Research has often shown that men are less likely than women to engage with the health service – whether this be visiting their GPs, or using services like the free NHS Health Check, available for 40 – 74 year olds.
This week, 11 – 18 June, is Men’s Health Week. Celebrated internationally every year, Men’s Health Week aims to raise awareness of health issues that affect men disproportionately. It focuses on making men aware of problems they may have or could develop, and helping them to find the courage to do something about it.
Each year has a different focus – this year the aim is to shine a light on Diabetes in men.
According to the Men’s Health Forum, “This is a disease that becomes present in men much more than women, and can develop complications in male bodies at a higher rate than in females. This means men are more likely to have to have amputations and in the worst cases, die in higher numbers than women.”
One man in 10 now has diabetes and in middle-aged men the disease is expected to increase sharply in frequency over the next 20 years.
Symptoms to look out for include:
- feeling very thirsty
- urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night
- feeling very tired
- weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
- itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
- cuts or wounds that heal slowly
- blurred vision
If you are aged between 40 and 74 you could be eligible for an NHS Health Check, which will help you understand your overall health and help you manage any conditions you may have. To find out where you can go for a health check, take a look at the NHS Health Check programme in your area.
The Men’s Health Forum website has lots more information and you can also learn about past Men’s Health Weeks, when focuses have included beating stress and healthy working.