We all know men aren't the best at getting themselves checked out, heck it's not the most 'manly' thing to do (I can hear the slap of the rubber glove as we speak). But one things for sure! We do know when they are unwell. The case of the 'man flu' sees them bedded for days, sulking, and let's not even start on the 'male period'! Yes ladies (and the wonderful gents who read my blogs, love you xx) we definitely know when they are unwell but would you know the last time they had a check up?
I agree to a certain extent in the 'unless it ain't broke then why fix it' philosophy but every now and again just having a discussion on health and their current state of wellness could make them contemplate and maybe even realise that their body may be telling them something without them even knowing. That little twinge they feel in their back, that lump down 'there' that has always been there for as long as they can remember, that mole that seems to look a little different from the last time they looked at 6 months ago. You may just spark a little conversation that could have them telling you something about themselves that you never even knew.
Most men struggle to discuss their health issues or concerns in fear of being vulnerable, and some just don't want to worry their partners. Others adopt the 'emu philosophy', stick their head in the sand and hope it all goes away. But this shouldn't be the case especially since most simple health concerns can be treated. And at least knowing what they may be suffering from can empower them to take responsibility for their own health and make change.
So this blog is dedicated to giving you simple advice on what they should get tested, at what ages (other than the good old prostate) and be used as a tool to where they can seek advice if they wish to know more.
Pure Home Body, with the help of the cheeky and uber cool boys from Nude Dude Candles, want to start the conversation on wellness with our male counterparts as part of Men's Health Week 2016. By sharing this blog to your dad, husband, partner, teenage kids, you can help spread the word and possibly save a life.
So let's break it down into ages
The teens to 20's.
The young adult 'silly' years of a man. When their body changes, when they mature emotionally (although this can be questionable for some), are finishing school and starting uni or an apprenticeship, starting their first relationship or have a long term relationship. Some may just be starting to work full time. It's a time when they awkwardly don't want to discuss certain things with you or, want to, but not know how to.
With this greater freedom and independence their can be some challenges. But the main things that should be considered at this age are mental health issues including anxiety and depression, drugs and alcohol and sexually transmitted diseases. At this age it is advised that the following checks be considered:
- Blood Pressure Check
- Cholesterol Screen
- Mental Health Check
- Skin Cancer Check
- Testicular Cancer Check
- Sexually Transmitted Infections Test
- Dental and Eye Exams
- Immunisation Check
The 30's and 40's
In their 30 and 40's most men have started a family, are well into working or work seems to be taking over their life. They may be paying off their home. This is the time most men may slack off from their exercise, find stress levels tend to peak and small ailments pop up. Some may even be starting to take medication and have been diagnosed with a disease. Through these years it is vital for them to stay on their game. So it is advised that once a year they get a check with the doc. On top of the previous checks mentioned for the teens to 20's, things that need to be considered are keeping active and ensuring stress levels are managed as well as having a:
- Diabetes Check
- Cholesterol Check
- Cardiovascular Risk Assessment
- Mental health Check.
- Immunisation Check Up
They should chat to their GP or local pharmacist about their lifestyle, how they are generally coping and what they can do to help keep themselves healthy during this busy time in life. It is important more than ever to find that balance in life, catch up with mates and enjoy the family.
The 50's to cranky old man years
From 50 onwards, these are the years where regular checks are necessary. The kids hopefully (fingers crossed) are off their hands, they are well into their career, may have picked up healthy lifestyle habits in the 20's, 30's or 40's and be continuing them, slacked off or have not started them at all. These years see the need to make sure they have regular checks at least once a year depending on the current state of their health. Tests and checks that should be considered on top of the previous ones mentioned above are an:
- Osteoporosis Check
- Prostate Check
- Bowel Cancer Screen
- Cardiovascular Risk Assessment again
- Hearing Test
- Eye Examination and Glaucoma test
- Immunisation Check Up
Keeping active is very important and maintaining regular exercise is the key. Remember use it or lose it, keep those muscles moving and those joints lubed by getting physical. If they haven't engaged in exercise in years and want to get started now, best advise them to ease into it and grab themselves a trainer who can work out a program suited to their fitness level and goal they want to achieve. The heart is a muscle after all, let's not shock that as well by going straight into things hard core.
If they can't discuss their health with you then encourage them to chat with their GP (you may suggest booking the appointment for them) or local health care professional, even a friend is a great place to start. If this still isn't an avenue you think he will take then a number of services exist to help provide information and direction and in some cases they can remain anonymous. A list of amazing services are available below.
So if there is something you could aim for during Men's Health Week 2016, let's aim to ask the question. You may not be met with an answer you want but you have taken the first step and opened the conversation and maybe planted the seed to empower him to take control of his wellness.
Happy chatting and to a healthy, happy home!
List of Services readily available for help and information:
- Anxiety, Depression and Suicide: Headspace, Beyond Blue Youth, Beyond Blue, The Black Dog Institute and Lifeline
- Testicular Cancer, Prostate Cancer or Erectile Dysfunction: Andrology Australia
- Skin Cancer, Bowel Cancer: The Cancer Council, Mole Scan Clinic, their local pharmacy that has a mole scan device.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections: Health Direct
- Drugs and Alcohol: The Right Mix and the Australian Drug Foundation
Advise given in this article does not replace the advise of a medical practitioner. This is a guide only and information pertaining to the subject is not limited to the above.