More than 100,000 British men die prematurely each year because they have neglected to take care of their health and wellbeing, according to the NHS. They’re also half as likely as women to book an appointment with their GP if they suspect that something might be up.
As startling as these statistics may sound, they’re thought to be a likely consequence of generations of men not feeling able to talk openly about their health. Thankfully though, this is changing and changing fast.
The Movember movement has worked tirelessly since 2004 to encourage open discussion and awareness around men’s health issues right across the globe. You may have noticed the mysterious increase in top lip facial hair during November each year – well, that’s the Mo Bros doing their bit!
Everything from prostate and testicular cancer to the stigmas surrounding mental health, is finally starting to be talked about with more men now knowing what to look out for and how to take action. So, in support of Movember, we wanted to contribute to the conversation by highlighting a few common signs and symptoms that shouldn’t be overlooked.
1. Chest Pain, Breathlessness and Fatigue
Heart disease is more common than ever and its symptoms are often overlooked as they can occur anywhere in the body. Anything from profuse sweating to shortness of breath, fatigue and even snoring, could indicate an underlying cardiovascular problem.
Any chest pain and/or a strong or irregular heart beat should always be taken seriously. The best thing to do is get it checked out, whatever the symptoms.
2. Trouble going to the toilet
If you start to experience pain or difficulty in passing urine, it’s time to see your GP. There are many potential causes for this – most of which are not serious if treated quickly. However sometimes it can be a sign that the prostate is enlarged, which could indicate prostate disease including cancer. Thankfully, this too is now easily treated if caught in early stages.
Despite it being hugely common, impotence remains somewhat of a taboo subject. The majority of men experience problems at some point and for the most part it’s nothing to worry about. Don’t be embarrassed – talk to your doctor to rule out anything serious.
4. Feeling Down
Almost everyone goes through times where they feel unhappy or overwhelmed about life. The most important thing is to talk to someone you trust if you can’t seem to shift these feelings. If you feel you may need support, remember that mental health is no different to physical health in that it can be assessed and treated to help you get back on track.