It’s a statistical fact; men are less likely to visit a doctor, and when they do, they keep appointments short. Suppose you do not see a GP regularly or at all. In that case, we encourage you to start because statistically, men typically only attend to their health issues in the later stages, and sometimes it’s too late.
Here are some alarming facts about men’s health in Australia:
- Men who are under 75 are twice as likely to die from preventable AND treatable medical conditions
- 3 out 4 suicides are male
- Men account for the majority of diseases that are linked to lifestyle factors. This includes diet, smoking, exercise, weight and workplace incidents
- And, 61% of Australian men do not engage in regular General Practitioner (GP) visits
Even if you feel healthy, seeing your doctor for regular check-ups is extremely important. Management and treatment is more effective for many diseases when detected early.
Screening tests that men might need to be on top of their health include:
- Heart Health Check-up
- Blood Sugar Test for Diabetes
- Prostate Check
- Skin Check
Misconceptions in Healthcare
It is a common misconception among men that being young and fit makes you indestructible but, there is a difference between fitness and health. So, let’s define what those differences are.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines the word health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being with the absence of disease or deterioration. It essentially means being free from pain and having a good quality of life.
Alternatively, the word Fitness is defined as the ability to perform a certain degree of physical activity or sport. Types of fitness include:
“Making healthy choices in your life makes the real difference. One of the most important choices that you can make is to regularly see your GP.”
It is important to understand what we intake cannot be solved by doing exercise. It cannot correct damage done by lifestyle choices such as an unhealthy diet, smoking or alcohol consumption. Exercise will not remove chemicals in the body or salvage irreversible damage to systems in the body. Making healthy choices in your life makes the real difference.
One of the most important choices that you can make is to regularly see your GP.
Dr Zac Seidler a Clinical Psychologist at Movember Foundation says that “there’s a large amount of stigma and sense of weakness that comes from male vulnerability”. In order to eliminate this stigma in Australian society, we must spread awareness and talk about men’s health.
How do we talk about it?
Of course, the best person to speak to about men’s health is your General Practitioner but perhaps, you have a male relative that never has regular visits with their GP…
Here are a few ideas to encourage men to visit their doctor:
- Women can encourage their male relatives to book medical appointments for regular checkups
- Normalise the conversation about men’s health with one another. Spreading awareness is a great way to start, for example talking about mental health-related issues
- Inform and educate. We are so lucky to have access to some of the best healthcare in the world as well as the preventable screenings we have available
If you would like to make an appointment to see one of our Doctors. You can make an appointment online here or call us on (03) 9510 5500.
The benefits of Telehealth
Telehealth has provided an online or phone consultation option for people due to the pandemic but it has actually resulted in an increase in men speaking with their GPs about their overall health. This is a great alternative where anyone can discuss their concerns and get an initial introduction into seeing their doctor on a more regular basis.
Don’t ignore symptoms
If you have experienced any pain or unusual symptoms that are not normal even if they are small, it is important for your overall health to ensure that these symptoms are not a sign of an underlying condition. Openly communicating these concerns with your GP will not only put your mind at ease but increase the likelihood of successful treatment of the condition in the initial stages.
At High Street Medical Clinic, we offer comprehensive men’s healthcare services. You can read more information about the care that we provide on our men’s health page on our website.