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Updated 22 August 2013

Top 10 men’s health issues

June is Men’s Health Month and all men are encouraged to join the growing movement towards healthy living and wellness.

1
Men, strict health care and regular doctors' visits go together like oil and water. Guys would rather strike up a conversation with strangers at a pub about the size, texture and colour of a seriously unusual growth, than see a doctor about it.

Olivia: “Love, have you seen the doctor yet about that lump you found down under?”
John: “Oh, it seems to have split in two, which means it’s probably breaking up as it disappears.”
Olivia: “And the doctor told you this?”
John: “No, but Ray’s cousin’s best friend’s brother had a similar lump, and he didn’t even have to see a doctor.”

Sound familiar guys? Of course it does. That’s because when it comes to our personal health, we men are like ostriches – we bury our heads in the sand and hope the problem goes away.

To our credit, though, we’re just displaying typical guy behaviour, right? Wrong!

It’s probably because of this stubbornness and unwillingness to make regular visits to our doctor, take symptoms seriously, and live a healthier lifestyle, that we die seven years before women do.

The main killers

Generally, a healthy lifestyle, routine doctor’s visits and preventative screenings are the best ways to protect your health. Below are the leading causes of death for men around the world:
  • Colon and rectal cancer – It’s one of the most commonly occurring internal cancers and the second-most common cause of cancer related death, after lung cancer.
  • Heart disease – A man's risk of heart disease begins to rise steeply after 45.
  • Prostate cancer – It is one of the leading killers of men globally.
  • Accidents – Also called unintentional injuries. This is the number three cause of death among men.
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases – A group of diseases that affect the lungs.
  • Stroke – Managing your high blood pressure can lower your risk of a stroke.
  • Diabetes – Most men are unaware of this until they develop vision loss, kidney disease or erectile dysfunction.
  • Suicide – Men are almost four times more likely than women to successfully commit suicide.
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease – These diseases usually occur after age 65 but are also on the rise among men in their 30s, 40s and 50s.
  • Throat and lung cancer – Cigarette smoking is the major cause of lung cancer.

Truth be told guys, when it comes to our health issues, the stakes are too high for us to remain complacent.

But it’s never too late to adjust our lifestyles. These 10 easy-to-follow steps, by Dr Julian Whitaker of the Whitaker Wellness Institute Medical Clinic, will help us maintain our health and vitality. This is, however, no substitute for regular doctor’s appointments.

A guy’s health to-do list

You would do well to stick this list on your bathroom mirror or refrigerator:
  • Eliminate foods made from white flour from your diet.
  • Stay away from dangerous trans fats.
  • Take a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement.
  • Incorporate weight training into your exercise routine.
  • Maintain your optimal weight.
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation.
  • Protect your prostate.
  • Masturbate to prevent cancer and boost immunity.
  • Maintain vigorous sexual activity.
  • Maintain close relationships.

And remember guys, we really do need to start communicating our health problems to one another and our doctors, the same way that women do. Learn to share the details of your health as easily as you share rugby or soccer scores and dirty jokes down at the pub, and you could add years to your life.

Here’s to our good health!

(Picture: father and son from Shutterstock)
 

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