The best way to prevent oneself from being smitten by sickness of any kind, is by taking careful steps to observe the symptoms. These are some of such symptoms you should never ignore.
Men are 50% less likely to visit their GP compared to women, but there are some vital warning signs all lads should be aware of.
More than 100,000 British guys die prematurely each year and one fifth of men pass away before the age of 65.
It’s important that lads make their health a priority and go to see their doctor if they have any usual symptoms.
To mark International Men’s Health Week, we spoke to a medical expert about the top health conditions men face.
Dr Seth Rankin, founder of the London Doctors Clinic, said: “Many men choose to ignore vital signs that suggest they are not in the best health, which is why I have highlighted some of the important symptoms to be aware of.”
Here, Dr Seth shares the top 10 health issues that affect men – and the warning signs you should never ignore.
1. Erectile dysfunction
For many men, impotence (or erectile dysfunction) can be a sensitive topic to discuss.
However, don’t let embarrassment stop you from speaking to your doctor.
I regularly consult on impotence and it’s an issue that will affect approximately 50% of men throughout their lives – it’s actually very, very common.
If you cannot get an erection or find it hard to maintain one, there are many treatment options available to you.
2. Testicular cancer
While we’re in that region, it’s important that young men are aware of testicular cancer, especially those in the bracket of 20 to 35 years of age.
Although relatively rare, around 2,000 men are diagnosed with this form of cancer in the UK every year.
Symptoms include a painless lump in the testicle or a dull ache in the scrotum – if you’re experiencing either of these, book an appointment with your doctor.
There may be no issue, but it’s better to be on the safe side.
3. Prostate cancer
One in seven men suffer from prostate cancer in the UK.
For those that do not know, the prostate gland is located between the penis and the bladder and issues with urination are the most common first sign of the cancer.
For example, you might need to go to the toilet more or find it increasingly difficult to empty your bladder.
If you’re worried about this condition, your GP can perform a blood test and a prostate examination, to thoroughly investigate.
4. Bowel cancer
This is most commonly experienced by men aged over 60.
If you are overweight, smoke, drink and regularly eat red meat (such as steak, lamb or pork), then you might have a higher risk of contracting bowel cancer.
If you’re suffering from lower abdominal pain or experiencing changes in your bowel habits and blood in your stool, it is better to seek further medical advice.
5. Heart disease
Another condition affecting the more mature man is heart disease.
If you’re aged 50 or over, then you’re at an increased risk of the disease – in fact, it is the most common killer of men in this age category.
If you notice palpitations, a shortness of breath or any discomfort in the chest, this could signal heart disease, which, if left untreated, could result in a stroke or heart attack.
Finally, if have high blood pressure, are obese, or do not exercise regularly, you have a higher chance of developing type-2 diabetes.
Look out for the common symptoms – these include feeling thirsty, tiredness, urinating at an increasing rate and dropping weight.
And if you do experience any of the symptoms above, visit your GP – by following simple yet effective recommended lifestyle changes, it is possible to reverse the development of this condition.
7. Suicide and depression
More 20 to 34-year-old men are at an elevated risk of suicide than ever before.
One of the main reasons for this epidemic is the fact that men are simply less likely to go and seek support.
Unfortunately, this means that for many, mental health issues compound and worsen. It can be tricky to spot depression, but do look for signs of low mood, difficulty in making decisions and a low sex drive, as well as other symptoms.
Many people believe that alcohol will make them feel better – this is perhaps due to the associated release of feel-good chemicals in the brain, which result in feelings of joy and pleasure.
However, conditions such as depression, stress and anxiety may lead to excess alcohol consumption because of that very same belief.
And excess drinking can lead to liver damage, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
…And with alcohol often comes smoking. Smoking is unhealthy for men in general (and the wider population).
If you’ve had a cough for over three weeks, or are finding blood when you cough, then you might have a smoking-related health issue.
Smoking increases your risk of lung, throat and mouth cancer.
10. Skin cancer
Some men may choose to ignore moles; however, don’t.
Take care and monitor your skin – if you notice that one or two of your moles are changing in shape, size, colour or are weeping or inflamed, it’s time for your doctor to take a look.
If you detect skin cancer early, it could save your life.