The big six: modern health risks for men

We spoke to the team at The Online Clinic to find out what the 6 main health risks are for men today, and what we can do to prevent them. If you believe you might be suffering from any of the health issues below, it’s best to visit a GP and get a check-up

  1. Heart Disease

Heart disease is much more prevalent in men than it is in women, and is the number one health risk for men. It is caused by high fat diets, smoking, and lack of physical activity. Heart disease can lead to arterial disease and result in strokes and even death.

However, the good news is that heart disease is preventable with an active and healthy lifestyle. To stay healthy, remember to watch what you’re eating, stay active, and steer clear of cigarettes.

  1. Mental Health

When it comes to men’s health, mental health is just as important as physical health. Suicide is a huge killer of men, and statistically they are much more likely to commit suicide than women.

It’s important to remember that there is always help available. Talking to someone can help ease your feelings – the Samaritans are always available to speak to if you are feeling alone.

  1. Diabetes

Physical jobs are becoming increasingly less common and unhealthy foods are constantly being marketed at us. This is resulting in an epidemic of obesity and a diabetes explosion, particularly in younger men of Asian backgrounds.

Diabetes affects the small blood vessels that supply vital organs such as the kidneys. It can lead to impotence, blindness, kidney failure, and some people have to undergo amputations as a result. You can help prevent diabetes by ensuring you are steering clear of sugar rich foods and getting plenty of exercise especially if you have a desk job.

  1. Smoking

Smoking has decreased hugely in the UK, mainly due to the smoking ban. However, it is still alarmingly common in young men. Smoking causes a huge number of diseases, but the worst is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which can cause intractable shortness of breath and recurrent chest infections.

Quitting smoking is one of the quickest ways you can turn your health around. Find help to STOP smoking.

  1. Drugs

As smoking has become less prevalent in our society, there has been a steady rise in drinking and casual drug taking. Drinking is ingrained so much in our culture, but it is still incredibly harmful and is leading to liver disease in increasingly younger people.

Smoking cannabis has also become more common. In various studies, it has been linked with impotence, depression and long-term debilitation.

Being under the influence of drugs and alcohol makes it more difficult to make sensible decisions, and means that you are more likely to be involved in road traffic accidents. If you believe you might have a drug or alcohol problem, there are resources to help you. Speak to a GP for further advice.

  • Cancer

There are men specific cancers such as prostate and testicular cancer which men should watch out for.

Be vigilant in checking your testicles regularly and report any lumps, swelling, pain or other symptoms such as blood in your semen or stool quickly to your GP. The good news is, that if these cancers are caught early, they are treatable. If you have any worrying symptoms, don’t ignore them – make an appointment with your GP.

Advice given by Dr Elizabeth Kershaw-Yates, GP and one of the medical team at TheOnlineClinic

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