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The Importance of Men's Health

The Importance of Men's Health

Men’s health is a crucial yet often overlooked aspect of overall well-being. Maintaining good health is vital for men of all ages, ensuring not just a longer life, but a healthier, more fulfilling one. During Men's Health Week, it is essential to shed light on the challenges men face when it comes to supporting their health and the steps they can take to address them. Keep reading to learn more about the different aspects of men’s health. 

Understanding Men’s Health

Understanding men’s health is crucial, not just for preventing disease but also for promoting a healthy lifestyle. 

Regular check-ups and screenings are essential for detecting health issues early. Cardiovascular disease and prostate problems are more prevalent in men, so catching these issues before they develop is crucial. Heart disease is a leading cause of death among men, so regular monitoring of blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and heart health is key. Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men and almost 4,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in Ireland. Prostate cancer can be detected earlier through screenings. 

Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety have a significant effect on men’s health as they often face a social stigma when it comes to speaking to someone about these issues. With every 3 in 4 suicides in Ireland being men, this shows a reluctance from men to seek help. Speaking to someone, whether it’s a healthcare professional or someone you know about these issues is vital. 

Take Charge of Your Health

As a proactive approach to supporting your health, this year's theme for Men’s Health Week is Know Your Numbers, a message to men encouraging them to attend regular health screenings. These health screenings are crucial for finding early warning signs of a range of health issues. This can help men make informed changes to their diet and lifestyle. 

High blood pressure is a health issue that can be difficult to spot as it typically doesn’t show symptoms until significant damage has been done to the heart and arteries. Regularly monitoring blood pressure levels can help identify these issues and allow time for lifestyle changes and medication to be introduced if necessary. Similarly, understanding cholesterol levels through cholesterol monitoring can prompt changes to diet and lifestyle to help keep the heart healthy.

Mental Health

Noticing the signs of declining mental health is important, some of these include;

  • Feeling irritable 
  • Poor concentration
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Problems sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Rapid breathing, sweating and trembling
  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness or hopelessness that you can’t seem to shake
  • Lack of pleasure from activities you normally enjoy
  • Feeling disconnected from reality
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Digestive issues
  • Engaging in risky behaviour 
  • Increased desire to drink alcohol or take drugs

Identifying these signs early can help stop them from developing into bigger problems. Maintaining a healthy headspace is essential, and can have a positive impact on your overall health. 

A  balanced diet is important; try to find ways to introduce more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and seeds. A variety of these foods in your everyday diet can help improve wellbeing and mood. Other things to consider in your diet are staying hydrated, including healthy fats like omega-3 and omega-6 for brain health, and limiting your intake of coffee and alcohol. 

Sleep is another factor that can help with supporting mental health, as it allows the body time to rest and recover. A lack of sleep can cause feelings of anxiety and depression, with difficulty concentrating. Studies have shown that there is a link between a healthy sleep schedule and better mental health. Try to establish a regular sleeping routine and avoid late-night screen time or caffeinated drinks before bed.

Professional Support

If you are experiencing prolonged feelings of stress, anxiety or depression, or if those feelings are negatively impacting your daily life, we encourage you to reach out for support. There are several fantastic services available for those looking to speak to someone about their mental health issues, you can find a list of them here

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