According to research, men face more daunting health odds than women. It’s said this could be down to biology, but it’s also been suggested to be due to the fact that men are more likely to leave their health at the bottom of their list of priorities.
Every man will have his own individual reasons for the condition of his health, but if they took the time to become more aware of conditions they are at risk of, they could possibly start earlier in life to make lifestyle changes to prevent them to begin with.
Here are the five top health risks men face and what can be done to prevent them:
- Cardiovascular disease
This is by far the leading cause of death in men over 50, typically caused by smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and raised cholesterol. Warning signs include discomfort or heaviness in the chest, palpitations, or breathlessness, which – if left untreated – it can lead to strokes or heart attacks. It’s worth getting checked out at first sign of a heart problem, as there are plenty of medical interventions available to help prevent any life-threatening cardiac events.
There are easy lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, such as:
- Beginning at age 25 and then every five years after, get cholesterol levels checked
- Keep blood pressure under control
- Quit smoking
- Increase physical activity to at least 30 minutes each day, 3-4 days a week
- Reduce saturated fat intake
- Testicular cancer
Testicular is the most common cancer in men aged 20 to 35, with around 2,000 new diagnoses each year in the UK. Symptoms to watch out for are a painless lump in one testicle which is sometimes accompanied by a dull ache or heavy feeling in the scrotum. Concerning symptoms presented to a GP are cause for rapid referral (within 2 weeks) for further investigation. It is important to regularly check your testicles for unusual changes. Early prevention can result in more successful treatment.
Shockingly, suicide is the leading cause of death for young men aged 20-34, with four times more suicide deaths in men than women. Sadly, men are often more reluctant to discuss mental health than women, leading to less men seeking help. Over 70% of people who committed suicide between 2002-2012 had not sought any medical help in the year before preceding death.
- Bowel cancer
Otherwise known as colon or rectal cancer, this is a common cancer especially in the over 60’s. The key symptom to look out for is blood in the stool which is reason to seek immediate medical attention. Other symptoms can be subtle, such as change in bowel habits, and lower abdominal pain or discomfort. Risk factors are mainly lifestyle-related: obesity, drinking, smoking, diets rich in red or processed meats. At Pall Mall Medical, we offer ColoAlert® – a non-invasive, at home bowel cancer testing kit which allows you to send a sample of your stool away to be tested. For more information on ColoAlert® click here.
Rates of type 2 diabetes are soaring in the UK, in men, women and shockingly even children. Symptoms to look out for include increased thirst and urination, extreme fatigue, and weight loss. Obesity, family history, high blood pressure and inactivity all increase your risk. Any man with any of these symptoms and risk factors should undergo blood testing for glucose levels and HbA1c (an indicator of longer-term glucose levels). The good news with type 2 diabetes is that it’s potentially reversible with committed lifestyle changes such as diet improvements, exercise and weight loss.
If you notice any new symptoms, or changes in symptoms you already have, it is important that you contact your GP. At Pall Mall Medical, we offer private GP appointments. To book, click here or call us on 03300 58 44 55.