International Men’s Health Week 2020
Men’s Health Week 2020 runs from Monday 15th to Sunday 21st June.
This year, the theme in Ireland is ‘Restoring the Balance’ .
Although men fare better than women in most conventional measures, such as jobs and earnings, this advantage is not reflected in their health (British Medical Journal, 2011).
The overall aims of MHW are to:
- Heighten awareness of preventable health problems for males of all ages.
- Support men and boys to engage in healthier lifestyle choices / activities.
- Encourage the early detection and treatment of health difficulties in males.
“Mens Heaths is not just a male problem – It affects wives, partners, sisters, mothers, daughters “
Research shows that men experience a disproportionate burden of illness with many dying too young.
- On the island of Ireland, men die almost four years younger than women do.
- Male death rates are higher than females in almost all leading causes of death and at all ages.
- Men’s poorer lifestyles are responsible for a high proportion of chronic diseases.
- Late presentation to health services can lead to a large number of problems becoming untreatable.
Although many of these conditions are preventable, their prevalence amongst men may, in fact, rise in the future.
Men and Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic is having a major impact on men. While there is a broadly similar incidence and prevalence rate to women, men: are faster at developing serious illness; recover slower from the virus; have a higher death rate.
Heart Health – getting the balance right?
Heart disease is Ireland’s leading cause of death, with much of this being preventable. The way we live our lives today is not always good for our heart health– physical inactivity, smoking, drinking too much and stress . Maybe now is the time to take a long hard look at your lifestyle. Perhaps start with a full checkup with your doctor – Must Local GP Clinics do a “Wellman” MOT or similar. At the very least get your blood pressure checked. New research from Cardiology experts at NUI Galway suggest people with high blood pressure may be twice as likely to die from COVID-19 if they contract the virus, compared to people without hypertension, Even if Covid-19 was not here a “once over” good heart health is a great place to start.
The Irish Heart Foundation and Croi can offer more advice about looking after your heart.
Skin Cancer, the most common cancer in Ireland is more prevalent among the construction and farming sectors.
The main cause of skin cancer is harmful ultra violet (UV) rays from the sun which can be harmful from April to September. Worst between 11am and 3pm UV rays don’t need a sunny day to cause damage
Protect your self:
- Wear loose fitting clothing
- Use sunglasses and sunscreen.
- Work in the shade where possible
- Regularly check moles and contact your GP if anything changes in shape or size.
The benefits of quitting smoking are huge – Both for your health and for your wallet. Smoking makes you more prone to things like flu and makes infections harder to fight.
An average 20 a day smoker could save around €4500 a year – Imagine how many hours you work to take home that sort of money and what you could spend it on if you quit!.
Quitting smoking elps build your natural resistance to all types of infections including coronavirus. When you stop, the natural hairs in your airways (cilia) begin to work again. Within 1 to 2 days the oxygen levels in your body will improve. Your blood pressure and pulse reduces, which in turn decreases the overall stress on your body.
Want to Quit – Click here for more information on quitting.
Rethinking Your Drinking.
It is estimated that the current intake of pure alcohol per person in the Republic of Ireland is 11 litres per annum . This is high in relation to other countries . However, since it’s estimated that over a fifth of Irish people do not drink at all, this implies that those who do drink are exceeding even this figure.
Close to one in five (19%) Irish drinkers report consumption of seven or more standard drinks on a typical day of drinking, i.e. exceeding binge drinking levels. Irish drinkers are complacent about their alcohol consumption and are comfortable with exceeding recommended guidelines.
Some simple steps you can take to continue enjoying your drinks whilst avoiding the harmful effects are …
- Drink plenty of water before, during and after drinking. If you’re thirsty, you’ll tend to drink more alcohol .
- Drink after a meal rather than before – you won’t feel so hungry and, so, won’t feel like drinking so much .
- Cut down the strength of your drinks .If you normally drink strong lager (5% ABV or higher), try switching to a lower strength lager (e .g . 4% ABV) .
- Start by trying to have one alcohol-free day each week – and if you can manage that, then go for two or three .
So Heres the Challenge :
1. Ask your self if a soft drink or alcohol free beer would hit the spot?
2. Try some fruit or vegetables you’ve never tasted before or think you don’t like.
3. Make at least one journey by foot or bicycle instead of going by car.
4. Stressed out? Walk away from tense situations before you blow up.
5. Get your blood pressure checked within the next two weeks.
6. Get a mate to quit smoking with you – and get advice about how to stop.
7. Show a doctor that lump, strange-shaped mole, or rash that’s bothering you.
8. If you get backache, don’t let it become a pain in the ass. Get it sorted.
And here’s why:
1. We’re challenging you to think about alcohol because some men drink in ways that could damage their health in the future. Alcohol-related illness is responsible for the death of too many men in Ireland.
2. We’re encouraging you to eat more fruit and vegetables because most men don’t get enough of them. Taking your ‘5-a-day’ will reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer – and will keep you regular.
3. Walking, instead of using the car, is an obvious challenge – it helps your health, your bank balance and the environment.
4. Stress is another obvious one. We’ve all done things we regret when stressed or angry. You won’t regret walking away.
5. Getting your blood pressure checked is easy, quick and painless. Many pharmacies will do it, or ask the nurse at your GP surgery. High blood pressure can cause heart disease and strokes – but there are usually no obvious symptoms before this happens.
6. If you smoke, you probably figure that you know the risks already
7. Do you have a lump, strange-shaped mole, rash or other unusual thing that you’ve been ignoring? We’re challenging you to act now, and get it checked out by a doctor. It might be a false alarm, but it could be something more serious.
8. Whatever your work, make sure that you take care of your back. Always keep it straight when lifting heavy objects. Adjust your chair so that your eyes are level with the top of your computer screen. If required, a pharmacist can advise you about the best type of pain relief.