06 September 2018
Men are three times less likely to seek medical help compared to women yet there are many diseases that are either unique to men or simple to pick up or prevent. Here is a shortlist of the top five, what signs to look out for and top tips from our private GPs, Dr Radhika Vohra and Dr Jatindar Thompson:
Heart disease and stroke
Your risk of heart disease is increased with a family history of high cholesterol, heart attack or stroke. However, being a smoker is the biggest risk factor. Being overweight and not exercising are causes of heart disease and having high blood pressure increases your risk so do see your doctor. Experiencing new chest pain or shortness of breath when exerting yourself are urgent signs and you should seek medical help.
Top tip: Get an annual health check to understand your risks and aim for 30 minutes aerobic exercise three times a week.
Testicular and prostate cancers
These can present as a new lump in one testis, blood in your urine or stool, passing urine more often and reduced flow. A family history of cancer in close relatives can be a risk factor. Alarming symptoms can be new unexplained back pain or weight loss.
Top tip: Self examine your testes as then you will notice a new change and know when to seek help.
Depression and suicide
Men seek help less frequently than women and succeed in suicide attempts more. Common symptoms are low mood, irritability, loss of interest and fatigue. Sleep disturbance makes tiredness worse.
Top tip: Please seek help if your mood is consistently low as there is treatment available.
Drinking alcohol to excess
Men have higher rates of hospital admission and death as a result of alcoholism: a strong, often uncontrollable desire to drink alcohol. Alcohol affects the function of all organs and increases risk for mouth, throat, oesophagus, liver and colon cancers. It also interferes with testicular function and hormone production. Change in skin colour, weight loss and body hair loss can all be features of liver disease.
Top tip: Try not to binge drink and stick to a maximum of 14 units per week.
Diabetes can often run in families and thirst, weight loss, fatigue, increased appetite and nausea can be symptoms. Men specifically can experience: reduced strength from loss of muscle mass, recurrent rashes, itching or thrush around the genitals, and erectile dysfunction.
Untreated diabetes also contributes to nerve and kidney damage, heart disease, stroke and vision problems.
Top tip: Your blood or urine can be checked for glucose to make a diagnosis.
Last but not least tip: Seek help for your health. Appointments with our private GPs can be booked online.