To mark 2018 Men’s Health Week, MQ Health Clinic GP Dr Luke Morphett explains the importance of looking after your health.
Looking after your health, can take several forms, but it is not uncommon for men to assume all is well – until it is not. Extensive research has shown, however, there are simple steps that can be taken prior to the development of any symptoms, and these can significantly improve health outcomes for men.
The specific recommendations around frequency of check-ups and what will be involved will vary depending on age, medical history and family history. Any concerning symptoms may warrant seeing a doctor immediately or more regularly than recommended in this information, but the following general advice is assuming that “all is well”.
For young men under the age of 40, seeing your GP once every couple of years is recommended. During these visits, smoking, alcohol consumption, diet and exercise will be discussed. Optimising these areas have been proven to decrease the long-term risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Examination will include measurement of blood pressure and weight. The value of a sexual health check will also be discussed and arranged if needed. Testicular self-examination for testicular cancer may also be covered.
As men get older, their risk of developing disease also increases. Because of this, an annual check-up is recommended. In addition to covering many of the areas described above, some additional testing may be requested such as cholesterol and blood sugar to directly assess risk factors that may need treatment either through lifestyle changes or, failing this, medication. Screening tests and examinations for bowel cancer, prostate cancer and skin cancer will also be considered.
The evidence is clear there is value in seeing your doctor on a semi-regular basis even if you are feeling well. In fact, it is likely these visits will benefit your long-term health far more than if you only go when you are unwell!
Take some time to consider this during the 2018 Men’s Health Week and think about going in to see your GP. And if you don’t have a regular GP, then get one! Having someone who knows you and has all your medical records vastly increases the quality of care they can deliver to you. At the end of the day, this is all about you and your health.
The Men’s Health team will be running a Men’s Wellness Event as part of Men’s Health Week on Wednesday June 13, 6:30pm at North Ryde Golf Club. Bring a mate and join us for a chat about your health and wellbeing.