The health status of males in most countries, including Australia, is generally poorer than that of females. At Family Doctors Plus we want to give you some insights as to why and how to cope as part of the national Men’s Health Week, which runs from 14-20 June, 2021.
Here are some concerns commonly affecting men:
Less than a third of men who have experienced a mental disorder in the past 12 months will seek help, according to Queensland Health. Unfortunately, there is a perception that depression and anxiety is a weakness when it is not: It is an illness with treatments available.
Many men are raised to believe toughing it out is the way to deal with stress, or some even resort to alcohol and drugs – all of which only makes problems worse.
Ways to cope:
- Talk to someone close to you, like a partner, family member or close friend.
- Discuss your feelings with a doctor, counsellor, or a support group.
- Stay active. Exercise is the ideal way to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally fit. It is a healthy way to relieve stress, without resorting to alcohol or drugs.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Common cancers affecting Queensland men include prostate, bowel, lung, skin and testicular. Lung cancer is the major cause of death from cancer for men in Queensland and the leading risk factor is tobacco smoking, according to Queensland Health.
If you notice changes to your skin or body, talk to your doctor without delay. Also have regular check-ups with your doctor. Your GP will recommend check-up timings based on your age, health, and medical history.
Coronary heart disease a leading cause of death for both males and females in Queensland, though males are often hospitalised at a younger age and have a higher death rate from it. It is estimated that two-thirds of heart disease deaths in Queensland could be preventable.
The main preventable risk factors affecting the heart are:
- high blood pressure
- high blood cholesterol
- excess weight
- physical inactivity
- unhealthy eating (such as foods with saturated fats/added salt and a diet with low fruit and vegetable intake)
For a healthy heart:
- quit smoking
- eat a wide range of healthy foods
- do at least 30 minutes of exercise on most or all days of the week
- maintain a healthy weight
- visit your doctor for advice on how to manage your heart health.
Depending on your risk level or if you have heart disease, your GP may prescribe further lifestyle changes and medication.
Your waist size can be an indicator of your chronic disease risk. For men, a waist circumference of more than 94cm means an increased risk of chronic disease, and for women it’s a waist circumference of more than 102cm that means a greatly increased risk of chronic disease.
Our team at Family Doctors Plus is experienced with treating men’s health and mental health concerns. Please make an appointment by phoning us on 07 3357 8192 or book online via our website.
There are also a range of help lines and support groups available for men in the community, including:
- Lifeline: 13 11 14.
- Mensline: 1300 789 978.
- Beyond Blue: a not-for-profit organisation that helps people with depression, anxiety and related issues.
- The Shed Online: a place for men to come together and talk about men’s issues.
- Queensland Health’s mental health and wellbeing section.
- The Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service is a free, confidential phone-based coaching service which helps you make lifestyle changes. Call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or visit get healthy.