17 November 2017

Men’s Health Awareness Month - 10 Common Health Issues suffered by Men

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man on mountaintop

November is Men’s Health Awareness month as you may have noticed thanks to an increase in the number of dodgy moustaches on the faces of your male friends, family members or colleagues taking part in the now annual Movember event.

Men have the tendency to suffer in silence a major contributor to the statistic that on average men now die six years sooner than women. To help raise awareness we’ve put together a list of the 10 most common health issues suffered by men. Many of Newcross’ healthcare professionals provide care and support for people living with these conditions and their effects. We encourage any male readers to seek out advice from a medical professional if they are struggling with a health condition.  

heart health

Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease remains one of the biggest killers of both sexes in the United Kingdom and every year causes 23,000 premature deaths. Poor diet and lack of exercise are just two of the main causes of the disease.

The symptoms of Coronary Heart Disease include; chest pains, heart attacks and heart failure. If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms seek medical advice immediately!

-Over 1.2 million men are currently living with Angina.

-Over a million men are living with the after-effects of a heart attack.

-1.6 million men are living with Coronary heart disease

lungs

Respiratory Diseases

Historically, more men than women smoke which results in a higher number of men suffering from what is commonly known as ‘smokers cough’ and other conditions relating to the lungs. These include lung cancer and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary diseases that cover a wide range of conditions such as Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema.

If you have a persistent cough that lasts more than a few days, you should seek out medical advice, and if you’ve been a smoker for more than 30 years, it’s a good idea to get a preliminary CT scan just to check for signs of lung cancer or lung damage.

injury

Unintentional Injuries

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 8319 men died from accidents in 2016, a figure that is significantly higher than the 5,729 recorded for women. Workplace related injuries were a major contributor as typically more men than women work in more dangerous roles.

When it comes to road traffic accidents, the figures are even more disparate with 2,588 men killed compared to 839 recorded for women. This difference is down to the fact that more men than women get behind the wheel intoxicated by alcohol and/or drugs.

male depression

Depression

Typically men tend to be more competitive than women and often don’t like to admit that they need help and are less likely to talk about their feelings. As a result of bottling things up, they are more likely to turn to drink, drugs and other destructive methods to cope. According to ONS figures, men made up 75% of the national suicide rate in 2016. There are a number of organisations that can assist with depression, a list of which can be found here. Remember, there is always someone out there who can help you!

Liver Disease

Even though drinking habits are showing signs of change, men still drink to excess more than women. There are several definite signs of liver disease, and liver problems are often diagnosed based on them. They include;

Swollen abdomen – The liver is a large organ so any inflammation can cause it to expand in size.

Jaundice – this causes the skin and whites of the eyes to yellow due to the liver being unable to effectively break down the molecule bilirubin.

Hormonal imbalance – liver problems can cause hormonal imbalances which in men can result in male feminisation which can result in the growth of breasts.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, seek out medical advice as soon as possible!

Diabetes

Diabetes is a growing issue in the UK with more and more people being diagnosed with the condition. Poor diets and unhealthy lifestyles are the common causes. The symptoms are similar for both sexes, but there are some specific to males. These include; reduced strength as a result of a loss of muscle mass, itching of or around the genitals, erectile dysfunction. For more information about Diabetes click here

flu

Influenza and pneumonia

According to studies by the UN and other bodies men are 25% more likely to die from flu and pneumonia than women, the reason for this is not yet fully understood, but it could be down to men not seeking medical assistance. The best way to reduce the chances of catching the flu is by getting vaccinated, thoroughly washing your hands and avoiding those with the illness.

Cancers

Somebody dies from cancer every 4 minutes in the UK, and according to Cancer Research UK, almost half of all cancer deaths in men are from lung (23%), prostate (13%) and bowel cancers (10%). Prostate cancer, however, is the most commonly diagnosed, and timing is everything when it comes to improving the survival rate. If symptoms are detected early, then the chances of survival beyond 5 years can be as high as 95%, however, if they are detected late this figure falls sharply to 26%.

Many of the conditions mentioned above can be prevented through changes to your lifestyle and its never too late to take control of your health. It is ok to talk about your health and seek assistance. 

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