Health: Mon­i­tor your man’s health!

WE LOVE THE MEN IN OUR LIVES, AND SOME­TIMES WE NEED TO GIVE THEM A LIT­TLE EN­COUR­AGE­MENT TO HELP THEM TAKE GOOD CARE OF THEM­SELVES, SAYS DR ELLIE CAN­NON…

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Novem­ber is Movem­ber, the month where we should all be con­cen­trat­ing on men’s health is­sues. Typ­i­cally, men can ig­nore health con­cerns and are far less likely to turn up at the doc­tor’s surgery with a prob­lem. So, it may be up to you to push your other half into seek­ing help or spot­ting symp­toms that could be a worry…

HEALTHY HEART

Every­one over 40 is en­ti­tled to a free health check at their GP’s surgery to look at blood pres­sure, waist mea­sure­ment and choles­terol. Heart dis­ease is more com­mon in men, and your man is at risk if he smokes, doesn’t ex­er­cise or comes from a fam­ily with heart dis­ease. Grab a tape mea­sure and check his waist. It should be less than 94cm (37in) – oth­er­wise he needs to hit the gym!

SCREEN TIME

Don’t let him ig­nore screen­ing tests! Men over 60 are of­fered screen­ing for bowel can­cer via a self-test kit that comes in the post and must be sent back. All men in their mid-60s are of­fered ab­dom­i­nal aor­tic aneurysm (AAA) screen­ing. This scan mea­sures the large blood ves­sel (aorta) in the tummy to see if it’s en­larged. De­tec­tion al­lows for treat­ment of this life-threat­en­ing con­di­tion.

IT’S GOOD TO TALK

Sadly, three out of four peo­ple who com­mit sui­cide are men, with as many as one in eight males hav­ing ex­pe­ri­enced a men­tal health is­sue. But guys are not al­ways great at ad­mit­ting how they feel, plus they may see psy­cho­log­i­cal is­sues – such as de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety or stress – as a sign of weak­ness or fail­ure. If you’re wor­ried about your man’s men­tal health, start a con­ver­sa­tion today. Do your best to get him to open up and seek help.

WEIGHT-LOSS WOR­RIES

Loss of ap­petite is al­ways sig­nif­i­cant, along with los­ing weight with­out try­ing. It can be a sign of a phys­i­cal or men­tal health is­sue, as it’s a clas­sic symp­tom of thy­roid prob­lems, can­cer and de­pres­sion. If it’s part of a men­tal health is­sue, such as de­pres­sion, you may find your man just for­gets to eat or shows no in­ter­est in choos­ing food. This is not a symp­tom to ig­nore.

PAS­SION GAUGE

In a healthy, happy re­la­tion­ship, women don’t usu­ally ex­pect their part­ners to say no to sex. But a man’s li­bido can be re­duced by cer­tain con­di­tions, in­clud­ing de­pres­sion, when they lose en­joy­ment in ev­ery­thing. For guys, los­ing their li­bido some­times oc­curs as a side ef­fect of medicines, as a sign of type 2 di­a­betes or as a re­sult of changes in testos­terone lev­els. A lack of sex­ual in­ter­est is al­ways worth dis­cussing with his GP.

NIGHT-TIME TOI­LET TRIPS

Are you be­ing dis­turbed at night be­cause your part­ner keeps get­ting up to visit the toi­let? Pass­ing wa­ter at night is one of the clas­sic signs of prostate prob­lems – not prostate can­cer, but what’s known as ‘be­nign prostate en­large­ment’. This can cause all kinds of changes to a man’s blad­der habits that he may have no­ticed, such as a weak urine flow or strain­ing to pee. There’s plenty of help avail­able, in­clud­ing med­i­ca­tion, and he may need a prostate blood test.

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