Stay healthy! 5 health checks for men
1. Your weight
Now that you’re eating healthily and moving more, you’re already taking steps to ensure you reach – and maintain! – a healthy weight. It’s the simplest way of keeping your body in top shape while reducing your risk of a number of conditions, including type 2 diabetes.
2. Your mental health
If you find yourself feeling down for much of the time, it could be that you’re depressed. And you’re not alone: one in four men will suffer with a mental health problem this year. Whether you’re feeling low because of work, your relationship, or anything else in your life, speak to your GP or seek help from a mental health advisor, especially if you notice symptoms of depression like comfort eating, mood swings, anxiety, sleeplessness, or loss of concentration.
3. Your bathroom breaks
When you change what you’re eating, it’s natural for your bowel movements to also change. But if you regularly notice blood in your stools, pain or persistent bloating, you should speak to your GP, as these could be signs of bowel cancer. You’ll be able to talk through your symptoms and ask about a bowel cancer screening, so if there’s anything to worry about, you’ll catch it quickly. And if you’re concerned that you’re urinating more frequently than usual, that’s worth bringing up, too – it could be a sign of an enlarged prostate, which can be treated with medication.
4. Your skin
If you have moles, keep an eye on them so you’ll be aware of any changes in shape, size and colour. Moles that are asymmetrical, ragged, a mixture of colours, itchy, larger than 6mm in diameter or enlarging over time could be cancerous, so if you notice any of these changes, check in with your GP.
5. Your heart
If you’ve got a family history of coronary heart disease (or even if you don’t), keeping a close eye on your heart health is crucial. Coronary heart disease – when the coronary arteries that pump blood around your body become blocked with fatty substances – can be caused by smoking, high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and lack of exercise as well as family history. Check in with your GP in the first instance, and make regular appointments for blood pressure and cholesterol checks thereafter.