I was overjoyed when Femina ME (a hot selling established magazine in the UAE) asked me to write an article for them sharing my views on the most common heath issues relating to men.

This one is for the guys (and the wives, girlfriends & partners)… Take notes!

 

THE MALE MALADY

Ask any guy and he’ll tell you that men are the stronger sex. His reasoning is obvious. Men, generally, are bigger, muscly & way more rugged than us dainty female fairies. They can run faster, lift more, and throw things farther. Lets face it… Men rule on the playing field.

But in medical terms… Well now that’s a whole different ball game. When it comes to health, men are the weaker sex.

 

Aside from the obvious physical differences between men & women, there are more differences than most people realize taking place inside our bodies, which affect our emotions, our actions and our health & wellness in general.

 

The health differences between males and females begin in the womb and continues to differ for the rest of our lives.

When it comes to health, males are definitely lacking in that department, but why? I don’t believe there is a single answer. Instead, the gap depends on a complex mix of biological, social, and behavioral factors. I believe that if men start taking control of their day-to-day general health issues they will start leading a happier, healthier life.

 

Although our men can sometimes push our buttons, we know we still love them to bits & I couldn’t think of anything worse than loosing my life partner. If he can’t do it by himself, I believe us as women have to step in (because we’re just so darn good at it, aren’t we?) and let’s nib these issues in the butt before it’s too late for our Tarzans!

 

Here are 4 of the most common heath issues relating to men, the symptoms to look out for & how to address the health issue at hand:

 

  1. Stress

The number 1 killer and the core to most other health related issues!

You can’t see it, you can’t hear it, you can’t taste it but you sure as hell can feel it!

This is by far one of the most underrated, unnoticed and undiagnosed life threatening health issues, which in turn always leads to other health problems.

Our men are scared of being vulnerable because in their eyes vulnerability equals femininity. Femininity equals unmanliness. Unmanliness equals the end of the world. Men have trouble admitting, even to themselves, that they are stressed, and that’s exactly why we need to be there letting them know that it’s okay not to be a ninja warrior 100% of the time!

 

Symptoms to look out for:

  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of concentration or inability to complete tasks
  • Feeling tired
  • Recurring headaches
  • More frequent alcohol intake or binge drinking
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Chest pain
  • Digestive problems

 

  1. Depression

The suicide rate for men is about 4 times higher than it is for women, and is becoming increasingly common as stress levels increase. Scary hu?

Of course all men (and women) have their ups & downs but if the feelings of hopelessness & despair go beyond that & start affecting their work, family life & the ability to enjoy life, your partner might be suffering from depression.

 

Symptoms to look out for:

  • Reckless behaviour
  • Angry outbursts
  • Create conflicts
  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Use of alcohol, smoking & sex to self-medicate

 

  1. Heart Disease

It’s one of the leading health risks facing men today and according to studies more than one of three men has heart disease. When we’re stressed, feeling down & are lacking sleep we are 90% more likely to eat badly, smoke more, increase our alcohol intake & skip our daily workout. All of these factors put together will over time eventually turn into something a lot more serious than we think… It’s the perfect recipe for heart disease.

 

Symptoms to look out for:

  • Extreme discomfort, pressure, heaviness or pain below the breast bone or chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Intense headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting

 

  1. Type 2 Diabetes

It’s anything but sweet, affecting over 90% of the 13-million+ men with diabetes. Usually beginning silently, blood sugar levels increase over time & act like a poison on blood vessels & nerves. Unlike people who suffer from type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 diabetes produce insulin, however the insulin being produced is either not enough or non-recognisable to the body.

Anyone can get type 2 diabetes although it’s common ground stands with men who are overweight, people who suffer with high cholesterol & high blood pressure.

 

Symptoms to look out for:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger (especially after eating)
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Blurred vision

 

After looking at the 4 health issues at hand, you would have probably noticed that all of them are caused by, or are influenced by point number 1: STRESS.

As mentioned before, stress is inevitable but it’s the way we deal with it that’s important! Wether it’s you or your partner that’s suffering, I’ve put together some stress fighting tools to help you both deal with stress & help prevent the nasty health issues relating to it…

 

  1. It’s all about perspective

Shift your mindset! There are many ways to shift the way you see something. Psychologists call it “cognitive reframing”. For example, instead of thinking about a deadline as stressful, rather see it as a challenge you have set yourself & plan out exactly how & when you are going to execute it. Open yourself to more possibilities & try see the light in every situation.

 

  1. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition

I can’t exaggerate the importance of a good diet enough! Food is your fuel and without the right fuel your engine can’t run at it’s full potential. Cut out sugars & processed foods. Eat more greens. Eat more lean proteins. Eat your eggs & a warm bowl of oats for breakfast. You probably already know all of this. Now go do it!

 

  1. Run

…or jump, or swim, or cycle. Whatever your preferred form of exercise, make sure you get active! Become the person you aspire to be at the gym. Not only will you be combating stress, but you’ll be burning calories & having fun doing it. Set aside an hour per day to just focus on yourself & your exercise. You’ll notice a difference in your stress levels from your very first drop of sweat!

 

  1. Magnesium for the win

Adding magnesium tablets to your daily intake of vitamins is a very good idea when having to deal with stress on a daily basis. It helps lower the levels of cortisol in the body, which is the primary hormone released during a stressful situation, and the one linked to the most health concerns.

 

  1. Breathe!

Next time you feel the stress coming over you like a wave, stop what you’re doing & breathe those full, deep belly-filling breaths (the one’s they make you do in yoga class). Simple, deep breathing will increase oxygen flow to your body & brain, unclutter your busy mind, and bring a calming sensation to help you regain control of any situation. Men will love this one, especially if you breathe through it together. Couples who breathe together stay together :)

 

 

Hugs & Healthy Regards,
Amy

xox