Men's Health Checks

In this blog for our focus on Men’s Health Month we will be looking at the markers and checkpoints that are recommended for guys to keep an eye on. Plus some signs that your body is telling you that something is out of balance (homeostasis)


Homeostasis is any self-regulating process by which an organism tends to maintain stability while adjusting to conditions that are best for its survival. If homeostasis is successful, life continues; if it's unsuccessful, it results in a disaster or death of the organism. Source


It’s really important for everyone to get health checks, but we are calling out all males as men are generally more likely to postpone or put off medical appointments until the symptoms are too great to manage. We aren’t sure if this is a head in the sand trait or one of invincibility. There is a well known story of Cassius Clay travelling on a flight to a big fight;


Flight Attendant: Buckle up please

Cassius Clay: Superman don’t need no seat belt

Flight Attendant: Superman don’t need no plane!


So keep reading and let’s make sure everyone is getting the checks they need to stay healthy.


Thirties

Beside actual health concerns, general health checks should be conducted annually once you reach 30. Your general practitioner (GP) will conduct tests to check your body system. These tests will come in the form of checking blood pressure, checking your body mass index (BMI) and using a stethoscope to listen to your heart, lungs, and intestines. Starting out with this in your early 30’s allows for a base to be acknowledged and changes to be mapped against this base.


Making time for these preventative tests is really important at this early stage.


It’s also time to realize that fast food and rich meals need to be pared back, just a little to help balance out the good and bad going into your body and providing your body with a bit more time to digest the food that once you never gave a second thought to!



Forties

Research shows that in your 40’s hormones have already started to shift, testosterone begins to decrease, hormone producing glands can enlarge. Blood tests can show specific markers that may display abnormal activity happening within the body. An example would be prostate specific antigen (PSA). Blood tests that display elevated levels of PSA in the blood may mean that a prostate enlargement is occuring. So it is even more important in your 40’s to get an annual preventative check up.


Blood pressure should be tested regularly and if any of the early signs start to increase, visit the GP

  • Headaches (Neck/shoulder tension)

  • Palpitations/ Irregular heart beat

  • Chest pain

  • Difficult breathing/Breathlessness (apical breathing)

  • Fatigue / Sleepiness / Insomnia


Fifties

With rising blood pressure, watching out for warning signs that your heart may need a check up becomes essential. Check in with your GP, but regular Electrocardiogram (ECG) checks may start making their way into your diary.


Symptoms to monitor; Source

  • Chest pain

  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or confusion

  • Heart palpitations

  • Rapid pulse

  • Shortness of breath

  • Weakness, fatigue or a decline in ability to exercise


Managing weight is also important as you age. Although women tend to have a sudden weight gain as they travel through menopause, men aren’t left out!


Men often have the tendency to ignore signs or symptoms to increase weight gain. It is usually accepted that with older age comes some weight gain. Often the working out slows down as well, but the lunches out remain (or increase with more time on your hands!) This all contributes to belly fat.


Checking in with your GP on a yearly appointment will help manage your weight.

Unnecessary weight gain contributes to loading the joints which then develops into incorrect movement of the body that will place muscle tissue into compensatory patterns. That’s not to mention the strain it puts on your heart and other organs.


This is just another reason to touch base with the GP and not to avoid these check ups with the excuse of “i’m too busy/not sick/don’t need it”. Small changes can be detected early if we are aware, creating a much easier path for reversal.


Men have almost twice the chance (14.6% to 9.1%) to receive a diagnosis of diabetes than women and this is generally from 45 - 64 years of age.



Having sudden cravings or consuming processed foods as we all know isn’t the best approach to satisfying your wants, how many times have we consumed these foods and a short time later still left with the need for more. This behavior will eventually let your body know something ain’t right and when it does these symptoms have progressed - weight gain, fatigue, cravings , unidentified tension , and sudden mood changes it is time for the visit to the GP to get the blood sugar test or hormone test.


Sixties +

If you’ve made it to your sixties, healthy and fit, it’s time to really start enjoying the foundation you created in your life. Now is not the time you want to get sick. So monitor all of the above, and ensure you are checking in for early detection of any disease that may be creeping up. Early detection saves lives and gives you peace of mind to continue enjoying the years ahead.


General Preventative Health

Preventative health is something as a community we need to embrace in a bigger way. So if we look after our bodies as we start to age and continue to monitor symptoms to make sure they aren’t signs of anything serious.


Many of the symptoms listed in this blog, when presented individually can be assisted with remedial soft tissue work - a preventative health tool.


Soft tissue work can assist with keeping the body well lubricated and functioning well though;

  • Opening of the diaphragm and intercostals, allowing for greater lung expansion/capacity and more oxygen saturation throughout the body

  • Movement of the lymphatic system and removal of metabolic waste & immune system improvement

  • Hydration of the joints for greater mobility

  • Increasing tissue mobility for greater function and range of motion

  • Loosening TMJ muscles to reduce tension headaches and neck strain

  • Calming the central nervous system countering stress and anxiety and the effects on your physical wellbeing


So guys, don’t put the thoughts of self care to the back of your mind because you are too busy/not sick/not suffering as the best self care is preventative care!






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