One example where men are at higher risk than women is heart disease – pre-menopausal women produce more of the hormone oestrogen than men, which is protective against heart disease. However, lifestyle factors also have a significant role to play. Your GP can help you by considering your family history, current lifestyle and test indicators to assess your personal risk, and help you to make positive changes for a healthier life!
Other ways you can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke are:
- Get your cholesterol checked every five years
- If you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, arrange with your GP to have these under control
- If you smoke, quit
- Try to get about 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week
- Avoid processed and packaged foods, and try to eat more fruits and vegetables
Men are also at high risk of lung cancer. Quitting smoking will reduce this risk, and is very important to consider, as lung cancer usually spreads early on, before it causes symptoms. This is dangerous, as it is often advanced once it is discovered, and therefore more difficult to cure.
The prostate is a small gland behind the penis that secretes fluids for ejaculation. As men age, problems with the prostate can develop. Checking your prostate for cancer involves a digital rectal exam, and a blood test for prostate specific antigen (PSA). The most important thing however is to speak to your doctor regularly and talk about your overall risk.
It’s often frequent urination or thirst that might bring you into the doctor. Diabetes is one of the worst preventable diseases affecting us today. It can lead to awful events such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputations. But it doesn’t have to. If you regularly go to a GP to have your risk factors assessed and check your blood sugar, then you’re far more likely to catch diabetes in its early stages.
Depression and Suicide
If you notice that your mood has been low for an extended period of time, and your sleep, appetite and energy levels aren’t like they used to be, then it’s worth speaking to someone. Many men find this an uncomfortable situation. This is totally understandable, but recognising that you haven’t been yourself and getting help is far better than trying to tough it alone.
If you spent a great deal of your day out in the sun, then it’s advisable to have a GP regularly check your skin for moles and growths. If there are any, these can be removed, usually in the practice.
Injury at Work
If you undertake a very labor intensive job your GP can put together a plan to help you prevent or recover from injury and monitor your skin for moles and growths.