Although men have historically tended to avoid visits to the doctor, those attitudes are changing. This shift has been somewhat encouraged by initiatives like Movember that aim to make a difference in areas of health that men are most at risk, those being mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
Other conditions of note are heart disease, fertility issues, musculoskeletal pain and concerns such as erectile dysfunction. Conditions such as erectile dysfunction are also an indicator of the presence of heart disease, diabetes or depression. So it is wise to discuss these and any other personal matters openly with a GP.
Our doctors at Affinity Family Medical can provide a range of professional and personable services to assist with the care and management of men’s health conditions. They can also offer advice and provide resources for those seeking a more proactive approach to their wellbeing.
Preventative Health Measures
It’s wise to be aware of the contributing factors for the diseases that we may be susceptible to and knowing what elements can help reduce the risk or delay the onset of such conditions.
The following are some examples of proactive health management;
- stay lean by maintaining a well balanced and nutritious diet
- aim of consistent patterns of quality sleep
- avoid stress or try to reduce it
- regular exercise will help the above
- stay socially active
- minimise alcohol – limit of one or two drinks a day
- avoid tobacco and other drugs
Staying on top of the areas that contribute to health and wellbeing has benefits that flow across to other parts of our lives, enabling men and boys to have better health and wellbeing in general.
Thirty minutes of moderate activity every day, strength exercises two to three times a week and incorporating flexibility and balance routines will help buffer against diabetes, improve cardiovascular health and in older men protect against falls.
Scheduling regular medical check-ups with your doctor, screening tests, and immunisations will also help identify, plan and protect against disease.
Outside of the consultation room, men and boys should aim for greater awareness of their bodies. Doing so can help identify anything that seems out of place. Of course, those concerns should form part of a discussion with a doctor, that being the earlier, the better.
Men’s Health Resources
We all aim for a healthy balance between work and life, yet this may be more difficult for some, especially as our lives seem busier than ever before.
There are many resources available that cover a variety of men’s health needs, and here are just a few.
- Australian Men’s Health Forum
- The Australian Men’s Shed Association
- MensLine Australia
- Healthy Male (Andrology Australia)
- Beyond Blue
Your GP holds a unique position for men’s health in that they are the primary provider of health care. As such, they play a central role in the assessment and management of your physical and mental health. They also can connect you to specialist and allied health services along with specific resources that address your needs.