Tuesday 22 August 2017

Karl Henry: Why men of every age should be looking after their health

Saddened: Karl Henry was shocked at the news of Anthony Foley's death
Saddened: Karl Henry was shocked at the news of Anthony Foley's death

Karl Henry

The shocking sudden death of Anthony Foley has saddened the nation. So unexpected, so young. A legend of a man. I remember watching Munster's epic European cup win in 2005-2006 and watching his emotion as they won the game, being motivated by that emotion to train better myself. Earlier today, I sat listening to the 'Fields of Athenry' being played on the radio, at the time of Anthony Foley's funeral, as a national tribute. It brought home just how the nation is trying to come to terms with the whole situation.

One positive that can be taken from Anthony's sudden death is that both my male friends and my male clients have been made aware of how important visiting a doctor and being more aware of their own health is.

Irish men are far too shy when it comes to their health - something we need to change. So this week I thought I'd bring you a simple men's checklist. No matter what age you are, you can go through the list to ensure you have done your best to stay healthy.

In your 20s

• Yearly check up with your GP for a full physical examination to get your vitals checked

• Monthly testicular self-examination

• A full check up for sexually transmitted diseases

• Waist and weight check regularly

In your 30s and 40s

• Yearly check up with your GP for a full physical examination to get your vitals checked

• Depending on risk factors and family history, your doctor may also recommend further screening for certain diseases

• Waistline check yourself, aim for below 37 inches at the bellybutton

• Monthly testicular self-examination

• Cholesterol testing every five years

• Eye and vision examination if required

• Screening for coronary heart disease in individuals with strong family history or risk factors

• A full check up for sexually transmitted diseases

In Your 50s

• Yearly check up with your GP for a full physical examination to get your vitals checked

• Depending on risk factors and family history, your doctor may also recommend further screening for certain diseases

• Waistline check yourself, aim for below 37 inches, at the bellybutton

• Monthly testicular self-examination

• Cholesterol testing every five years

• Eye and vision examination if required

• Screening for coronary heart disease in individuals with strong family history or risk factors

• A full check up for sexually transmitted diseases

• Be aware of the symptoms of prostate enlargement including hesitancy (takes a while to start the urine flow when you get to the bathroom), poor stream ( the flow of urine is weaker), terminal dribbling (towards the end of the stream it becomes a dribble). An enlarged prostate may cause bladder irritability which results in nocturia (passing urine frequently during the night), urgency (when you need to go you must get to the toilet quickly). See your GP if you have any of these symptoms.

Over 60

• Yearly check up with your GP for a full physical examination to get your vitals checked

• Depending on risk factors and family history, your doctor may also recommend further screening for certain diseases

• Waistline check yourself, aim for below 37 inches, at the bellybutton

• Monthly testicular self-examination

• Cholesterol testing every five years

• Eye and vision examination if required

• Screening for coronary heart disease in individuals with strong family history or risk factors

• Depending on risk factors full check up for sexually transmitted diseases

• Be aware of the symptoms of prostate enlargement, see above.

• Screening for colon cancer. You may qualify for a home test kit (see bowelscreen.ie). This checks for 'faecal occult blood' which is tiny amounts of blood in the colon not visible to the eye. Passing blood may be indicative of underlying disease.

The above list is simply a guide from doing research and in discussion with a registered GP. But as always, consult your own GP, who will know your medical history better. Stay safe.

Irish Independent

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