What’s yours? The Crossbar, Horseshoe, Pencil or the Magnum P.I. Chevron moustache?
This month is Movember which aims to raise awareness of health issues affecting men such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide and encourages men to take some time to pause and consider their own health.
It is important to be proactive about your health and healthcare. By being aware of your health and body, it is easier to notice any changes which might occur; any concerns should be discussed with your doctor.
Concierge Medical is a private GP practice, which operates as a home visiting service, restoring traditional values of a family doctor building trusted relationships for continuity of care and accessibility. Dr Simon Gillson, Founder and Medical Director says:
“It’s still very common for men to put off visits to the doctor as they might feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, or scared about addressing issues. Talking to your doctor will quickly reduce built up anxiety and empower you to take control of your health. Movember and other men’s health initiatives are a great way to get men talking about their health and raising awareness.”
Dr Simon’s top tips for Men’s Health:
Try to limit unhealthy foods and eat healthy, balanced meals which incorporate five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Drinking water regularly helps you stay hydrated. Keeping track of your body weight weekly can help you keep track of your weight changes that may be significant. Be mindful of your alcohol intake, try to stick to moderate levels.
Being active and exercising as much as possible to retain agility and fitness. The benefits of being outdoors are widely reported and is one of the easiest ways to improve your mental health and well-being. Being outdoors can reduce anxiety and depression, and improves mental clarity and creativity. Aiming to be outside for a minimum 30 minutes per day for a vitamin D boost, which regulates your immune system and can help battle depression. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, cancer, heart attack and strokes. Fresh air will give us more energy and a brisk walk is a good form of cardiovascular exercise.
Sleep is important as there are established links between sleep and a healthy immune system. You can help keep your immune system functioning properly by getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Prostate Cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the prostate, a small walnut-shaped gland in men, some prostate cancers are slow growing, without causing serious harm. However, others are aggressive, so for both scenarios, identifying the cancer early is essential for the best outcome.
Not everyone with prostate cancer has symptoms, so regular screening should be a part of your annual health check from the age of 40.
Symptoms of prostate cancer may include:
- Frequent urination (especially at night)
- Weak urinary stream
- Inability to urinate
- Interruption of urinary stream
- Pain or burning during urination
- Blood in the urine or ejaculate
- Bone pain in the hips, ribs or back
- Back pain
There is no effective self-check or home test for prostate cancer. There are two main early-stage screening methods; a digital rectal exam, a quick and safe screening technique used by a physician which should cause no significant pain or a blood test measuring PSA level.
You can easily use self-examining techniques yourself to uncover early warning signs of men’s health issues, from heart disease to testicular cancer:
Heart Rate Check
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death. One quick self-exam to gauge the health of your heart is to check your pulse when you’re at rest. Place the first two fingers of one hand on the area at the base of the wrist on your other hand. Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply by six. A normal pulse (heart rate) for a man should be between 60 and 100. Anything outside that range could be a sign of cardiovascular problems. You should also pay attention to the space between beats. An irregular pulse could be a sign of a heart related issue for which medical input would be important.
Blood Pressure Check
Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as: heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
You should see your doctor for an official reading, but you may also want to keep tabs on your blood pressure at home between check-ups with an easy-to-use blood pressure monitor, which are relatively inexpensive to buy online or at any pharmacy. Blood pressure can change from day to day, so write down your readings and look at the average over about 10 readings. Let your doctor know if the higher (systolic) number is consistently above 120 or the lower (diastolic) number is consistently above 80.
Testicular Cancer Check
Testicular cancer is one of the most common cancers among men. The earlier you find it; the better your prognosis is likely to be. A self-examination of the testicles is a good way to find this cancer at an early stage when it is very treatable. The best time to do a testicular self-exam is after a shower, when your scrotum is relaxed. Check your testicles for any lumps or changes in size, and let your doctor know if you find anything.
Skin Cancer Check
To do a self-check for skin cancer, look for moles that change in size, shape, thickness, or colour. Let your doctor know about any growths that bleed, itch, burn, or crust over. It is best to get naked and look everywhere! This includes your scalp and on the soles of your feet. Many skin cancers are found in sun-exposed areas where you often don’t think to put sunscreen such as your ears or difficult to reach places like your back.
It really is good to talk! Talking about problems can offer a feeling of relief. Talking, whatever that be, one-to-one or more socially with friends and family can help us to relax which will instinctively make us feel better. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger rather than to relatives or friends about worries or health concerns. For that reason, on occasions, speaking to a counsellor can be really beneficial. Being able to talk, cry, shout or just think is valuable. It’s an opportunity to look at your problems with someone else from a different perspective and try to find your solutions, relieve stress, anxiety and frustration.
If you do have concerns, ignoring the issues rarely helps – take prompt action and contact your doctor.
Concierge Medical aims to provide our members with the best private medical care available in the UK. We believe our home visiting practice has many benefits, one of which is being able to detect, diagnose and treat before health concerns become a health crisis.
We offer ‘Well Person Health Checks’ which are comprehensive and look at all aspects of nutrition and lifestyle and include a range of baseline blood tests with rapid results. As well as investigating any underlying conditions, this is a great way to assess your current state of health and allows individuals to take steps to improve lifestyle choices for the future. This gives peace of mind and is a crucial means of making diagnosis.
For more information about Concierge Medical Practise membership contact 01451 600900 or email@example.com www.conciergemedical.co.uk
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