A bloke’s VIEW
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%.