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You may be wondering why there’s all this talk of men’s health lately, men are big and strong right? The truth is, while society generally expects men to be rough and tumble, men do experience a great wealth of health problems. Read more on our Men’s Health Week Special!

According to Men’s Health: A boy born in Australia in 2010 has a life expectancy of 78.0 years while a baby girl born at the same time could expect to live to 82.3 years old. Right from the start, boys suffer more illness, more accidents and die earlier than their female counterparts.

Alarmingly, Australia loses and average of five men a day to suicide, which is four times the suicide rate of females, the majority of male deaths however are attributed to cancer, heart disease and accidents.

Making the problem worse still, men are far less likely to keep up frequent visits to the doctor than females, this is argued to be because of sociological factors i.e. pressure for men to appear tough and carefree about their health. As a result of all these problems, Men’s Health Week was launched to raise awareness and offer support to men out there who may not know how to speak up.

Let’s explore some common health issues impacting men around the world.

Bowel Cancer

As if June celebrating Men’s Health Week wasn’t enough, did you know that June is also Bowel Cancer Awareness Month? Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is an annual initiative of Bowel Cancer Australia running throughout the month of June (1-30 June), to raise awareness of Australia’s second deadliest cancer.

While bowel cancer does impact both men and women, men have a higher chance of developing the disease, particularly as they age, in fact once we hit our 70’s, 1 in 22 males are at risk!
The good news is, almost 90% of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully once detected.

If you’re concerned about bowel cancer, there are measures you can take, the most important measures being the modification of your diet and lifestyle as well as surveillance and screening.

In addition, there is strong evidence linking a healthy lifestyle to reduced risk of bowel cancer, this can include steps such as limiting alcohol consumption and quitting smoking but also, increasing physical activity and optimising nutrient consumption.


The Heart

As men’s health week continues, let’s look at some more common issues impacting the fellas out there, today we’re exploring how to maintain a healthy heart.

As men grow older, cardiovascular health becomes more important, no this doesn’t mean men have to empty their life savings on fish oil capsules and avoid bacon and eggs like the plague. Thankfully, simply maintaining a healthy weight and taking up physical activity will work wonders according to researchers from  Harvard University.

This is because, staying slim likely means that your following a healthy diet, which in turn keeps nasty forms of cholesterol at bay. Also, physical activity can lower stress-levels and prevent the unhealthy behaviours often associated with stress, such as overeating and poor sleep, better yet, healthy eating and exercise will also do wonders for blood pressure.

Other factors to consider include alcohol consumption and smoking, limiting alcohol and straight up avoiding smoking are no-brainers when it comes to looking after your heart, you only get one!

Mental Health

Men’s health week isn’t just about physical health but also mental health, so let’s have a look at how post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can impact males.

When people think of PTSD they often think of life-threatening situations such as military combat, assaults, natural disasters, car accidents but PTSD can also extend to sexual assault and even bullying and harassment.

Although PTSD symptoms can begin right after a traumatic event, PTSD is not diagnosed unless the symptoms last for at least one month, and either cause significant distress or interfere with work or home life.

In order to be diagnosed with PTSD, a person must have three different types of symptoms: re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance and numbing symptoms, and arousal symptoms.

Of course, while both men and women are diagnosed with PTSD, some specific symptoms are typically only seen in males such as:

– More likely to feel angry
– Often unable to control their anger and emotions
– More prone to abusing alcohol or drugs to cope

So there you have it, some common issues impacting the fellas out there, look after yourselves guys, and ladies, look after the special men in your lives, this Men’s Health Week and beyond.