Tuesday, 28 July 2020

5 Important Mens Health Issues Not To Ignore

Did you know that men are 25% less likely to have seen a health care provider within the last year than women?

The "Big boys don't cry", "Be a REAL man", "Take it on the chin" narrative  aka toxic masculinity that men have had forced upon them for centuries has had a detrimental effect upon their health, with many men choosing not only to keep their emotions and struggles hidden, but also resulting in them being less likely to seek advice from medical professionals for physical ailments than women.

As a mother of sons, this worries me. It's so important that men are encouraged to speak up and ask for help.

It's a well documented fact that men are at greater risk of suicide, poor mental health and are 1.5 times more likely to die of cancer as a direct result of the negative impacts of toxic masculinity within our society. 

Even the recent Coronavirus outbreak shows the far-reaching effects of toxic masculinity with men less likely to wear masks than women and more likely to die or suffer serious health complications.

The following 5 health issues are some of the most common health issues that men face in their lives but also the ones that they are least likely to seek help for.

1) Mental Health Issues

Unfortunately mental health issues are still a taboo subject across much of society, but men are significantly less likely to seek help or support.  A recent YouGov survey showed that 28% of men surveyed who experienced significant mental health struggles would not seek medical support- the true figure is likely to be much higher.  

Men are also less likely to discuss mental health concerns with friends and family, preferring to keep their struggles to themselves - in fact a third of men do not seek support from friends or family for up to 2 years, compared to just a quarter of women. 

When looking at these figures, it's easy to see why men are 3 times more likely to die from suicide than women.

There are some fantastic mental health support groups aimed specifically at men who are trying to help break the stigma, including Andy Mans Club who can be found here: https://andysmanclub.co.uk/

2) Erectile Dysfunction

Despite it's presence as a running joke in movies and TV shows, Erectile dysfunction is actually a very common problem for men with the majority experiencing it at some point in their lives.

However, due to the stigma attached to it men are very unlikely to speak to their GP about it. But did you know that Erectile dysfunction can be linked to several serious health conditions including diabetes and heart disease?

For this reason, it's important to have a discussion with your Doctor. You can also find medications such as Tadalafil which can be used to treat erectile dysfunction and eliminate the mental health impacts of living with the problem, and can even be purchased online from an Online Pharmacy.

3) Changes in Bowel Habits

This common symptom is far more likely to be dietary related, but can also be an indication of something as serious as colon cancer. However, men tend to avoid colonoscopies due to stigma and embarrassment.

If you’re experiencing chronic constipation or have symptoms like bloody or narrow stools, mysterious weight loss, cramping, and bloating, there could be an obstruction in the lower bowel which can develop into something serious if left untreated.

4) Memory Loss

Men are more likely to be concerned about "Making a fuss" by seeking advice from their GP on a non-physical health issue such as confusion or memory loss, but with this symptom linked to conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer's, brain tumours and even conditions such as vitamin deficiencies and infections it can be so important to see a Dr sooner rather than later.

This is one symptom where early intervention can make a very significant difference to the outcome, and shouldn't be ignored. 

Remember - you're not going to die of fear, you're not going to die of embarrassment - but you could die from allowing these things to stop you from seeking appropriate healthcare and advice. Don't become a victim of toxic masculinity.

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