also more likely to do something about it.
And when it comes to men committing suicide, the stats are downright ugly.
So what does this mean really?
It means suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 54.Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 54 #menshealthweek Click To Tweet
It means that SIX MEN A DAY ARE KILLING THEMSELVES. And that is unacceptable.
So men, please, please, please get your mental health checked out. And don’t give me this macho bullshit that you’re too tough to see a shrink. It’s really no different to seeing a doc if you break your leg. They all work to fix your body. And yes, your brain is part of that.
If you don’t believe me, check out Davo’s Man Therapy.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored.
Instead I have written it for The Accountant, as today we celebrate 12 years together. And although he drives me crazy with frustration, I want him around for a good few more years to come.
So I nag him often about going to the doctor for boring things like skin checks, prostate checks (he didn’t talk to me for a day after that one because the silly man believed me when I said it was just a simple blood test!), blood tests for type 2 diabetes, and to get weird pains and bleeding checked out (he didn’t talk to me much after that one either…).
Happy Anniversary babe. I love you. xxx