A bloke’s VIEW

New Zealand Woman’s Weekly - - HEALTH & FAMILY -

Vet­eran sports jour­nal­ist and broad­caster Phil Gif­ford’s own brushes with heart and bowel is­sues en­cour­aged him to start look­ing after his health bet­ter, and to con­vince other Kiwi blokes to do the same.

His book, Look­ing After Your Nuts & Bolts: Phil Gif­ford’s Kiwi Men’s Health Guide, cov­ers ev­ery­thing from can­cers of the bowel, prostate, skin and tes­ti­cles through to giv­ing up smok­ing and deal­ing with de­pres­sion. The book in­cludes ad­vice from ex­perts, as well as lots of per­sonal sto­ries from Kiwi blokes shar­ing their ex­pe­ri­ences of things go­ing wrong with their health.

Here are four in­ter­est­ing facts we learned from the book:

1 Peo­ple tend to think pain from a heart at­tack man­i­fests in the chest only.

But dis­com­fort in your throat, short­ness of breath, ex­ces­sive sweat­ing and feel­ing faint or dizzy can also be signs that your heart is in trou­ble.

2 Seek­ing help when you’ve had a stroke is cru­cial. If you get to a hospi­tal within three or, at the most, four hours, clot-dis­solv­ing drugs can help blood to get through to your brain. But after four and a half hours, the drugs are not only un­help­ful but they can be dan­ger­ous.

3 Ig­nore the strange the­ory that pee­ing on a preg­nancy test stick can re­veal if you’ve got tes­tic­u­lar can­cer. Yes, some can­cers make beta hCG, the chem­i­cal that preg­nancy tests for women pick up, so if the test reads pos­i­tive, you could have can­cer. But if it shows up as neg­a­tive, that doesn’t mean you don’t have can­cer. You should still get checked. 4

When the All Blacks lose a world cup, the numbers of cases of heart fail­ure in this coun­try go up. When the All Blacks lost in Sydney in 2003, heart at­tacks went up by 60%.

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