Men And Their Machismo Attitudes Can Stop Them From Visiting The Doctor

Many men are still brought up to believe to believe that they must be strong and tough, and behave as if they are indestructible. This makes it hard for them to look after their health; in fact, it encourages risk-taking behaviours such as smoking, excessive drinking and dangerous driving. Having to be "macho" also makes it harder to ask for help from a doctor

Men have some in-built biological problems. The male sex hormone testosterone may raise the level of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), the "bad" type of cholesterol that increases the risk of heart disease. Also, when men put on weight, fat tends to build up around the waist, the worst possible place in terms of developing the furred-up arteries that cause heart problems. Lots of men do not visit the doctor because they shrug off their symptoms either as bravado or just because it does not seem significant. Funny really because the stereotype is that we get man-flu and think things are worse than they really are so you would expect them to be going more than women.

Mens reproductive systems do not require them to maintain any regular contact with healthcare services. Because men do not have periods, they lack a mechanism that regularly and naturally makes them feel aware of, and in touch with, their bodies.They do not need to see a doctor to obtain contraception and, of course, they do not get pregnant.

Health services have not done much to encourage men to look after their health. Most G P's surgeries are still open only at times when men are likely to be at work, for example, and often do not feel like male-friendly places.

There has also been long term lack of investment in research into male specific issues especially prostate cancer.Chronic conditions in men are mis managed by health professionals and male health does not always appear in local NHS plans. Few work places provide mens health services and minimal health information supplied is not easy readable. Male youths in particular can be a very difficult group to access . We should always remember that sending out information in a simple format could save lives

In general females are better than men at discussing and acting on health matters.Men are reluctant to talk about health. Dealing with stress is very different between the sexes. Women look for support to discuss the emotional issues, to understand what is happening and what might be the solution.Whether its friends .family or a support meeting women like to relate their tales .Men tend not to discuss health. Some time ago a report discovered that men enjoyed discussing females,sport and cars. Politics is more popular than health matters

Men often seek an escape activity to get relief from stress, to create a relaxing diversion, to get away. Golfing is a common example of how men escape They are acting out their stressful energy in a challenging way while enjoying the companionship of other men. However they typically, do not take time out of a round of golf to discuss their feelings or stress amongst each other.

Health services could start increasing the awareness of the male population about the importance of looking after their health by embarking on more male targeted health campaigns. Providing male friendly walk in centres with consultations carried out in an atmosphere which does not intimidate. If this were to happen I believe mens attitudes would begin to change which would also lead to early diagnosis which will ultimately save more lives.

Lauren Robb is a health care professional and an author . She writes about gender specific health issues and products that offer solutions. Find out more at male health
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