Men’s Health – Physical and Mental Health Awareness

 

The first step to improving your health is education. There are a variety of common health checks that all men need to be aware of, as some challenges are unique to males.

Regular checkups are key to safeguarding any physical or mental health challenges. This is so any men’s health issues can be identified and treated early. Otherwise, they can become bigger issues and lead to further complications.

Speak to a doctor from the comfort of your own home. Book a home doctor visit to complete your men’s health check with Heroes Home Doctor!

Common health checks for Men

Screening tests are vital for men’s health issues as not every medical problem exhibits clear symptoms. Open communication and regular checkups with your doctor is the easiest way to manage your health and find any unknown issues.

Here are seven key issues that commonly impact men’s health in Australia.

Heart health

As men get older, they need to be more vigilant in monitoring their heart health. It’s advised that men get their heart checked every two years once they’re over 45. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men are urged to do this once they turn 35. This consultation will typically involve a conversation about your family history and lifestyle, as well as a blood pressure test. Your doctor may also conduct further tests if required.

Diabetes

Many diabetes symptoms are similar for men and women. However, symptoms like erectile dysfunction, genital thrush and reduced muscle mass should be monitored by men in particular. Furthermore, lower levels of weight gain and fat build-up also present a greater risk to males. Speak to your doctor about your family history and lifestyle to assess your risk of diabetes.

Hearing and eyesight

A doctor can perform a variety of in-person tests to gauge the strength of your hearing and eyesight. They may refer you to an audiologist (hearing) or optometrist (eyesight) for further and more specific testing. Are you struggling to hear your family and friends? Then it’s time to book a home doctor visit for a hearing test in your lounge room.

Prostate cancer

Did you know that 1/6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer by the age of 85? It’s a lot more common for older men, as 63% of cases are from men over the age of 65. Prostate cancer is a serious men’s health issue and an important, although uncomfortable, conversation to have with your doctor. There are various ways to test for prostate cancer, and early detection is key.

Bowel cancer

Bowel cancer is the third deadliest cancer for Australian men, and it begins in the large intestine (colon). Many people often experience no symptoms during the early stages, yet common symptoms to note are persistent changes in bowel habits, rectal bleeding and abdominal discomfort. If you have any of these symptoms, please consult a doctor immediately.

Skin cancer

According to a 2020 study, men are twice as likely to be diagnosed with a form of skin cancer than their female counterparts. This cancer develops when repeated overexposure to UV radiation from the sun damages skin cells. Check your skin and head for symptoms like crusty sores or any spots/freckles that change shape over time. Alert your doctor to any problem areas and ask for checkups on any areas that have endured consistent sun exposure.

Depression

Depression is a common and treatable mental health condition that can impact everyone – regardless of age, race, sexuality, economic status, etc.  There is nothing ‘weak’ about needing help. If you hurt your back at work, would you not see the doctor to make it better? The same goes for your mental health. There are many different types of depression, and we recommend speaking to your doctor about your mental health. Please note that anything shared with your doctor is bound by doctor/patient confidentiality.

Men’s Mental Health – Why it’s important

Mental health challenges don’t always present themselves as clearly as physical health challenges, so they can be harder to identify and treat. This is compounded by the fact that men are more likely to stay silent about their mental health issues. Some of the common struggles affecting men’s mental health are depression, anxiety, loneliness and stress.

There has long been a stigma around mental health, especially for men. Outdated phrases like ‘man up’ have told men to bottle their feelings and pretend everything is okay. When in reality, it is perfectly fine for everything to not be okay. Your first step may be to speak to a friend or family member. Find someone that makes you feel comfortable and that you can trust.

In contrast, you may need professional help, and there are a variety of options available. Speak to your GP about what you’re feeling, and they’ll recommend the best next steps for you. For example, your doctor may refer you to a psychologist with a mental health treatment plan. This will allow you to claim up to 20 sessions per calendar year with a mental health professional.

For urgent help, please reach out to leading organisations like Lifeline and Beyond Blue immediately. They provide free mental health services via phone, email and live chat. Their websites are also filled with lots of resources that provide even more detail about men’s health advice and tips.

Beyond Blue also does events to raise awareness about men’s health issues, such as Run Melbourne. Join over 20,000 athletes this July and run some of Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks!

Quick Tips for men who want to live more healthy

There are a variety of ways that men can embrace a more healthy lifestyle. As you get older, maintaining your health can take more effort and exercise. Here are some important guidelines for men aged over 50:

  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night
  • Consume a healthy diet
  • Exercise at least five times per week
  • Refrain from smoking and reduce alcohol intake

Dieting is an important factor and one that focuses on moderation. Not every meal has to be a salad, and you can still have your favourite chocolate bar on occasion. Preparing your meals in advance, commonly known as ‘meal prepping’, is a popular way for men to plan out healthy meals. It helps to take away the stress of trying to eat well and gives your diet a clear structure. 

It’s important to clarify that you don’t need to be perfect to lead a healthy lifestyle. Enjoying a few drinks or having a lazy Sunday on the couch is as important for your mental health. Make time for the pleasures that bring you joy. Reward yourself, but ensure that they are the exception to the healthy rule.

Get help with Heroes Home Doctor Today!

Awareness is the first step to improving your physical and mental health. Knowing the key health challenges common amongst men can help you identify any issues before they become a larger problem.

In particular, monitoring your mental health is an ongoing challenge and men are known not to seek the help they need. There is no shame in needing help for any mental or physical symptoms. Please consult a doctor for tailored advice specific to your needs.

Our travelling doctors are ready to help treat you from the comfort of your own home. Book an appointment today to enjoy healthcare without the travel hassle. Get the help that you need from Heroes Home Doctor!