Men’s health is important. It feels almost silly to say it, because… of course it is. But what do we actually mean when we say that? Well, the fact is that men are not as quick to seek medical help when something’s not right, whether we feel mentally or physically unwell. There’s a gender ‘health gap’ that we want to help address in our own way…. So our pharmacist Brian Kearney has given us five of his best tips for men to make sure you’re keeping themselves in the best possible nick!
Get your prostate checked.
This is top of the list! It should take a certain month of the year to encourage you to do this. More than 3300 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in Ireland. This means that 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lives – but there’s a lot you can do to reduce your risk, or spot it early when it can be successfully treated. If you’re over 50 (or over 40 if you have a family history of prostate cancer), you should be having a regular yearly check-up, including a digital exam and a PSA blood test. Keep an eye out too for symptoms like difficulty peeing, peeing too frequently, pain while peeing, or any real change in how you pass urine. If you notice something, get it checked.
Find a doctor you like
Ok maybe this should have been the first tip. We know that men are slower to visit the doctor when they’re ill. There are lots of reasons for this, but what we want to do is be proactive and offer a solution! Find a doctor you like. We research what phone we want to buy, we test drive cars, we look up restaurants before booking tables… why not put the same discernment into finding our doctor?! Find someone that you feel comfortable with, that you’ll open up to and be honest with about how you’re feeling – physically and mentally. Not many people love going to the doctor, but it can make a huge difference if you know you’re going to someone you trust. Shop around… this is your wellbeing and it’s worth the effort.
And same goes for your pharmacist. It is so important that feel a sense of comfort when dealing with any healthcare professional.
We offer a free helpline for anyone looking to speak with a pharmacist. Freephone 1800 83 99 09. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 10am – 5pm.
It might sound simple, but for a lot of men it’s really not. There’s a theory called the Male Deficit Model, that says men struggle with close friendships. It’s the result of a 30 year study of friendships that show lots of men have friendships that are far less intimate than women’s, and are often based around either convenience (favours), mentorship (one teaching the other something) or activity (football, cycling etc). But when the shared activities, conveniences of mentorship ends… the friendship often does too, and it affects men’s health. Especially in such a difficult social year as 2020, it’s really important to stay connected with your friends. Make extra effort to check in with your friends, and if you find your usual activities have stopped with lockdowns etc, find new ones. Stay connected. It’s of huge importance to your wellbeing.
Get your vitamins in
You can get the vitamins and minerals you need by eating a well-balanced diet – but we know that a lot of adults are deficient. 1 in 8 Irish adults is not getting the vitamin B12 they need, and vitamin D deficiency in otherwise healthy Irish adults is also a problem. We don’t need to tell you that it’s important to eat a good variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and vitamin/mineral rich foods – but we’re going to nudge you with a gentle reminder nonetheless! Still, we know that lots of people will benefit from taking a multivitamin or other supplement to ensure they’re getting what they need, and we recommend it for men who want to be certain. If you’re unsure where to start, we’ve made a list of some of our most recommended supplements for men, just at the bottom of this article.
Watch your waistline
Making sure you’re at a healthy weight is one of the best ways to stay healthy and reduce your chance of getting cancer. The Healthy Ireland Survey found that 43% of men in Ireland are overweight, and a further 25% are obese. Now we all love the relief of knowing that Dadbods are ‘in’, but it’s important to keep your weight and your waistline in check. If your waist measures over 40”, it’s a cause for concern as it means your risk of certain weight-related diseases is higher. Stay active, get some cardio in regularly, keep your calorie (and sugar and alcohol) intake at a reasonable level, and measure your waist to make sure you’re on the right side of healthy. You can get information on weight, adn how to accurately measure your waist on the HSE website.
Our best supplements for men:
Revive Active €59.95
A great all-rounder for men. Packed with 26 active ingredients, it’s specially formulated to support your immune system, your heart and circulatory system, and your energy levels.
CleanMarine Krill Oil For Men €25.95
Cleanmarine Krill Oil for Men is specially formulated for heart health, and it also supports testosterone levels. It is a simple, practical way to look after your health and feel and function better.
Vitabiotics Wellman Original €11
A carefully chosen combination of over 28 essential bio-elements, Wellman has been specially developed to help maintain general health and vitality in men of all ages who want to help achieve optimum sports potential, or help maintain health in an otherwise hectic and demanding lifestyle
Centrum Men 50+ €9
Supporting the nutritional needs of men over 50 who want to live life to the full. A tailored blend of high-quality vitamins and minerals to support the changing needs of men over the age of 50
New Nordic Prosta Vital €
Prosta Vital is a unique herbal combination based on plum bark, pine bark, pomelo, turmeric, galangal, long and black pepper, lavender and vitamins. It contains pumpkin extract to helps maintain normal prostate functions, and folic acid and vitamin D that play a role in normal cell division.