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Your Guide To Men's Health

Preventative health measures are often overlooked when it comes to men’s health. Men are much less likely than women to visit a GP or use primary care services and often present later into the course of an illness than women.  Regular check-ups are important when it comes to preventing or diagnosing issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

The main measures men can take to improve health and wellbeing are eating well, exercising, avoiding smoking, sensible alcohol consumption and reducing stress.  There are a variety of supplements available to help improve general health including ones developed specifically for men such as Wellman, Active Iron for men, Centrum Men and Solgar Male Multiple.

Each of these products contain ingredients specifically developed to support men’s immune system, energy levels, mental performance and muscle function.

Along with these there are other immune supports such as Yourzooki Vitamin C.

Yourzooki Vitamin C is made with patented liposomal encapsulation technology which makes it easier for cell to absorb the Vitamin C. This provides support for your immune system, improves energy levels and can help with collagen formation

Vitabiotics High Strength Vitamin D is another great product when it comes to improving your immune system. This contains vitamin D3 which it normally made in the body when exposed to sunlight. In Ireland, we generally don’t get enough sunlight, especially in winter, to make the necessary amount of this essential vitamin. Supplementation is a great way to increase our levels and improve our immune systems

Many studies are being done at the moment looking into evidence linking Vitamin D deficiency to increased severity of symptoms in people who contract Covid-19. Many health care professionals are now recommending vitamin D supplementation to everyone. A 2020 TILDA survey reports vitamin D deficiency in 1 in 5 people over the age of 55 in Ireland in winter. Increasing vitamin D levels will help boost immune function and may be beneficial in helping protect people from developing severe symptoms of Covid-19.

Another aspect of men’s health that is often overlooked or ignored is prostate health. Prostate enlargement or BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) becomes a common condition as men age. Approximately 60% of men over 60 years of age have some degree of prostate enlargement. An enlarged prostate can put pressure on the bladder and urethra which can lead to difficulties in urination, increased frequency of urination and difficulty emptying the bladder fully. In some cases, these symptoms may be very mild, but they can become severe for some men.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It has a good treatment outlook as it is a cancer that is slow to progress. Treatments can include removal of the prostate, radiotherapy or hormone therapy. Treatment may not always be needed as prostate cancer can take up to 15 years to spread from the prostate to other parts of the body meaning is often has no impact on a man’s life span. 

A blood test can be carried out by your GP to measure your levels of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). High PSA levels can be due to numerous prostate conditions such as BPH, prostatitis or prostate cancer. It is worth noting about 2 in 3 men with a raised PSA level do not have prostate cancer.

These issues can be identified by routine check ups with you GP and can be treated with prescription medication.

For more information on men’s health malehealth.ie is a very informative website set up by the Men’s Shed Foundation with support from the HSE. You can always call into any McGorisks pharmacy for friendly, helpful advice on healthcare and products.

Supervising Pharmacist

Deirdre O'Sullivan

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