29 June 2017: Heart disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes and depression are just some of the many health problems facing modern men. All these issues have one thing in common, they can all be caused by stress. Stress remains the biggest threat facing men in this fast-moving world, according to Graham Anderson, CEO and principal officer of Profmed.
“From our annual stress survey, we can ascertain that high stress levels are continuing to plague both men and women. However, it does seem that it is more prevalent amongst men. If left untreated, stress could cause serious health issues like high blood pressure, which in itself could result in heart failure and strokes,” explains Anderson.
To fight against stress, Anderson emphasis the need to take leave and exercise on a regular basis. “Exercise is absolutely crucial to living a healthy life. I’m not talking about just going to gym and walking. You need to do cardio exercises that get your heart rate up,” says Anderson.
Men should also visit medical practitioners for regular check-ups, especially prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests. “Our motto at Profmed has always been prevention is better than a cure. PSA tests can easily detect cancer issues that could be life threatening. They are essential for men from the age of 50, but any man should consider having one,” says Anderson.
Alcohol and smoking can have severe effects on your health. According to the World Health Organisation, South Africa is currently ranked in the top 20 biggest drinking countries in the world, on average one South African consumes an estimated 27 litres of alcohol a year.
“Smoking must be avoided at all cost. Alcohol should only be consumed in moderation, but should be kept to a minimum. However, there is usually a misconception that you need to be an alcoholic to drink too much, binge drink is just as hazardous to your health. It is essential to keep drinking to a minimum,” warns Anderson.
However, Anderson explains that there has been a significant paradigm shift in recent years from the “I’m a man, I don’t go to doctors” attitude to being more conscious about their health.
“Men have become far more knowledgeable about health issues. Some men get headaches and then try to find out what potentially could be causing it or why they are getting pains in the chest. However, a small percentage of men continue to smoke, drink far too much and avoid the gym. They are at serious risk of experiencing health issues,” warns Anderson.