Men’s Health Week 2014
We’re all about the men this week on Sláinte, because it’s Men’s Health Week.
It’s definitely a cliche to say that men are not concerned about their health, plenty are. But the facts do suggest that men tend to put their health on the backburner sometimes. On average, men go to their GP half as often as women so if there’s is something that’s been bothering you, let this be the week you do something about it…
For the week that’s in it, here are 10 things men might need to know…
Lose Your Gut, Because Belly Fat Kills
Visceral fat (the stuff that settles in your abdomen) lets toxins seep into your vital organs. Which is why round-bellied men die sooner than flat-bellies. So eat meals regularly, watch your portions and take some exercise to avoid a growing gut.
Check on your balls
Testicular cancer is a young man’s disease, and yet this is the age group that has the greatest sense of invincibility from the illness. It represents 30% of all cancers in 25-39 year olds and starts as an abnormal growth or tumour that develops in one or both testicles. It is a highly treatable type of cancer with a very good cure rate (over 95%) if found and treated early.
This video gives an idea of what to do and how to do it. FYI, the video does contain some nude testicles…
If you are concerned about cancer then do contact the Irish Cancer Society for tips to cut your risk of cancer in half. You can also call the National Cancer Helpline on 1800 200 700.
Men of a certain age should get their prostate checked
Your prostate is a walnut-sized gland tucked away under your bladder and in front of your rectum. It’s the part of your reproductive system that propels the semen out of your body.
Often when you hit 40, your prostate starts to change and hormones can cause the gland to grow. This growth isn’t always a cancer diagnosis, though: Sometimes, your prostate cells swell and it just pushes on your urethra—the tube that carries the urine out of your body from the bladder.
If you’re worried, visit your GP. There is also a website run by the European Men’s Health Forum which allows men to ask questions anonymously about any aspect of prostate health and be answered by a qualified health professional. You can visit here: www.yourprostate.eu
Ease off the hard-core drinking
The risks of a hard-core night of drinking on the town go far beyond a vicious hangover. Binge drinking is just as dangerous as chronic alcohol use. Are you depressed, angry, violent with too much alcohol? You can get some help and advice here: www.drinkhelp.ie
Struggling with keeping an erection?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a complex physiological process. Impotence tends to affect older men but it can strike at any age and for many reasons.
High blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity all take a toll on your arteries and cause vascular disease, often a common cause of ED. You do not have to suffer in silence. Check out www.hardwords.ie or www.manmatters.ie for advice.
Having sex? Make sure you use protection
The most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Ireland are Chlamydia and Genital Warts.
If you’ve had sex without using a condon, get yourself checked. SpunOut have a list of STI clinics around the country here: http://spunout.ie/health/article/sti-gum-clinics-in-ireland
If you have sex with other men, then make sure you are regularly tested for HIV. These clinics offer free screenings for STIs, including HIV, to gay and bisexual men, and other men who have sex with men – get the list here: www.man2man.ie
Need some friends?
If you need some new friends, are bored, lonely, young, old or retired then check out the Irish Mens Sheds movement. Originally from Austrialia, Mens Sheds have spread across the world, giving men of all ages the chance to meet up in a friendly space. Find out more here: menssheds.ie
Angry or Violent? Or a victim of violence?
Are you struggling with your emotions or do you become angry and violent with loved ones? Anger takes many different forms from irritation to blinding rage. If you are aware that you have these issues, then please do get help.
MOVE, Men Overcoming Violence, is a structured group work programme for men who are or have been violent in an intimate relationship.You can contact them here: moveireland.ie or call them on 065 684 8689.
Are you in an abusive relationship or living with a violent partner? Amen provides a confidential helpline and support service for male victims of domestic violence. The Amen helpline is 046 9023 718. Watch this excellent video from Amen: Don’t hide behind a mask…
Have you been a victim of sexual abuse?
One in Four professionally supports men and women who have experienced sexual violence, many of them during childhood. You can find them here: www.oneinfour.ie. It is an appointment only service so best to call first on 01 6624070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you need to talk?
The biggest cliche of all is that men don’t talk, or don’t need to talk or should be strong and show no emotion. The reality suggests otherwise. Men are struggling to deal with many emotional issues and often feel they cannot speak about them. Suicide is the leading cause of death in men aged 15-34 years in Ireland, surpassing the number of deaths from road traffic accidents. Don’t be a statistic…
If you are struggling to cope, please tell someone. If you have no-one close you can talk to, then call or contact any of these organisations who can help you…
The Samaritans – 18 50 60 90 90
1life – Freephone (24hrs) 1800 247 100 or text the word HELP to 51444