By Sola Ogundipe
MEN are more prone to health mistakes than women, yet are more likely than women to ignore a medical problem. Men have higher levels of heart-harming LDL cholesterol. They’re also more likely to have high blood pressure before age 45, and they have a higher risk of heart disease before age 60.
Men always find reasons not to see the doctor and consistently misperceive their level of risk. Such misperception can allow serious ailments to go undetected. Even when something’s clearly wrong, men sometimes endure the pain. Here are :
Avoiding medical checks
A man is twice as likely as a woman are to say he has not seen a doctor in the past year. Men also lag behind women in visits to their dentists. For women, the annual gynaecological examination becomes routine and just part of being a woman, but there is no corollary for men. See your doctor at least once yearly.
Of people with major depression, women are nearly three times as likely as men to seek professional help. Unlike men, women are more likely to talk about their emotional problems, while men are socialized to be stoic and avoid showing weakness. Men also may be less likely to recognize behaviours like anger and irritability as signs of underlying depression.
Ignoring skin health
Skin cancer is one of men’s most common cancers yet men take most risks and show less care for their skin. See a doctor if you notice a mole changing colour, size, or texture.
Thinking you can’t have a heart attack
A heart attack is something most men worry about for their father or grandfather. But the threat is often there for much younger men. If heart disease runs in the family, it could find the man as early as his 30s. No matter the age, a man should take care of his heart. Regular heart checks are non-negotiable.
Ignoring the snore
About half the men who snore have obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder that can make you stop breathing for a few seconds. It’s also linked to heart disease and high blood pressure.
Refusing help for impotence
Men need to know that bedroom problems have nothing to do with masculinity. The main cause of impotence is usually a lack of blood flow to the male external sex organ. This can also be a sign of heart trouble. Put pride aside and see the doctor.
Drinking away the blues
More women than men get depressed, but it’s far from being a “female problem”, yet millions of men who have don’t seek help. As a result, more men turn to drugs and alcohol to help them feel better. This just makes depression that much harder to spot—and treat.
Going with the flow
How many times have you gone to the gents today? If you go more than eight times a day or more than twice at night, it could be more than a nuisance. It could be a sign of a medical problem like an enlarged prostate, overactive bladder or even some forms of cancer. Talk to the doctor.
Not being diet conscious
Men are not in the habit of eating enough fruits and vegetables during the day. Women are more likely than men to eat two or more fruits a day and three or more vegetables a day. Doctors suggest four to five servings of each for a heart-healthy diet. Eating fruits and vegetables also lowers the odds of a stroke, cancer, or digestive problems. And it keeps blood sugar in check.