When it comes to their health, dads deserve more attention than just one day in June. Gail Shortland examines all the check-ups we should encourage them to have— and why
ads are notorious for neglecting their health. They dodge doctors just as much as they avoid taking out the garbage. They insist everything is fine as long as they’re able to lift the remote control. Every now and then they are struck down by ‘man flu’ or a splinter and the level of moaning is unbearable – but when it comes to their general health and bigger problems, they are usually woefully remiss.
Statistics reveal that a third of men in the UAE suffer from health problems, making male reluctance to go to the doctor more worrying. The latest statistics for life-expectancy in the UAE is 79 years for women, but just 74 for men. In a country with top medical care available, this is tragic, especially when simple life changes could make a huge difference.
It’s time dads woke up and realised we love them and want them to stick around for as long as possible.
Aly Abdul Razek, executive director at the Gulf International Cancer Centre says: “Men should have a yearly check up, and visit the doctor if they have persistent signs and symptoms such as an abnormal swelling or a lump, a persistent cough, bleeding or a non-healing ulcer.” So this year, let’s use Father’s Day as a prompt for a general top-to-toe health check-up. Just like a classic car, even dads need a regular roadworthy assessment. Baldness is a huge bugbear for the men in our lives. It might not be life threatening but it can lead to low self-esteem and, in extreme cases, depression. Amin Sheybani, CEO of Vivandi Hair Spa in Dubai (www. hairspa.ae) says hair loss affects an estimated 75 per cent of men. “And given the harsh desert environment and desalinated water in the UAE, these figures are likely to be much higher in Dubai,” Amin reveals.
Hair loss can be attributed to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which causes the hair to thin until the follicles become dysfunctional and the hair stops growing. Although hair loss can affect all ages, it’s more obvious as men get older.
It seems the stress of family life could be making dad thin on top. “Although experts don’t know the exact process, there is a clear relationship between high levels of stress and hair loss,” Amin admits. “Typically about 90 per cent of hairs are in the growing stage, and the 10 per cent that are in the resting stage shed. Stress seems to prompt more hairs to go into the resting stage. The good news is that it’s usually temporary.”
Amin recommends using a special hair-care system, such as Revivogen, which is a clinically proven hair loss solution that combats the problem and stimulates regrowth. There are also shower filters you can buy to remove potentially harmful chlorine from the water. Or even the iGrow Hair Rejuvenation System – a helmet men can use at home to energise hair follicles with low-level laser technology. It’s very expensive but it has been clinically proven and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Cardiovascular disease is the world’s leading cause of death. In the UAE, it accounts for one in four deaths and worryingly the average age of a heart attack is 20 years earlier than the