Common health mistakes made by men

It can be hard to get the men in your life to acknowledge that they’re anything less than infallible, but it’s important they stay on top of their health.

Men like to think of themselves as superheros, strong and indestructible. But we all know nothing could be further from the truth and men suffer health problems like anybody else.

If you’re concerned about the health of the men you know (or your own), then keep an eye out for these five common health mistakes.

Avoiding the doctor

Probably the biggest health mistake men make is not visiting the doctor regularly. Not only are men prone to avoiding the doctor when something is noticeably wrong, but they are also far less likely to go for regular check-ups, which are crucial for the early detection of many conditions.

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For men (and women) over the age of 45, it’s important to visit your GP for a check-up at least once a year, preferably every six months.

Not wearing sunscreen

This is a particularly bad health mistake Australian men make. We are blessed with huge amounts of sunshine in this country, but it comes at the cost of the world’s highest rate of skin cancer.

It’s not even usually an objection to wearing sunscreen that keeps men from covering up, but rather simply forgetting it needs to be done before going outside.

The Cancer Council recommends using sunscreen on days when the UV Index is forecast to be three or above. Use a sunscreen labelled broad-spectrum, water-resistant and SPF30 or above.

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Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before going outdoors. Use around 5ml of sunscreen for each arm, leg, your torso, back and face (including neck and ears. It needs to be applied every two hours.

Drinking too much

Consuming alcohol is, for better or worse, a part of everyday life in Australia and is associated with many social and cultural events. While both sexes are guilty of drinking too much, men are more likely to drink in quantities that damage health – although women are catching up.

Men are also more likely to use alcohol to sooth depression and anxiety, rather than attempt to seek professional help.

The ‘just tough it out’ mentality is particularly prevalent in older men and can prevent them for getting treatment for what are medical problems, not personal failings.

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Refusing to deal with bedroom problems

No man likes to know they’re disappointing their partner in the bedroom. The embarrassment alone can make many men extremely reluctant to even acknowledge there’s a problem, let alone seek any solution.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects approximately 40 per cent of Australian men. It’s a condition with many factors – but none are related to a man’s masculinity.

The main cause of ED is usually a lack of blood flow to the penis and can also be a sign of heart trouble, so there are more reasons than your sex life not to ignore this.

Ignore snoring

Listening to deafening snoring all night is something many men’s partners have to put up with. But regular loud snoring can be a sign of something more serious.

Around one in four Australian men who snore have a condition called sleep apnoea. This disorder is three times more common in men than women and causes sufferers to stop breathing for a few seconds.

Loud snoring can also be another sign of heart trouble and even an indicator of serious heart disease.

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Health disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

Written by Brad Lockyer

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