It is often reported ‘wealth, not health’ is the key to a happy life -but there are statistics out there which suggest men in particular may have it the wrong way round.
During Men’s Health Week, which launched on Monday, experts are encouraging those over 50 to take a much keener interest in how they feel and what their body is trying to tell them.
Shockingly, men are notorious for ignoring health symptoms with NHS figures showing they are half as likely to make a date with their GP as women - despite suffering from a similar number of ailments and conditions.
There are FIVE major health signs men should never ignore. Some are so obvious they simply have to be checked asap - and could lead to very serious consequences if they are not.
Lumps on testicles, problem moles, trouble urinating, impotence and feeling depressed are all indicators something really is not quite right. Any of these could signal a major underlying health issue which could have potential fatal consequences.
Doctor Tony Steele can vouch for men’s medical disinterest through running one of the UK’s busiest online pharmacies which has launched the ‘March to the Doctor’ campaign alongside the national Men’s Health Week.
The experienced family GP said: “Why men visit the doctor less is a mystery. They are certainly not healthier than women, and in fact the reverse is true because men smoke and drink more. Men are also more likely to develop high blood pressure and are more prone to heart disease and cancer yet their ‘surgery shyness’ persists. It’s a major concern across Scotland and the rest of the UK for the medical world and could account for the fact that, on average, men live a few years less than women.
“It’s too easy to blame the ‘macho’ factor or that women are more likely to be hypochondriacs. That is all nonsense. My view is women get into the habit of seeing the doctor earlier than men because they have children and you tend to see more mums more often when the kids are sick. For that reason women are much more comfortable picking up the phone and booking an appointment.
“Sadly most men don’t start thinking about their health until much later in life which can be a huge mistake. The number of ailments and symptoms men should have checked out would be too long to list anywhere, so we advise them to see their GP whatever their concerns. I can assure them they will never be accused of being timewasters. All GPs take all their patients concerns very seriously indeed. Of course we also want to reassure men that most concerns turn out to be nothing serious, but peace of mind will be their biggest gain.”
District nurse Jim Leishman, Men’s Health and Keepwell Clinical Co-ordinator, is the co-author of a 10-year service report to NHS Forth Valley.
He said: “It became increasingly apparent that men’s health had become unneccessarily poor. Over the last decade the Men’s Health service developed by NHS Forth Valley has embraced a broad social detriments approach to defining men’s health. It has acknowledged men ‘do’ health differently and pioneered methods to engage with men regarding their health and developed ways of working with men that make the most of the positive qualities that men have to improve their health.”