Men’s Health Week June 10th-16th 2019
Issues affecting men’s health are varied and many health professionals and health activists mark Men’s Health Week with awareness campaigns to highlight health concerns such as diabetes, osteoporosis, family health, workplace accidents, and the higher likelihood of men being victims to homicide or suicide.
International Men’s Health Week is celebrated in several countries the week preceding and including Father’s Day which falls on Sunday 16th June.
Research shows that, on average, men go to their GP half as often as women. Some important health issues and symptoms to watch for in respect of men’s health include-
- Urinary Problems may occur as a result of the prostate gland becoming enlarged and pressing on the tube that carries urine from the bladder, making it hard to pass urine – This can be a sign of prostate disease, including cancer. Other urinary symptoms include the urge to pass urine frequently; and pain or burning when you pass urine – if you have any of these symptoms, see your GP.
- Depression is an illness that affects your work, social and family life. Although more common in women, men are more reluctant to seek help and are far more likely to commit suicide. If you have feelings of extreme sadness/ inability to cope, it is important to seek help.
- Sometimes, men go through what is often referred to as a ‘midlife crisis’ when they think they are at life’s halfway stage and feel time is running out. This can cause anxiety and depression, loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, mood swings, irritability, loss of muscle mass and reduced ability to exercise, fat redistribution, such as developing a large belly or “man boobs” (gynaecomastia), a general lack of enthusiasm or energy, difficulty sleeping (insomnia) or increased tiredness, poor concentration and short-term memory.
- Moles need to be checked regularly and be aware of any change in colour or shape, or if they start bleeding- if a mole looks unusual or becomes itchy, get it seen to as soon as possible.
- Testicular lumps or abnormalities must be checked out. Whilst most testicular lumps may not be cancerous, it is always better to have any abnormalities checked as treatment for testicular cancer is much more effective if the cancer is diagnosed early.
- Impotence (erectile dysfunction) is something most men will experience at some point in their lives – lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and exercise can help, although some men may need medication. Impotence can be a sign of more serious conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure; it is therefore advisable to consult with your GP who can assess your general health.